Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game
Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game is a board game based on the reimagined series, designed by Corey Konieczka and published by Fantasy Flight Games in 2008.
The game is a semi-cooperative game, in which players work together to solve problems confronting the Fleet, ranging from mechanical to political issues, all the while remaining vigilant for Cylon attacks. However, suspicion clouds the ship and its crew, as one or more players may indeed be a Cylon!
The basic game is set in the first season immediately following the destruction of the Twelve Colonies. There are two "teams" in the game, the humans and the Cylons. The game starts like the series, with the humans trying to reach Kobol. Initially, the Cylons are game mechanics thrown at the humans in the form of crisis cards during each player's turn. As the game progresses, it becomes obvious that one or more players may in fact be a Cylon and is trying to prevent the humans from getting to Kobol by secretly subverting their efforts to get past the challenges presented in the crisis cards. Secrecy is a big part of the game.
Designed for 3 to 6 players, each player chooses to play as one of ten characters, each with their own skills, abilities and weaknesses, while trying to help mankind reach Kobol. Characters available include William Adama, Lee Adama, Kara Thrace, Saul Tigh, Sharon Valerii, Gaius Baltar, Galen Tyrol, President Laura Roslin, Tom Zarek and Karl Agathon.
The human team wins by making FTL jumps until reaching Kobol, then making a final jump. During that process, they have to deal with regular crises and keep several resources (food, fuel, morale and population) from running out, while also keeping Galactica from being destroyed by Cylon ships or boarded by Centurions. Half way to Kobol, the 'sleeper agent' phase ends, and some players that were human at the start of the game might find out that they are a Cylon. This aspect of the game means that human players might want to be careful about how well they are doing in the game prior to this phase, as other players might notice a sudden change in play style. The Cylon team wins if the any of the resources run out, Galactica is destroyed, or if a boarding party can "vent the oxygen to space" from the battlestar and kill the crew.
As well as the original base game, which is set during the Fleet's search for Kobol in the first season, there are three major expansions which incorporate elements from later seasons.
The Pegasus expansion, released in 2009, adds elements from the second season. These focus on the Battlestar Pegasus, her crew, and the discovery, settlement and invasion of New Caprica, as well as additional options for Cylon players.
The Pegasus is represented by an additional game board with new actions players can perform, including executing characters by putting them out of an airlock. Executing a Cylon forces them to reveal themselves, but executing a human reduces the morale of the fleet and forces that player to choose a new human character. (If there are no human characters left, the humans immediately lose the game.) The Pegasus can also fight Cylon ships, and take damage in place of the Galactica.
Four new human characters are included: Admiral Helena Cain, Anastasia "Dee" Dualla, Louanne "Kat" Katraine and Ellen Tigh. The expansion also introduces "Cylon Leader" characters; players may choose to have a player openly be a Cylon from the beginning of the game, and that player is able to infiltrate the human fleet, effectively playing as a human until they leave the Fleet. Such a player gets a secret agenda which they must fulfil to win, rather than simply making the humans lose; this might be an agenda which is sympathetic to the human cause, depending on the total number of players.
The other major change is the end of the game; instead of reaching Kobol, the Fleet eventually finds New Caprica. A new board representing the colony is added, and the players are stranded there until Galactica returns. To win, the humans must unlock civilian ships and launch them into orbit to join the Galactica; any ships and personnel left on New Caprica when the Fleet jumps are destroyed or killed, and if those losses reduce any Fleet resources to zero, the humans lose.
The Exodus expansion, released in 2010, adds a number of options drawn from the third season. Aside from additional characters and cards representing situations from that season, there are also three optional additions to the game:
- Conflicted Loyalties replaces the standard loyalty cards ("You are a Cylon" and "You are Not a Cylon") with one or both of two new sets, each specifying an individual goal that a player must fulfil. Personal Goals can be possessed by humans or Cylons, and revealed for some benefit if certain conditions are met. If unfulfilled at the end of the game, a Personal Goal reduces a resource, possibly causing the humans to lose. Final Five Goals identify a player as one of the Final Five, with specific agenda. Final Five players, while technically Cylons, are treated as human or Cylon based on their other Loyalty cards, since the Final Five may side with either faction.
- The Cylon Fleet adds a new board which tracks progress of the Cylon Fleet pursuing the Colonial Fleet. This replaces the random attacks provided by cards in the base game and instead shows players the Cylon Fleet growing ever closer. To balance this, this option also adds a new title of "CAG", giving one player additional control over the human fighters, and a limited number of Mark VII Viperss, which are faster and harder to destroy than the Mark II model.
- The Ionian Nebula replaces Kobol with the Ionian Nebula. It also adds a number of allies - characters not directly controlled by players, but who may aid or hinder them - and introduces trauma in the form of tokens. These tokens affect the behaviour of allies, the outcome of trials among the humans or Cylons, and may even directly cause the character to be executed. The game culminates in the Battle of the Ionian Nebula.
The final expansion, Daybreak, was released in 2013, and adds elements from the conclusion of the series, including Starbuck's mission in the Demetrius, the mutiny aboard Galactica, and the addition of the Rebel Basestar to the Fleet. It also has an optional new endgame, "The Search for Home", in which the Fleet's final destination is Earth rather than Kobol, New Caprica or the Ionian Nebula.
Daybreak adds four new human characters: Sherman "Doc" Cottle, Romo Lampkin, Brendan "Hot Dog" Costanza and Lieutenant Louis Hoshi; four new Cylon Leaders: D'Anna Biers, Athena, Simon and Aaron Doral; and four alternate versions of existing characters, representing the changes they have been through: a more political Lee Adama, post-presidency spiritual leader Gaius Baltar, married father Karl "Helo" Agathon and a more dangerous Tom Zarek.
- Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game Official Site
- Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game official forum
- BoardGameGeek Page for Battlestar Galactica with reviews and session reports.
- See Also
- bsp:Image:Battlestar Galactica- The Board Game press release.pdf|Publisher's Press Release