BSG - The Board Game

BSG Game BoardLast Saturday's rainy weather provided the perfect backdrop for a group of Battlestar Galactica geeks, including yours truly, to try out the BSG board game. Spacepug played host, graciously volunteering her apartment. It goes without question the company was great, but how was the game?

BSG the board game was fun once we got past the learning curve; but that learning curve is a bitch! None of us had played before and it took about an hour to make it through the first round. Once we got rolling the game became quite engaging.

Players assume the persona of one of the Galactica crew. Six isn't a crew member, so no character in a red dress, but Boomer/Sharon/Eight is definitely up for grabs (so to speak). Each character has unique skills and abilities. In addition, one player becomes President and another Admiral, giving them some extra abilities (including a couple of nukes).

Each character is given "loyalty" cards, seen only by them, determining if they're a Cylon. Humans work towards getting the Galactica to Kobol before running out of resources or getting destroyed in combat. And Cylons don't.

The game board consists of a rendered Galactica surrounded by six regions of space, Colonial One, and locations in Cylon space. The internal locations facilitate actions, the external locations gets populated by Basestars, Raiders and Vipers for space combat.

BSG Game BoardA player's turn consists of drawing skill cards, taking a movement, taking an action, a "crisis", and the "jump" phase. Sounds easy, but there's a rich/complex set of actions available. The movement/action phase has a player working alone to do what they need to do. During each player's crisis all players participate to solve the crisis, or perhaps make it worse. Participation is designed so you can say one thing and do another; handy for fraking up the works if you're a Cylon and no one knows it yet!

About half way through the game, more loyalty cards are handed out in the "sleeper" phase. Are you really a Cylon but didn't know it? Welcome to the new reality, complete with distrust at no extra charge. Much like the four from the final five, one of our Saturday players had a hard time making the shift.

Once over the learning curve I started really enjoying the game. The little details that add to the complexity really helped immerse me in the game. As Starbuck, I was flying Vipers and killing Raiders, oh yah! And the game is relentless just like the show. There are no breathers. With each player getting a crisis every turn, you're in a race against time to jump before running out of resources or getting blown out of the galaxy. Even when it wasn't my turn I was actively involved in solving the crisis phases in everyone else's turn, and eventually cursing Spacepug who started on my side as President and later became a Cylon sympathizer. And there was palpable relief among us humans when we left those Basestars and Raiders behind after a jump. Well, except for the time a Toaster raiding party got aboard.

I don't think this game will appeal to someone who isn't a BSG fan, or at least a Science Fiction fan. If you like board games, BSG, and games that let you do evil to your friends, check this one out!


Marina wrote 12 years 51 weeks ago

Somewhere in my email, I

Somewhere in my email, I still have the step by step instructions and graphics for the DIY Firefly boardgame. One day, when I have nothing to do, I *will* build that board. Until then, I'll stick to scrabble or Trivial Pursuit 80's Edition! ;)

Tao - board games canada wrote 12 years 51 weeks ago

Good review and it's great

Good review and it's great to hear from a BSG fan about this game. I've heard a lot of good things from people who truly enjoy board games, though the comparison that it is more complex than other collaborative games like Shadows over Camelot or Pandemic does come up.

spacepug wrote 12 years 51 weeks ago

Love the review. I thought

Love the review.

I thought the game was fun, but agree it was the hardest work I've had to do to play something in a long time. I liked the fact that the players had to work together to save humanity or otherwise, depending on their allegiance. I really enjoyed the twist of having a second set of "loyalty cards" handed out in the middle of the game which can switch your allegiance from one side to another.

Fun, when you have 5 hours to spare...lucky I had plenty of coffee on hand!

dale wrote 12 years 51 weeks ago

If you do, I'm there!

@Marina, if you ever do, I'm there!

dale wrote 12 years 51 weeks ago

@Tao, haven't played those

@Tao, haven't played those other games to compare. My games night usually consists of faster games like Transeuropa, San Juan, and Can't Stop. Occasionally we'll pull out Killer Bunnies or Super Munchkin.

dale wrote 12 years 51 weeks ago

Thanks for hosting

@Spacepug, thanks again for hosting, and pass along my thanks to M for volunteering her game.

And if our next game takes 5 hours, I'll be disappointed. Though if the company and coffee are as good as the first time, it's won't be so bad!

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