If you’re a BSG fan but haven’t yet checked out this game, then you’re in for a real treat. The Battlestar Galactica Board Game from Fantasy Flight is a cooperative board game with a traitor element. The game can be played with as little as three players (though it’s better with more) and each player plays a character. You could be Laura Roslin, Baltar, Starbuck, Adama etc.
Each of the players are given skill cards based on their character which can assist with the various situations thrown at them,. These cards will depend on the type of character you play. For instance Laura Roslin can pick up political cards, but Starbuck can’t, though she can pick up tactical cards.
Each character also has particular attributes and flaws unique to their character. For instance, if you’re Chief Tyrol, your flaw is unfailing loyalty. The result is that he has to pick up less skill cards because he’s so blinded by his loyalty to certain characters. An attribute might be the ability for Roslin, who takes kamala root, to “foresee” a future danger, allowing the player to get a sneak peak on certain cards and prevent a crisis from occurring.
The fleet needs to be able to spool up the FTL drives before the Cylons do any serious damage and lower human resources below a certain level. Just like in the show, if you jump before the FTL drive is ready for the entire fleet, you run the risk of losing population. The goal of the game for the human players is thus to safely make a final jump after reaching eight jump “units” to get the fleet to safety and away from the Cylons.
Like the series, anyone can be a Cylon. At the beginning of the game, characters are dealt a loyalty card which will tell you whether you are a Cylon. This is where things get tricky. If you’re a Cylon spy, do you actively sabotage the fleet, and thus raise suspicions or do you help the fleet? Another wrench is thrown into the works halfway through the game when more loyalty cards are dealt out. If you’re a Cylon, you may want to use this time to out yourself, meaning you can skip off to the Cylon resurrection ship and draw super crisis cards to use against the fleet.
Remember how characters we knew and loved later find out they were Cylons? The same thing happens in the game. You could spend the first half of the game as President Roslin, trying to save the fleet, only to discover that you’re really a Cylon.
Does all this sound a little confusing? It can be in the beginning, especially since the game play is fast and furious and the rulebook is fairly intimidating. However, after a couple of rounds, you’ll find you easily get the hang of it, and it’s fun. What if you’re not a BSG fan? Well, you may have guessed that I’m not exactly a fan of BSG, and we played it with someone who wasn’t familiar with the show, and it was still a helluva lot of fun with each of us accusing others of being a cylon. With so many variables at play, it’s a different game each time you play, so one thing you won’t be, is bored.