Ducks Gameday -- Tee(mu) Time + BSG Board Game Review

Dallas Stars (whatever) at Anaheim Ducks (whatever), 7 pm
Defending Big D and Anaheim Calling -- at least you have options.

Sorry that I'm so late with today's gameday post, and also that it's so short of hockey content.  Eight games left, eight cartoons left (or something).  Today's cartoon is really intended for right after game #82:

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At least it had better only be one round...

As for the Ducks, guess which once-semi-retired superstar said this?

I haven't made a final decision.  It's something that you have to do after the season ... after a couple of weeks.  One day you say that's for sure the last year.  Some days, you say, 'You know what?  This is awesome.  I don't know why I should retire.'

Aw, I'll just tell you -- it's Teemu.  The guy who's getting honored by Jari Kurri before tonight's game, officially for his 600th career goal -- unofficially in hopes that he hits Kurri's 601 tonight.  I'll be around for game comments -- feel free to stop by.

In the meantime, I thought I'd stay true to my geek roots and offer a quick review of BSG: The Board Game, which should disgust Rudy to no end.  Three of my friends and I played a round this weekend, and while we definitely stumbled through the rules quite a bit (it's pretty complicated, and we were drinking), it turned out to be a pretty epic ending.  I'm not sure yet whether the game itself is awesome or we lucked out, but here's more or less the setup:

Each of us selected a character to become -- I chose Sharon "Boomer" Valeri, and we also had a Bill Adama, a Laura Roslin, and a Saul Tigh (other options were Baltar, Zarek, Apollo, Starbuck, Helo, and Tyrol).  For various reasons, we did have to split our picks a bit -- the game demands that at least one person be a military leader, one person be a civilian leader, and one person be a pilot.

The game then starts by each of us getting an allegiance card which reveals whether we are a cylon agent or not.  Only one of us was going to be a cylon (at least for four-player), and it wasn't necessarily going to be revealed at the start -- there's a midway point where more cards are dealt and it could be determined then that you're a cylon at that point.  Complicated, right?

The human players' aim is to make various jumps towards Kobol without zeroing out on their resources -- food, fuel, population, or morale.  To do so, they must confront various "Crisis" skill-checks, which allow the group to attempt to collectively score a certain number of points.  The cylon agent can secretly work against the team, though, and his actions can be masked pretty effectively.  Eventually, though, it becomes in the cylon's best interest to eventually reveal himself -- better than being caught and then thrown in the brig -- then he moves to the resurrection hub and can personally direct the exterior cylon forces from there.

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Image inserted for relevance's sake.

Each character has his own special skills and drawbacks, which does complicate the game much further, but makes it pretty compelling for a replay.  As Sharon Valeri, I had the ability to look ahead at future "Crisis" cards and decide whether to keep them in the deck or not.  I was also slightly more likely to be the cylon (I was dealt an extra allegiance card), though that proved untrue in this case.  As a drawback, though, at the midway point of the game I was automatically thrown into the brig under pre-scripted suspicion, and had to spend a few turns stuck there.

In the game we played, Saul Tigh ended up as the cylon, and he knew it right away.  But he fooled me, at least, by keeping quiet and shooting down some raiders on his turns -- seemed the "human" thing to do.  By the midway point of the game, he had us pretty screwed -- he managed to throw the President into the brig, along with me, and then revealed himself and moved to the resurrection hub, where he invoked his "Supercrisis" -- cylon raiders and basestars attacking everywhere.  We humans were pretty frakked.

But we survived, and rallied pretty strong -- I was able to use some "re-roll" cards to keep some of our ships in the air, a dominant skill check got the President out of the slammer, and she was able to provide some strong motivational speeches which enabled the Admiral to execute a strong counterattack and a quick jump.  By the time I was sprung from the brig things looked pretty optimistic -- I repaired a bunch of Galactica's damaged stations, and we were only two jumps away from winning.

But alas, we would end the game one jump away -- a cylon raider eventually attacked one of our civilian ships and drained the last of our fuel.  We had been hanging on by a thread on fuel and food, but were nearly on the brink of making it.  Things had gotten chaotic in the fleet, though, to the point that I was serving as both the Admiral and the President by game's end.  As Admiral, I launched a nuke and destroyed a basestar in a desperation move, but it was too late.  Saul Tigh was laughing at our failed effort.

So yeah -- even though it's a very glamorized version of the game "Clue" exclusively designed for BSG meganerds, I really liked it, at least the first time through.  I think I'll like it even better next time -- I won't have to learn so many rules next time, and if we use a whole different set of characters, I think the dynamics will change automatically.

In summation -- it doesn't take a nerd to like BSG -- that show's fantastic.  It doesn't necessarily take a nerd to play the board game -- it's pretty well designed and it does have some very nice intrigue factor going for it (who is the Cylon?  Is it me?).  It does, however, take an extremely nerdy nerd to play the game then write about how it unfolded on his hockey blog. :)

Prediction: Corey Perry is the cylon tonight; he tries to sabotage the team from within with his "Giveaway" Crisis, but Teemu Selanne plays his Jari Kurri card to counteract.

Go Ducks.

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