In Battlestar Galactica, revealed Cylon players can use the Resurrection Ship location to pass their unrevealed loyalty cards to another player at the table. This can be necessary when one player has drawn multiple "You Are A Cylon" cards or can be used to sow confusion by giving "You Are Not A Cylon" cards away.
In the Pegasus expansion, the Resurrection Ship location no longer passes loyalty cards. Instead, when a Cylon player reveals himself, he always passes his unrevealed cards to another player as part of the reveal process.
It's not clear which situation happened during Pegasus development:
- The passing was made part of the reveal process in order to address an imbalance, and the Resurrection Ship location was changed in response to this
- The Resurrection Ship location was changed for other reasons, and the passing was moved to the reveal process in response to this.
Having just played a game where I happened to be dealt both "You Are A Cylon" cards, I'm starting to think that the base game should use the Pegasus card-passing rules.
The process of revealing is purposely built so that the Cylon player doesn't get to do any "Cylon actions" until the round after he reveals - for one thing, this prevents a player from revealing and immediately playing his Super Crisis card.
A Cylon dealt both Cylon cards, however, ends up having to wait 2 full rounds to get all the stuff he needs to do done:
- He needs to pass the other Cylon card
- He needs to play his Super Crisis
Now, he won't always NEED to play the Super Crisis, but in most cases that will probably be true, particularly since there has been only one Cylon player sabotaging things to this point. Whichever order the Cylon chooses, it's not great for him. If he passes loyalty cards first, it probably looks pretty suspicious that he didn't play the Super Crisis, but prioritized card-passing more. The humans are likely to assume the card recipient is now also a Cylon. On the other hand, if he plays the Super Crisis first, there is one more human available to help against it for a round until the card is finally passed.
This two-turn latency to get all his ducks in a row seems like a harsh penalty, especially on top of the minor penalty that he's been the sole Cylon to this point. Automatically passing as part of the reveal gets things back to the more "normal" setup - 2 Cylons, and a 1 turn delay before Super Crisis can be played. It also makes the passing of the loyalty cards something that is not inherently suspicious, since it always happens.
If this had come about in Pegasus through just a rule change listed in the instructions, it would be a no-brainer to apply it to the core game. But since it involves changes to the board that are affected by other Pegasus-specific stuff, it's not clear how applicable this should be.
Since I haven't played Pegasus, it made me wonder: is there a reason why it would be bad to apply this rule change to the core game?