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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:

  1. 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
  2. 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:

  1. He needs to pass the other Cylon card
  2. 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?

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2 Answers 2

First, Pegasus allows a Cylon to pass his unrevealed loyalty cards only if they are at distance 6 or less, if they're at 7+ then he's stuck with the cards.

Second, there's no reason why you couldn't use the Pegasus version of the Ship, as long you are using the correct and full version of the Ship. Wherein you only draw one skill card and as an action you may draw a super crisis card.

Although I will point out that this logic that Cylons NEED to play their super crisis card, and spending a turn to pass the loyalty card would only be done if it was the other "You are a Cylon" card is just wrong. Super Crises are situational, no point in playing fleet mobilization if there's nothing on the board. And sowing suspicions is what you want the human players to deal with, otherwise they'll be able to freely XO and get stuff done.

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We don't actually HAVE Pegasus, so we couldn't as easily play with the completely changed Cylon board. The Pegasus rules PDF (fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/Battlestar_Galactica/…) doesn't mention anything about the distance mattering for passing unrevealed loyalty cards, though. –  lilserf Mar 10 '11 at 4:17
    
I'm totally confused, actually - Pegasus also specifies Cylons still draw two skill cards, but they have to be different colors. –  lilserf Mar 10 '11 at 4:20
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I didn't say the Cylon would ONLY pass their cards in this situation, just that it's extremely suspicious. I've played several games of BSG and nobody has used Resurrection Ship until this game with 2 Cylon cards - the other Cylon actions are just more damaging than the suspicion sown by giving your cards away. The case I described won't happen in every game, but it's most harmful to the Cylon player in the cases where he most needs to play the Super Crisis, and that's a bummer. –  lilserf Mar 10 '11 at 4:27
    
Resurrection ship in Pegasus is treated as a a hazardous zone a la brig or sickbay, in this case you can only draw 1 skill card when you start your turn there and can't return to it. –  bob dole Mar 22 '11 at 20:26
    
Ah, I see. Didn't realize you were referring to that space in the bit about drawing. –  lilserf Mar 22 '11 at 20:31

The only compensation for base game's Res. Ship location was distance can be 7 or less for the handoff, as opposed to Pegasus' 6 distance or less. However, yeah, sicne you need to use an action in the base game, it's somewhat worse there.

In theory, you could give a cylon player the option to use base game or Peg's Human Fleet location, disregarding infiltrating since that's not possible in the base game. Even though Daybreak's Res. Ship lets you farm super crisis cards, I wouldn't allow that in the base game. Perhaps change it to do the super crisis card exchange thing, then draw a skill card

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