This should be a simple enough question: When activating Communications, can the humans move one civilian ship twice? I would think not, since it actually says you can move two ships one space. However, our game group did the one ship-two moves early on in our learning the game and has continued to do it since ("we should be consistent - you did it in the past"), but I've questioned the action recently.
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I wouldn't think so. The wording on the board is quite clear and specific:
Action: Look at the back of two civilian ships. You may then move them to adjacent area(s).
Now perhaps an odd situation can arise if you only have one civilian ship you want to move, or indeed there's only one on the board to move. That's fine, but it quite clearly says to move it to an adjacent area. An area two spaces away is not adjacent.
The rule is quite different from moving the (thematically speaking) much faster vipers which you can do from control, and it says 'activate 2 unmanned vipers' (and is clarified in the rulebook that a Viper may be activated more than once in a turn, so in one action you could actually move one Viper 2 spaces). This is very different from communications which doesn't use the word activate and is quite clear (at least in my opinion) as to what you can do.
So basically I believe you're right and that your group doesn't need to worry about consistency between games. Sure, in a game remain consistant. But once you move on to the next game it doesn't matter- especially if the rule has been played wrong in the past! Having said that, a gaming group is a great and wonderful thing and also a personal one- each gaming group is quite different from the next so if it bugs them that much, I wouldn't worry about it. The gaming police aren't going to come knocking on your door and the opinion of others on the 'interwebz' really has no relevance to how your group plays
Edit: My opinion simply comes from my belief that the wording on the board being very specific- I'm sure Holy Outlaw or someone else with more experience can clarify further!
How exciting to be called out by name! My status as BSG forum junkie is secure!
On this one, I concur with El Mariachi, though I'm not aware of an official ruling. As for Command, which I think you're using as a precedent, it's definitely counterintuitive that "activate x vipers" can mean "activate one viper X times," but when I read about that in the FAQ and elsewhere, it always sounds more like the exception than the rule. My understanding is that the unmanned vipers activating sequentially has to do with the separate die rolls that could be called for, and that the rule's intended to keep Apollo's action consistent with, say, Maximum Firepower, so that players firing vipers always get to see the results of one shot before deciding where to place the next. But I've never heard it suggested that looking at the two vipers with Communications should be sequential rather than simultaneous. So my group understands Communications to be a simultaneous action, which cannot be applied to the same civvie twice. I could be wrong, but that is my understanding.
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