|Battlestar Galactica | Published 30 July 2009|
We're all going to New Caprica. All of us. Every last, single one of us! It's our chance to be together. To be together again... I'm going to sign my first executive order requiring the fleet to immediately establish settlements on the planet we have come to know as New Caprica.
-President Gaius Baltar, “Lay Down Your Burdens, part 2”
Offering a renewed confidence in the future, New Caprica seemed to many to represent a chance to finally put the war against the Cylons to rest... a chance to start over. Although the land was harsh and the climate was unforgiving, the crew of Galactica dreamed of starting families, building homes, and setting down roots. But the dream soon became a nightmare. The Cylons arrived, and with promises of peace and aid, occupied New Caprica and subjugated humanity once again. Their only hope was that Galactica, which had abandoned them when the Cylons first arrived, would return to liberate them.
Welcome to the third preview for the Pegasus Expansion of Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game! In the first preview, we took a look at Cylon Leaders. In the second, we explored the capabilities of Battlestar Pegasus herself. This time, we’ll get a sneak peek at the New Caprica board, the setting of humanity’s new victory condition. We’ll also meet the troublesome and manipulative Ellen Tigh, a new addition to the political leader category, and we’ll thumb through the New Caprica Crisis deck, a collection of all-new obstacles specific to the revised endgame!
The optional New Caprica Objective Card, if used, replaces the existing Kobol Objective Card, requiring that the action of the game shifts to the New Caprica Board after the humans have traveled seven or more units of distance. That is, if they make it that far. New Destination Cards give greater options to the Admiral, so you’d better be sure of his or her loyalty! The “Binary Star” destination, for example, grants two distance at a cost of only one fuel, but the confusion it causes temporarily leaves your civilians vulnerable. The “Misjump” destination provides an opportunity for a conniving hidden-Cylon Admiral to kick humanity while it’s down; not only does it fail to move the fleet forward, it destroys a civilian ship! If humanity overcomes these threats, they’ll face an even greater challenge on New Caprica’s surface.
In the mountains north of here there's this little stream that comes down into this lake... The water is so clear, it's like looking through glass. I'm thinking of building a cabin.
-Laura Roslin, “Unfinished Business”
Once the New Caprica phase of the game has begun, things change in some fundamental ways. The ultimate goal for the humans during this phase is to protect themselves from the Cylon forces and prepare for Galactica’s return. The main Galactica board remains in play, (as does Pegasus, if she has survived this long) but its locations are off-limits, and its jump track takes on a somewhat different function; it represents the time remaining before Galactica’s return to New Caprica (at which point players can again use its locations). In order for the humans to win, they must prepare the remaining civilian ships for an escape, and the Admiral must order a final jump with Galactica (once it has returned) thereby leaving New Caprica and ending the game. Any human players left behind are executed and any civilian ships not evacuated are destroyed. If these losses reduce any of the resource dials to zero, the humans lose. If not, they escape and win, after which the Cylon Leader reveals his Agenda card to see if he can claim victory as well!
Upon the start of the New Caprica phase, all human players (including unrevealed Cylons) move their characters to the “Resistance HQ” space of the New Caprica board, and all revealed Cylons move their characters to the “Occupation Authority” – neither team may leave the board until Galactica returns. Any remaining civilian ships are randomized and stacked on the “Locked Civilian Ships” space; the humans will need to prepare them as they hold out for Galactica’s homecoming!
The Cylons have established a human police force… Hundreds of us have been rounded up by the Cylons, held in detention. Questioned. Tortured.
-Laura Roslin’s Diary, “Crossroads”
The New Caprica Crisis deck, an all-new set of obstacles based on the award-winning third season of Battlestar Galactica, provides the game timer for the New Caprica phase, just as the standard Crisis deck had done for the majority of the game. Until Galactica returns to orbit (a timer which is still based on the recurrence of the familiar “prepare for jump” icon), all Cylon ship activation icons are ignored. But once Galactica returns and the evacuation is underway, these icons are again obeyed; additionally, players may then move between the ship and surface as they wish. The result is a frenzied and climactic endgame, as some crew members remain behind, desperately fighting to move the remaining civilian ships, and others head into orbit to defend those who have already launched against a new onslaught of enemy ships!
Before that, however, the humans must work to prepare as many civilian ships as possible. In the New Caprica Crisis card to the right, “Labor Union Strike,” you can see two important new icons along the bottom of the card. In this example, after the crisis is resolved, players should resolve the lower-left icons first, as usual. The first icon is the familiar “Activate Raiders.” Unless Galactica has returned and is in orbit (indicating that the end of game is imminent), this icon should be ignored. Next to that, you’ll notice the new “Activate Occupation Forces” icon. This icon indicates when “Occupation Forces” tokens are to be placed or moved along the bottom of the New Caprica board (the same result can be achieved through the use of a Cylon action on the “Occupation Authority” space), and when these tokens leave the shipyard, the top locked civilian ship is destroyed! This creates a desperate race against the clock – humans must either prepare all the civilian ships, ensuring their safety, or they must actively destroy occupation forces... all while rooting out hidden Cylons, and (if Galactica has returned) fending off raiders, heavy raiders, and basestars in orbit!
Continuing with the “Labor Union Strike” crisis example above, you’ll also notice a new icon on the lower-right corner of the Crisis card. Just to the left of the “prepare for jump” icon, the “evacuation” icon is only resolved when Galactica has returned to orbit (and in this case, the “prepare for jump” icon is ignored). It requires that the current player draw the top civilian ship from the “Prepared Civilian Ships” space and move it to the main board, indicating that it has been successfully evacuated (but leaving it vulnerable to raider attacks!). Since ships can also be evacuated using the “Shipyard” space on the New Caprica board, the humans will need to coordinate as many evacuations as it takes to feel secure in the final, game-ending FTL jump. After all, any abandoned characters or civilian ships will immediately translate into a loss of valuable resources!
I went to see them, the Cylons. Finally got to the one in charge... and I got him to notice me … the way men notice me. I'd do it again. I’d do anything! I didn't want anybody to be killed.
-Ellen Tigh, “Exodus, part 2”
This Fall, the devious and ambitious Ellen Tigh joins the available characters. A political leader falling just below Tom Zarek on the presidential line of succession, Ellen is adept at taking power at just the right (or wrong) time. A deeply conflicted character, she is the only non-Cylon-Leader who draws Treachery cards as part of her skill set. Her “Politically Adroit” ability, however, gives her impressive control over her hand, and her once-per-game “Manipulative” ability means she can make the big decisions when it suits her.
The addition of the New Caprica board and mechanics promises to create an even more satisfying endgame for your Battlestar Galactica experience! In our next preview, we’ll present a revealing designer diary from Daniel Clark, who along with Corey Konieczka and Tim Uren, designed and developed Pegasus. In it, Daniel will share some of the “bumps in the road” that the design team encountered, and will give his insights into how even those failures had their benefits.
Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game is a semi-cooperative game of politics, betrayal, and survival for 3-6 players, based on the hit Syfy Channel series.
Yesterday I watched the season 3 final. Then we played an awsome game of BSG, and finaly now I read this? Good times to be a BSG fan... Here's hoping that Caprica will be just as good a series as BSG before it.
Once again I ask, will this be on sale @ GenCon?
Wow, this sounds great. I can't wait for this and the inevitble final expansion where we finally get to Earth. I just hope that expansion also increases the number of players to 8.
Wow! This looks as though games will be even more tense than they were before! Holy Frak I can't wait!!
Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy!!! Everything I see about this expansion gets me more excited!
Wow. Never would have guessed Ellen, but she the perfect fit. Love her daily ability, and can see lots of ways to use it. Her OPG is also great. If you're human and you plan to jump early, take that decision away from the current Admiral. If you lose the Presidency, you can get it back for a turn to play that card the Preisdent won't play. And if you're a cylon, humans beware! You'll have Treachery cards once you reveal yourself.
The new board will take some getting used to (and forcing yet one more jump to win the game), but I look forward to this new option to our games.
o. m. g. Yeah, this is gonna be AWESOME.
I'm not sure I like Ellen as a political Character, but I do like the ability each turn. I love the idea of the New Caprica board. I can't wait to play an "epic" game to Kobol and then New Caprica!