I am not dead. I have just been lost in space, quite literally.
I will be the first to admit, when I watched Battlestar Galactica, (it’s a TV series,) I wasn’t too impressed. As a matter of fact, the stress of the show, the overall hopelessness, the paranoia, and the overwhelming bag of endless enemies that was always open, kind of put me off the show. Add to that, I never liked any of the characters. I mean, Gaius was the one that I should have liked, you know, the semi longhaired pretty boy, with a very manipulative mind, but most of the time, he was just disappointingly pathetic. And Starbuck, I should have liked her as well, but she never really became a fair character, there was always something about her that didn’t ring true with me… and I could go on. Needless to say, I only made it through the first season, before I quit watching the show.
I am starting this post like this though, because I need everyone to understand just how brilliant this game is. So let me say it once more, just to be sure we all got that part. This board game is, hands down, fantastic.
You don’t have to know the series, you don’t have to know the world, you don’t have to know the characters, and if you do, you don’t have to like them. It is still brilliant.
My boyfriend got it for Christmas and we tried setting it up at home, and playing it between us, (playing multiple characters each,) just to see how it worked, before we started looking for friends who might want to play with us. When first we set it up, I will admit, I was kind of overwhelmed. I despise learning new things, I will go so far as to say that I am rather handicapped that way, and making me sit down and learn rules for a game like this, for a TV series I didn’t like, is quite an achievement. I nearly bailed on my boyfriend when I saw the game board, but he was just so excited about his new game, I braved it and gave it a chance.
To my big surprise, it is nowhere near as overwhelming as it looks at first sight. In all honesty, the game is simple, elegant, cruel, and just perfect. It takes about a turn to learn, and even once you have got the hang of the rules and how the game progresses, it never stops surprising you, or sabotaging you.
If I found the stress and the hopelessness of the TV series too much, it works in the game. It just works. It is never boring, no one trusts anyone, and no matter what you do, you are instantly under suspicion from your fellow players. There is no way you can prove that you are not a cylon, all you can do is keep up a poker face, and hope no one decides to throw you in the brig.
The cylon part is brilliant as well. Every player is dealt a loyalty card to begin with, and it tells you if you are a cylon or not. (Cylons are robots, looking like humans, sabotaging the human race…) You don’t know if the others are cylons, all you know is whether or not you are. And then, you don’t, because once the Battlestar has jumped a certain distance, looking for the lost Earth, you enter a sleeper phase, where the sleeper agents are awakened and all players draws another loyalty card. So, you could have been a cylon all along, you just didn’t know it.
We played it, five players, yesterday, and the three others had not tried it before either, and they didn’t know the series, and still they learned quickly and come the end, where everything blew up in humanities faces, as the cylons revealed themselves and started openly sabotaging the game, (I LOOOOVE playing a cylon,) we all got quite an adrenalin kick. That is pretty amazing, from a board game.
It is action packed, easy to learn, simple, yet complicated, nearly impossible to win as a human, (but it can be done, which we proved yesterday,) and most of all, it is elegant. There are no clumsy rules, you don’t need to check the rule book at all times, it is straight forward and very addictive. Once you start playing it, it becomes very hard to not play it again, every night… Which is why I have hardly been online at all, since New Year…
As for the characters, there is a lot to chose from. I discovered, much to my own dismay, that I am not nearly as manipulative as I thought I was. I am really having a lot of fun playing the pilots, especially Lee Apollo Adama, who is always the first to be launched into a viper, always on the move and always fighting for what he believes in. I was a bit surprised by that, because once again, I would have thought that I would find Gaius or the President a lot of fun, but the political game is too slow for me.
My boyfriends sister though, played the President yesterday and she loved it, and I will admit, she was fantastic at handling the character. I guess that is another great thing about this game, no matter if you liked the characters in the series, or not, or if you didn’t know them at all, you can always find someone who is just right for you. I will admit, I have been aiming for playing Gaius or Sharon a lot, because they have a bigger chance at becoming cylons than the other players, and Sharon works for me, Gaius doesn’t, and well, Apollo is just me… headstrong and always ready to take a hit for the greater good. I had not expected that… I swear, I really don’t like the guy, in the series…
Anyway, TRY IT!
No matter who you are, why you are, or I don’t know… really, there are NO excuses for not trying this game. It is worth all the money it costs to buy, (which isn’t unreasonable,) it is well balanced, the game pieces are cool, and it is so much fun!
So get playing everyone, and try not to get shot down and sabotaged by the cylons, before you can reach the lost Earth, and give humanity a chance to survive. Or, if you are a cylon, best of luck with making sure the humans are extinct, once and for all…