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Geek-Kuga Reviews ‘Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game’

4 min read

Tabletop games are cool.

Over the years, they have fallen from favour with popular culture, with video games rising to the fore. Video games may have the glitz and glamour, but you can have just as much fun with a group of friends sitting around a table with a few drinks, a few games, and a few hours.

For several years now, I have spent my Tuesday evenings with my friends playing the games we have bought, and over time we have amassed a large selection. In this series I will look at some of the more interesting and fun games I have on my shelves, in a hope that others will catch the ‘geek club’ bug.

Tonight, I’m reviewing…

What They Say
The Cylons were created by man. They rebelled. They evolved. And they have a plan.

After the Cylon attack on the Colonies, the battered remnants of the human race are on the run, constantly searching for the next signpost on the road to Earth. They face the threat of Cylon attack from without, and treachery and crisis from within. Humanity must work together if they are to have any hope of survival… but how can they, when any of them may, in fact, be a Cylon agent?

Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game is an exciting game of mistrust, intrigue, and the struggle for survival. Based on the epic and widely-acclaimed new Sci Fi Channel series, Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game places you in the role of your favorite characters from the show. Serve as Admiral of the Colonial Fleet, President of the Colonies, or just another hot-shot Viper jockey. The human race will need each of you to survive… unless you’re a Cylon, of course.

Packaging and Quality
Battlestar Galactica comes in an average sized board game box made of standard box-card. The box itself is coloured red and black, with images of the characters and ships from the TV series featuring prominently. The base of the box has a large image of a game in progress. The text is clear and it is very obvious that this is a licenced board game from SyFy.

When you open the box you see the board and manual on top of a cardboard spacer, similar to the one inside Infiltration, but bigger. The board itself is clear but with lots of detail. The locations within Galactica are highlighted with screen caps from the series, whilst the rest of the board is separated neatly in to the different areas. The four key stats recorded with moveable wheels which show the current resource level.

The game pieces are a mix of card cut-outs and plastic figures. The plastic figures for the ships are consistently molded and nicely detailed. The card cut-outs are split between those illustrated using screen grabs, and those with simple and clear illustrations. Both fit their purpose, and look nice.

The game cards are consistent with the good quality you would expect from both a licenced product and a Fantasy Flight game. There are two sizes of card, both clear and readable, again illustrated by screen grabs primarily.

The aim of the game when playing Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game is to reach Kobol. Players do this by manning the ship and facing whatever the game throws at them, facing challenges and trying to fight off the invading Cylon ships. After a number of turns, the ship moves to a new location, chosen by the Admiral, and when they have travelled a total of 8 distance (jumps normally move 1-3 distance) they win the next time the fleet jumps.

The game isn’t quite that simple, however. Each player is dealt a Loyalty card, which is kept secret. Dependant on the number of players, there are a set number of Cylon cards hidden amongst the players. Players get a second loyalty card half way through the game, meaning that a previously loyal character might suddenly realise that they’re a Cylon. The Cylon players have to try to secretly damage attempts to fight off the encroaching Cylons, but not reveal themselves unless they are left with no other choices. They can do this by secretly influencing skill checks to count against the goal, or making strategically questionable decisions when facing challenges and dangers.

If the human players suspect someone of being a Cylon, they can try to put the accused in the brig, however this is also a skill check, and the other human players might disagree with an accusation and play cards to keep the person out of the brig. Cylon players too have the options of accusing players, and can try to throw them in the brig to keep them from helping the cause. The accusation back and forth makes for an engaging and complex web of truths and part-truths.

If a Cylon chooses to reveal themselves, they then take a completely different route, aggressively and openly opposing the remaining players. If the players reach Kobol, they win. If they run out of population, morale, fuel, or food, before the end – then the Cylon players win.

In Summary
Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game is a great game of backstabbing and Sci Fi intrigue. For people who have seen the series, it is a nice way to relive episodes and events. For those who haven’t seen the series, it is a fascinating setting for a complex but deep board game. With a expansions to extend the life of the game, as well as the player-count, as well as an ever changing array of challenges and Cylons, it’s rare to have to games the same. If you like Sci Fi games, then picking up this game is a no-brainer.

Battlestar Galactica The Board Game is produced by Fantasy Flight Games.

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