We-View Wednesday – Battlestar Galactica The Board Game

The Cylons were created by man.  They evolved.  They rebelled.  There are many copies. And they have a plan. – Opening Credits – Battlestar Galactica


I have never been a big fan of licensed games, whether video, role-playing, or boardgames.  In almost all cases, the game does not live up to the premise of the license, does not deliver that quintessential somethingness that makes the license shine.  (City of Heroes collectible card game, I’m looking at you!)

Not so with Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game.  Of all of the licensed properties that I have played, this one got it right.  The characters, the action, the tension, the drama, the paranoia.  Oh lord, the paranoia that this game brings out.

The game looks very complex at the start.  All of the players take on a role as one of the main characters from the game, and their goal is to escort the surviving remnants of humanity to the planet Kobol so that they can recover the map to the lost 13th Colony, Earth.  The humans have a limited amount of resources to accomplish this, and almost every decision that they make will sacrifice some part of their precious resources to do this.  If at any time any one of these four resources (Food, Fuel, Population, or Morale) drop to 0, the humans have lost and the Cylons have won. [GWP Note: *YAWN*]

The play is cooperative, where all of the players use the skills of the characters they have to fight off one disaster after another until they can jump to the next planet.  Each turn, some new disaster will arise, and all of the players will throw in cards to help stave off this new disaster facing the fleet, or lose some precious resource that they need to survive.

But hidden amongst the players are one or more Cylons.  At the start of the game, cards are dealt to each player that will tell them if they are a hidden Cylon agent working against the humans.  Then at each crisis phase, the Cylons can, in secret, throw in cards that will reduce the chances of the humans succeeding.  So as soon as bad cards start showing up, accusations start to fly, denials are issued, and paranoia ensues.  The tension this raises is awesome. [GWP Note: I am dozing off?]

Play balance in this game is superb.  In the last game I played, the humans had an easy time of it early on.  A few losses, but good progress was made towards Kobol, and spirits were high.  Then the sleeper agents awoke.  Alliances were quickly formed.  One Cylon that had no poker face was quickly flushed out and thrown in the brig.  A Cylon sympathizer appeared.   Chaos ensued.   And I sat there, with my newly dealt “You are a Cylon” card, and sewed suspicion and doubt to the other side, and quietly continued to sabotage the humans.  I was eventually flushed out after I made a power play and siezed control of the presidency and the admiralty within a turn, but by then the damage was done, the humans were limping towards their last jump to Kobol.  It all played out to the last turn of a card, if the humans lived or died.  Every single player was standing up when the last card was turned over, waiting to see the results.  We just couldn’t stay in our seats.  It was SO cool!

And as is trademark with all FFG games, production values are superb in this game.  Little dials on the board to keep track of resources.  Nice photo cards and tokens.  Little plastic Vipers and Raptors and raiders.  All pieces are top notch. [GWP Note: *stretching* Ahhh that nap was nice. Thank you.]

This game is one of the most fun games I have played in a long, long time.  I really want to get my hands on it again soon, to give it another run.  I’m giving this one 4.5 Crits out of 5.  I docked it 1/2 crit because I’m not 100% sure if a person that didn’t like the show would enjoy the board game as much as I did.  My gut reaction is yes, because the game is really just that much fun.


2 Responses to “We-View Wednesday – Battlestar Galactica The Board Game”

  1. Woman of the House Says:

    Exceptional review GeekMan! It was well written and thorough. Your passion for this game is evident without overpowering the substance of your review. My favorite part of this entry? Your pretty blue dice! 🙂

  2. This was a really hard game to write a review of. I started like three times before I finally settled on this one. Glad you enjoyed it!

    Oh, and GWP? Hope you enjoyed your nap. And FU!!! 🙂

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