Over the holidays my future sister-in-law brought out the Battlestar Galactica board game from Fantasy Flight games. Now, I love Fantasy Flight Games. Ninety-five percent of my board games are FFG, and I’ve never known them to make a bad product. Still, when I first heard about the BSG board game, I was skeptical (probably my conditioning from so many poor video games based on movie properties). She said it was great though, and so six of us sat down to play it.
And it was really fun.
It plays out just like the show, full of paranoia, danger, drama and deceit. At the beginning of the game, everyone draws a loyalty card, which you keep hidden. Everyone is assumed human, but some of your fellow players could be cylon. Additionally, during a “sleeper phase” halfway through the game, someone who thought they were human could suddenly find out they’re a cylon.
The cylons work secretly from within the fleet to prevent the humans from reaching their goal, which is reaching Kobol (future expansions to the board game deal with the story later in the series). The humans have a number of reserves (fuel, morale, population, food etc), and if any of them reaches zero before you make your final jump to Kobol, the humans lose.
Most events in the game take place through voting, which are done by playing cards face-down into a pile. A vote may need X points of certain colors to pass, while any other color detracts from the votes.
Cylons can also choose to reveal themselves, (and go out with a bang before waking up on the resurrection ship) which opens up an entirely different playstyle for them since they are now openly working against the humans.
The game is incredibly challenging for the humans. It captures the incredibly dire feel the show had as the humans are dogged by cylons at every jump, and constantly facing additional problems within the fleet. If you liked the show, and if you think you can get 3-6 people together for a few hours of fun, I’d highly recommend this board game. I had a lot of fun with it, and I’m already looking forward to playing it again.