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Boardgames: FFG’s Battlestar Galactica is, Apparently, the Bee’s Knees

posted Aug 15, 2012, 11:25 PM by Douglas Sun
Originally posted: April 30, 2009

pastedGraphic.pdfBefore I forget, I’d also like to put in a blurb for Fantasy Flight’s “Battlestar Galactica” boardgame, which was one of the talks of Orccon (besides Will Wheaton’s appearance in the dealer’s room on Sunday, of course) back in February, getting rave reviews from everyone within my earshot who had played it. I even heard the word “classic” thrown around, which is probably a premature judgment for a game that had just been out for a few months, but it’s indicative of the general enthusiasm surrounding it. Sometimes, a new game will experience an initial wave of enthusiasm, and then that wave will crest suddenly and fall away into background noise. By the time you congregate with a large group of gamers again, nobody is talking about it anymore. But then I saw Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game being played at GMT Weekend West, where the players also raved about its level of fun. So that’s two cons in a row I’ve attended where it’s gotten a lot of buzz, and that means we’re on our way to a trend.

Having the austere visage of Edward James Olmos starting out from your box cover is probably enough to sell a copy or two, but it’s the gameplay that everyone talks about. I haven’t played it yet, but I’m told the mechanics are similar to Shadows Over Camelot, in that the crux of the game is that each player assumes the identity of a character from the show, but one is also secretly a Cylon (comparable to the Traitor in Shadows Over Camelot). The Cylon player can therefore sabotage what all of the other players are trying to do, without them being aware of it — unless they are perceptive enough to suspect that he is the Cylon, of course. Hilarity naturally ensues.

So it looks like a tip of the hat is due to my old boss Jeff Tidball, who is the head boardgame honcho at FFG. Survey says, he’s got a certified hit on his hands.