The Cylons were created to make life easier on the Twelve Colonies. And then the day came when the Cylons decided to kill their masters. After a long and bloody struggle, an armistice was declared and the Cylons left for another world to call their own.
Forty years later, they returned, and brought humanity to the brink of extinction. The remaining humans, led by the crew of the Battlestar Galactica, fled in hope of finding a new home, one known by legend as Earth.
Humanity’s only hope lies in finding Earth’s location while fighting off the unrelenting Cylons. But as resources run low, it is discovered that the enemy can now appear human and has infiltrated the fleet from the inside.
Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game provides a unique gaming experience. Unlike most games where players win individually, Battlestar Galactica is a cooperative game, with the added complication that one or more of the players is a secret Cylon traitor – your entire side will win or lose, and you might not even be certain who is on your side until the game ends!
Each player is secretly assigned his or her loyalty at the start of the game. Players will either be loyal to the humans, or to the Cylons. Humans and Cylons have specific and conflicting winning objectives. The human players win by reaching Kobol, but the Galactica will be be threatened by a host of challenges along the way. Only through the cooperation of the humans will the ship (and fleet) survive. The Cylon player(s) wins by either destroying the Galactica with attacks from the Cylon fleet, or, through sabotage, by reducing one of the necessary resources (Food, Fuel, Population, or Morale) to zero.
Either all of the humans win together, or all of the Cylons win together…but both sides must figure out who they can trust in order to achieve victory.
Players' identities are secret and no one will know for certain at the beginning of the game who they can trust. Keep your eyes open and watch how the other players play. Can you trust them to watch out for Humanity’s interests? Or are they Cylons bent on destroying Humanity?
If your gaming group enjoys highly-thematic political intrigue, and can handle some good-natured infighting and backstabbing, you'll enjoy Battlestar Galactica.
If you like playing a game where there is a continuous challenge, and victory is always a very close call, Battlestar Galactica is for you.
If you're a fan of the hit Sci Fi Channel show, and want to simulate the twists and turns on your game table, then Battlestar Galactica is the game you have been waiting for!
At the start of the game each player chooses one of ten different characters: military leaders, political leaders, pilots, and support characters. A good mix of characters and skills is important to your team's success! The highest-ranked political leader receives the President title card and Quorum deck. The highest-ranked military leader gets the Admiral title card and nuke tokens. Nuke tokens can destroy a whole basestar (a Cylon battleship), but there are only two of them, so the Admiral must use them wisely.
Playing as your favorite BSG character is one of the perks of playing the game, but the best way to increase the humans' chance for victory is to make sure you have a well-rounded crew – you don't want to be without a good pilot if you're surrounded by Cylon ships, many crises require the kind of politics and leadership you only get in a political leader, not to mention the value in having a Support character to fix those damaged Vipers and Locations! A good mix of character types can help send those Cylons back where they came from!
It wouldn't be Battlestar Galactica if the humans weren't in a bind right at the beginning! As the game begins, the fleet is under attack! One Basestar and three Raiders are placed in front of the Galactica, and two random civilian ships are placed behind it. Finally, one Viper is placed on each of the bottom two sectors of the board, on Galactica's port side. The game has begun!
Every turn, a new crisis will assault the Galactica. These crises range from food and water shortages to terrorist bombings and assaults by the Cylon fleet. Succeeding against these crises gives the Galactica more time to achieve its overall goal of reaching Kobol. Failing means that Humanity is one step closer to total annihilation. Remember: if any one Galactica's resources reaches zero, the game is over and the humans have lost.
Every character in Battlestar Galactica has a set of useful skills that can contribute toward success against crises. These skills are represented by skill cards. Each turn, players will draw a number of skill cards and will have the opportunity to play them either for the effect of the card itself (such as using “Repair” to fix damaged ships) or to contribute towards success in a crisis.
Most crises will have a difficulty ranging from 6 to 17. Some will have outcomes that either the President or Admiral must choose. Those crises that have a difficulty require players to contribute some of their skill cards to overcoming them.
When a crisis with a difficulty comes up, each player can choose to contribute, face-down, any number of cards from their hand into a communal pile of cards which will determine success or failure. In addition, two random cards from the Destiny deck are added to the pile.
Skill cards whose colors match the colors of the crisis have their value added to the total. Skill cards whose colors do not match have their values subtracted from the total. If the combined total equals or exceeds the crisis's difficulty, the check is successful and the reward for passing is given to Galactica; sometimes a resource will rise, such as +1 food, sometimes the reward is just “No Effect”.
In addition to whatever crisis aboard Galactica may be occurring, Crisis cards can also activate whatever Cylons may be attacking the ship. Galactica can only sustain so much damage (as well as civilian casualties) so when the raiders come, send the pilots out to defend the ship!
Identities in Battlestar Galactica are kept secret for the entire game. At the beginning of the game, there may be one Cylon on board disguising itself as a human, or there may be none at all. At the middle point of the game, there will definitely be at least one Cylon sleeper agent activated and working to destroy the ship.
"Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action."
During skill checks, players contribute their cards face-down and can contribute cards of any color. Since cards that do not match the colors of the Crisis card are negative and contribute towards failure, Cylon cards can play non-matching cards to undermine the efforts of the human players. Doing that enough times will achieve the Cylons goal of destroying Galactica, but doing it too many times in a row or in too obvious a way might make it easy for the Humans to decide who to throw into the Brig or Sickbay, where they can do no harm. Therefore, it is in the Cylons' interest to play sneakily and to spread suspicion around to other players.
In any skill check it is possible that a random card from the Destiny deck caused the check to fail, or it could have been a Cylon deliberately trying to fail the check.
It is the humans' job to find out the identities of the Cylon player(s) and attempt to minimize the damage they can do to the fleet. Keep an eye on how many Skill cards each player adds to the pile, and what type of cards they draw. If only one player draws Politics cards yet they keep on showing up, you may have an unrevealed Cylon in your midst!
During each skill check, players can (and are encouraged to) openly discuss with each other how many cards to contribute to the crisis and who should contribute them. It is also fair game to dissect each failed skill check to try and find out which traitor (if any) is putting in bad cards. Watch the other players and try to discover who you can trust and who is a Cylon.
As it is entirely possible that there are no Cylons in the first half of the game (before the Sleeper phase), blind accusations of treason may do more harm than good.
Battlestar Galactica depends on everyone working together to overcome the incredible odds ranged against humanity. Unfortunately, because the Cylons can look like anyone and can keep their identities secret, it will be hard to trust anyone. And that's all part of the fun of the game.
For a full breakdown of the rules and gameplay, you can download the rules for Battlestar Galactica for free from our Support Page.
*text from the publisher's web site