the further adventures of

Mike Pirnat

a leaf on the wind

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You Nuked My Battlestar!

Pretty much out of nowhere, I suddenly decided that what the world really needs is a Battlestar Galactica-themed version of the classic Battleship game. Besides the obvious cool factor of having a board full of miniature BSG ships, I think there's a lot of depth to be added by tweaking the rules a little bit:

  • The human player can choose to "jump the fleet" rather than firing a shot, allowing the player to rearrange the locations of all of their ships.
  • The Cylon player can return any destroyed ship to the board per turn until the destruction of their resurrection ship, in addition to their normal "take a shot" action. If the Cylon player doesn't have any destroyed ships, they can instead opt to repair one "hit" from a non-resurrection ship per turn in addition to firing a shot, so long as the resurrection ship is still in play.
  • Both sides have a limited number of nuclear weapons which, rather than targeting a single point on the game grid, will have a several-coordinate blast radius. Nukes are only available to their respective players so long as there are battlestars or basestars in play.
  • The Cylon player has a number of sleeper agents in the human fleet; the Cylon player can opt to activate a sleeper instead of firing, which will result in one hit against a human ship of the human player's choosing.
  • The human player may sacrifice a battlestar to destroy a Cylon basestar.
  • After some as-yet-undertermined number of turns, the human player can produce a stealth Viper, which can be relocated on the grid every turn or which can be sacrificed to learn the location of the Cylon resurrection ship.
  • After some as-yet-undetermined number of turns, the human player gets a second battlestar.
  • And, if you're not afraid of Season 4 spoilers, if the human and Cylon player get tired of endlessly killing each other, they can opt to partner up and "go find Earth," at which point the game is over and they both lose.

Cylon raiders and heavy raiders seem like one- and two-hit vessels to me, while the Colonial Vipers and Raptors are probably single-hit ships. Basestars should be relatively large (suggesting a much larger field of play than the standard Battleship grid) and maintain a six-pronged X shape target profile. Battlestars would probably need to be three spaces wide so that the flight pods can take hits too. Obvious choices for other Colonial ships include Colonial One, Cloud 9, Demetrius, the Astral Queen, Daru Mozu (the tylium refinery ship), mining ships, Space Park (the "spinny ship"), and numerous others. Clearly, getting the balance right on both Colonial and Cylon sides would be important to proper gameplay.

The reaction from my coworkers who are also fans has been very positive, so I suspect that if the appropriate corporate behemoths could work out the licensing, they'd at least sell a few units to us. In the mean time, if you feel like giving it a whirl, go for it! The rules definitely need some fine-tuning to make sure gameplay is properly balanced, but they should be at least a good start. If you do end up trying it out, I'd love to hear how it went.

So say we all!

[Edit 7/14/2008 @ 23:19] The collective unconscious appears to have reared its ugly head--turns out I'm not the first to have this idea.

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