Playing the new BSG boardgame

Some of the SFX team got their sticky hands on the new Battlestar Galactica board game last month. It's surprisingly complex, with stacks of pieces, including little plastic vipers and Cylon raiders, plus loads of different card decks. There's a 32-page rulebook and a wide board representing different areas on the Galactica, Colonial One and various planets. Cardboard counters represent civilian ships and Cylon basestars.

From left to right: regular reviewer Dean and art dudes Steve and Jon try to get their head around the 32-page rule book.

Each player picks a character from the TV series, and cooperates with others to defend against Cylon basestar attack. After a few turns, you randomly uncover who are secret Cylon agents, and then it's all about competing for control of the ship. Not knowing who's on the Cylon team until several rounds in means you're trying not to be too successful at first. The game feels overly confusing during these early phases, although it's better once the game picks up speed and the political mechanics of collaborating during "crisis phases" become interesting.

The game is for three to six players and is published by Fantasy Flight Games for £34.99. There is a review in SFX 178 , on sale on Wednesday 17 December.