1628927445Game by Unknown

1628927445Game by Unknown


Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2017-04-26T04:00:00+00:00

Figure 4.4 “Thirty-Three” Cylon attack card. Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game ©Fantasy Flight Games 2008. Photo by the author.

The “Thirty-Three” card illustrates this close narrative connection to the show with its “special rule,” named Relentless Pursuit . Unlike other Cylon attack cards, once this card is resolved, it is kept in play. This means that the Cylons, as in the episode, would continue to attack as long as it was in play. However, the other part of the special rule seemed to counter the very threat posed by the episode: “If this card is in play when the fleet jumps, shuffle it back into the Crisis Deck.” For those in my game group who had never seen Battlestar Galactica , this statement made little difference: once we jumped to evade the Cylons, the card was over. But for those in my game group with a memory of this episode, this additional aspect of the rule made no sense. If the card was referencing a particular narrative moment, why would it contradict that moment by having the Cylons leave Galactica alone once the ship had jumped? That was the whole point of the attack, after all.

The individual memory of the relationship between the game, the cult text, and the player acts as a personal variant within the Spime of Battlestar Galactica. In my group, two of us knew the show and were surprised at the card; two did not know the show and played as if nothing was amiss. To resolve this, we turned to another cyborgian aspect of the paratextual board game, the Internet forum.

Individual players have particular experiences with a game that others may not, leading to moments personalized with the text. There exist online hundreds of spaces for players to ask and answer game FAQs, or frequently asked questions that can interact with the game mechanics, facilitating new rules or changes to the game.48 my group searched for FAQs about this particular card—the search

results reveals scores of posts of people asking the same questions that we did.

In another personalization of the game Spime, then, many of these answers connected the cult text to the game via their own player-generated solution to the issue. One person writing on boardgames.stackexchange.com came up with three different interpretations of the card, each of which was defended with reference to the show.49 Comments on the page agree or disagree with the different interpretations, and some offer additional “house rules” solutions, such as “you shuffle thirty-three into the top 3 cards of the crisis deck. This makes things quite a bit more difficult.” On boardgamegeek, Milan Rancic (username MilanGM) altered the appearance of the card and changed the rule—from “shuffle it back into the Crisis Deck” to “put it back on top of the Crisis deck,” which means it will be drawn over and over again. He has uploaded a .jpg of the new card so that others can shuffle it into their decks (Figure 4.5).


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