Still unhappy with the CAG’s moves

So, I’m still fundamentally unhappy with the CAG’s moves. This is what I’ve got so far.

Part of my frustration comes from not being entirely sure the CAG should be a +Sharp character. Lee, and Starbuck (for the brief time she was CAG) both led more with their heart than their head. So, I’ve thought of making the CAG +Hot, but hot isn’t really it either. The Opportunist and the Businessman are totally +Hot characters, as is 6. The get what they want through manipulation and seduction, perfect. The CAG speaks to people and they listen because they want the CAG to believe in them, to be proud.

Right now the CAG has two automatic moves: Raptor Scouting and Brief the Squad.

Raptor Scouting comes from the board game, as well as something commonly done in the show. Send out a Raptor to get intel. The move is modeled after the various move -> ask specific questions model (as seen in the Hoarder, Skinner, Brainer, etc). Based on the suggestion from SoylentWhite on the AW forms, I’m going to remove the first question “where do I find this?” because it is implicit in the move working. The move is okay, and it makes sense to go with sharp, but it doesn’t pull my pants down and pleasure me. It’s just okay.

Brief the Squad is a move I like very much. It is a) something that happened A LOT in the show, and b) where I see the CAG really shining. He gets to talk to people before a fight and give them advantages. I took this move from the Lieutenant in John Harper’s The Regimnent and tweaked it for my use. I’m rewording the second option to say “Temporarily remove one weakness for the duration of the engagement [insubordination, reckless, messy, ammo, etc]”. That doesn’t change what I originally meant with it, it just makes it cleaner.

The optional moves however are really where I feel the CAG falls down.

Lead the Way: This is okay. It’s just a stat substitution. I still find myself wishing it said lead with +Heart, but that stat doesn’t exist (see below)

Wingman: This move, taken from the Sergeant in The Regiment, is more complicated that I intended, due to armor. Also, I generally don’t want to think too much about vehicle damage (except with the Pilot) so when the CAGs Vipers get damaged they will take damage like a gang does (or in this case a Military Unit), so the move doesn’t even work. It’s coming out.

Leave no man behind: This move is great, except that it it a) looks just like Raiding Party and b) has virtually the same name as the Partisan’s “Leave no one behind”, albiet the Partisan’s move works completely differently. I think I’m going to kill raiding party (as the marine has it as well) and rename it, or rename the Partisan’s move.

Raiding Party: As above, this move is coming out. That makes two moves going though (Wingman and Raiding Party) so I think I should be looking at something to add.

Moves I’m considering adding:

Tactical Leader: When rolling Leadership, roll +Sharp instead of +Hard. This seems like a pretty simple and important move. Since the CAG is a leader, and Leadership is now a basic move. But, it’s a boring stat substitution move. Bleh.

Stickier thoughts

What if I wanted a Heart stat? What would it’s basic moves be? What would it replace (I’m NOT adding a stat)? Could I use Hx instead? If I did, what would the CAG roll against NPCs? If so, should I give the CAG a substitution move to roll +Hx instead of something else?

I made Leadership a basic move because I thought these playbooks would need it: Commander, XO, and CAG. Now, I’ve decided not to man an XO and I’m leery of the Activist jumping on that move, because I want him to use Crime Lord instead (especially since they both use Hard, so there is not reason for him not to use Leadership). Also, I don’t like the imbalance of Hard having 3 moves and other Stats only having one (Cool and Faith).  So, lets entertain the idea that I move Leadership back to the Commander as a special move. That means the CAG needs a way to control his vipers squadrons, and that means a move. Any thoughts on what that should look like? How it would be different from Leadership? (It should not look like Crime Lord/Pack Alpha).

Where to put the Viper Squadrons? So, if the CAG isn’t in play, but the Vipers are (because someone is playing the Commander), it begs the question of where the Viper squadrons should be. To solve this I’ve presently put the Viper information on the Battlestar Playbook and put a note on the CAG’s playbooks to reference that. But… it seems like the Vipers should be the CAGs first and foremost, rather than borrowed from the Battlestar.  So, what about giving the CAG the Viper Squad on his his playbook, and then telling the Battlestar to reference that? Blerg. I hate ambiguity and confusion.

4 thoughts on “Still unhappy with the CAG’s moves”

  1. I don’t know the show’s mythology, but if you have a Faith stat, is that not what a leader invokes in him or herself? You lead because people trust you – they have faith in you. I don’t know if that works (in context it is a replacement for Weird, right?).

    Brief the squad looks great BTW.

    1. Thanks for looking at it Jason. Faith in the show, taken at face value, is belief in either the Twelve Gods of Kobol (the Greek Gods) or the One True God (the Cylons singular deity). There are definitely moments where people show faith in other things, like each other, or some nebulous “luck” in the form of the commander saying “Sometimes you’ve gotta roll a Hard Six”, which basically just means, You’ve got to get lucky in this or you’re going to die. This however, is never identified as faith, or anything spiritual.

      So, my concern at the onset is that someone would look at the CAG and say, that dude has nothing to do with Faith. I could rename the stat to something like “Belief” and that might work. As with so many things, it’s all in the wording.

  2. Regarding the CAG, I personally would go with a different tack – you’ve got stuff like ‘Leave no man behind’, which is a really cool move, but I feel kinda suits the Marine more, and the CAG could take it as a non-playbook move.
    Stuff central to the CAG, to me, is:
    Organising scouting (raptor scouting)
    Planning missions (the plan, below)
    Briefing the squad on the mission (brief the squad)
    Keeping the squad focused and cooperating (strong hand on the reins, below)
    Helping the squad to deal with loss (the dearly departed, below)
    I feel that perhaps the right approach to this book is like the battlebabe.  No, not making it a ‘cool’ playbook, I mean look at the BB’s moves – in terms of stat use, they’re all over the place.
    Raptor scouting – use sharp.

    Planning missions:
    roll +sharp.  On a 10+, pick 3, on a 7-9, pick 1.
    You plan a good way in
    You plan a good way out
    You plan a good way to accomplish the objective
    You have good contingency plans should unexpected events happen
    When your pilots are following the plan in the area you’ve chosen, take +1 forward when appropriate.
    On a miss, you’ve missed something important.

    Brief the squad – use hot (passionate speeches)

    Strong hand on the reins
    When leading a mission, roll +hard.  On a 7-9, pick one, on a 10+, both.
    Focused fire: squad do +1 harm this exchange
    Defensive flying: squad have +1 armour this exchange.
    On a miss, you’ve dropped the ball, your squad are OUT OF FORMATION and vulnerable.

    The Dearly Departed
    When the squad are struggling to cope with the loss of one of their own, roll +faith to help them.  On a 10+, pick 2, on a 7-9, pick 1.
    They are able to move on.
    There’s no lingering resentment.
    They are bonded together stronger for the experience.
    On a miss, their death is all your fault.

    Lastly, don’t introduce a heart stat for a single playbook, and it doesn’t fit the others.

    And yeah, I say move leadership back to commander.

    1. Varying stats for moves. Sounds cool. I think I’ll switch up the stat block so that for every move there is an option that works well with it, but that means others moves will be tougher. Contemplating two +2s. What do you think:

      Moderate option:

      Cool+1 Hard=0 Hot+1 Sharp+2 Faith-1
      Cool+1 Hard+1 Hot-1 Sharp+2 Faith=0
      Cool-1 Hard+1 Hot=0 Sharp+2 Faith+1
      Cool=0 Hard-1 Hot+1 Sharp +2 Faith+1

      +2 Options:

      Cool +2, Hard -1, Hot 0, Sharp +2, Faith -1
      Cool -1, Hard +2, Hot -1, Sharp +2, Faith 0
      Cool 0, Hard +1, Hot +2, Sharp +2, Faith -1
      Cool +1, Hard 0, Hot -1, Sharp +2, Faith +2

      Plan a Mission: This looks too much like Brief the Squad. I mean, I think for most purposes it is the same. I’m gong to look at what I can steal from that though for briefing.

      Strong hand on the reins: This is the leadership move I need for the CAG. It overlaps some with brief the squad though in what it does. (+1 Harm). I might shuffle things around between this, your ideas for Plan the Mission, and Brief.

      Dearly Departed: YES. I love this move. It’s in.

      Heart as a stat. Yeah, Jason’s suggestion was I use faith. But “failth” has too much meaning in the context of the setting. My response to him, which I’m still thinking about is, what about rename faith to “Belief” and have the CAG operate out of that?

      Once again thanks for all your thoughtful insights.

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