Campaign Background Information|
Here is a compilation of information, found on the net, which details some of the thing's you need to be familiar with when running the BattleStar Galactica campaign. I've compiled the information here and split it into sections for ease of browsing. Also note that some of this information may be a little dated and I've also noticed some contradictions from time to time especially with regards to the BattleStar names. When in doubt choose whichever fits your campaign best. Also, some of the info is taken from BattleStar MUSH.
Index of Information
BattleStar Galactica Timeline
The Council of Twelve
Colonial Military Ranks
BattleStar Crew Totals
BattleStar Galactica Time Unis
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA TIMELINE
Kobolian yahrens are 1.228 yahrens of a standard Caprican yahren
0 - Mankind founded on Kobol
2850 - Settlement of Twelve Colonies of Three Suns
5125 - Onset of Thousand Yahren War
5993 - Conclusion of Thousand Yahren War President Adar in SAGA OF A STAR WORLD - "Now as we approach the seventh millennium of time. . ."
0 - Mankind founded on Kobol
3500 - Twelve Colonies of the Three Suns founded. Era of Darkness begins.
5269 - Space travel reinvented on Caprica. First man orbits Caprica.
5284 - First lunar landing on moon of Caprica.
5287 - First satellites record data from planet Piscera. Capricans discover human life outside their world. Later probes validate this theory and discover that eleven other worlds among the three star systems are inhabited. Initial shock sets back space travel several yahrens as no further activity is taken.
5288-5301 - Further study concludes that all languages and cultures are similar enough to be derived from a common root and that the ancient legends claiming a motherworld and an exodus are true. Interest rekindled in making contact with their lost brothers.
5301 - Capricans initiate first contact with Sagitara whose civilization, minus space travel, is as advanced as theirs.
INTERIM PERIOD - several worlds needed to wait a few hundred yahrens to approach, behind in social and technological development
5598 - Full contact amongst Twelve Colonies restored and trade networks flourish.
5770 - Supralight drive invented. Deep star exploration begins.
5788 - Quorom of the Twelve established. Colonies under a united government.
5950 - Cybernetic revolt. Colonial Code passed limiting artificial intelligence. Caprica most fervent in implementing guidelines.
6293 - Great Cylon War begins when Colonial forces aid Hasaris.
6846 - Battlestar Galactica commissioned.
7313 - Starbuck born.
7322 - Cylon attack on Umbra, Caprica. Starbuck orphaned.
7327 - Chameleon recovers from amnesia.
7360 - Peace Conference with the Cylons fails. Twelve Colonies conquered.
7362 - Battle of Gamoray. Battlestar Pegasus presumed destroyed.
7363 - Galactica encounters Count Iblis. Galactica discovers planet Terra.
7364 - Galactica destroys Cylon base star. Colony on New Caprica founded for
7365 - Events chronicled in "The First Defeat" through "Baltar Returns" occur.
7366 - Events chronicled in "The Undefeated" through "A New Threat" occur. Galactica has First Contact with Satyr League. Evidence for some of these dates from which others sprung is from the following:
SAGA OF A STAR WORLD - President Adar mentions that the human race is approaching the seventh millennium of time.
THE LONG PATROL - Proteus prison has been brewing ambrosia for 700 yahrens.
THE HAND OF GOD - Apollo states that the Galactica was launched 500 yahrens ago.
THE HAND OF GOD - Apollo states that the Eagle looked like a ship the Colonials flew a few thousand yahren ago.
THE MAN WITH NINE LIVES - Starbuck claimed he was orphaned in 7322.
THE MAN WITH NINE LIVES - Chameleon had amnesia for five yahren.
The Council of Twelve
The central governing body of the Human colonies was a group referred to as the Council of Twelve. The Council was made up of a representative from each of the twelve colonies. From this group a central figure was elected by a two-thirds majority. This central figure is referred to as the President. Voting regarding regular motions required only a majority (7 members) to carry the motion and be binding.
A member of the Council is referred to as 'Councilor' for their title. For example 'Councilor Anton' if the Councilor has another title of greater importance they often are referred to as this, examples of this are President Adar or Commander Adama, (though in a meeting the politically minded council would use the Councilor title on Adama to show him he is an equal not a superior.) The Council at this point in time (actually in most timeframes) was very political, conniving and somewhat fractured. It was primarily made up of Civilian representatives as opposed to military representatives. Adama appears to have been one of the few exceptions to this. Indeed at the time of the destruction of the Colonies (as depicted in the television series) the Council had shifted to an arguably anti-military standpoint in favor of pursuing peace initiatives. The main proponent of the peace iniative was President Adar himself who was betrayed (as was the entire Human race) by Count Baltar (also a Councilor). Note: Baltar is not necessarily a Cylon Traitor in the Mush timeline and the "Armistice Ambush" scenario may never be played out on the Mush, or at least perhaps not in the form the TV show depicted... do not be lulled into false perceptions by the outcome of the television series.
To become a Councilor, it is much like modern day politics... only one reprentative can be sent from each of the Twelve Colonies and they must be elected by a majority of the populace. However unlike our modern day politics they did not run under political party affiliations; their affiliations were more informal in nature (the shrewd colonial politicians would not identify themselves with set criteria, agendas or platforms). For the most part it was more a game of power, influence, and who you know. Often those with friends in high places could gain political influence (such as Sire Uri did on the second Council of Twelve after the destruction of the Colonies in the TV series.)
Local governments did exist however as the member of the Council was more of a high representative (sort of like modern day ambassadors to the United Nations, only with a great deal more power.) A Councilor can be easily identified by the silver medallion all wear as a symbol of station. These twelve amulets are very ancient in origin, having been brought to the Colonies by the original settlers from the motherworld of Kobol.
The 'BattleStar' is the primary fighting platform for the Colonial Fleet. It serves as a command center, troop transport, refueling base ship, aircraft carrier, and devastating war vessel, all in one package. A Battlestar is a multi-level vehicle whose functional components allow for the rarely achieved combination of size with speed. In regular space it could traverse distances nearly as fast as the fighting craft launched from it. Its fuel system provided the most power possible from the mixture of Tylium with lesser fuel sources. Its launching decks can be activated within minutes, catapulting Vipers outward like a hoard of angry bees. Battlestars have large staffs; well over a thousand people are required to actively maintain each of the twelve vessels the Fleet currently has. Battlestars are the size of small planets. A traveler could use most of a lifetime walking its corridors without having to retrace a single step. Perhaps the prior statement is a bit exaggerated some say, but it would be a mighty challenge for the dedicated hiker.
A Battlestar is armed with a host of defenses. Numerous high power laser turrets can be activated upon command from the Bridge. Two full squadrons of vipers (75 in each squadron) are berthed within its confines. The Vipers serve as the primary means of attack and defense for the ship. Battlestars are fully self-sufficient and can remain in space for long periods of time without stopping for supplies. Each contains a fully functioning Life center (Medical Facilities), Private and Communal quarters, recreation areas, lounges, and laboratories (mostly to house sensitive electronic equipment such as the Robotics Design Lab on the Galactica (where Muffit-II was created.) Much of the labs are not standard on a Battlestar but where either enhanced or created following the destruction of the Twelve Colonies (i.e. in the game a Battlestar does not have a Robotics Design lab)
In addition to Vipers, Battlestars have a selection of Shuttle craft as well. For ground transport, Landrams are used (armored all terrain vehicles (ATV) with a swivel mounted Gatling laser in the rear.) Battlestars, despite their immense size, are some of the fastest crafts ever created (only the Viper can beat it for speed.) A Battlestar can reach Light-Speed without a great deal of effort. Battlestars in turn as mentioned have no physical shielding to protect them from harm, nor do Cylon Base ships. These vessels are far too large to gain any real benefit from this. It is however HEAVILY armored. In addition special blast shields are lowered over all external portals when an alert is sounded. The Starfield-Shield on the bridge can be raised and lowered independently of the remainder of the ship.
The bridge of a Battlestar is a model in communications efficiency. Ten ceiling mounted display terminals impart information from virtually any location. In addition a second set of four terminals is located on the command center. The command center is located on a raised circular platform that can swivel on its axis to face any part of the Bridge. Posts about the bridge control various facilities, with the two primary posts being communications (which relays all orders, coordinates squadron launches, landings, damage control, etc.) and the helm position (which arms laser turrets, controls ship speed and direction, and shares radar tracking duties.) Also located on the bridge is a translucent star map. Upon the map locations and trajectories of ships and planets are placed using a light pen.
Moving to other areas of the Battlestar, the ships brig functions similar to on planet holding facilities. Small, yet comfortable cells run the length of a corridor (roughly 8 cells.) Each cell contains two bunks (laterally stacked), and a display monitor. The door to the cell is fashioned from a highly conductive plastic-like substance that is charged with energy to deter escape attempts (it shocks the individual and literally throws them backwards upon contact.) The doors also have large 'air holes' recessed in them (each roughly the size of a baseball.) These holes are also impossible to bypass due to the energy field on the door (it allows air to filter in and out but would not allow a person to reach his hand through.)
Each Battlestar has two flight decks, appropriately labeled ALPHA and BETA decks. Flights to and from the Battlestar are routed by the bridge to flight decks (usually alternating the load.) Both decks contain separate functioning ground crews, repair facilities, and launching cribs. Should a flight deck for whatever reason become non-functional (as the Galacticans did in the episode Fire in Space it is fully capable of functioning solely on one deck (though especially it's launching ability is halved in terms of speed.) When a fast moving craft (such as a viper) comes into the landing bay, it is 'caught' by a force dampening field that slows its velocity. Other vessels such as shuttle craft, while still having this dampening field available to use, often do not need it due to their much slower forward velocities and their ability to hover in place (giving them more control on a descent.)
While the Battlestars decks are primarily suited and geared towards Vipers and Shuttlecraft, they can accommodate all manners of ships. In the series everything from Cylon Fighters to even a rather large Eastern Alliance Destroyer where landed within the Galacticans Bays (see "Greetings from Earth" and "Baltar's Escape") The Laser Turrets on a Battlestar are all computer controlled. Using sophisticated tracking and targeting computers they cut down incoming attack craft with nearly the kill ratio of the ace Viper Pilots.
The Battle star’s Life Station as earlier mentioned is a fully functioning onboard hospital. Several Medtechs including a head doctor make up its staff. Equipment within the life center is the best the Colonies can furnish, including cryogenic chambers and sophisticated laser technology for surgery. In addition machines that can fuse broken bones whole again are present (such as when Casseopeia had her broken arm fixed in the first episode.) As part of standard procedures for all pilots on a Battlestar, anytime they come in from a patrol or log flight time of any sort, they run through standard decontamination procedures. In the series one time they did not, in "The Lost Planet of the Gods", Boomer and Jolly skipped decontamination to check on the proceedings of Apollo's bachelor party... but they had contracted a strange disease that ended up affecting the bulk of the Galacticans pilot crew.....thus demonstrating how important the decontamination procedures were. (Note: Actually in the book version Boomer and Jolly did go through the decontamination but since it was an unknown disease it did not stop it.)
Both Vipers and the bridge of a Battlestar have access to the 'Colonial War book' which essentially is a large pictorial database of all known ships, types, and relevant data. This information can be called up and/or updated at a moments notice.
In conclusion, the Battlestar is the height of human achievement. The colonies possessed twelve Battlestars and each was a force to be reckoned with on its own. In the television series 5/6th of the fleet was destroyed (with only the Galactica escaping... it was assumed the fifth Battlestar, the Pegasus was also destroyed but this proved not to be the case.) The fleet was surprised and ambushed with most of her pilots not able to even clear the launching bay (the Cylons picked them off as they emerged from the tubes.) As we saw in later episodes however had they not been so totally surprised, this route would not have been possible The best example is Commander Cain and the Pegasus… devoid of any real Viper support took on three Base ships, destroying two of them and an uncertain outcome for itself; whether they flew back off into space or were themselves destroyed was never shown. Base ships (the Cylon equivalent to a Battlestar) where in turn quite formidable as well (only THREE Base ships totally destroyed all 12 of the Human Colonies.) The thousand yahren war with the Cylons rages on... and rest assured the Colonial Battlestars are ready to meet the challenge…
End Note: Although Missile Launchers, Defense Jammer Shields, Planetary Laser Shields and Camouflage Shields where mentioned in books or episodes none of these are used on Battlestar Mush. They either were not workable within the game framework or (in most cases) where inconsistent with data from other episodes and thus we have chosen to disregard them.
There were five Battlestars at the Peace Conference. That's what the script called for. Never anywhere has any official source, document, script or soothsayer stated that there were twelve Battlestars, one for each colony. The earliest mention I can find of that inaccuracy is an inadequate fan produced booklet called "The Colonial Warrior's Technical Manual", published in 1988 by Space Waste. There are so many gross inaccuracies in there that it wouldn't be feasible to respond to the publication. Besides, are you going to put faith into a document published by "Space Waste"? A second draft of the pilot script that I have specifically mentions "Five flying Battlestars", putting to rest the fan theory of, "There were twelve, but we only saw five because they didn't have enough money." A direct quote from Glen Larson (series creator) at the 1993 Galactica 15 Yahren Reunion convention, in response to a question regarding the twelve Battlestar names, "We never arrived that there were twelve Battlestars. We only actually shot the Atlantia, the Pegasus, and the Galactica. I can't think of any others." In total, there are only seven Battlestars I would consider canon. Debate is welcome.
The names of the Battlestars:
Colonial Military Ranks
Here is a list of known military ranks in the Colonial Forces...
Captain - 1st Class
Captain - 2nd Class
Lieutenant - 1st Class
Lieutenant - 2nd Class
Ensign - 1st Class
Ensign - 2nd Class
There are two viper squadrons assigned to each BattleStar. The names of these squadrons vary from ship to ship.
ACROPOLIS: Castor and Pollux
ATLANTIA: Crusader and Lancer
BELLEROPHON: Nemesis and Ganymede
COLUMBIA: Hyperion and Platinum
GALACTICA: Blue and Red
OLYMPIA: Graecia and Demeter
PACIFICA: Scarlet and Crimson
PEGASUS: Silver Spar and Gold Spar
PROMETHEUS: Cyclops and Minotaur
RYCON: Echo and Midas
SOLARIA: Perseus and Medusa
As you can see above, the BattleStar names differ from the above section. It's entirely up to you which section you use in your games but both are listed here.
BattleStar Crew Totals
The following figures where inspired by the TV Show, Books, and the stats displayed in the Colonial Warriors Technical Manual. In no way are they meant to be construed as totally realistic to RL ship/staffing standards nor even the BSG theme.
Strike Leader: 1
Chief Crew: 1
Squad Leader: 1
General Crew: 227
Viper Pilots: 118
Chief Engineer: 1
Chief Medtech: 1
Chief Security: 1
Senior Engineers: 2
Doctor Medtechs: 12
Repair Crew: 100
Nurse Medtechs: 50
Flight Crew: 375
Shuttle Pilots: 25
Computer Engineers: 30
Total Battlestar Staff: 1000
Battlestar Galactica Time Units and Their Earth Equivalents
"What's a centon?" - Michael, "Greetings from Earth"
Battlestar Galactica fans have been at a loss for words when asked to explain what terms like centon or micron mean, and other Colonial time units. These terms were never formally defined in the series. Yet nobody has yet to produce an air-tight conversion table for the terms. This document attempts to provide one.
In general, Colonial time terms substitute nicely for more familiar ones -- centon for minute, micron for second. It is this light that this document is presented. What follows is a near complete list of the terms and their probable meanings.
Major Colonial Time Terms
Millenium (1000 years) 1000 yahrens, or 1000 years. According to Adar's speech in the pilot episode, the Galacticans were approaching the 7th millenium of time, which would place their calendar in the late 6900's. There seems to be at least two Colonial calendars, for the Cylon raid on Umbra occurred in 7322, some 20 yahren before the events in "The Man with Nine Lives". The second figure displaces the earlier figure by some 300 yahren or so.
The yahren (yah'-rain) best represents the Colonial year, as both terms are used interchangeably in the series. In one case year was substituted for yahren in the dialog. In President Adar's statement in the pilot, he utters "The first peace man has known in a thousand years.”. Therefore the yahren is the Colonial year. The plural can be represented as both yahren and yahrens.
Taken from the German word for year.
The sectar (sec'-tar), and its plural sectares (sec-tar'-ays), or sometimes sectars, is used mostly in the context of space distance, much as micron and centon are. In "Lost Planet of the Gods", Lucifer measured the distance between the Galactica and Baltar's base ship in sectares. A hidden assumption is that sectar is to secton what centar is to centon, a unit composed of an unknown number of sectons. Using a base ten system, a sectar could represent 10 sectons (or weeks). See micron for units that also double as units of space distance.
The secton (sec'-tawn) best represents the Colonial week. In "The Man with Nine Lives", Apollo complains to Starbuck about how he lost a secton's pay to one of Starbuck's gambling schemes. A purely arbitrary definition of secton would be 100 centares, as 100 is the base for at least one other time unit (centar). There are compelling reasons to adopt this definition, as explained later in this document.
The centar (sen'-tar) and its plural, centares (sen-tar'-ays), or sometimes centars, is the Colonial hour. In "Baltar's Escape", Baltar gave Adama three centares to give in to his demands. The centar is probably 100 centons, for in "Take the Celestra"; the Celestra's mutineering crew says that the Galactica would be within its viewing range within a centar. The captain, who does not want the ship to be seen, instructs the crew to hail the Galactica within 80 centons. In "Take the Celestra"; the crew was subjected to 16 centares intervals of work, the Colonial equivalent of double-shifting. There is an unknown time unit representing a 24 centar interval. For example, in "The Lost Warrior", Adama gave Starbuck and Boomer 24 centares to rescue Apollo. This unknown interval is best understood as a day, which constitutes 24 hours. Note: the Latin word for 100 is cent.
In all but the first two episodes, centon (sen'-tawn) represents the Colonial minute. Witness the use of the expression "wait a centon," the Colonial version of "wait a minute." In "Gun on Ice Planet Zero", Starbuck and Apollo's chronometers were synchronized to 80 centons, the length of their mission to blow up the Ravashol Pulsar. For a discussion of the first two episodes and the original centon, see the next section.
The micron is best understood as the Colonial second. A centon is 100 microns, for when Apollo's counter hits one centon in "Gun on Ice Planet Zero", it starts counting down from 100 to 1. The micron is also used as a term of space distance in the series. When Rigel tells the fleet that the Cylon patrol craft are "three microns and closing," she is using micron in the same way that we use the expression light year. A light year represents the distant light travels within one year. Here micron represents the distance covered in one micron within an unknown fixed velocity. No relation to the Terran micron, or micrometer (one millionth of a meter.)
Minor Colonial Time Units
In "The Magnificent Warriors", Adama complained that "I've been cooped up on this ship for 16 quartons." Adama's last previous excursion off the ship was in the episode "Lost Planet of the Gods". Possibly a week, fortnight (14 days) or a month. The time period between the two episodes would be a choice between 4 and 16 months. A quarton equivalent to one secton (week) causes the least problems. The quarton is derived from the Latin word for four.
A Sample Conversion Table
Based on the pseudo-metric used in the series, and a base 100 ratio, here is a sample table for the four main Colonial units, using secton as exactly one week. Note, the centon is almost exactly one minute, for there are 10,080 minutes within an Earth week, and 10,000 centons within a secton.
Secton - 1 week
Centar - 101 minutes (1.7 hours)
Centon - 1 minute
Micron - 0.6 seconds
This is an extremely attractive conversion table, and conforms to the hidden assumptions for each of the four basic units. All tables present their own set of problems. The double-shift on the Celestra consisting of 16 centares is equivalent to almost 27 hours of non-stop work. We know from the episode that 16 centares represents an extraordinary length of time for a work shift. The Colonials may have a higher capacity for duration between sleep cycles. With this in mind, the 27 hour shift becomes slightly more palatable.
A Guide to Galactica Storytellers
Trying to create or utilize a Colonial time conversion table can be a distracting exercise. In constructing scripts and stories (outside of time-critical situations), the best option is to assume that each of the terms uses their nearest Earth equivalents -- such as year for yahren, week for secton, hour for centar, minute for centon, and second for micron, or even use the Terran time terms. In most of the episodes, this is exactly what the writers did.
In time-critical situations, where relationships between the units are a must, the best option is to provide a table reference (such as the one above,) before proceeding with a Galactica adventure.
In compiling this list of worlds, I've gathered information from both the series (via direct observation) and novelizations, including updates from Armageddon. Nearly every world visited by the Galactica during the voyage has been a delta-class planet, suitable for human habitation. We don't know what the classifications are for alpha, beta and gamma classes or for any other classifications.
The Twelve Colonies...
Home worlds of the Twelve Tribes which migrated from Kobol when that planet's sun died out around seven thousand yahrens ago. It is generally accepted that the names of the Colonies were Caprica, Aries, Sagitara (Sagittarius), Gemon (Gemini), Libra, Taura, Virgon, Leons, Aquarius, Cancer, Pisces, and Scorpia (Scopius).
The moon where the Humans and Cylons were to meet to sign an armistice ending the thousand-yahren war. But the Cylons had other ideas and the war ended quite differently.
Borallus... ("Saga of a Star World")
This was an alternate world for the Fleet to get fuel, water, food, etc, of which there were plentiful supplies. Then Adama warned there would be a Cylon task force waiting there.
Carillon... ("Saga of a Star World")
The home of the Ovions. Its most valuable resource, Tylium, was the main source of fuel for the Fleet, but was never utilized due to the Ovions' primitive technology. Baltar's agents wrote the initial military intelligence report which downplayed Carillon's potential. As a result the Cylons controlled the supply. When Apollo and Starbuck set the tylium ablaze with laser fire, the tylium eventually reached hyper combustion and Carillon exploded, taking the Cylon Imperious Leader with it.
Kobol... ("Lost Planet of the Gods")
The world from which Humanity migrated to the Twelve Colonies. It is a "dead" world because when its sun gave out, it could no longer viably support life (the star is likely a white dwarf). You had to get to it through a "dark void" where celestial navigation tools were useless; the "dark void" was written in the "Book if the Word". Eden was the largest city (likely the capital). Even more pyramidal architecture than Caprica.
Armageddon Update: The Lords of Kobol, a group of priests, and their acolytes and followers, settled Kobol in the distant past when Parnassus (the original font of Humanity) mastered star travel and settled scores of colony planets. One reason the Lords settled here was because overpopulation and a nova destroyed Parnassus, and they could also continue to develop their mental powers of telepathy and clairvoyance. However, things got out of hand on Kobol too; so when the time was near for the end of Kobol's sun, the Lords left, leaving behind their acolytes and followers who didn't know where they went to. The Lords became the legendary Thirteenth Tribe, and (unknown to the rest of Humanity) continued to perfect their technology and mental prowess to such a degree they passed to a different plane of existence. Count Iblis is a renegade Lord of Kobol.
Equellus... ("The Lost Warrior")
A "Wild West" planet. The most advanced weapon used on the planet was the numo, a compressed-air gun effective to 10 metrons. Bovines (cows) were a chief commodity. Lupus (wolf) packs hunted then down.
Proteus... ("The Long Patrol")
Prison planet. They make ambrosia for the colonies, but during the war the planet was cut off and the society degenerated to where the descendants of the guards still held sway over the descendants of the prisoners.
Arcta... ("The Gun on Ice Planet Zero")
According to the novelization, this was a rogue planet converted by the Cylons into a powered asteroid early in the thousand-yahren war. When Doctor Ravashol created his pulsic communication system atop Mount Helka (the highest summit on the planet), the Cylons took it over and converted it to blast the Fleet into atoms. The Colonials blew it up. Arcta is also known as Tairac.
Sectar... ("The Magnificent Warriors")
This planet is home to the Borays, an ugly pig-looking alien race with a herd mentality, which used to be nomadic in nature until a small human Argo colony established itself, called Serenity. Then the Borays got lazy and started raiding the town on the high full moon for food and women.
Antila... ("The Young Lords")
A nasty planet for the Cylons, who hated the high humidity. The diseases which affected the humans here were worse on the Cylons, who died off. Starbuck was shot down here and met a group of young guerrillas, and led them to free their father and in the process drive the Cylons from the planet, which was once an exile planet for Scorpion political dissidents (from the novelization). Unicorns were also native to this planet and were intelligent life forms, able to telepathically communicate with friendly people.
Gamoray... ("The Living Legend")
Former home of the Delphian Empire (Adama stated its population was only 50 million) exterminated by the Cylons and made their outer capital, arming it with "foolproof" anti-aircraft batteries and 4 full fighter squadrons: the equivalent of a base ship. Commander Cain of the BattleStar Pegasus and his bunch kept blowing up the base as soon as the Cylons rebuilt it, and they lived off the supplies.
Molecay... ("The Living Legend")
The system where the Colonial Fifth Fleet was lost, two yahrens prior to the destruction of the Colonies. It was believed the Pegasus was also lost at this battle until she showed up near Gamoray.
Paradeen... ("Greetings from Earth")
A Nationalist colony world destroyed by an Eastern Alliance biological attack. Some people survived, and of course the cities were left standing.
Lunar Seven... ("Greetings from Earth")
One of the Nationalist off world colonies the Eastern Alliance took over; Michael, Sarah and their children escaped aboard a sublight shuttle when this happened. Later, when Commandant Leiter and his ship escaped captivity from the Prison Barge and the ensuring hostage crisis aboard the Galactica ("Baltar's Escape"), he directed his Eastern Alliance Destroyer to Lunar Seven and pursuing Vipers pinpointed its location.
Terra... ("Greetings from Earth", "Baltar's Escape" and "Experiment in Terra")
Once thought to be the Thirteenth Colony, John (from a Race of Angels) told Apollo that it wasn't. Some people from the Thirteenth Tribe who were tired of traveling stopped off here and established their society. Eventually this world developed a technology on near-par with the Colonials, but the Eastern Alliance "who like the Cylons in philosophy, but human) fought the Nationalist People's Alliance (like the United States) on all fronts, was winning, and launched a nuclear attack to destroy the Nationalists on Terra. This attack was stopped by the Galactica and the Eastern Alliance sued the NPA for peace. Terra is Gemonese for Earth.
Cosmara Archipelago... ("Take the Celestra")
The system where the Colonial Fourth Fleet, led by the BattleStar Rycon (under Commander Kronus), engaged a Cylon assault force about two yahrens before the Holocaust. During the battle, Kronus was seriously wounded and he lost nearly 600 ships under his command, but he rallied his troops and ended up destroying at least three Cylon base ships. The Rycon was destroyed in the battle, which the Colonials won.
The Thirteenth Colony. Coordinates given by the Race of Angels to Apollo, Starbuck and Sheba ("War of the Gods") are: 19,000,000 sectars by Epsilon vector 22, course reckoning 0000.9.
Discovered in the Binary 13 star system, Ochoa had a double-helix orbit of approximately 50 yahrens, first circling one primary and then the other. When its orbit took it directly between the primaries, it was torn apart by tidal forces from both stars, to the point where the planet was eventually destroyed. Ochoa was also the location of a new Cylon outpost, the first sighting in six yahrens by the Colonial Fleet. The Cylons had the good sense to get off the planet, but not without blowing up the base as a precaution. Starbuck and Apollo were able to retrieve much biological data on the Cylons, in addition to a QSE generator. Ochoa is in the territory claimed by the Sky (Armageddon).
Here are covered some of the Twelve Colonies, other cultures, and the Cylons. This includes updates from Armageddon. There is also some speculation where appropriate.
Closest to Western culture. The planet had a lot of pyramidal architecture. The capital of the planet was Caprica City; two other major cities mentioned are Umbra and Solius. When people got married, they were "sealed": the priest would tie the couple's clasped hands together with a golden cord. I don't know if this was standard practice throughout the colonies, but it was shown on "Lost Planet of the Gods" when Apollo and Serina were married. Caprica was also known for the best military academy in the Colonies; the Caprican Military Academy also did some research into telepathy and telekinesis ("War of the Gods"), and Adama was one of the subjects.
Armageddon Update: Ever since the Kobollians settled the Twelve Colonies, Capricans had nearly always chosen pure-blooded Kobollian descendants as their leaders because they possessed wisdom and good common sense. Adama told Apollo (in his post-mortem holograph) that the Capricans must not only lead the Fleet to Earth for the same reason, but also that they built the special Sanctuary in the Commander's Quarters without the knowledge of the other Colonies. It is also possible that Adama was chosen for the special military study mentioned in "War of the Gods" because he was pureblood Kobollian.
It had the most sophisticated defense system of the colonies. President Adar hails from Sagitara.
Armageddon Update: Sagitarans are tall and lithe, like the Gemons. The Serpent Cult originated on Sagitara. Its base was in the Pit aboard the Ursus and it was led by Tybolt. They chose the wrong side during the civil strife and it was wiped out.
The Gemonese (or Gemons) were known for their socialators, quite intelligent, but suckers for games of chance. The Otori religious sects (who were very anti-socialators) believe in sexual contact between men and women, blessed by their priests during the High Sunstorm, only once every seven yahrens. Perhaps twin Gemonese births (whether fraternal or identical) are more common than elsewhere; Gemonese twins are psychically linked so that when one speaks, the other emphasizes the main points of the sentence. Example: One Gemonese twin says: "For the honor and glory of Gemon, we raise the bet." The other twin says: "Honor, Glory, Gemon, and Bet."
Armageddon Update: Physically, the Gemonese were arguably the most handsome/beautiful. They are ethereal in appearance (like kirasolis in color) and fair-haired. Gemon was the most patriarchal society of the Twelve Colonies. A public forum, the Gemon Matriarchs, believed that women not only being discriminated against in Fleet affairs, but also women could do a better job than men could given the same opportunity; they supported Athena's candidacy for Commander.
According to the novels, their society is very militaristic and very authoritarian. No political opposition is allowed. Scorpia (also known as Scorpius) was also a very cold, bleak planet. Scorpians also possess very light fur, not visible except at a close distance, perhaps when one is standing next to the Scorpian (Armageddon).
These people are slightly red-tinged skin color and dark hair (Armageddon).
Due to the high gravity of their colony, people hailing from Cancer were shorter and more rotund (Armageddon). They were also stronger as compensation.
Also known as Leons, they were dark in complexion because of their Colony's proximity to the sun.
Ovions ("Saga of a Star World")
One of the societies allied with the Cylons, the Ovions were the insectoid inhabitants of Carillon. They used humans as food. Communal culture, led by Queen Lotay.
Tucans ("Saga of a Star World")
Humanoids with two mouths and two sets of vocal cords, one set of which was much lower than the other. They also had four eyes. Starbuck attempted to recruit a Tucanan singing group but the one female he talked to had other ideas. They way she said it; she knew something was going too happed.
Borellian Nomen ("The Man with Nine Lives" and "Baltar's Escape")
Considered a variant human culture, they lived in the desert of the planet Borellus (not the same planet as Borallus) and were taken aboard the Fleet when the Holocaust occurred. They keep to themselves whenever possible but are sometimes seen aboard other vessels of the Fleet. Borellian Nomen are experts in desert survival and martial combat. Their weapon of choice is the laser bole. They can also fake their own death if necessary. If Borellian Nomen are on a blood trail, they go after someone until they or their prey are killed.
Armageddon Update: Sometime after the events depicted in "Baltar's Escape" and prior to Armageddon, there must have been some sort of uprising against the Fleet, such that all Borellian Nomen had been arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to life aboard the Prison Barge Icarus, because that's where we find Gar'Tokk and his 12 fellow Nomen, the last of their kind.
Nationalist Peoples' Alliance ("Greetings from Earth", "Baltar's Escape" and "Experiment in Terra")
From Terra, their culture was a LOT like the United States. The NPA had a unicameral legislature, the Presidium, where Apollo spoke about what had happened to the Twelve Colonies.
Eastern Alliance ("Greetings from Earth", "Baltar's Escape" and "Experiment in Terra")
From Terra, they believed in maintaining the natural order of the universe and to them, Nationalists upset that balance. In Adama's opinion, this philosophy makes the Eastern Alliance worse than the Cylons, because they're human! The Eastern Alliance was winning the war on Terra (and off it) against the Nationalists, until they launched a nuclear strike which was stopped by the Galactica. Thinking that the Nationalists devised a foolproof SDI system, the Eastern Alliance sued for peace.
The Sky ("Armageddon")
This is a telepathic alien life form capable of unaided travel in the vacuum of space. One of its kind, Valor, was rescued by Apollo from a Cylon attack. For its gratitude, the Sky accepted Apollo's offer of alliance and friendship for as long as the Galactica and the Fleet were in this sector of space
The Cylon's Origins...
The "modern" Cylons are in fact a race of genetically-enhanced, humanoid reptilian cyborgs. When originally discovered by human space explorers from Parnassus, they were found to be extremely warlike and not technologically advanced, and thus the planet was declared off-limits.
Some time later, a human visitor to their homeworld promised the native, warlike race the Universe. In return, he would enhance their natural abilities, using his own DNA. The Cylons agreed to this exchange. That visitor was Count Iblis. It is believed that this event took place approximately one thousand yahrens prior to the Holocaust... very near the outset of the war. Cylons believed in maintaining the natural order of the universe and to them, Humans upset that balance; this attitude was programmed into them via the DNA infusion of the human visitor (Armageddon). As a result, the females of the Cylon species died out because they were no longer needed; some original quadruped Cylons still remain on their homeworld...most likely s exhibits. Even so, a Cylon's expected life span is about 200 yahrens.
One of the first races the Cylons conquered was the Hasaris; when the Twelve Colonies heard about it, they helped the Hasaris win back their nation and that provided the direct spark to start the thousand-yahren war with the Cylons ("Saga of a Star World").
Cylon society consists of:
Drones: The lowest level.
They have no brain and are programmed to perform certain tasks. Nearly every Cylon who rebels against the wise policies of the Imperious Leader are shunted to the drone class and are allowed (reprogrammed?) to perform poetry (for example) to defuse their rebellious tendencies. But the poetry is only spoken, not written. The bunches of blathering Cylons at the Space-drome in “The Living Legend” were Drones. Single-Brain Centurions: Your typical grunt. They wear silver. Testing is done at this stage to see who possesses the ability to accept a third brain, and then they are kept under intense scrutiny for their entire careers. All Centurions can tell whether a person they are interrogating is lying, and this is likely an original Cylon trait.
Two-Brain Command Centurions: The officers.
They speak with a lower voice pitch and are capable of individual initiative. They wear gold. Warriors of the Elite Class: Command centurions who were the Imperious Leader's Executive Officers. In addition to gold, they wear black rank bands. Vulpa was of this class. Apparently, the Imperious Leader got rid of his Elite Class because they weren't doing their jobs!
These were created with a Human Logic Function, to make it easier to predict what their human opponents would do in combat. Their ebony armor is reptilian in appearance and is a lot tougher for laser weapons to pierce. Fortunately for the humans, the Cylons used Baltar's RNA as a model, and the constant processing of the HLF module overloaded the rest of the circuitry. You can bet they'll try again, this time with RNA from numerous prisoners (Armageddon)
IL-Series: IL-Series models act as advisors to the Imperious Leader.
They are capable of objective analysis which most other Cylons aren't capable of. Because of these capabilities, IL-Series models were more devious than the real Cylons and can rise to positions of real authority, such as Lucifer and Spectre. IL-Series Cylons are also known as cogitators (Armageddon).
The Imperious Leader: Selected from the IL-Series.
He is the ONLY Cylon with three brains and an unarmored humanoid/reptilian body. According to the novels, an Imperious Leader reigns for 75 yahrens, at which point they step down willingly, or until they die, whichever comes first; usually the latter. During the series this meant there was a high turnover rate in Imperious Leaders. The Imperious Leader also has the original voice of Count Iblis!
An alcoholic beverage; the preferred drink among Colonial Warriors.
Large space battle fortresses built during the thousand year war with the Cylons. In addition to auto laser turrets, each battlestar has a compliment of Viper fighters which are housed on two flight decks. By the time of the Cylon armistice, many of the Battlestars were hundreds of years old (For example, Apollo states that the Galactica is Five hundred yahrens old in the episode, "The Hand of God". The names of the twelve battlestars are: Acropolis, Atlantia, Bellerophon, Cerberus, Columbia, Galactica, Olympia, Pacifica (destroyed), Pegasus, Prometheus, Rycon, Solaria
A legendary warrior and battlestar commander. Cain commanded the battlestar Pegasus which was presumed lost in battle. Years later, he and the Pegasus reappeared after the destruction of the colonies to join forces with the Galactica. Subsequently, the Pegasus and Cain were again declared missing in action after he engaged two Cylon Base ships in combat. His only daughter
Sheba joined the crew of the Galactica after her father's disappearance.
Equivalent of an "hour". Note: Centaurs are used throughout the television series, notably in "Fire in Space" when Boomer says he has 24 centaurs off duty. The spelling came from the script, "War of the Gods" by Glen Larson.
Equivalent of a "minute"
The twelve tribes of Kobol settled on twelve worlds which they christened "The Colonies." The planets themselves where all named after the 12 Zodiac symbols and each produced their own distinct cultures and dialects. All of the Colonies were destroyed in the Cylon sneak attack.
The only time a date is mentioned in Battlestar Galactica is in the episode, "The Man with Nine Lives." In the episode, Starbuck says he was orphaned in the year 7322. Later, Apollo refers to the same incident as having occurred "Twenty years ago." dating the time of the episode (and the destruction of the colonies which has not happened in the Mush yet) as 7342.
Council of the Twelve
The ruling body of the colonies which had a representative from each planet. (Note: In the television series Adama reformed the council after eleven of its original members were killed in the Cylon sneak attack.)
A thematic expletive
Also a thematic expletive
A three-brained Cylon that commands the vast Cylon Empire. A rotating office, each Imperious Leader exhibits the same voice and physical characteristics.
The motherworld of the human race which exists within a great magnetic void of darkness. For millennia, Kobol served as a paradise to mankind, but was ultimately doomed for extinction. When the thirteen tribes discovered their planet was dying, they abandoned Kobol and fled to the stars.
Equivalent of a "sick bay" or hospital
Equivalent of a "second."
A mechanical daggit (dog) created by Dr. Wilker for Boxey when he was just a boy
Equivalent of a "week"
Angelic beings from another dimension who occasionally involve themselves in the affairs of man. They traverse space in a crystalline ship and have spherical probes which travel at incredible speeds. The Seraphs resurrected Apollo after he was struck down by Count Iblis and later sent him on a mission to the planet Terra.
A Caprican journalist; Serina and her son Boxey were among the survivors of the Cylon attack. Soon after the voyage to earth commenced, Serina and Captain Apollo began a relationship. Later they were sealed (married) and Serina became a replacement Viper pilot when the regular compliment of pilots fell ill to an alien disease. Tragically, a short time after her marriage, Serina was wounded by a Cylon on the surface of Kobol; she died on the Galactica a few hours later.
A game played by two teams; gold and blue, each comprised of two players. The players try to gain possession of a single, hard ball (composed of a polymesh nysteel compound) and score in one of three goals. In order to pass to fellow players, the ball must be rebounded off one of the walls. Because of the physical nature of the game, the players wear protective head and body gear.
Equivalent to a "year"