There have been a lot of good to great sessions over the last year of play, so it’s hard to choose a “best session” out of what has been an exemplary year of gaming. For me, the best session came in April, with the successful conclusion of our long-running Battlestar Galactica campaign.

The campaign was started back in 2011, after the collapse of the long-standing game group prior to that. That group had been, in various configurations, going since 2003, and after losing two of the core players, the rest of us cobbled the group back together for a phenomenal run of Hollow Earth Expedition and the start of BSG. It had begun as a “redo” — taking elements from the old game and improving on it. Over the next almost five years, we lost half of the group to Texas and other life changes, leaving me and one of the players from the original group to soldier on for a few months before we finally picked up the third regular member. Others came and went, but the trio of players — all really into the game — remained the new core.

The small number of players made scheduling easier and kept the game focused and on track. We increasingly diverged from the reimagined show, with more sci-fi elements in which the Lords of Kobol eventually played a much larger role in the story, and the motifs of cyclical time, recurring themes of self-destruction, loomed large. I had to tweak and twist, and roll with the players’ decisions, but in the end, the story ended very closely to what I had hoped for.

How often does that happen?

The story ended with the characters finding Earth, populated by the 13th Tribe. Happy ending…and we could have left it there, but I had always envisioned a coda to the game, that last episode that would put a bow on it. In that coda, we picked up 20 years later, at a Settlement Day celebration for the arrival of the rag-tag fleet and the creation of the Earth Allied Government. The players got to see their players, older, well-established in the politics of the new Earth, and the interstellar politics with the Lord of Kobol they had found, the survivors on the Twelve Colonies, and another group of colonies out by the Pleiades. It was a nice send-off for the players that had the same vibe as Babylon 5‘s “Sleeping in the Light” episode. (Exactly whatIi was hoping for…) After that, we had a short act where, 500 years later, the Pleiades Colonies were attacked by the machine soldiers of the “Olympians” (the descendants of the Lords of Kobol), who were looking to support the recently disgraced “Leader Baltar” starting the whole story over again.

To have a long-running campaign come in 1) completed (ho often does that happen!?!), and 2) finish the story fairly closely to what you intended is nearly unheard of. I had finished a less ambitious Babylon 5 game in 1999 that had been running for two years, but that had been much tighter to canon of the show, playing around the edges of the main story, rather than just striking out from the base conceit to do our own thing entirely.

For those reasons, that sessions was probably the best session of my entire gaming life.