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Firefly: The Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: 2-player variant set-up - starting with Crew rss

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George Krubski
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I'm seeing my cousin this weekend, and hoping to get in a game or three. When we play, it is almost always 2-player (we can occasionally convince a third player to join us), and we typically play a "gentleman's game" (so PVP and even aggressive use of the NPC ships isn't much of a factor).

I'm thinking that our first game may be a modified version of ANY PORT IN A STORM (possibly adding a requirement of "must be Solid with 5 Contacts, not including Harken" to inspire some wide-ranging travels). Set-Up card will likely be THE BROWNCOAT WAY.

And that's the context for my jumping off point.

I want to make the set-up a little more robust so we can jump right into the action. Keep in mind that this is specifically for a 2-player game (I suspect a lot of it wouldn't work with more than 2) and also that we enjoy the strange randomness of the game.

So...

1) Before placing ships, prime the pumps. I may prime the core supply decks with 4 cards instead of 3.

2) Player 1 can hire 1 Crew from the visible Crew. The Player 2 hires 1.

3) Fill in the two empty slots, then repeat in reverse order. And a third time, reversing it again.

(At this point, each player should have 3 Crew members, plus Leader)

4) Prime the Pumps again.

5) Now, starting with player 2, each player can buy 1 non-Supply card.

6) Reverse it.

(At this point, each player has a Leader, 3 Crew, and 2 Gear and/or Upgrades)

7) On the last go-around, Player 2 can purchase ANY single, Gear or Crew, then Player 1 can do the same.

(The intention is that both players should get first dibs on some pretty good stuff, and there should also be a decent amount of supplies laid out on the table when when we start.)
 
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Fred Buchholz
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Middleton
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I do something similar but just go back and forth 3 times and can buy any gear/crew/upgrade. I use brown coat way but the first 3 things are done Before the priming so placing ships doesn't unbalance things. Also I give you an extra $1000 but everything is at least $300 and no special purchasing for card printed abilities (no free crew or discounted guns etc.) You pay the cost of the card you want to buy but minimum cost is $300 to represent your efforts (fuel etc.) before the current story card begins. I've done it with 2, 3 and 4 players, it adds a bit (about 5 min per player) to setup but we finished the story card in a 4 player game in 2 hours (Patience's war I think it was).
 
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Jay Johnson
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Cedar Falls
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During my recent (a few weeks ago, but it was the most recent time I've played), I wanted an excuse to use the Big Damn Heroes cards I'd recently acquired, so I randomly dealt one of the non-Leader BDH's (Jayne, Kaylee, Zoe, Wash) to each player so that each player started out with a powerful crewmember (plus it balanced out the BDH bonus).

This did prevent anyone from selecting Zoe as Leader, but that wasn't that big a deal with our group (and as it happened, we had 3 players, so if someone really wanted Zoe as leader, we could have swapped out the Zoe BDH card with whatever the undealt 4th BDH card was)
 
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Thorfinn Skullsplitter
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Sounds pretty solid. The minimum cost is probably a good idea.

If you want to go totally random, you could randomly seed all the available ships around the board. So then when you select a ship, you're also selecting a starting point. Since player one selected a leader first, player two selects a ship/starting point first.

You could then give each player D6 fuel and D6 parts to represent what came with the ship they just bought.
 
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Gerald Bocook
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Definitely gonna use this next time the girly and I play.
 
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George Krubski
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Let me know how it goes!

Y'know, I'm happy to get some positive response that folks either like the idea for themselves or use something similar. Although I was looking for feedback for ME for balance, I figured I'd get a lot of "Well, if you're using it, here are my thoughts, but it's too fiddly for me to bother with."
 
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George Krubski
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Scarbuck wrote:
Sounds pretty solid. The minimum cost is probably a good idea.

If you want to go totally random, you could randomly seed all the available ships around the board. So then when you select a ship, you're also selecting a starting point. Since player one selected a leader first, player two selects a ship/starting point first.

You could then give each player D6 fuel and D6 parts to represent what came with the ship they just bought.


Well, Browncoat Way covers a lot of that.

And when I say we like random, I mean we like to see how the random crews fit together -- although we DO often draw randomly for bother leaders and ships.
 
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George Krubski
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Dren608 wrote:
I do something similar but just go back and forth 3 times and can buy any gear/crew/upgrade. I use brown coat way but the first 3 things are done Before the priming so placing ships doesn't unbalance things. Also I give you an extra $1000 but everything is at least $300 and no special purchasing for card printed abilities (no free crew or discounted guns etc.) You pay the cost of the card you want to buy but minimum cost is $300 to represent your efforts (fuel etc.) before the current story card begins. I've done it with 2, 3 and 4 players, it adds a bit (about 5 min per player) to setup but we finished the story card in a 4 player game in 2 hours (Patience's war I think it was).


So are folks allowed to buy any single card from any deck?
 
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Darin Bolyard
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I can't imagine this setup being any more imbalanced than what may luckily turn up for one player over the other at their starting planet with the normal setup. In fact, since star crew members are relatively well dispersed among the planets, there's probably more likelihood of multiple stars coming up and being available to both players this way.

The only potential "problem" I see with this, or any other draft type situation with 2 players, is that you may find yourself taking something merely to prevent a heavy imbalance in your opponent's favor. I'm going to go with the classic [over-cited] example of Simon and River. Should the pair turn up in this manner, I'd take Simon first, as he's arguably the better of the two alone. But my opponent is then forced to take River despite the fact that there's probably a better option out there for him. And then what of YoSafBridg turning up more than once? These situations are unlikely to happen, and one can postulate all day long. It seems balanced enough.

Though honestly, I'm generally not a fan of pre-constructed crews. Flying around and building my crew organically is much more fun, and is among my favorite parts of the game. It's like a treasure hunt. In fact, I don't even play the solo game with a pre-constructed crew. I start out with only a leader just as in multiplayer. So my view is skewed.
 
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George Krubski
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I too love the "treasure hunt" of putting together the crew -- I suppose that's a lot of what I meant when I said that we enjoy the "randomness" of the game.

I just tried a partial game (solo, but playing 2 ships to see how it felt) with the variant set up. I will say that it was awesome to be able to actually start working on a decent job on the first turn!

I combined with with The Browncoat Way, went with the Esmeralda (Wright) and Jetwash (Monty), and both players started with pretty much no money. On the first turn, Monty was able to pick up and begin a Smuggling Job for Lord Harrow and Wright rounded out his crew with an additional Mudder (he had already picked up The Foreman and his first standard Mudder during set-up).

The two Crews seemed pretty well-balanced, although both were Fight/Tech-heavy.

It looks like my weekend plans for a 2-player game are cancelled on account of illness, so I may try to get in more solo play. It's been a while, though, and I forgot how grueling set-up is. So. Many. Decks!
 
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