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Subject: Non Player Ships (NPS) rss

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James Horton
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Ever want to add all the ships in the box when playing fewer players or solo? Want a more aggressive and thematic Alliance and Reaver Cruisers (most players are too nice). This variant adds non-player ships (NPS) to the game.

Example: Firefly is a great game but can get long. The reason it is long is people get rapped up in the verse. This sandbox game needs a clock, but any clock. This is what the Hera Cargo ship is. It can be used in the solo game as well, replacing the 20 disgruntled tokens giving a feel of competition.

NPS rules
Each NPS has programmed instructions on how they are played. All NPS have their turn after all the other players complete their turns. The NPS have 1 action per turn.

NPS actions
Each NPS card has a list of numbered actions. Each action has 2 parts to it, a IF condition and a THEN action part. Starting with first action check the IF condition text, if the condition text is met complete the THEN action text. If the condition is not met check the second action text and so on till a condition is met or the default action is reached. Remember only one action is completed. The default action is only completed if none of the above conditions is met.

Example; the Hera Cargo ship is at the system named Greenleaf. We start the NPS Hera Cargo ship turn by checking the first IF condition number 1. It is not at Valentine therefore we skip to the next action number 2. The condition on action number 2 is met, the THEN action is completed. Collecting 3 cargo tokens and moving the ship to Liann Jiun.

You can attack NPS ships that have Crew skills listed for them. Follow the Pirates & Bounty hunter rules as if NPS was a player. The player on the right can roll for the NPS.

NPS ships do not use nav cards. NPS ships do not use fuel tokens. Non Reaver NPS evade Reavers unless told otherwise.

Players pick and choose which NPS they want to play with at the beginning of the game.


The NPS ships
Here is a starting list of NPS ships;

Hera Cargo ship
An epidemic is on at Hera and the cure was found at GreenLeaf By Maple Pharmaceuticals. But Maple Pharmaceuticals can only make 3 cargo units of the drug per 4 turns.

Choose unused Firefly ship to use as Hera Cargo NPS. The Hera Cargo NPS starts the game at Greenleaf, Red Sun. This ship has the delivery job with the Alliance.

Players can pirate this NPS if agreed to at the beginning of the game. A player can only pirate this ship once per game with a pirate job. Attacking this ship is immoral, disgruntle your moral crew. Plus loose solid with Harken, and a warrant is issued. When the pirate ship loads the 3 cargo to his ship flip it to Contraband.

If you want a longer game add increments of $3000 to this NPS requirement to win.
NPS Crew skills: Fight 8, Tech 5, Negotiate 6
Action;
1. IF the Cargo ship is at Valentine or has no cargo, THEN move the Cargo ship to Greenleaf.
2. IF the Cargo ship is at Greenleaf, THEN place 3 cargo tokens on this card then move the Cargo ship to Liann Jiun
3. IF the Cargo ship is at Hera, THEN move the Cargo ship to Valentine.
4. IF the Cargo ship is at Liann Jiun, THEN move the Cargo ship to Hera, remove all the cargo tokens and collect $1000 for each cargo token (up to $3000) from the bank and place it under this card. Check if the cargo ship has $15,000, if so the game is over, the Cargo ship wins the game!
5. DEFAULT ACTION move to Greenleaf.

Alliance Cruiser NPS
When the player on the right is called to move the Alliance Cruiser he must follow the below action. No ship can be contacted by the Alliance Cruiser more than once per turn. If there are ties as to which sector to move to, roll the die to determine which one.
Action;
1. IF the Alliance Cruiser is in the same sector as a player's ship that has not been contacted this turn THEN complete the Alliance contact card.
2. IF there is a ship(s) in Alliance space with warrants, THEN move 1 sector closer to the closest ship with the most warrants.
3. IF there is a ship(s) in Alliance space with wanted crew, THEN move 1 sector closer to the closest ship with the most wanted crew.
4. IF there is a ship(s) in Alliance space, THEN move 1 sector closer to the closest ship in Alliance space.
5. DEFAULT ACTION Move 1 sector toward Londinium

Reaver Cruiser NPS
When the player on the right is called to move the Reaver Cruiser he must follow the below action. If playing with Blue Sun expansion the player on the right chooses which Reaver Cruiser or if you wish use a die. If there are ties as to which sector to move to, roll the die to determine which one.
Action;
1. IF in the same sector as a player ship, THEN stop movement.
2. IF within 1 Border sector to a player's ship, For ties move to the ship with the most crew, THEN move to that Border sector with the player.
3. IF there is a player's ship(s) in Border space, THEN move 1 sector in Border space closer to the closest ship. For ties move to the ship with the most crew.
4. DEFAULT ACTION Move 1 sector staying in Border space to closest player ship. If cannot move closer, stop.

Reaver Crewed Firefly NPS
More reavers! Start Reaver Firefly at three Hills, Georgia.
When the player on the right is called to move the Reaver ship he must follow the below action. When you have to move Reaver ship choose only one ship to move. The player on the right chooses which Reaver ship to move or if you wish use a die. If there are ties as to which sector to move to, roll the die to determine which one.

There are less Reavers on a Firefly NPS than the Cruiser. There is a better chance of surviving the attack. Roll 1 die per all crew/passenger/fugitive killed, on a 6 they survive.
Action;
1. IF in the same sector as a player ship, THEN stop movement.
2. IF within 1 Border or Rim sector to a player's ship, THEN move to that Border or Rim sector with the player, for ties move to the ship with the most crew.
3. IF there is a player's ship(s) in Border or Rim space, THEN move 1 sector in Border or Rim space closer to the closest ship. For ties move to the ship with the most crew.
4. DEFAULT ACTION Move 1 sector staying in Border or Rim space to closest player ship. If cannot move closer, stop (do not enter Alliance space).

Bounty Hunter Ship
Jubal Early is on the hunt.
Give Jubal a ship and start at Londinium, White Sun.
Pirates & Bounty hunters expansion needed for this NPS. Apprehending a Fugitive with a bounty for Bounty Hunter NPS is the same as player rules. Keep the bounty cards on the Bounty NPS, for every bounty completed Jubal gets +1 fight added to crew skills.

Optional rule: if the Bounty Hunter collects $12000 he wins the game.
NPS Crew skills: Fight 6, Tech 4, Negotiate 4
Actions;
1. IF fugitive is on board NPS, THEN move 3 sectors to the sector to deliver Fugitive to. Collect the bounty if you arrive
2. IF within 3 sectors to a player's ship with wanted crew and a bounty, THEN move to that sector and execute a capture.
3. IF there is a player's ship(s) with wanted crew and a bounty, THEN move 3 sectors closer to the closest one. IF a tie move to the closest ship with the most bounty crew.
4. IF within 3 sectors to a wanted crew with a bounty at a supply Planet, THEN move to the sector with the closest one and execute a capture.
5. IF there is wanted crew with a bounty at a supply Planet, THEN move 3 sectors closer to the closest one.
6. DEFAULT ACTION Move 1 sector toward Londinium,


More coming...
Trade ship (Hard and easy)
Trade goods, gear and crew

Pirate ship
Takes your goods and cash.

Scrapers ship
takes your upgrades

...
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Dave Rowley
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James,

If you arrrh raid the cargo ship should you treat the stolen pharmaceuticals as contraband instead of plain cargo?

Optional rule perhaps?

Dave
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George Krubski
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I like the idea.

A few initial thoughts and questions:

Does the cargo ship really need all three abilities? It will only ever be involved in a showdown, yes? (Same thing theoretically applies to Jubal with the caveat that he automatically succeeds all Boarding Tests).

Does Jubal ever improve in any way, or is he static throughout the game?

On the cargo ship:

I like the idea of an external "counter" and a ship is a fun way to do it, but it seems like it could perhaps be simplified? The way you have it set up, it's pretty static in a 1-player game, but in a 5-player game, folks working cooperatively could practically double the length of the game, no?

Also, why does it return home if it has no cargo?


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James Horton
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UpStarter wrote:
James,

If you arrrh raid the cargo ship should you treat the stolen pharmaceuticals as contraband instead of plain cargo?

Optional rule perhaps?

Dave


Yes, thanks I will add that. Plus you get a warrant (or maybe a double warrant).
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James Horton
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gwek wrote:
I like the idea.

A few initial thoughts and questions:

Does the cargo ship really need all three abilities? It will only ever be involved in a showdown, yes? (Same thing theoretically applies to Jubal with the caveat that he automatically succeeds all Boarding Tests).


Yes, All three abilities are needed, NPS trading rules are not yet done... comming.


gwek wrote:

Does Jubal ever improve in any way, or is he static throughout the game?


I like this idea, will add it. This is why I posted NPS rules now, BGG community helps.

gwek wrote:

On the cargo ship:

I like the idea of an external "counter" and a ship is a fun way to do it, but it seems like it could perhaps be simplified? The way you have it set up, it's pretty static in a 1-player game, but in a 5-player game, folks working cooperatively could practically double the length of the game, no?

Also, why does it return home if it has no cargo?




If you follow the path you will see that the only time you can pirate the Hera Cargo ship's cargo of Drugs is at Liann Jiun. Thats once every 4 turns and right in the middle of Alliance Space!

That said, I agree that the cost of attacking it should be higher. How about a warrant or two and maybe a bounty on the cargo/crew. Maybe a surprise escort of Alliance ships (roll a die on a 1, 2, or 3 the Alliance Cruiser appears). Which do you think is best? Ideas? (warrant for sure)

If it returns home with no cargo it cannot get pirated. Plus it follows the theme of rushing home to get next load of Medial supplies.
 
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Dave Rowley
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I know its been a while but using Gwek's "Unique Fireflies" as a start:

 


I came up with



Many thanks to you both.

DaveR
 
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Buckley Jones
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If you don't like static skill levels for the NPS, here is a possible way to scale up their strengths throughout the game.

For each NPS, make a track with each of the 3 stats, 1-12 or so. The current skill levels of the NPS can be marked with a disgruntled token or other token (so 3 tokens per NPS). These tracks can be made on a piece of printer paper.

After each full round of turns one of the skill levels of the NPS increases by 1 according to the following die rolls:

1-2: NPS gains +1F
3-4: NPS pains +1T
5-6: NPS gains +1N

Increment the appropriate track by 1. The initial stats can be determined by rolling 5d6 at the beginning of the game. To reduce a bit of the randomness as the ship strengthens, just say that if there is a difference of 3 between the highest and lowest stats of the NPS, forego the die roll for that turn and increment the lowest stat by 1.

At 20 turns, each NPS will have 5 + 20 = 25 skill points, which is on average 8-9 skill points in each category. It will be pretty tough to pirate a cargo ship like that late game, and a bounty hunter NPS will wreck you almost every time. The initial skill levels can start however strong you want and the growth rates can be adjusted as well, but the effect would be that their win is inevitable if you don't finish your story quick enough.

Let me know what you think.
 
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