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Subject: Merchant Ships rss

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George Krubski
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As someone who often plays solo, there’s not a ton of use for Piracy Jobs for me. I was thinking about it on the drive home from work today, and came up with an idea I’d like to share. Although I intended it primarily for solo play, I see no reason it couldn’t work in multi-player player, too.

Part of the idea is also to give some life to the cards that go unused in a solo game (notably the You Can't Take the Sky cards, and getting some more Supply Cards in play).

SET-UP

After standard set-up (ie, following Priming the Pumps), add the following steps:

1) Shuffle all remaining You Can’t Take the Sky cards. Put them aside for now.
2) Play begins with one Merchant Ship. Select a starting planet randomly (see below).
3) Draw the top, face-down card from the appropriate Supply Deck, and one card from the YCTtS deck. Keep these cards face-down. They represent the Crew/Resources of the Merchant Ship.
4) Select a target planet for the Merchant Ship and mark it in some way (for example, with a numbered token or the appropriate ship die).

When selecting randomly, roll a die:

1 Osiris
2 Persephone
3 Regina
4 Silverhold
5 Space Bazaar
6 Meridian / Roll Again (if not using Blue Sun)


MOVING MERCHANT SHIPS

During play, after all players have taken their turn, move each Merchant Ship one sector toward the target planet.

Merchant Ships do not draw Nav Cards.

The Merchant Ship may not enter the same Sector as the Alliance Cruiser or Reaver Cutter.

If a Merchant Ship reaches its destination, add the top face-down card of the target Supply Planet to its resources and select a new target planet.


ADDING MERCHANT SHIPS

Merchant Ships may be added in three ways.

First, if the last Merchant Ship is removed from the game, a new Merchant Ship should be added at the end of the turn.

Second, if a player has a Piracy Job, they may, in any Planetary Sector, take a Deal Action to add a new Merchant Ship. This represents the player researching possible targets.

Finally, whenever the Rogue Trader or Freighter Convoy Nav card is resolved, place a Merchant Ship in the Sector. Select 1 initial Supply Card and a target planet randomly.


INTERACTING WITH MERCHANT SHIPS

When you are in the same Sector as a Merchant Ship, you may interact with it in two ways – you may trade with the Merchant or attack.

Before making a decision, you may take a Deal Action to hail the captain. Flip over the YCTtS card to get a look at the ship’s captain. That may help determine whether you want to attack or not.


ATTACKING MERCHANT SHIPS

You may attack a Merchant Ship as you would a rival Firefly. A Merchant Ship has a base SHOWDOWN defense value of 4, but any of the appropriate skill points or special abilities from the ship’s cards may be added. For example, if you drew Malcolm and Zoe, add their +4 Fight, and also factor in Zoe’s re-roll.

If the YCTtS card is a Drive Core rather than a leader, the base SHOWDOWN defense value changes from 4 to the Range. The Tri-Capissen 28HD keeps a base value of 4, but the attacker must use Kosherized Rules. Drive core “leaders” don’t count as Moral.

If you defeat a Merchant Ship, remove it from the map and place the cards back in the appropriate decks. That captain may return to haunt you later!

Roll a die to see how much Cargo a plundered Merchant Ship is carrying (up to 5). On a 6, roll for Contraband instead. In addition, each Merchant Ship carries 2 Fuel and 2 Parts.

Special: Malcolm, Monty, Womack and Sash carry Contraband instead of Cargo (unless you roll a 6 – then roll for Cargo).

You may also steal from The Captain’s Chest, but you must give up 1 Goods for each $400 of value stolen. For example, if you wanted to steal Early’s Pistol ($600), you would have to give up 2 Goods.


THE CAPTAIN’S CHEST

The Captain’s Chest includes a few things. First, if any of the Supply Cards are Gear, they are part of the chest.

Second, if any cards associated with the leader or any Crew are currently in a discard pile, they may be counted as part of the Captain’s Chest. For example, if you fight Sash and his Hand Cannon is in the Regina discard pile, you may be able to acquire it.

Third, if the leader has a keyword and Gear with the same keyword is available in a discard pile, you may be able to acquire it.


TRADING WITH MERCHANT SHIPS

If you don’t want to attach the Merchant Ship, you may choose to trade instead. As with an attack, a Merchant Ship carries 2 Fuel ($200 each), 2 Parts ($300 each), and a variable amount of Cargo ($300) or Contraband ($500).

You may take a Buy Action to buy any of the above items at the prices indicated. In addition, you may consider up to 3 Supply Cards from the ship’s cards or the Captain’s Chest. You may buy up to 2, but you must pay the hiring cost for Crew twice (Nandi only pays once).

If you buy Cargo or Contraband from a Merchant Ship, you may not do so again until the ship stops at a Supply Planet.
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gwek wrote:

Part of the idea is also to give some life to the cards that go unused in a solo game (notably the You Can't Take the Sky cards, and getting some more Supply Cards in play).


You Can't Take the Sky cards? Am I missing something?

T
 
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Troy Terrell
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Those are the 'starting' cards, the leaders and initial drive cores.
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CmdrCorsiken wrote:
Those are the 'starting' cards, the leaders and initial drive cores.


Thanks Troy, that's what you get for asking the question before going home and actually looking at the game decks. :-/

T
 
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C David Dent
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I'd add a section:

LIFELESS DERELICT
If any player moves the Reaver ship to the merchant ship's sector then all crew on board the ship are killed. The ship becomes a Lifeless Derelict and may be salvaged.

Players entering the square with a Lifeless Derelict roll a die instead of drawing a Nav card:
1) It's a trap!: Move the Reaver Cutter to this square.
2) Ship is Lost: Nothing happens, Keep Flyin'
3) Ship is Lost: Nothing happens, Keep Flyin'
4) Ship is booby trapped: spend 1 part or BREAKDOWN. from board.
5) Ship is adrift: spend 1 fuel to perform a SALVAGE OP (Full Stop)
6) Ship is adrift: spend 1 fuel to perform a SALVAGE OP (Full Stop)
7) Ship is adrift: May perform a SALVAGE OP (Full Stop)

A PILOT who gives you extra movement (+1 to full burn or Mosey 2) may add 1 to this roll.

After this roll remove the Derelict from the board.

BREAKDOWN roll 5+
1-4) FULL STOP
5+) Keep Flyin' or spend 1 fuel to perform a SALVAGE OP (Full Stop)

SALVAGE OP 5+
1-4) Nothing left. 0 Items.
5-6) 1 Item from Captain's Chest
7+) 2 Items from Captain's Chest
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George Krubski
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Yeah, I thought about Merchant Ships and Reaver Cutters/Alliance Cruiser... but then I got a headache.
 
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Troy Terrell
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I do like where this is heading -- not the headache, George, but this variant concept. At least it seems involving the Reavers may not be too hard. Thank you C.
 
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Sim Guy
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Lots of great ideas to steal.devil

My Favorites:
gwek wrote:
SET-UP
3) Draw the top, face-down card from the appropriate Supply Deck, and one card from the YCTtS deck. Keep these cards face-down. They represent the Crew/Resources of the Merchant Ship.
4) Select a target planet for the Merchant Ship...

When selecting randomly, roll a die:

1 Osiris
2 Persephone
3 Regina
4 Silverhold
5 Space Bazaar
6 Meridian / Roll Again (if not using Blue Sun)
-I wouldn't bother with the extra drive core cards, that seems like major surgery to me, something that would have to happen in a spaceport.
-I like drawing a card at each Supply Planet - as the game progresses it makes for a more tempting Piracy target.
-Random selection is simple and clean.


gwek wrote:
MOVING MERCHANT SHIPS
If a Merchant Ship reaches its destination, add the top face-down card of the target Supply Planet to its resources and select a new target planet.
-As I mentioned, this I like, My ship gets better as the game goes on, why shouldn't theirs?
-I think one sector per move is a little slow, but I do like the idea of using a constant rate - I'm going to go with three sectors.

gwek wrote:
ADDING MERCHANT SHIPS

...whenever the Rogue Trader or Freighter Convoy Nav card is resolved, place a Merchant Ship in the Sector. Select 1 initial Supply Card and a target planet randomly.
-Nice touch, I think I'll try this one out.

gwek wrote:
INTERACTING WITH MERCHANT SHIPS

Before making a decision, you may take a Deal Action to hail the captain. Flip over the YCTtS card to get a look at the ship’s captain. That may help determine whether you want to attack or not.
-I like using a Deal action to Hail. I also think that some Captains wouldn't respond.

gwek wrote:
ATTACKING MERCHANT SHIPS

If you defeat a Merchant Ship, remove it from the map and place the cards back in the appropriate decks. That captain may return to haunt you later!

Special: Malcolm, Monty, Womack and Sash carry Contraband instead of Cargo (unless you roll a 6 – then roll for Cargo).

You may also steal from The Captain’s Chest...
-I don't have a good Piracy resolution process, this reminded me.
-I like the Contraband link to certain Captains, and the Captain's Chest; I'll try these out.

gwek wrote:
THE CAPTAIN’S CHEST

The Captain’s Chest includes a few things. First, if any of the Supply Cards are Gear, they are part of the chest.
...
Third, if the leader has a keyword and Gear with the same keyword is available in a discard pile, you may be able to acquire it.
-I would throw some straight Cash into the Chest, say d6 x $1K.
-Sure, take the Leader's Gear, but that'll do.

gwek wrote:
TRADING WITH MERCHANT SHIPS

If you buy Cargo or Contraband from a Merchant Ship, you may not do so again until the ship stops at a Supply Planet.
-Correct, they ought to be low on everything, and you should have taken everything you wanted the first time.

I'll stir these in with my NPS rules and see what works.thumbsupcool
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George Krubski
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Thanks! Steal away - that's what this is all for!

A few quick responses...

SimGuy wrote:
-I think one sector per move is a little slow, but I do like the idea of using a constant rate - I'm going to go with three sectors.


Y'know, I was originally going to go with 2 Sectors, and I might wind up doing that. My thinking, though, was that most Supply Planets are within 5 Sectors of multiple Supply Planets...

Quote:
I like using a Deal action to Hail. I also think that some Captains wouldn't respond.


Probably, you're right, but I didn't think it was fair to ambush a Moral leader with a Piracy job that suddenly becomes Immoral. Although arguably realistic, it's out of scope for how the game generally works.

Quote:
You may also steal from The Captain’s Chest...
-I don't have a good Piracy resolution process, this reminded me.
-I like the Contraband link to certain Captains, and the Captain's Chest; I'll try these out.[/q]

I tried to keep it as straightforward as possible, but also had to make attacking these ships tempting.

Quote:
I would throw some straight Cash into the Chest, say d6 x $1K.
-Sure, take the Leader's Gear, but that'll do.


I toyed with that, but remember that you get paid a flat rate for a Piracy Job anyway, so I didn't want to make the cash value too much. Still, it's all an evolving process...

Quote:
-I wouldn't bother with the extra drive core cards, that seems like major surgery to me, something that would have to happen in a spaceport.


To clarify, the Drive Core cards in this case don't represent Drive Cores... they represent "unnamed captains." Honestly, part of it is for the fear of the Interceptor engine core. One one hand, you might be lucky and find that your target is Burgess (base of 4 + 1 from any skill, so a 5). On the other hand, you might drawn the Interceptor Drive Core, so you're immediately facing an 8 in a showdown... plus whatever might show up in other cards (and remember, you don't know the other cards until you're in it).
 
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Sim Guy
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I was thinking about moving 2 sectors as well, still slow but moving. I dice for sectors, and the average is going to round to three, so that why I pegged there.

A non-response comes from the notion that space is a big place, and fuel is limited. Sometimes meeting up is impractical, or impossible. I was originally going to let you spend a fuel to guarantee a rendezvous, but decided to go with half a chance to meet up with an unknown ship that happened to be going more or less your way. Once you know a Captain and have traded with them, meeting becomes a more cooperative and planned affair (and in the show it was just as likely to be on a planet). Otherwise, you'll be able to sense the traffic, but not make contact every time you'd like.

As for money in the Captain's Chest. I see your point, but in my Solo games it can get a little rougher and more expensive. Still, I might limit a money stash to two or three d6 x $100.

I figured that's where you were going with the drive core cards. I get how it works, but I'd rather have a Captain card to deal with. There's lot of home grown out here, plenty enough to make a Captain's deck just for the Merchants/NPSs, or one or two out of three of them.
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Troy Terrell
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gwek wrote:
SimGuy wrote:
-I think one sector per move is a little slow, but I do like the idea of using a constant rate - I'm going to go with three sectors.
Y'know, I was originally going to go with 2 Sectors, and I might wind up doing that. My thinking, though, was that most Supply Planets are within 5 Sectors of multiple Supply Planets...
I see both sides of this. 2 sectors of movement seems to be a good max to consider. That gives at least three turns between each 'upgrade' to the merchants. At 1 move, it is at least five turns between 'upgrades.' I think it boils to do deciding how fast the merchants should improve, thus making them potentially more valuable and/or difficult targets.
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George Krubski
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Maybe I should set the base score a little lower. As is, right off the bat, they're going to have at least a 5-6 in a showdown (from base 4 + leader's skills).
 
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gwek wrote:
Maybe I should set the base score a little lower. As is, right off the bat, they're going to have at least a 5-6 in a showdown (from base 4 + leader's skills).

Piracy should be risky arrrh the uncertainty adds to the excitement.
As a Pirate Captain you have to learn to pick your spots.
 
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CmdrCorsiken wrote:
gwek wrote:
SimGuy wrote:
-I think one sector per move is a little slow, but I do like the idea of using a constant rate - I'm going to go with three sectors.
Y'know, I was originally going to go with 2 Sectors, and I might wind up doing that. My thinking, though, was that most Supply Planets are within 5 Sectors of multiple Supply Planets...
I see both sides of this. 2 sectors of movement seems to be a good max to consider. That gives at least three turns between each 'upgrade' to the merchants. At 1 move, it is at least five turns between 'upgrades.' I think it boils to do deciding how fast the merchants should improve, thus making them potentially more valuable and/or difficult targets.

Had a couple of quick games today to try out some of the new stuff.
Tried Merchants moving 2 and 3 sectors (2+2) in both games.
The result was that the 3 sector movers usually ended up with one or two more Supply cards than the 2 sector movers at the end of the game. Least card count was a 2 mover with just 2, the other 'Twos' all had 3 cards. Most cards was a 3 mover with 5, the other 'Fives' had 3,4,2*. One of the 3 movers got hit by a Reaver when it had 3 cards. I did a Salvage Op using the Lifeless Derelict (thumbsup props to MrDave) rule and drew a Crew card (body) from the ship's deck. The ship re-started and picked up one destination Supply card by the end of the game.

So it doesn't seem to make all that much difference if you move your merchants 2 or three, but one or two extra cards could definitely change things. I didn't try to attack anybody as I was just trying to see how many cards the Merchants could accumulate if they were left alone. That'll come next if I can make the time for it.
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George Krubski
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Thanks for the playtest report! Great to hear how things are going.
 
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It's been a while since this was commented on, and I would be curious if you (or anyone else) have refined it further. I like the simplicity of this as it uses in game mechanics and minimal die rolling.

I get that you are currently trying to emulate "Merchant" ships, but what do you think would happen if you used a random Job to set the course of the AI ship. It still moseys two sectors a turn (avoiding Reavers and such), but flies to job destinations instead. It can load and deliver goods as per the job. or just stop if performing a crime job. Could these ships more closely represent another player?

A human opponent in this game normally affects the current player by using up jobs and supplies, drawing through the nav and misbehave decks, and doing piracy and trade. So, if the NP Ships is performing jobs then they can be pirated as per normal game rules. They can also draw through the misbehaves by assuming auto proceeds. Plus can even draw through the nav decks (maybe one per turn [per NP ship?]).

Maybe they start at a contact planet with one of the contacts jobs, they slowly mosey through the job as the game goes on. Upon completing the job, it is removed and a new NP ship is generated at another contact planet with a new captain.

-Would this have more of the board getting traveled?
-What would be the effect if the NP Ship drew a pirate job?
-How can I keep your supply card system if I don't visit supply planets?
-Should the supply part be ditched, in favor of stronger NP Ships?
-Where is the balance for NP Ship strength? Too Tough will have them ignored, Too weak will be prized and chased.
-Should they start with some cargo?

My head hurts, who would want to be a designer ;-)
 
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George Krubski
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Some really interesting ideas. Like you, though, my head is starting to hurt.
 
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Mike Dawson
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Have you thought of/tried a Merchants and Marauders approach? You could search a sector for a merchant, if you pass the tech roll then you can either trade or pirate it? This would reduce the number of extra ships ect.
 
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Thorfinn Skullsplitter
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Really interesting concept, particularly for solo play. Adds a lot of flavor, which may be worth the extra complication, and makes the sky a might more crowded.

Overall, I'd simplify it a bit. I believe the key to something like this is simplicity.

For example, whether the captain has cargo or contraband. I'd just keep it to the roll (1-5 is cargo, 6+ is contraband), and not worry about which captain it is. Then you can add modifiers to the roll. For example:
+1 to the roll, if you have any tech or characters that modify a salvage roll or event.
+1 to the roll, if the captain is "Generic", ie, the captain is an engine or other gear.

For starting, give the ship a random YCTtS card for the captain as you said, and the top facedown card from each supply deck.

For the ship's route, I'd start with the top facedown job card from a random contact (using a D6 contact chart). Start the ship at the starting location for that job. It's automatically assumed to have the prerequisite skills and gear. It will automatically pass any Misbehaving it has to do. Load whatever cargo or passengers are required.

If the ship's direct route takes it through a supply planet, it will stop there for its turn and draw the top facedown supply card from that deck. If it passes within 1 sector of a supply planet, it will detour to it and shop as above.

This has the advantage of removing the remembering when you have multiple NPC ships flying around. Their destination is on the card. If they reach the destination unmolested, the complete the job, earn a net of $500, and roll for the next contact they will be getting a job from. Draw the top (facedown) job card from that pile and proceed to the starting location. Rinse and repeat.

I'd add that interrupting a job may have dire consequences. If your piracy make it impossible for the NPC ship to complete their job (you take their cargo), roll a D6. On a 1, you lose your Solid standing with that contact, as they're understandably upset with you mucking with their business venture. On a 2, receive a warrant. 3-6, you get away. Alternately, you could have a 'get away with it' roll maybe somehow tied to how many crew were on the ship, or whose job it was or something. Failure would lose Solid and/or gain a warrant.

After attacking an NPC ship, return it and its cards to the appropriate decks as you described. I like the idea that that captain might come back. It'd be great if you could keep track of that and maybe double that captain's skills if you tried to attack him again later on. He wouldn't deal with you, and if you tried to initiate a deal with him, once you turned over the card, he'd attack YOU! He'd initiate an attack on YOUR ship, and (assuming he wins) loot and plunder as appropriate, before ending your turn and burning away his full distance (out of his regular turn sequence). So if you're playing solo, he basically moves twice.

I don't have a problem with the ship moving more than 1 space per turn. 2-3 or even 4 is probably alright, and makes it more of a challenge to catch up to them than if they're plodding along. Plus their random wandering would take forever at speed 1, if they end up taking multiple trips all the way across the map.

I think the captain's chest should be simplified. Basically, the ship has the cards it's picked up, 2 fuel, 2 parts, and whatever 'cargo' it may be hauling on its job. I'm unfamiliar with how looting a ship works with the Pirates and Bounty Hunters set, but I think looting this ship should follow those rules.

I like the Lifeless Derelict idea. I'd modify the roll like this:
Players entering the square with a Lifeless Derelict roll a die instead of drawing a Nav card:
1-2) It's a trap!: Move the Reaver Cutter to this square.
3-4) Ship is booby trapped: spend 1 part or BREAKDOWN. from board.
5) Ship is Lost: Nothing happens, Keep Flyin'
6) Ship is adrift: spend 1 fuel to perform a SALVAGE OP (Full Stop)
7) Ship is adrift: May perform a SALVAGE OP (Full Stop)


And then keep the modifier simple:
+1 if you have a pilot on your crew.

So cool. Keep flying.



 
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George Krubski
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Thanks for the thoughts, Scarback. Some good stuff there. I want to process it... Heck, I think I need to re-read where I left things to remember that too!

HarleighDhai wrote:
Have you thought of/tried a Merchants and Marauders approach? You could search a sector for a merchant, if you pass the tech roll then you can either trade or pirate it? This would reduce the number of extra ships ect.


How does the mechanic work in M&M? Once you identify a ship, how are the contents identified?

Is there a chance that you can run into a ship that would pirate YOU, or just victims?

One idea I had was for a new deck (yep, a new deck!) where you make some kind of Tech roll, and then draw a card. Each card has 3 options (one for each kind of space). Maybe if you roll really well on your Tech roll, you can draw 2 cards and pick, so the chance of getting jumped yourself goes down dramatically...
 
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cassidy zimmerman
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gwek wrote:

HarleighDhai wrote:
Have you thought of/tried a Merchants and Marauders approach? You could search a sector for a merchant, if you pass the tech roll then you can either trade or pirate it? This would reduce the number of extra ships ect.


How does the mechanic work in M&M? Once you identify a ship, how are the contents identified?


M&M setup starts with a token representing a merchant ship in each space. On someone's turn they can "scout" and attempt to find the merchant (and if successful they choose whether or not to raid). Once any seazone has been scouted for a merchant (whether or not successful) the token is removed and placed on a tracker. The seazone is now empty and has no merchants to raid. Once 8 or 10 (I forget) seazones have been scouted and tokens placed on the tracker, the tokens are all reset to the board

The ship contents are exposed by flipping what is essentially the master supply deck for the game. Each supply card shows type of good, an amount of gold, and what the merchant ship does during a merchant raid (it's a VERY elegant system - probably the slickest part of the M&M design). On a raid you flip 3 base cards for the merchant, and the raider can add, remove, or replace a certain number of cards (set by die roll and purchased weapons), attempting to push the gold total to 12+ while limiting damage or merchant ship speed to what they can handle (by removing cards that hit a cannon, or have a flee icon, etc etc). At the end of a raid, the raider gets the total gold shown on all the cards (1-4 on each card) if they were successful, take damage based on each card (a hit to cannons, hull, crew, masts), and then can choose to take as many of the cards as cargo as they can hold.


gwek wrote:

Is there a chance that you can run into a ship that would pirate YOU, or just victims?


There are pirate NPCs in M&M but they are a different system from the merchants and are represented by pieces, not tokens.


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This is the direction I'm trying to head with these ideas, but I may have made thing more difficult for myself by trying to emulate other players. I'm tempted to revert back to the just merchant ships idea from the original post. Anyway here's my first draft of trying to get this to work.
---------
NPC Ship AI
My aim with this variant is to emulate other player’s action on the game environment without over complexity. The way I see it, one player can affect another player, either directly or indirectly, by:-
- Navigation and Misbehave deck drawing
- Reaver and Cruiser movement
- Supply and Job deck draining and discard pool filling
- Piracy, Trading, and Crew stealing
Plus I wanted to have viable targets for the Pirates and Bounty Hunter cards in the add-on game. So, here’s my KISS effort (“Keep it Simple Stupid”)

NPC SHIP SET-UP
After standard set-up (ie, following Priming the Pumps), add the following steps:
1. The Game has numbered goal tokens (1-4, on the back of “Haven” tokens). Place one numbered token on the game board to represent the NPC Ship, then the other matching token can be placed off the board. Select as many as you can manage. A good rule may be to use the inverse of the amount of players (4 to 9 Players=0 Tokens, 3 Players=1 Token, 2 Player=2 Tokens, 1 Player=3 Tokens). Effectively making every game a quasi-4 player game. Change as desired though

2. For each NPC Ship choose a random Leader from those not selected by players.

3. For each NPC Ship draw a job from the top of a random Contact Deck, and then reveal and discard the next job. More than one NPC Ship can have jobs from the same contact –

4. Draw one supply card face down from each supply deck and form a new “NPC Ship Supply” Deck. Shuffle it.

5. Place 2 Cargo, 2 Parts and 4 Fuel with the token that is off to the side of the board. This is just a standard goods load out available for other player to pirate, it has no real effect on the NPC Ship.

6. Start the NPC Ships (Numbered Tokens) on the contact of its starting job.

Each NPC Ship has a base of 4 Tech, 4 Talk and 4 Fight which can be boosted by the leader’s icons and text. A leader’s morality will also affect the piracy morality as normal

MOVING NPC SHIPS
During play, after all players have taken their turn, move each NPC Ship two sectors toward the target destination listed on their job. If a Supply planet is within reasonable (1 sector?) range then the NPC Ship will head there first. The NPC Ship may not enter the same Sector as the Reaver Cutter, and must stop if entering the same sector as the Alliance Cruiser. The Alliance Cruiser removes all contraband as usual, so move the NPC ships around the cruiser sector if carrying contraband

Each NPC Ship draws one nav card for their ending sector .The intent is to see if the cutter or cruiser moves, without having excessive card drawing, but I see no reason any of the other nav card effects shouldn’t happen also.

If a NPC Ship reaches its destination it stops for that turn to perform a work action. If it’s the first pickup location for a job then place the goods tokens onto the job card, thus showing what stage the job is at. If it is a final (or single) destination then just complete the job. If any jobs require misbehaves then draw them as normal, but treat them as “Proceed”. Once complete, remove the Job from the game as you normally would, draw a new job from the top of a random Contact Deck, and then reveal and discard the next job from that same contact.

If a NPC Ship reaches a supply planet it stops for that turn. Take the top card face down from that location’s supply deck, and place it in the “NPC Ship Supply” deck. Then reveal and discard that locations next supply card.

If a NPC Ship draws a pirate job it will move towards the closest ship it can pirate from (include NPC ships in this). If it reaches a sector with a ship then perform a standard piracy action.

INTERACTING WITH NPC SHIPS
When you are in the same Sector as a NPC Ship, you may interact with it pretty close to how you would a regular player. A piracy Job should function as normal, tech or talk test to board, then a show down as normal. A bounty claim again should have enough details to play out as per normal rules. A NPC ship currently has no way of acquiring and monitoring disgruntled crew so won’t be able to have its crew bought away from them as normal, so the bellow trading rules should balance that.

Use a work action to:
• Start a piracy job if you have it
• Start a Bounty claim if there is a wanted crew in the NPC Ship Supply discard pile.
• Consider three and buy up to two supply cards from the “NPC Ship Supply” Deck. Crew cards are worth twice as much (Nandi pays once)

Putting all these on the same action should limit buying from, then pirating the NPC Ship. Plus twice the cost should reduce the bonus as well.

LIFELESS DERELICT
If a Reaver ship is in the NPC ship's sector at the start of the NP Ships movement then discard the leader and Job card . Place one of every good type it was carrying in the sector. The ship becomes a Lifeless Derelict and may be salvaged. Restart a new NPC Ship with a new leader and new Job as per setup instructions.

Players entering the sector with a Lifeless Derelict may choose either:-
• 5+ tech test, “Salvage Op” all the goods, full stop. or
• draw a Nav card and move as Normal
 
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Steven Miller
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And here's my random thoughts at the moment:-
----------
- A single player idea, use the jobs completed by the NPC Ship as counters. Complete your solo mission before the NPC Ship has done X number of jobs? The solo player can delay the counter by Reaver-ing the NPC ships
- Supply Decks will have an interesting effect of moving supplies through the verse It’s very “keep it simple” as thematically how could the supply items be available from multiple NPC Ship locations at once?
- Should there be some limit on the supply cards a NPC Ship can collect? A human player really only denies supplies from the other players, but only up to about 14 supplies (5 crew, 6 gear, 3 ship upgrades)
- What happens to supplies when the ship is Reavered? Human players loose crew but never loose gear. Solved by having a NPC Ship Supply Deck.
- I’m leaving money out for now; there are very few times you take money from another human player, so there is no need to track how much a NPC ship has. Use the banks money if it ever comes up. - How to deal with jobs that can’t be completed due to piracy?
- How to Deal with Amun Dul’s piracy jobs which allow pirating unstarted Jobs. Could taking the active Job be the answer? Swing in at the last moment and complete the job yourself?
- How is a NPC Ship pirate job going to work?
- Observing the “Misbehave draws would allow usual card counting ie the Merc card is now in the discard pile so they are safe to give weapons, etc).
- Discard piles would stagnate the fewer players were playing. Discarding a Supply and Job card should emulate the NPC Ship considering three cards and taking two cards. It will slowly fill the discard piles
- Shrinking Nav and Misbehave decks increase the odds of nasty reshuffle cards. Solo players were guaranteed to get the reshuffle card. Fixed by having the NPC Ships draw cards
- Solo players are never the “Player to the right” for Reaver and Cruiser move cards so never get to move them as a genuine player. Fixed by having the NPC Ships draw cards
- Made the Base ship strength equal 4. This should make starting players see them as a moving supply deck, while stronger late game players will consider it an easy pirating target which tends to be missing.
- How to make a random contact selection with a 6 sided dice?
1. Harken
2. Amun Dhul
3. Badger
4. Patience
5. Niska
6. Lord Harrow
7. Higgens
8. Fanty and Mingo
 
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Roger BW
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TuffLuck wrote:
How to make a random contact selection with a 6 sided dice?
Roll two different dice, A and B, and add them:

2, 4: Harken
3, 11: Amnon Duul
5: Patience
6 or 7, die A is a 1 or 2: Badger
6 to 8, die A is a 3; or 8, die A is a 2: Niska
7 or 8, die A is a 5 or 6: Lord Harrow
9: Higgins
10, 12: Fanty and Mingo

Anything else: reroll.

Or, y'know, just use a d8.
 
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George Krubski
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If you've got the ship dice, it's easy enough. Pick a color for each contact. Roll all the dice. On an arbitrary number (6?), the ship is solid with that Contact.
 
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