This variant seems obvious but I couldn't find it in that thread. I wanted to see what the game felt like with Serenity having its full crew. This makes for a fast and furious game, and better than I thought it would be. It is basically the original game juiced with a few expansion cards, with crews and equipment already loaded. A few necessary rule changes follow the set-up.
(1) A ship loaded with hurt (starts at Space Bazaar):
Womack + Alliance Ident Card
Skunk + Pod Grenades
Helmsman + Security Interface Pad
Med Staff + Fully Equipped Med Bay
Lund + Gluecklich Sniper Rifle
Billy + Official Looking Vehicle
Dalin + Nav Charts: Alliance Space
on board: Alliance Body Armor
$1000 (Womack has a day job)
Radion Accel. Mk III Drive Core
Onboard Chop Shop (his night job)
Caravan Pods (needed for 7th crewman)
(2) It's just Serenity (starts at Persephone):
Malcolm + firearm
Wash + 4WD Mule
Jayne + "Vera"
Simon + Surgical Kit
Kaylee + her Reprogrammer
$100 (raggedly edge of nothing)
Mark I Drive Core
Expanded Crew Quarters
Full Mess Deck
(3) Vessel of opportunity (starts at Ezra):
Monty + 4 WD Mule
Bridgit + "Bona Fide" credentials
Accountant + Improv Hacking Rig
Enforcer + Pistol
Crow + his knife
Merchant + Explosive Charge
Barkeep + Nav Charts: Border Space
on board: Extra Ammo Clips
Mk I Drive Core
-no job cards are given out at set-up
-no supply cards are turned over at set-up
-crew must be paid after each job (money is plentiful in this game)
-Goals: solid with 3 contacts, then have $10,000 in hand, then travel to Ezra (Mal or Monty) or Silverhold (Womack).
That's it. It plays fast. You generally sail through the Misbehave cards but they can be a hiccup (e.g. the double Botch results). The unexpected twist is that good job cards are more important than money, and Womack's Helmsman (coupled with a Reaver Cutter sitting on the Space Bazaar for much of the game) gave Womack a considerable advantage ; I thought Serenity would have an easy win. And Monty would have been better off marrying Helen, as he lost his entire crew twice. Anyway, it was fun having the BDHs together where they belong. Lost Room meets Objects in Space.
Looks pretty cool. Might have to try it sometime. The trick is everyone (mostly) is going to want to play the Serenity.
Interesting idea. I've seen a few folks take different stabs at versions of this.
What kind of balancing, if any, did you do between Crews?
I would think that the full 9-person Serenity Crew would be too powerful (even accounting for paying them, two are at $0). I'm a little surprised to see a few Moral folks on Womack's Crew, and also not to see Sash. With so many of his crew represented, you have a solid start.
Oops, forgot to include Jayne's Hat aboard Serenity, and the presence of 2 Reaver Cutters (blocking is important in this game), and the Nav decks are juiced with a few Expansion cards to slow players down.
The crews aren't a perfect fit, I agree (except for our heroes). I tried to give Monty and Womack a fighting chance, rather than go for pure verisimilitude. But after two games, Serenity has been clobbered both times. The game is far more volatile than it seems. Each ship has a distinct advantage: Serenity has an unbeatable crew for Misbehavior, Womack has a permanent solid with Harken, and Monty has the best start position because he can grab well-paying jobs from Niska and Patience right at the start.
The game plays very quickly, like Firefly on steroids. Crime jobs are especially valuable because there is no backtracking to pick up goods. Buying is unimportant unless you lose your crew (Monty and Mal are especially vulnerable), Low-paying jobs are to be avoided unless you really need one for a solid contact. Salvage ops are especially valuable because you don't have to pay the crew. I'm also thinking about pulling the second Crew Quarters from the Osiris pack and playing with all the supply cards exposed, for anyone wishing to tinker with their ship/crew.
I thought this would just be a one-off experiment, but I rather like it, especially when I want a shorter game. I'd love to hear any suggestions for modifying it. Thanks.