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Firefly: The Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Pulling the strings rss

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Roger BW
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I was reading the thread about "Commodore mode", running multiple ships, and it occurred to me that that's not really the way the Firefly world works in my head. (No offence intended to people who want to play it that way.) You've got your big cargo-hauling companies, and you've got your independents, but those independents don't seem to band together and work for each other. If you were the sort of person who could tell several independent ships what to do, you'd be…

Badger. Or Niška. Or Patience.

So how would it work if the players each took one contact rather than one ship? There'd have to be some mechanism for the various ships to build up their crews and equipment; then as a contact you'd offer them jobs you thought they could do, and if they succeeded you'd score points equal to the job's pay value.

You'd need to do some more balancing, and I'm not sure you'd use the map board at all, but I think this has some potential.
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Aaron Wright
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Chiming in...."Commodore Mode" I'd use that term very loosely...I thought of the idea as a way of less than a full complement of players to get more ships on the board in more of a "top down" view of the 'Verse. Yeah...you wouldn't be a shipping company per se...and honestly I don't think a player should do more than 2 ships.

But I'm interested maybe in fleshing out this idea. Without too much of a hassle.

For myself...I'm trying to inject "me" in Firefly...we got lost doing jobs and collecting credits, but I don't feel like Mal or Wash flying the Bonnie Mae, if you catch my drift.
 
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Jay Johnson
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could be a big shipping company with a fleet of transport ships.
could just be a couple/few independent captains banding together to cooperate for mutual benefit (like Mal and Monty and their crews have worked together on a number of occasions, at least till YoSaffBridg muddled things up).

Though the idea of playing from the PoV of one of the contacts certain sounds interesting too.
 
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Nathan Christianson
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Yeah, I really like this idea of BEING a Contact. It is basically a brand new game almost. We would have to come up with the mechanics system for it though. Like.... on your turn each of your ships can perform one action, or you can search from jobs from your own deck, or you can contract one of your ships to do a job. Each ship would require a cortex uplink if they were to get information at a different location then the contact planet. Each ship can only work one job at a time. You control which ship gets what job and payment for that job works the same (pay crew keep the rest) You the Contact would finance the hiring crew and purchasing equipment.

You can purchase jobs from contacts that are not being played by another player. But you cannot do jobs from any other players (who are contacts like you).

Longer game = start with a lump some of money and purchase 1 ship. Then you must purchase additional ships.

Shorter game = start the game with 2 or 3 ships under your command.

We would have to come up with scenarios that fit, but a lot can just be adapted. Even co-op scenarios that wouldn't be co-op anymore.
 
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George Krubski
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Although not 100% applicable, in my current Firefly RPG, the players have hooked up with a woman trying to set herself up as Badger's successor (Badger having been killed -- or at least gone missing -- as part of the Operative's "Order 66 purge" in the movie).

The players first helped her consolidate power by acquiring Badger's Ledger, then it was a separate adventure to get it decrypted.

Now that she has some degree of power over the local rabble, she has sent the players to Red Sun and Kalidasa to deliver a series of gifts to prospective allies. At the same time, she has another crew heading to Georgia and Blue Sun to do the same.

Again, this is not directly applicable, but I thought it might inspire ideas.

One thing to consider is that if you play as a contact, the job model might have to change, or some contacts simply couldn't complete.
 
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Roger BW
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gwek wrote:
One thing to consider is that if you play as a contact, the job model might have to change, or some contacts simply couldn't complete.
Yeah. My first thought was to use the existing job decks, so Harken commissions lots of cheap jobs and Niska commissions a few expensive ones – but nobody wins a cash grab game by working for Harken, so clearly there'd need to be some modifications.
 
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Jay Johnson
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Maybe Harken also benefits from Bounties that are turned in, or when contraband/fugitives/wanted Crewmembers are seized.
 
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George Krubski
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That's a good point. You could actually balance Harken and make him playable by making Bounties exclusively his.
 
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Nathan Christianson
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Firedrake wrote:
gwek wrote:
One thing to consider is that if you play as a contact, the job model might have to change, or some contacts simply couldn't complete.
Yeah. My first thought was to use the existing job decks, so Harken commissions lots of cheap jobs and Niska commissions a few expensive ones – but nobody wins a cash grab game by working for Harken, so clearly there'd need to be some modifications.


I like the bounties being linked with Harken, that is very fitting. The easy way I can think of, is if contacts can commission jobs from other contacts, for a price. Another words, if I start as Niska, I can't do his jobs, so I will have to pay another contact to do one of their jobs say Harken or Amnon Duul. My build up will be slower but then Niska's jobs pay the most late game. If I start as Harken or Lord Harrow, I can get a quick start, but then I am weaker late game, maybe even having to buy jobs off of Niska for the bigger pay. If the mechanic/"buy out" price could equal both extremes you can potentially have a player be strong early game and weak late game, and their opponent be weak early game and strong late game, potentially being equal. I would have to run statistic numbers to work out the mechanic. Not gonna do that, until there is more feed back on this idea.
 
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Roger BW
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So something like:

each player has face-up jobs in front of them as well as a hand of jobs

you can do (i.e. pay a crew to do) someone else's face-up job, in which case you and the other player split the "reputation" payoff 50/50

or you can do a job from your hand, in which case you get all the reputation

Meanwhile there are multiple ship layouts in the centre of the table. They're available to anyone. If crew X does a job for contact Y, it's solid, and contact Y gets a reputation bonus for using them again. Hmm, that encourages everyone to concentrate on getting one crew really good - maybe there's a travel time from one job to the next and you can't use them for a bit? Or maybe everyone they're solid with gets a small reputation boost when they pull off a job?

I'm seeing this as not using the map. On your turn you can Move (send a ship to a supply planet just by moving the ship pawn onto its deck), Buy (spend crew's funds to upgrade at a supply planet), Deal (assign a job to a crew), or Work (get a crew to do a job). The reputation payoff for a job is the same as the ship gets paid.

No nav cards, but also no fuel/parts/breakdowns to pay for.

Should you have to Move to job sites too? Long-distance shipping jobs pay more. And there'd have to be some risk to carrying contraband or fugitives.
 
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