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Firefly: The Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Pirating Contacts rss

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John Coxon
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I feel the piracy portion of the Pirates and Bounty Hunters expansion gets under-utilized in most of my games. This may be due to many reasons such as limited opportunities to capitalize on targets, the difficulty in completing these jobs early in the game, or players simply not wanting to combat against each other.

So I've been thinking of a ways to spice things up without lengthening the game too much or introducing rules which are overly-complicated. Here's what I came up with:

Player versus Contact
Players may optionally choose to target any Contact instead of the target listed on their piracy job card.

Working a Piracy Job
To work a piracy job against a Contact you must fly to their sector. Once there, you may choose to work any Piracy Job in your possession that originated from a different Contact than the one you are targeting.

Subjective Morality
• It is considered IMMORAL to Work a SUBJECTIVE Job on a target Contact with a MORAL Leader.
• The following contacts are treated as moral: Amnon Duul, Lord Harrow, Mr. Universe.
• The following contacts are treated as immoral: Badger, Fanty & Mingo, Harkan, Magistrate Higgins, Niska, and Patience.
(Note: I chose these lists based on which contacts offered immoral jobs.)

Piracy Boarding Tests
Resolve the Boarding Test as normal.

Piracy Showdowns
• For single-player games, the Contact's skill level is equal to 6 + 1/3 of the current turn count (rounded up).
• For multiplayer games, the Contact's skill level is equal to 3 + 1/2 of the current turn count (rounded up). Be aware that this may require some additional record-keeping to keep track of the turn.
• When a player uses an Alliance Sonic Rifle in a Showdown against a Contact, a dice roll is made instead of using the ability printed on the card. A result of 4-6 reduces the Contact's skill check by 5 until the Showdown is concluded.
• Resolve the Showdown as normal.
(Note: The Contact's skill level begins higher in single-player games to compensate for the player starting out with a crew.)

Completing Piracy Jobs
• Rewards are dispersed as described on the piracy job card.
• When completing a piracy job for Amnon Duul, the rewarded jobs are drawn from the top of the target's deck. If using option 2 or 3 described later on, instead draw jobs from the nearest contact to the target. The player chooses between ties.
• Contacts do not have a stash and cannot hide goods.
• Contacts are always presumed to have 4 Fuel, 2 Parts, and 3 Cargo available for piracy.
Amnon Duul, Badger, Fanty & Mingo, Niska, and Patience (i.e. the contacts who buy or sell Contraband) are always presumed to have 2 Contraband available for piracy in addition to the goods mentioned earlier.

Realism (Optional)
If you don't mind adding a small amount of time and a few more rules, you may wish to consider adding one of the following options:

Option 1. Before working a piracy job against a Contact, you must spend $500 to "hide your tracks." Everything else plays out as described above. The Contact cannot identify who targeted them for piracy, and the player may continue to make deals with them in the future.

Option 2. After working a piracy job against a Contact, you will lose any solid status you have with them, and you will no longer be able to deal with them. Any jobs that you have from that contact must be discarded. Be aware option 2 has long-lasting consequences for the player and requires some additional record-keeping to keep track of the player's relationship with each contact.

Option 3. After working a piracy job against a Contact, you will lose any solid status you have with them, and you now have "bad blood" when dealing with them. (see linked discussion) Be aware option 3 has a moderate setback for the player and requires some additional record-keeping to keep track of the player's relationship with each contact.
 
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Roger BW
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Re: Piracy - Plundering Contacts
I'm not sure about the disguise thing. If Badger knows you did a piracy job for him, word is eventually going to get back to the guy you did it to. So I think I'd probably default to option 2 (or use the "bad blood" rules that I think gwek was suggesting).
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John Coxon
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Re: Piracy - Plundering Contacts
I have to admit the "bad blood" rules you mentioned fit in quite nicely with the system I presented and offers players a less harsh outcome than option 2. I updated my post to mention them.
 
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Steven Miller
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Re: Piracy - Plundering Contacts
Correct me if I,m wrong, but do we need to roll for the type of skill being used in the showdown? I feel like theirs might be a card that buffs you against a type of skill, but I can't recall.

Minor detail for an otherwise good set of rules. I like the rationale for the contacts morality :-)

Halving the round count is another great system to power up the difficulty, whatever rules your playing with really. A little fidly, but us solo players are used to it.

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John Coxon
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Re: Piracy - Plundering Contacts
TuffLuck wrote:
Correct me if I,m wrong, but do we need to roll for the type of skill being used in the showdown? I feel like theirs might be a card that buffs you against a type of skill, but I can't recall.

Minor detail for an otherwise good set of rules. I like the rationale for the contacts morality :-)

Halving the round count is another great system to power up the difficulty, whatever rules your playing with really. A little fidly, but us solo players are used to it.


I added that section because P&BH didn't include rules for showdowns against NPCs. Normally each player picks their best skill. Since contacts don't really have a best skill (i.e. they have no crew or gear), I came up with a system to counter the fact that a player may use crew or gear to influence the results of a showdown based on which skill their opponent chose. After closer examination, the few cards that can do that, such as the Alliance Sonic Rifle, wouldn't affect the showdown anyway since contacts don't use any supply cards. I'll review this more closely tonight to see if this rule can be safely removed.
 
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George Krubski
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Re: Piracy - Plundering Contacts
John,

I like the idea. Like you, Piracy is rarely used, because I often play solo or 2-play "gentlemen's" games. The idea of more targets is appealing.

Having said that, I do have to say that, thematically, I feel like pirating from a contact rather than a fellow errand boy, er, I mean, ship captain, seems like it should be a bit of an undertaking. Not a criticism of your system, but I wanted to lay that out because it colors some of the opinions that follow.

Quote:
* The following contacts are treated as moral: Amnon Duul, Badger, Lord Harrow, Mr. Universe.


I understand your reasoning, but I'm not sure that I fully buy Badger as a Moral contact. Job breakdown aside, it doesn't seem to me that Mal and his crew would have too many pangs of guilt if they stole from him.

Quote:
Piracy Boarding Tests
Resolve the Boarding Test as normal.


As a minor point, there are a small number of upgrades (possibly only 2) that would offer bonuses here. Seems odd that you're using your ship's mag grapplers to steal from Patience or Amnon Duul. Or perhaps I have the wrong impression. I was assuming that you're basically attacking their HQ... and the Boarding Test represents breaching security (which still names sense).

Quote:
Piracy Showdowns
1) The skill the Contact chooses for the Showdown will be determined by a dice roll. 1-3 = Fight, 4-5 = Negotiate, 6 = Tech.
2) The Contact's chosen skill level is equal to 1/2 the current turn count (rounded up). Be aware that this may require some additional record-keeping.
3 Resolve the Showdown as normal.


Edited slightly to include numbers.

1) I'm not entirely sure that you need to worry about skills. I believe (currently) the only time it's a factor is if the crew is carrying Gear that forces a Kosherized test. I believe that's JUST the Alliance Sonic Rifles, yes?

Perhaps it would be easier to just give a bonus of some kind of you're using the Sonic Rifles?

2) Here's my big concern with things as outlined. Although I like the "leveling up" mechanism as the game progresses, right now, it's generally going to be super-easy to pirate a contact early in the game. Sure, there MAY be long-term effects if you're not using one of your options, but it doesn't seem right that you might be able to quickly put together a crew with 5-7 points in a skill and gun for a contact who has only a +2.

I understand that you're trying to encourage more piracy, but but feel like contacts should be more powerful than crews, not less.

(Having voiced that thematic concern, I DO like the mechanical elegance of your solution).

3) You're probably happy with what you have, but I'll note that in a few cases (notably by "NPC card" for Ott), I've done SHOWDOWNS like skill tests, with a static target number (or at least a static target number plus a variable) that the player rolls against, rather than an opposed roll. Again, I think your way works just fine; just wanted to float the option.

Quote:
* Contacts are always presumed to have 3 Fuel, 1 Part, 2 Cargo available for piracy.


If you're stealing from a contact, I'd like to think you might get a bigger score than that. I'd almost rather see something like "You may steal as many Goods as you won the roll by (up to whatever the job indicates). That way, you might get away by the skin of your teeth, or you might get a HUGE haul.

Technically, if you steal Cargo from Harken, they should probably immediately count as Contraband. Of course, since you're sitting on him, he'll just take them right back...

There's a part of me that wants to suggest piracy vs a contact count as a Salvage Op (to give the Scrappers more play), but I think that's getting too fiddly.

Quote:
* Contacts are always presumed to have 3 Jobs. If the piracy card allows you to steal jobs, these are drawn from the top of the contact deck. Any jobs drawn but not kept are placed in the discard pile.


Thematically speaking, the Contract Jumper job makes no real sense here. As a bit of Piracy, it seems that you're proving yourself to be the better ship, so I can see why you'd get to steal jobs. Niska, Patience and their ilk want to back winners.

Or perhaps the idea is that you're "proving yourself" by showing that you could get the drop on them?

Okay, in that context, I guess it makes sense, but if other negatives are in play, it seems very odd that a contact would offer you 3 jobs, but do other negative stuff to you.
 
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John Coxon
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Re: Piracy - Plundering Contacts
gwek wrote:

Having said that, I do have to say that, thematically, I feel like pirating from a contact rather than a fellow errand boy, er, I mean, ship captain, seems like it should be a bit of an undertaking.


I hadn't considered this, but I'm beginning to agree that the showdown difficulty could be increased a little.

Quote:

Quote:
* The following contacts are treated as moral: Amnon Duul, Badger, Lord Harrow, Mr. Universe.


I understand your reasoning, but I'm not sure that I fully buy Badger as a Moral contact. Job breakdown aside, it doesn't seem to me that Mal and his crew would have too many pangs of guilt if they stole from him.


I'd like to leave this as is for now. Just because Mal might steal from Badger doesn't mean other moral characters would do the same. Maybe I have to re-watch the series to see if Badger is truly immoral but I thought he was just into illegal stuff. There are also game balance considerations in leaving too few moral characters around.

Quote:

Quote:
Piracy Boarding Tests
Resolve the Boarding Test as normal.


As a minor point, there are a small number of upgrades (possibly only 2) that would offer bonuses here. Seems odd that you're using your ship's mag grapplers to steal from Patience or Amnon Duul. Or perhaps I have the wrong impression. I was assuming that you're basically attacking their HQ... and the Boarding Test represents breaching security (which still names sense).


I think you have to overlook some of these strange thematic elements. Otherwise you'd have to limit when fast horses and several other cards could be used in the core game.

Quote:

Quote:
Piracy Showdowns
1) The skill the Contact chooses for the Showdown will be determined by a dice roll. 1-3 = Fight, 4-5 = Negotiate, 6 = Tech.
2) The Contact's chosen skill level is equal to 1/2 the current turn count (rounded up). Be aware that this may require some additional record-keeping.
3 Resolve the Showdown as normal.


1) I'm not entirely sure that you need to worry about skills. I believe (currently) the only time it's a factor is if the crew is carrying Gear that forces a Kosherized test. I believe that's JUST the Alliance Sonic Rifles, yes?

Perhaps it would be easier to just give a bonus of some kind of you're using the Sonic Rifles?

2) Here's my big concern with things as outlined. Although I like the "leveling up" mechanism as the game progresses, right now, it's generally going to be super-easy to pirate a contact early in the game. Sure, there MAY be long-term effects if you're not using one of your options, but it doesn't seem right that you might be able to quickly put together a crew with 5-7 points in a skill and gun for a contact who has only a +2.

I understand that you're trying to encourage more piracy, but but feel like contacts should be more powerful than crews, not less.

(Having voiced that thematic concern, I DO like the mechanical elegance of your solution).

3) You're probably happy with what you have, but I'll note that in a few cases (notably by "NPC card" for Ott), I've done SHOWDOWNS like skill tests, with a static target number (or at least a static target number plus a variable) that the player rolls against, rather than an opposed roll. Again, I think your way works just fine; just wanted to float the option.


1. I'll probably remove this rule as it doesn't appear to be needed.
2. I'm considering increasing the difficulty a little bit. Perhaps something like 3 + 1/2 the current turn count (rounded up).
3. I prefer showdowns keep the same feel as the official game expansion as much as possible.

Quote:

Quote:
* Contacts are always presumed to have 3 Fuel, 1 Part, 2 Cargo available for piracy.


If you're stealing from a contact, I'd like to think you might get a bigger score than that. I'd almost rather see something like "You may steal as many Goods as you won the roll by (up to whatever the job indicates). That way, you might get away by the skin of your teeth, or you might get a HUGE haul.

Technically, if you steal Cargo from Harken, they should probably immediately count as Contraband. Of course, since you're sitting on him, he'll just take them right back...

There's a part of me that wants to suggest piracy vs a contact count as a Salvage Op (to give the Scrappers more play), but I think that's getting too fiddly.


I'd like the rewards to remain the same as stated on the piracy cards. That said, I can certainly see increasing the number of available goods a little bit.

Quote:

Quote:
* Contacts are always presumed to have 3 Jobs. If the piracy card allows you to steal jobs, these are drawn from the top of the contact deck. Any jobs drawn but not kept are placed in the discard pile.


Thematically speaking, the Contract Jumper job makes no real sense here. As a bit of Piracy, it seems that you're proving yourself to be the better ship, so I can see why you'd get to steal jobs. Niska, Patience and their ilk want to back winners.

Or perhaps the idea is that you're "proving yourself" by showing that you could get the drop on them?

Okay, in that context, I guess it makes sense, but if other negatives are in play, it seems very odd that a contact would offer you 3 jobs, but do other negative stuff to you.


Please keep in mind there already exist many thematic scenarios in the original game expansion that don't seem to make a lot of sense. For example Patience could give you a job to transport cattle from Athens to Sihnon, and she could give another captain a mission to steal your cargo to enrich themselves with the profit and cause you to fail your delivery. I wish I could answer why she would choose to do that, but it's a realistic scenario you could run into while playing the game. In another example, Amnon Duul offers you a job to Pirate any job (including ones which came from himself) from anyone you choose (even against moral captains) and he'll not only pay you for it but he'll become solid with you as well. To go even further, lets say one of the jobs you steal was given to the other captain by Niska, and you later replace it with a different job without completing it, Amnon Duul doesn't care one way or the other that you didn't complete it (even if it was an immoral job), and Niska doesn't even get upset at the captain he originally gave the job to for losing it. As you can see, piracy cards in general were hard to explain thematically before, and I don't believe my variant rules worsen this beyond the state it was already in.

Excellent point about the mechanics of stealing jobs when playing options 2 or 3 though. I'll need to come up with a different reward for completing piracy jobs for Amnon Duul that would work better there.

I should be able to get things updated sometime this evening. All changes mentioned so far are now complete.
 
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Jay Johnson
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Re: Piracy - Plundering Contacts
Badger does offer Immoral jobs (4 Immoral jobs out of the 45 total that he offers. Same percentage as Patience). And in the show, I wouldn't exactly call him Moral.
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John Coxon
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Re: Piracy - Plundering Contacts
Thanks Jay, good catch. I'll move him to the immoral list.
 
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George Krubski
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Re: Piracy - Plundering Contacts
Soltaris wrote:

Quote:
Piracy Boarding Tests
Resolve the Boarding Test as normal.


As a minor point, there are a small number of upgrades (possibly only 2) that would offer bonuses here. Seems odd that you're using your ship's mag grapplers to steal from Patience or Amnon Duul. Or perhaps I have the wrong impression. I was assuming that you're basically attacking their HQ... and the Boarding Test represents breaching security (which still names sense).


I think you have to overlook some of these strange thematic elements. Otherwise you'd have to limit when fast horses and several other cards could be used in the core game.
Quote:


Personally, I don't think Fast Horses is that strange. Very Firefly to have giant gun pulled around by a team of horses (for example)!

The ship upgrades are grapplers and an EVA suit, which DO strike me as odder. An easy enough fix - "Ship Upgrades do not apply" - but perhaps not necessary.

As a somewhat related point, if you remove the need for the contact to chose a specific skill, the Alliance Sonic Rifle is pointless (I believe it is the ONLY supply card from P&BH that does not have some non SHOWDOWN value). Any thoughts on a nerf? Of just forget the card (which I typically do when I play!)


[q]* Contacts are always presumed to have 3 Fuel, 1 Part, 2 Cargo available for piracy.


To be clear, I wasn't recommending that the rewards change, so much as simplifying what's available.

I get that you're trying to go for balance, but it seems oddly specific to me that EVERY contact has 3 Fuel, 1 Part, 2 Cargo...

Perhaps the simplest solution - which I think makes Piracy even more attractive - is to assume that Contacts have unlimited Goods. So you can steal whatever Goods you want, based on the limits of the card.

Quote:
Please keep in mind there already exist many thematic scenarios in the original game expansion that don't seem to make a lot of sense. For example Patience could give you a job to transport cattle from Athens to Sihnon, and she could give another captain a mission to steal your cargo to enrich themselves with the profit and cause you to fail your delivery.


Interestingly, that's one specific example that's not correct - you can't Pirate a rival with an active Patience job! However, your point does hold true for Badger and Niska. On the other hand, I DO believe that those guys would pit their crews against one another.

Doesn't mean there's not crazy stuff out there, but, to me, Contract Jumper still jumps out as an exception.

Quote:
Excellent point about the mechanics of stealing jobs when playing options 2 or 3 though. I'll need to come up with a different reward for completing piracy jobs for Amnon Duul that would work better there.


I see that you changed things up. I miss the uniqueness of tying Amnon to jobs. What if - regardless of optional circumstances - you can pull 3 jobs from Amnon Duul himself OR from any contacts you're Solid with? It changes the tone of the job a bit, but keeps Duul's unique angle intact.
 
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John Coxon
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Re: Piracy - Plundering Contacts
gwek wrote:

Personally, I don't think Fast Horses is that strange. Very Firefly to have giant gun pulled around by a team of horses (for example)!

The ship upgrades are grapplers and an EVA suit, which DO strike me as odder. An easy enough fix - "Ship Upgrades do not apply" - but perhaps not necessary.


This fix seems like it may be reasonable. I'd like to think about it a bit first.

Quote:

As a somewhat related point, if you remove the need for the contact to chose a specific skill, the Alliance Sonic Rifle is pointless (I believe it is the ONLY supply card from P&BH that does not have some non SHOWDOWN value). Any thoughts on a nerf? Of just forget the card (which I typically do when I play!)


I believe this could work if I reinstated my earlier rule: The skill the Contact chooses for the Showdown will be determined by a dice roll. 1-3 = Fight, 4-5 = Negotiate, 6 = Tech.

And then follow it up by something like: The Contacts skill level is reduced to 1/3 (round up) when using fight skill in a Showdown against an opponent who is using Kosherized rules.

But is this too much complexity just to keep one card useful against contacts? I'm curious what others thoughts are on this.

Quote:
* Contacts are always presumed to have 3 Fuel, 1 Part, 2 Cargo available for piracy.

Quote:

I get that you're trying to go for balance, but it seems oddly specific to me that EVERY contact has 3 Fuel, 1 Part, 2 Cargo...

Perhaps the simplest solution - which I think makes Piracy even more attractive - is to assume that Contacts have unlimited Goods. So you can steal whatever Goods you want, based on the limits of the card.


That wouldn't work for Niska, who's reward says you can steal up to ALL of Defenders Goods. Plus I don't want to make pirating contacts so lucrative that players would stop using these jobs against other players.

Quote:

Quote:
Please keep in mind there already exist many thematic scenarios in the original game expansion that don't seem to make a lot of sense. For example Patience could give you a job to transport cattle from Athens to Sihnon, and she could give another captain a mission to steal your cargo to enrich themselves with the profit and cause you to fail your delivery.


Interestingly, that's one specific example that's not correct - you can't Pirate a rival with an active Patience job! However, your point does hold true for Badger and Niska. On the other hand, I DO believe that those guys would pit their crews against one another.

Doesn't mean there's not crazy stuff out there, but, to me, Contract Jumper still jumps out as an exception.


I can't believe I missed that detail with the scenario with Patience. I wish I had used an example from Harken instead.

Quote:

Quote:
Excellent point about the mechanics of stealing jobs when playing options 2 or 3 though. I'll need to come up with a different reward for completing piracy jobs for Amnon Duul that would work better there.


I see that you changed things up. I miss the uniqueness of tying Amnon to jobs. What if - regardless of optional circumstances - you can pull 3 jobs from Amnon Duul himself OR from any contacts you're Solid with? It changes the tone of the job a bit, but keeps Duul's unique angle intact.


I really like this idea. I decided to modify it a little bit -- the player will get to draw jobs from the nearest contact other than the target. I figure they were probably keeping tabs on their neighbor and would be more likely to have information filed away relating to what was going on in their region of space.
 
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George Krubski
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Re: Piracy - Plundering Contacts
Soltaris wrote:

I believe this could work if I reinstated my earlier rule: The skill the Contact chooses for the Showdown will be determined by a dice roll. 1-3 = Fight, 4-5 = Negotiate, 6 = Tech.

And then follow it up by something like: The Contacts skill level is reduced to 1/3 (round up) when using fight skill in a Showdown against an opponent who is using Kosherized rules.

But is this too much complexity just to keep one card useful against contacts? I'm curious what others thoughts are on this.


It seems like a lot just for one piece of Gear.

How about an optional houserule: If you would force an opponent to use Kosherized Rules, they do not add a bonus for the turn count (or something like that)

Quote:
That wouldn't work for Niska, who's reward says you can steal up to ALL of Defenders Goods. Plus I don't want to make pirating contacts so lucrative that players would stop using these jobs against other players.


Even with Niska, you are still limited by the size of your Hold, same as with another player.

To me, pirating a contact SHOULD be more lucrative than pirating a rival captain, but with attendant additional risk. It's pirating Jabba's palace vs the Millennium Falcon.

An additional thought: Should Contacts get more powerful and/or have more resources as Jobs are completed for them? (ie, Mal does 3 Jobs for Badger... Sure, Mal makes money, but Badger makes a ton, too, and likely invests some of it in his organization's infrastructure)

 
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John Coxon
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Re: Piracy - Plundering Contacts
gwek wrote:
Soltaris wrote:

I believe this could work if I reinstated my earlier rule: The skill the Contact chooses for the Showdown will be determined by a dice roll. 1-3 = Fight, 4-5 = Negotiate, 6 = Tech.

And then follow it up by something like: The Contacts skill level is reduced to 1/3 (round up) when using fight skill in a Showdown against an opponent who is using Kosherized rules.

But is this too much complexity just to keep one card useful against contacts? I'm curious what others thoughts are on this.


It seems like a lot just for one piece of Gear.

How about an optional houserule: If you would force an opponent to use Kosherized Rules, they do not add a bonus for the turn count (or something like that)


Kosherized Fights only limit which sources of Fight Skill you may use. So in a PvP showdown, if I chose my negotiation skill to defend with, the special ability on that card shouldn't affect me. I feel the same would have to apply towards Contacts or the card would end up being too powerful.

Quote:

Quote:
That wouldn't work for Niska, who's reward says you can steal up to ALL of Defenders Goods. Plus I don't want to make pirating contacts so lucrative that players would stop using these jobs against other players.


Even with Niska, you are still limited by the size of your Hold, same as with another player.

To me, pirating a contact SHOULD be more lucrative than pirating a rival captain, but with attendant additional risk. It's pirating Jabba's palace vs the Millennium Falcon.


Unfortunately that goes against what I'm trying to accomplish. My main goal is to make piracy more popular and as accessible as possible, without reducing it's use in PvP or changing other game dynamics. I don't want to turn it into one of the strongest options toward victory. Consider how much you could potentially get with a couple of ship upgrades and the optimum crew/gear/ships that give bonuses to piracy or increase your cargo hold. Even without any bonuses or equipment, conservatively loading 10 cargo and selling it to Amnon Duul would gross $8000 (accounting for the piracy pay). Not to mention you wouldn't need to deal with misbehave cards or necessarily have to fly very far.

Quote:

An additional thought: Should Contacts get more powerful and/or have more resources as Jobs are completed for them? (ie, Mal does 3 Jobs for Badger... Sure, Mal makes money, but Badger makes a ton, too, and likely invests some of it in his organization's infrastructure)


At least for my group, this would be a lot more cumbersome to track. Players keep their first completed job for each contact under their ship card so they are scattered all around the table. The remaining completed jobs all get thrown unsorted into a box lid we use to collect all other cards which get removed from the game.
 
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John Coxon
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Re: Piracy - Plundering Contacts
Soltaris wrote:
gwek wrote:

Personally, I don't think Fast Horses is that strange. Very Firefly to have giant gun pulled around by a team of horses (for example)!

The ship upgrades are grapplers and an EVA suit, which DO strike me as odder. An easy enough fix - "Ship Upgrades do not apply" - but perhaps not necessary.


This fix seems like it may be reasonable. I'd like to think about it a bit first.



I decided against adding this restriction. Should the player employ those upgrades during the piracy, I imagine the stolen goods could be on board an orbiting base or ship that is either owned or contracted by the contact.
 
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George Krubski
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Re: Piracy - Plundering Contacts
Soltaris wrote:
Kosherized Fights only limit which sources of Fight Skill you may use. So in a PvP showdown, if I chose my negotiation skill to defend with, the special ability on that card shouldn't affect me. I feel the same would have to apply towards Contacts or the card would end up being too powerful.


You're right - I was trying to think a simple alternative for SOMETHING for the Sonic Rifles to negate. How about if you use the Sonic Rifles, you may roll two dice for a Showdown and chose the best? Or a flat +2. Or re-roll all 1s. Just SOMETHING to make the not entirely useless.

Quote:

Unfortunately that goes against what I'm trying to accomplish. My main goal is to make piracy more popular and as accessible as possible, without reducing it's use in PvP or changing other game dynamics. I don't want to turn it into one of the strongest options toward victory. Consider how much you could potentially get with a couple of ship upgrades and the optimum crew/gear/ships that give bonuses to piracy or increase your cargo hold. Even without any bonuses or equipment, conservatively loading 10 cargo and selling it to Amnon Duul would gross $8000 (accounting for the piracy pay). Not to mention you wouldn't need to deal with misbehave cards or necessarily have to fly very far.


That's fair. I guess my take is a little different. I would envision it as high risk, high reward, so that it CAN offer a giant payoff... but can also go catastrophically wrong. Not a replacement for PVP Piracy, just a variation.

I would argue also that making PVC (player vs contact) piracy very robust would potentially inspire more PVP piracy as folks try to poach off other players before they can sell off their big score.

For that to work, though, essentially requires that you lose Solid with the contact that you pirated, to avoid being able to sell to them.

What about tying Goods in with increasing resources (ie, using the "timer")? When you rob a contact, they have Goods available equal to X + (turn count/3), where X is probably something between 2 and 4. Thus, PVC piracy WILL pay off huge at the end, of the game, but other players will probably be in a better position to stop you.

Assuming X = 2, contacts would top out at 10 Goods at rounds 19-21, as the game is probably ending.

In a sense, though, PVC still has a unique flavor compared to PVP because you can pick the most optimal mix of Goods to steal. To some extent, this mirrors the Nav Cads added in BLUE SUN and KALIDASA, where you often have better rewards, but with deeper risk.
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John Coxon
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Re: Piracy - Plundering Contacts
gwek wrote:
Soltaris wrote:
Kosherized Fights only limit which sources of Fight Skill you may use. So in a PvP showdown, if I chose my negotiation skill to defend with, the special ability on that card shouldn't affect me. I feel the same would have to apply towards Contacts or the card would end up being too powerful.


You're right - I was trying to think a simple alternative for SOMETHING for the Sonic Rifles to negate. How about if you use the Sonic Rifles, you may roll two dice for a Showdown and chose the best? Or a flat +2. Or re-roll all 1s. Just SOMETHING to make the not entirely useless.


I agree having something would be nice and one of your ideas would certainly work. But the original card doesn't offer a static bonus -- sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn't. I'd like to capture the essence of that if possible so I came up with this: "When a player uses an Alliance Sonic Rifle in a Showdown against a Contact, the player may make a dice roll in lieu of using the ability printed on the card. A result of 4-6 reduces the Contact's skill check by 5."

It's a little simpler than what I had before. And I think it still captures the spirit of how the card is supposed to work when it's used against other players. What are your thoughts?

Quote:

Quote:

Unfortunately that goes against what I'm trying to accomplish. My main goal is to make piracy more popular and as accessible as possible, without reducing it's use in PvP or changing other game dynamics. I don't want to turn it into one of the strongest options toward victory. Consider how much you could potentially get with a couple of ship upgrades and the optimum crew/gear/ships that give bonuses to piracy or increase your cargo hold. Even without any bonuses or equipment, conservatively loading 10 cargo and selling it to Amnon Duul would gross $8000 (accounting for the piracy pay). Not to mention you wouldn't need to deal with misbehave cards or necessarily have to fly very far.


That's fair. I guess my take is a little different. I would envision it as high risk, high reward, so that it CAN offer a giant payoff... but can also go catastrophically wrong. Not a replacement for PVP Piracy, just a variation.

I would argue also that making PVC (player vs contact) piracy very robust would potentially inspire more PVP piracy as folks try to poach off other players before they can sell off their big score.

For that to work, though, essentially requires that you lose Solid with the contact that you pirated, to avoid being able to sell to them.

What about tying Goods in with increasing resources (ie, using the "timer")? When you rob a contact, they have Goods available equal to X + (turn count/3), where X is probably something between 2 and 4. Thus, PVC piracy WILL pay off huge at the end, of the game, but other players will probably be in a better position to stop you.

Assuming X = 2, contacts would top out at 10 Goods at rounds 19-21, as the game is probably ending.

In a sense, though, PVC still has a unique flavor compared to PVP because you can pick the most optimal mix of Goods to steal. To some extent, this mirrors the Nav Cads added in BLUE SUN and KALIDASA, where you often have better rewards, but with deeper risk.


I see this thread has really gotten your creative juices flowing! I'm very happy with the way this has turned out, thanks in large part to everyone who has contributed their thoughts and ideas. Although our scope for this project differs, I offer you my full permission to use the material I presented towards an alternate design or anything that you wish.
 
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