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Firefly: The Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Piracy Variant rss

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Gordon Christopher
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I just started playing with Blue Sun, and I like the way it expands the role of the reavers to increase player interaction. Although PBH increased interaction, I have found that when not playing specific scenarios, I do not often work piracy jobs.

I was thinking of a new variant, where Piracy jobs are removed from the job deck and placed out for all to see. You can't work them from normal deals. However, if you are solid with a contact, you are at liberty to work a piracy job for them at any time as long as you don't have 3 active jobs.

I.E. I'm solid with badger, and flying around. On this turn, another ship is close by who I could beat in a showdown. I am only working 2 jobs. I therefore, swoop in and attempt a piracy job. If I win, I take the standard 6 goods you get from a badger job. I

I think this would increase interaction, thin the job decks, and make piracy a more viable alternative.
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Mark McG
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I think that isn't a bad idea. Part of the problem of piracy jobs is they take up a slot in your hand of 3 jobs. Since piracy is usually a crime of opportunity, an open rack of piracy jobs would encourage Piracy.

 
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Darin Bolyard
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I like this idea as well...to a degree. But I have some doubts.

I really like the idea of having a hidden agenda. That would be mostly lost in this variant. If piracy jobs are always splayed out, and as long as you are weaker than another opponent, then you can be certain you're vulnerable--that is, as soon as stronger players are solid with a contact. But then there's the rub again. If you may only conduct piracy once solid with a contact, then perhaps you'll actually see fewer piracy jobs or, at best about the same as you do now.

We always play that if you draw a piracy job when dealing, you have the option to immediately discard it and draw another. This tends to place plenty of piracy jobs in the discard piles. The only scenarios in which players rarely do this are when playing the story cards that bring piracy to the forefront, or at least make it more legit.

I like the idea of continuing to play as we do, but perhaps add a portion of your variant: Once solid with a contact, a player may complete piracy jobs from that contact's discard pile in addition to piracy jobs from your hand. Being able to do this only when your hand is not maxed is probably a good idea too.

Consider this: If you take away the option to conduct piracy through normal dealing with contacts, you may actually limit how much piracy is conducted, and you wipe away some nice theme. Piracy is just the thing Niska may want to see from a fledgling captain to show how far he/she's willing to go for him. After all, piracy may gain the attention of the alliance when it fails (warrant issued), but successful piracy is an even greater offense against your opponents, and may carry greater consequences than a measly warrant--i.e. REVENGE.

Furthermore, a "pirate" going after another "pirate" (PVP whistle) is less likely to draw attention to a contact than...say...a captain and his crew stealing a heavily guarded shipment of medicine. Those were high stakes for Mr. Niska. Or consider his nephew "needing a lift." Is it not more likely that he would rather have a solid captain on that job vs. sending that solid captain to conduct some measly piracy?
 
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Gordon Christopher
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We are going to play test it sometime soon. I see your concern, but i don;t like the idea of auto discarding piracy. Also, I like the idea that piracy is a little more opportunistic in this variant. Maybe however you limit people to the number of times they can do this? Or maybe it just means people have to prepare for showdowns and use their stash more.
 
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George Krubski
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Did you get to playtest yet, GC?

I too have some concerns about how this would play out. On one hand, I think Piracy is pretty hard to pull off in the current game. On the other - is that such a bad thing? Piracy ISN'T what Firefly is all about, after all.

I feel like there could be a happy medium, but I'm not sure what it is.
 
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Mark McG
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I'd suggest the simplest solution would be to make a Story Card that creates an opportunity rack of Piracy jobs, and probably make a Story Goal to undertake a successful Piracy job.

If that works out, then look at the more general variant.
 
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Gordon Christopher
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Haven't played yet...hopefully next week...its hard to get firefly to the table as often as I would like.
 
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I like the core of this idea.

I find Piracy in Firefly to be toothless. And maybe even misguided.

You have to have the right Piracy card in exactly the right situation or the chance will pass you by. And even if you do, it will most likely not do you much good. Or hurt your opponent. Piracy as is, simply is not set up to be an opportunist's game.

Sure you can keep a couple of inactive piracy jobs in your hand and hope to activate these but this will most likely impact your possibility of fulfilling other jobs and ultimately the goals of the story card.

Otherwise you'll have to fly to a contact to mine the piracy job and then hunt the leader/opponent down. That will take you off track and put you even further behind in the race. And not just behind the leader but everyone else as well. No-one will of course do this.

And yet if you somehow manage to catch up, your opponent gets the chance to put all his most precious cargo in the stash before the attack so your strike is just in thin air.

However, I do appreciate the notion of the unknown, i e not knowing if that ship that just entered your sector have piracy in mind. And I don't believe a unrestricted free for all is the way to go, I've tried that in a four player game and it was pure carnage. Ideally a compromise between these two ideas would have to be made.

So is there some way to balance this? The possibility to slow down a player without losing to much yourself.

Maybe a seperate hand for piracy jobs. Maybe one "free" piracy job for each solid contact. Or maybe it is in what you can steal:

I've noticed that stealing goods are seldom of actual interest to the pirate. I'd like to see the possibility of stealing money, gear and/or ship upgrades. Maybe even shanghai a crewmember! Now, that would suddenly make piracy attractive! Perhaps even too attractive...

arrrh
 
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