I only play the Standard version. My missus likes it also and its one of our fave 2 player games (also great at 3). We love the adventure type feel the standard game gives.
With that in mind i decided to come up with a variant to add one of my fave mechanics. In fortune and glory i liked the idea of the zeppelin flying around getting richer and richer until someone decides to kill it.
This variant uses the factory goods (they have a set sell amount in blue on back of token) and a spaceship token (i dont know what its called, it has a event symbol on otherside)components from the CLASSIC game. The space ship is the Merchant.
1: At the start of the game event cards are flipped until a card showing a planetary system number is revealed. The Merchant is placed in orbit around the system, first player chooses spot.
2: At the end of any players turn he rolls the purple die and moves the Merchant that distance in any direction of his choice.
3: The Merchant ignores all terrain but may go through telegates at active players option.
4: If when a event card is revealed that has a planetary system number on it, move the Merchant to the orbit of that system, active players choice of spot.
5: If you land on the Merchant in your move phase you may stop (as per asteroid) and make a 1 buy from the Merchant. The Merchant stocks 14 goods (the classic game factory goods). The active player chooses one of the goods remaining on the Merchant and pays the cost. These goods are removed from the game after being sold etc. They do not go back to the Merchant. So over time his stock will deplete.
6: The Merchant can be attacked. When a player ends his move phase on the Merchant he may make a Laser check. He immediately gains 1 infamy.
*If the laser check fails the active player takes 1 shield damage. If he has no shield he must trash a upgrade, good, passenger.
*If the laser check succeeds the Merchant is destroyed and removed from the board. He does not return to the game. The active player gets money equal to the round number x10 (300 credits at round 30...if he survives that long..).
7: Players must still encounter the space before the Merchant (ie: pirates)