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Subject: Set-Up a la carte rss

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George Krubski
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In Scarbuck's thread about Set-Up for his Star Trek re-skin, he discussed the idea of moving from one card to multiple cards for layout purposes, but that lead to a discussion about the idea of mix-and-match Set-Up.

So I took a look at existing Set-Up cards to see how Firefly breaks down, and to see if it would be feasible to do an "a la carte" Set-Up process.

SET-UP for Firefly includes 7 elements in a (generally) specific order, as well as some "wild cards." With one exception (and wild cards that change the overall flow), all elements are currently binary - either the standard version is used or there is one other option.

1) NAV DECKS are either "standard" set-up, or include the Reshuffle cards regardless of number of players. It is worth noting that the ONLY Set-Up card that uses "standard" Set-Up for this is the initial one, making it, essentially, the exception rather than the rule. I would actually argue that if the game were to be revisited in a meaningful way, NAV DECKS don't really belong in set-up. The only time the reshuffle cards are really removed is if you're using only the Core Map and only 3 players or less.

2) ALLIANCE & REAVER SHIPS: Again, there is only one exception (although here, it's a legitimate exception!) - inclusion of Alert Tokens during set-up.

3) CHOOSE SHIPS & LEADERS: Standard vs Browncoat Way.

4) GOAL OF THE GAME: The only thing that changes here is timing. For some Set-Up Cards, there Story Card is chose as Step 1. As noted in a recent discussion, maybe people play this way by default, despite the order of the Set-Up Cards.

5) STARTING SUPPLIES: Again, two options (although one of the wild cards affects this) - standard vs Browncoat Way, where it's actually referred to as "Starting Capitol."

6) STARTING JOBS is the factor with the most variability, with 5 different options across 6 Set-Up cards:

--Deal Core Game Contacts
--Deal Expansion Contacts
--No Starting Jobs
--"Legal" Version: Harken, Amnon Duul, Patience
--Pick your own: 3 from any one Contact of your choice

7) PRIMING THE PUMP: Standard (3 cards) vs Double Dip (6 cards)

WILD CARDS: Looking at only the Set-Up Cards there are three of these: STRIP-MINING (which could be folded into STARTING RESOURCES), RIM SPACE JOBS (which could be folded into STARTING JOBS), and THERE'S ONLY SO MUCH TIME (which, arguably, goes to GOAL OF THE GAME).

But wait... there's more!

If we look at the Story Cards, many of them include Set-Up Elements.

Awful Lonely in the Big Black offers three distinct elements:

* Picking a starting Crew (STARTING RESOURCES)

* Timer (essentially the same as THERE'S ONLY SO MUCH TIME)

* Solo Turn rules (completely unique)

First Time in the Captain's Chair gives yet another spin on STARTING JOBS (Harken & Amnon Duul only).

Desperadoes gives an interesting, crime-centric wild card where Illegal Jobs pay more, you start with a Warrant, but can't deal with Harken.

The Choices We Make and Another Man's Treasure offer a PvP-rich option by getting Piracy Jobs into play early. The latter also gives us one version of Havens, while Any Port In a Storm offers another.

Any Port In a Storm also offers a variety of other options, including all players starting with a Warrant (a sub-set of the Desperadoes set-up), Increased Enforcement, and Safe Harbor.

Down and Out offers a variant we've already seen a few times (players start with a Warrant) as well as a whole new way to deal with Jobs. Unlike some cards below, although this IS tied to victory conditions, it could theoretically be used as a separate Set-Up element in other stories.


Additionally, a few other cards offer Set-Up elements, but they are so tied to the Story Card that they couldn't be separated out. This includes Jail Break, The Great Recession, The Well's Run Dry, It's All in Who You Know, and Where the Wind Takes Us. In most, if not all, cases, the Set-Up changes here are directly tied to victory conditions of the Story Card.






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George Krubski
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So where does all this leave the idea of an a la carte set-up?

1) NAV DECKS - Removed from set-up.

Default becomes including Reshuffle Cards unless only using the Core Map with 3 players or less.

2) ALLIANCE & REAVER SHIPS - Removed from set-up.

Inclusion of Alert Tokens during Set-Up becomes a wild card.

3) CHOOSE SHIPS & LEADERS - Remains as a Set-Up element.

* Traditional form
* Browncoat Way (note that this impacts Starting Supplies)

4) GOAL OF THE GAME: Potentially removed from Set-Up and becomes a wild card?

The only thing that changes here is timing. For some Set-Up Cards, there Story Card is chose as Step 1. As noted in a recent discussion, maybe people play this way by default, despite the order of the Set-Up Cards.

5) STARTING SUPPLIES - Remains as a Set-Up element.

* Traditional form
* Starting Capitol (cash rather than Parts and Fuel)
* Strip Mining/The Blitz
* Starting Crew (per Solo Rules)

6) STARTING JOBS - Remains as a Set-Up element.

* Deal Core Game Contacts
* Deal Expansion Contacts
* No Starting Jobs
* "Legal" Version: Harken, Amnon Duul, Patience (possible variant removes Patience)
* Pick your own: 3 from any one Contact of your choice
* Down and Out: "shared" hand of Jobs

7) PRIMING THE PUMP - Remains as a Set-Up element.

* Standard
* Double Dip

8) WILD CARDS - Includes some broad categories

* Alert Tokens
--in all Planetary Sectors
--in some Planetary Sectors
* Change timing of Story Card selection (before or after Leader/Ship selection)
* Timer/There's Only So Much Time
* Rim Space Jobs only (potentially fold into Starting Jobs)
* Crime Jobs pay +$1000 (possibly includes not Dealing with Harken?)
* Receive a Warrant when completing Illegal Jobs.
* All players begin with a Warrant.
* Havens
--in Border Space, can't be Boarded
--in Alliance Space, Alliance Cruiser can't enter
--Take Shore Leave and Buy Fuel (Friends in Low Places)
* PVP rich: All Piracy Jobs are in discard piles at beginning of play (potentially fold into Starting Jobs)



Ultimately, I think it would be very easy to do an a la card Set-Up by establishing standards for some of these, then:

1) Leaders/Ships
2) Starting Resources
3) Starting Jobs
4) Wild Cards (pick a few; includes some of the exceptions from other choices)

So, in theory, you could wind up with a Set-Up where you select Ships & Leaders via The Browncoat Way, then add Starting Resources via Strip-Mining, but don't get any Starting Jobs because everyone's Down and Out.

And maybe Crime Pays (+$1000 per Illegal Job) and you can run to your Safe Harbor Haven to hide from the Alliance Cruiser.
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Thorfinn Skullsplitter
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Thank you sir. That's amazing. That breakdown and the forthcoming in depth analysis are precisely what I need but am really crappy at.

You are the man. Only not the bad, government man meaning. The cool meaning.
 
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Thorfinn Skullsplitter
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Timing is everything...

Very cool breakdown. Will now be spending time at work playing with Star Trek Set Up cards instead of working.shake
 
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Steven Miller
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Glad I'm not the only one thinking this way George. I put this up a while back which has a similar idea:-
https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/126831/ultimate-setup-car...

I've got a much better version of it now, sized to match a normal story card with the background. The problem is I filled it with every great idea I came across in these forums. I didn't think to remember the person to credit for the idea, so if I put it up now it, looks like I stole their ideas. Perhaps I can PM you the file so you can tell me if I crossed the line. Actually I think most of the ideas are yours (You are the most prolific poster), so maybe you can take ownership of it? I only pulled things together.

I don't want to de-rail this, so as an on topic thought, what if you random rolled the rules used each game? Someone good at math want to let us know how many combinations of games this could make?
 
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George Krubski
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Steve, thanks for including the link. If I've cribbed your work, I apologize! Looks like there's some stuff that you've got that I may have missed. I'll have to take a closer look.

I'd definitely be interested in seeing your newer version!
 
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Darin Bolyard
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I'm lovin' where this is going. We've not followed any single setup card from top to bottom for quite a while. Rather we've settled into what's become our standard setup, and that may change based upon the competency of the players at the table. I'm not a huge fan of the random setup option, but I think chasing that rabbit can lead to some fabulous ideas.
 
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Gerald Bocook
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TuffLuck wrote:
I don't want to de-rail this, so as an on topic thought, what if you random rolled the rules used each game? Someone good at math want to let us know how many combinations of games this could make?


From just the options tied to the cards that gwek limed up? Over 1,300. 1,344, if I am to be precise (and my math to be trustworthy (it's entirely possible I missed a modifier.))

I feel like I had more to contribute here, but now I can't remember squat. Ah, well.
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Thorfinn Skullsplitter
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Thank you Spock.

 
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Thorfinn Skullsplitter
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Gwek (or anyone else), did you ever end up playing around more with this one?
 
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George Krubski
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I'd like to get back to this one at some point, but it rated pretty low on my poll about what projects of mine people were interested in, so I moved it to the back-burner for a bit.
 
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