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Subject: Clandestine Ops rss

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Justin Cole
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I'm making a Clandestine Ops deck.
You know:
Alliance jobs that are...

more shady in nature.


It relies on my Political Figures expansion for some of the jobs (more on that later).

Here is the card back:



I really like the back-of-card design made by plovas as seen in these cards:


And would LOVE the template used to make them.
(how do I tag a member?)

I welcome feedback on the card back and on the cards I have outlined below:

Quell food riot - x4
- immoral
- requires MERC or Soldier
- requires firearm
- pick up 4 cargo at Londinium
- travel to X
- Aim to misbehave 2x (corral the riot)
- 4 gun checks 4+ (execute ringleaders)
- Drop ring leaders and 4 cargo from flight as leaving.
- Return to CancerMan to get paid.
- Payout $??

U-Day Celebration - x2
- immoral? (is it? pro-alliance would see being browncoat friendly as immoral)
- Fly to X rim world
- talkie check 8+ to find most browncoat-friendly establishment
- aim to misbehave
- incite to violence (talkie roll)
- kosherized showdown (against????)
- if win - demand surrender (talkie 8+)
- if fail kosherized or surrender
- gun test 6+ to execute someone
- return to clandestine to get paid

Fightin' Independents - x5
- requires soldier or merc
- fly to X
- talkie to locate independent hold out militia
- showdown (against?)
- torch the compound (aim to misbehave)
- return to Clandestine to get paid

Remove From Play - x3 (one for each faction)
- SECRET MISSION (keep from other players)
- Hold mission until politican is in play; does not count against active job limit
- Intercept the politican on rival player's ship (boarding showdown)
- Terminate politican (violence showdown)
- Cover your tracks by plundering rival ship
- Return to Clandestine to get paid
- If politican transport succeeds - card can be surrendered or held until next opportunity

Protection - x6 (two for each faction)
- SECRET MISSION (keep from other players)
- Hold mission until politican is in play; does not count against active job limit
- Protect the politican on rival player's ship against assassination attempts
- Terminate any assassins (boarding showdown)
- Cover your tracks by plundering rival ship
- Return to Clandestine to get paid
- If politican transport fails - card can be surrendered or held until next opportunity

Punishment - x8 (Higgins, Harrow, Niska x2, Patience, Badger, Fanty & Mingo, Mr. Universe: 1 each)
- Intercept a ship doing a job for target.
- Commit piracy
- Visit target
- Negotiate with target
- if negotiations go well gain solid status (target is afraid)
- if negotiations are moderate; solid sttus is unchanged (target knows they're in trouble and not to mess with you)
- if negotiations go poorly; lose solid status and cannot get it back
- Return to Clandestine to get paid

Counterfitting Ring - x3
- Travel to target
- Talkie 10+ to uncover counterfitting ring
- 2 aim to misbehave
- Negotiate to get extra
- roll 3 dice; total x$100 is countrfit cash confiscated to your account.

Know too much - x3
- travel to planet
- talkie of 10+ to locate target
- showdown (against?)
- talkie 10+ to create questionable circumstances
- return to clandestine to get paid

Spy on Harken - x1
- fly to cruiser
- talkie 10+ to establish a spy
- go about your business for 10+ turns then return to cruiser
- talkie 10+ to collect intel
- return to clandestine to get paid

Reaver Hunt - (x3? - however many are left in deck)
- use establihed reaver hunt rules from other expansions
- return to clandestine to get paid.

Capture Reaver Vessel - x1
- ????
- Remove vessel from play
- Return to Clandestine to get paid

IF SOLID WITH CLANDESTINE MAY PURCHASE
Sniper rifle - x5

Armed Transport - x5
- 4 ground
- gunship

Pack o' Pistols - x5
multiple pistols for one price, equips up to that number of people with 1 firearm each





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Thorfinn Skullsplitter
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I don't have time now to go deep into the individual cards you proposed, so just some thoughts in general...

Figure out a specific thematic and mechanical hook for this Contact. Each of the existing ones have a unique identity both thematically and mechanically. For example all of Fanty and Mingo's Jobs have a second component, often a secondary drop-off, and all the names play on the 2/double/twin theme. They'll sell you Contraband, which is different, and is incentive to travel all the way out to see them - if you need Contraband, or want to start running Contraband between them and Badger or Niska.

So think about how you want this Contact to be different than the others.

I like the idea of this guy (honestly, it could be a gal - we could use a few more female Contacts) supplying weapons. And maybe that's part of the hook. Maybe this is something like a CIA "Air America" Contact. Call it "The 'Company'" or "The 'Agency'"...

Your proposed "Solid Ability" is #1 too much to fit on a card, and #2 not really feasible in the context of the game without a more lengthy explanation on the card. Guns in the game are in the form of cards in the decks. There are no gun tokens that you can hand out to Crew. There are also no armed transports. Perhaps an alternative ability might be something like "When Solid, may take a Deal Action to Buy a Firearm from any Discard."
 
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George Krubski
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I gotta say, Justin, between you and Phil, I'm really tempted to run back to my Operative deck, and to start another Legal-But-Shady Contact that I have an idea for...

Besides coming up with a hook, I think one of the first things you're going to want to do is take a look at existing Jobs to get a sense of how they're designed.

Although it's possible to come up with something different (GF9 did this with Mr. Universe and, to a lesser extent, some of the Jobs from KALIDASA), by default, Jobs have a pretty rigid structure.

Is it important to adhere to that structure? The answer depends on your intentions. When I design customs, verisimilitude is a key consdieration for me. I want my stuff to look and feel like "real" cards (right down to a ton of time spent on minutely adjusting font size, colors, placement, etc). If this is part of your objective, too, I encourage you to study existing Jobs.

I'll note a few key elements here, though.

1) Jobs are either 1-stage or 2-stage.

1-stage Jobs are Crime (Illegal) and Task (Legal), in which you go to a location and take a Work Action. If you are successful, the Job is complete and you get paid.

2-stage Jobs are more complicated, in that you must go to Location #1, pick up Something, and then deliver it to Location #2. At each location, you must take a Work Action. At Location #1, success means you Load Something, and at Location #2, you Deliver it, complete the Job, and get paid.

The "Something" that you're carrying defines the Job type. In general, Cargo = Shipping (Legal), Contraband = Smuggling (Illegal), Passengers = Transport (Legal), Fugitives = Transport (Illegal).


2) Most Jobs have a sidebar that provides complications. This can be requirements that you must meet before you can advance the Job, an ongoing element that impacts your ship while working the Job (such as Heavy Load), or a skill test that must be completed to successfully proceed on a given work Action (typically, the final Work Action of the Job).

Note that the skill tests are usually straightforward, offering either pass/fail options, or possibly differing grades of success (eg, the Tag & Bag Jobs that begin at Miranda).


3) Illegal Jobs are further complicated by Misbehaves. The number of Misbehaves varies from 1-4 and is typically dictated by a combination of Job type and Contact. Smuggling Jobs usually have only 1-2 Misbehaves (and only at one end), while Crime Jobs always have at least 2. Niska Jobs are more likely to have more Misbehaves (but also pay better).


4) You never need to return to the Contact to get paid. You are always paid immediately upon completion of the last step of the Job... although in some cases, you are paid in Goods that may not immediately help you.


I'm sure there's more, but that's a primer of some of the key stuff.

So, looking at one of your ideas, things would need to be simplified quite a bit to match the current model:

Quote:
Quell food riot - x4
- immoral


No changes necessary.

Quote:
- requires MERC or Soldier
- requires firearm


This would fill the side-bar role as a requirement for the job. The either/or is a minor complication, but do-able. Currently, there are Jobs with requirements of A or B, but I don't know if there are any of A *and* B or C.

Quote:
- pick up 4 cargo at Londinium
- travel to X


So far so good... although THEMATICALLY, I'd recommend a change in venue. Londinium is the capitol, sure, but a lot of it's goods are imported. Harvest and Hera are the "breadbasket" planets of the 'Verse. (Again, if you look at the jobs in detail, you can see these trends and understand the significance of each planet - and almost every planet DOES actually have a hook!).

Quote:
- Aim to misbehave 2x (corral the riot)
- 4 gun checks 4+ (execute ringleaders)
- Drop ring leaders and 4 cargo from flight as leaving.


So, here's where things get complicated. First, this appears to be a Legal Job, and Legal Jobs don't require Misbehaves. If you want to add them, you can, of course, but it's at the expense of the balance of the current balance.

Now, after the Misbehaves, you have a skill test, and I can tell you from experience that there's not really room for that on the card. You can drop the requirements and put this in (either as a skill test, or as a possible optional bonus Work Action, like some of the Mingo & Fanty Jobs), but something's gotta give.

Quote:
- Return to CancerMan to get paid.
- Payout $??


As noted, in Firefly, you get paid immediately. If you want to change that for this guy, you can, but you're making it a 3-step Job now, which most folks will be loathe to take unless the payout is really, really good.

Consider that a typical 1-step Job requires at least 3 Actions: Deal to get the Job, Fly to the location, Work the Job. A 2-step Job requires at least 5 Actions: Deal, Fly, Work at Location 1, Fly to Location 2, Work again. Adding another stage - returning to the Contact - will add 2 more Actions, making these jobs potentially require SEVEN Actions. Given that they typical game is geared to last about 20 rounds, you only get 40 Actions in a game. It's though to think about spending 1/6th of the game on a single job (and that assumes that nothing goes wrong).

With respect to what will fit on a card, although you can certainly look at existing cards, I'm including some of my own here for reference, since I've done everything I can to shoehorn as much stuff as possible onto a single card without breaking something!






 
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Justin Cole
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Scarbuck wrote:

I like the idea of this guy (honestly, it could be a gal - we could use a few more female Contacts) supplying weapons. And maybe that's part of the hook. Maybe this is something like a CIA "Air America" Contact. Call it "The 'Company'" or "The 'Agency'"...

A female contact is a good idea. I went with the guy I went with as a nod to the old X-Files. That's the dude who showed up from time to time to tell Mulder and Scully stuff that was not, exactly, official.
Here are some alternate versions:

















Scarbuck wrote:

Your proposed "Solid Ability" is #1 too much to fit on a card, and #2 not really feasible in the context of the game without a more lengthy explanation on the card. Guns in the game are in the form of cards in the decks. There are no gun tokens that you can hand out to Crew. There are also no armed transports. Perhaps an alternative ability might be something like "When Solid, may take a Deal Action to Buy a Firearm from any Discard."

I see what you are saying here.
Being Solid with Clandestine means you can buy equipment from them when it is available.
I think the Pack-o-Pistols will work well when the card is completed. It will make sense (I am confident, but I thoroughly look forward to a discussion on it when I post a sample card)
 
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Justin Cole
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gwek wrote:

2) Most Jobs have a sidebar that provides complications. This can be requirements that you must meet before you can advance the Job, an ongoing element that impacts your ship while working the Job (such as Heavy Load), or a skill test that must be completed to successfully proceed on a given work Action (typically, the final Work Action of the Job).

Note that the skill tests are usually straightforward, offering either pass/fail options, or possibly differing grades of success (eg, the Tag & Bag Jobs that begin at Miranda).


3) Illegal Jobs are further complicated by Misbehaves. The number of Misbehaves varies from 1-4 and is typically dictated by a combination of Job type and Contact. Smuggling Jobs usually have only 1-2 Misbehaves (and only at one end), while Crime Jobs always have at least 2. Niska Jobs are more likely to have more Misbehaves (but also pay better).

I plan to manipulate my general ideas into this format (if possible). At the moment they are just job concepts that I am working on in my head.

Quote:

4) You never need to return to the Contact to get paid. You are always paid immediately upon completion of the last step of the Job... although in some cases, you are paid in Goods that may not immediately help you.

I know. I want to make this something different. Something enticing, but also annoying.

Quote:

Quote:
- pick up 4 cargo at Londinium
- travel to X


So far so good... although THEMATICALLY, I'd recommend a change in venue. Londinium is the capitol, sure, but a lot of it's goods are imported. Harvest and Hera are the "breadbasket" planets of the 'Verse. (Again, if you look at the jobs in detail, you can see these trends and understand the significance of each planet - and almost every planet DOES actually have a hook!).

My intent here is that the food bars are collected at an alliance facility. You have a great point, though. I could even make them different locations for each mission to make them slightly different.

Quote:

Quote:
- Aim to misbehave 2x (corral the riot)
- 4 gun checks 4+ (execute ringleaders)
- Drop ring leaders and 4 cargo from flight as leaving.


So, here's where things get complicated. First, this appears to be a Legal Job, and Legal Jobs don't require Misbehaves. If you want to add them, you can, of course, but it's at the expense of the balance of the current balance.

Now, after the Misbehaves, you have a skill test, and I can tell you from experience that there's not really room for that on the card. You can drop the requirements and put this in (either as a skill test, or as a possible optional bonus Work Action, like some of the Mingo & Fanty Jobs), but something's gotta give.

my big concern is room on the card.
Also, I'm in the very shady area here. If above-board Alliance were in the area they would, without a doubt, consider most of the actions from CLandestine to be illegal. The jobs themselves would be disavowed if the players were caught or killed. Hence the idea of "legal" jobs that really arent'.
I don't have a better idea at the moment on how to resolve this. I do welcome all the input so that I can improve the mechanics of it.

Quote:

Quote:
- Return to CancerMan to get paid.
- Payout $??


As noted, in Firefly, you get paid immediately. If you want to change that for this guy, you can, but you're making it a 3-step Job now, which most folks will be loathe to take unless the payout is really, really good.

That's my intent :-)
I made a couple of jobs not count against hand limit. I may increase the hand limit by 1 for all Clandestine jobs to offset the extra involvement. I also need to figure out WHERE Clandestine operates from. Do I want it in the core or somewhere outside?

Quote:

Consider that a typical 1-step Job requires at least 3 Actions: Deal to get the Job, Fly to the location, Work the Job. A 2-step Job requires at least 5 Actions: Deal, Fly, Work at Location 1, Fly to Location 2, Work again. Adding another stage - returning to the Contact - will add 2 more Actions, making these jobs potentially require SEVEN Actions. Given that they typical game is geared to last about 20 rounds, you only get 40 Actions in a game. It's though to think about spending 1/6th of the game on a single job (and that assumes that nothing goes wrong).

This is all good information I hadn't thought of. I noticed there have been some efforts at making campaign rules and, given how long even simple scenarios take, I am thinking that that may be an essential mechanic for more complicated situations. I am ok with Clandestine deck being set aside except for larger, longer games.

With respect to the sample cars - I am looking at all the cards:-)

I may have a bit of a problem with wanting to have ALL of them in my kit.
 
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Justin Cole
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Re: Clandestine Ops - some additional card ideas
Being solid with clandestine

AGENT RENTAL - Ignore Crew Limit; Automatically return to deck when getting paid (these agents are available for less money up-front and equal amount out of the payout at the end but they are only for use on Clandestine jobs and only available for ONE job before returning to the deck)
- nameless mercs x20 fight x1, counts as firearm
- heavy merc x5 fight x1, counts as explosives
- covert merc x5 fight x1, kosherized
-


IF SOLID WITH CLANDESTINE MAY PURCHASE (this will be indicated on the cards)
Former Companion Agent x5 - MERC
Soldier x 5
Heavy soldier x5 (counts as firearm)
Rocket launcher x4 (counts as firearm and explosives)
Spy x5 (high talkie score)


 
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