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Blake Lindsey
United States
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Here is a house rule I've started using that brings a note of humor into a situation in which, frankly, I've already felt pain and lost a ship:

Once per turn, a Deck Fire Control Roll (particularly one where the fire is near being out of control) can be prefaced by a Chief's Coffee Roll (1d6).

On 1-4, the Section Chief of the section being rolled for did not spill his coffee during the impact of the plane which caused the damage. His world is secure, and he faces the danger and the possibility of death with the levelheadedness common to the Khaki Brigade. This gives the player a -1 bonus on the Fire Control roll.

On a 5-6, the Section Chief did, in fact, spill his coffee during the impact. His world is askew; he is irritated and slightly disoriented---he is staring into the Abyss for the first time in his career, and his performance is lessened, as it is in those he directs. The player suffers a +1 penalty on the Fire Control roll.

So, it's a simple roll that may help (or may doom) your efforts. Even though Picket Duty is merely a sim, it still sucks when you lose a ship, particularly one you've already held together for a month or so of game time. At least with the Chief's Coffee Roll, you get one last chance to save a ship that is on its last Fire Control Roll, or at least if you fail you get one last chuckle on your way to Davy Jones.
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