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Starship Catan» Forums » Variants

Subject: Space junk variant: game will now take less time to finish. rss

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Vincent White
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I like the Catan games and I like aliens and space ships. So I thought that Starship Catan would be fun. Well it was fun, but something was missing. The game seemed to drag toward the end and it overstayed its welcome. To fix this I tried just playing to 7 victory points and to some extent that fixed the problem, but there was still something missing.
We actually played Starship after watching the whole season 1 of Firefly on dvd; and we kind of felt like we were in control of our own Serenity ships, fighting off pirates and trying to make a living doing some trade. That is where I got the idea to come up with a side board that would offer more choices but shorten the game length.

Here is a picture of the boards I created using Microsoft paint:



The board can be cut in two on the first blue line that goes horizontally across the middle of the image.

The worlds on the bottom and on the right represent the sectors of the galaxy you explore in the standard game. (the 4 stacks of cards)

The idea of the variant is that you can complete contracts with the alien races by cleaning up their sections of the galaxy. Each section has ships that are big piles of floating space debris represented by the resource or upgrade you will get if you stop and collect it. For each space you choose to stop on you will get to keep the resource and also put a marker on the bottom board for the sector and resource type you cleaned.
If you clean all of one type of resource out of the 4 sectors of space, you will get a victory point as a reward. You can only collect each resource or upgrade once.

If you choose to leave a sector of the galaxy(explore a different stack of cards) your ship stops its advance along the first track you were exploring. To make it to the end of the track you are exploring you have to go fly all the way without being beat by a pirate. A pirate fight that ends in failure will put your ship marker at the beginning of the track you were exploring.

If you do make it to the end of the board in sectors one and 2 you get a reward. In sector one it is 4 resources of your choice. In sector 2 it is 10 astros. Sectors 1 and 2 also have colony ships that you can salvage(once per player)

The ends of sectors 3 and 4 give you a chance to buy a victory point. Sector 3, any 4 resources will get you a point. Sector 4, paying 10 astros will buy you a victory point. Sector 3 and 4 also have a level 2 booster to salvage or a level 2 cannon to salvage.

I find that this speeds up the overall length of the game and adds some nice extra choices for the player.

Give it a try, all you need is to print the image, cut it in half, and use pennies and nickles to mark the track and to keep your place in space.









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Steve H
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Addison
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this sounds like a fun variant to try. We (being the missus & I) haven't played Starship in a LONG time and were discussing games to play this weekend. I'll be interested to hear what others feel after they give your mod a try.
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Vincent White
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I had fun with it, I played it only twice, but enjoyed it. I would appreciate any feedback from others willing to try.
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Vince Lupo
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ALEXANDRIA
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I don't fully understand this variant you are proposing. Can you describe an example couple turns related to this board? Perhaps a turn starting a new sector. And another turn finishing a sector?

I don't understand how you "clean up" the resources in there.

Thanks.
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Vincent White
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The board on the top has 4 planet rows that represent the 4 space secors(card stacks) in the game. Lets suppose you are exploring card stack #1 and you move 3 spaces. Not only do you perform your regular actions in the game but you also collect the resource you landed on on the top board as you move a ship 3 spaces to the left of planet 1. To collect you have to stop on it. This means you would also stop your advance in the regular space sector(in this case you only had 3 spaces to move and chose to move maximum spaces).

You now put a marker of the resource you cleaned up(collected from the top board) on the corresponding place on the bottom board. When you cleaned up the same resource type from all sectors you will have completed a row in the bottom board and made the aliens of the galaxy happy and they reward you with a victory point.

Of course you dont have to try and clean up all resources in all sectors. You could stay in one sector if you choose and try to get the prize at the end of that sector.

Hope that clears things up.
Let me know,
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Peaceful Gamin'
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After a 3 year hiatus, we returned to the game, although with many changes (see our posts here in the variant section, Produce with all colonies at all times, How many Galactic Advisory Council Adventure Cards do you use) and now we like it.
We'll try your variant. May we suggest, you also upload it to the files section here for this game?
Especially, can you upload the PSD or pdf version of the board in high res?
thx!
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Vincent White
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salish99 wrote:
After a 3 year hiatus, we returned to the game, although with many changes (see our posts here in the variant section, Produce with all colonies at all times, How many Galactic Advisory Council Adventure Cards do you use) and now we like it.
We'll try your variant. May we suggest, you also upload it to the files section here for this game?
Especially, can you upload the PSD or pdf version of the board in high res?
thx!


All I have is a JPEG version of this and don't have the software to convert it to a PDF.

Sorry. Any tips on conversion?
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Vincent White
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My son and I played this varient last night.
What we did instead of stopping your progress in a sector to pick up the "junk" we made it require an action.

So as I advanced my pawn through a sector of space, I could use an action up to pick up the junk I was passing through.

This varient had a natural feel too it. It also added some difficult choices.

My son targeted sectors 3 and 4, to the go to the end and get victory points.
I went for boosters and building my actions up via command center. I then went to clean up space junk for victory points.

He had the lead and got to 9 to my 6 victory point. I think he was one or two turns from getting to 11VP, but I was able to come from behind after cleaning up a couple full sectors of space, stole his hero of the people and built some level 2 modules to get a quick victory point avalanche, where everything just came together at the end.

Close game, we both felt the varient is smoothly integrated and works well.
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