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Space Pirates - Scenario ideas

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questccg
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Okay so the scenario is about "Space Pirates" and I have been looking for ideas to be able to realize this scenario.

So let me explain the basics and maybe then some of you pro designers can suggest some ideas.

First let's explain the basics:

  • The purpose of the scenario is to have one player play the role of the "Space Pirates" and the others to play against.
  • There will be a hidden "Pirate Starbase" card hidden in one of the player's Planet cards. The other players will have dummy moons.
  • If the Starbase appears before that player is out of the game, the players win the game. If a player is destroyed and had the Starbase, the players lose the game and the Space Pirate player wins.

That's what I have.

What I need are some ideas about how to "implement" the "Space Pirates".

Some things you should know:

  1. There are a maximum of 4 players per game, so 3 + 1 Space Pirates.
  2. There is a minimum of 2 players...
  3. Each player only has 18 HP for their base (Homeworld).
  4. Each player may have at most 4 starships (at any given time).

Anyone with some ideas - I am also reflecting more about how I should implement such a scenario...

questccg
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My challenges

One of the issues I am facing is how to utilize "Space Pirate" starships such that they can take on let's say three (3) other opponents.

The other thing is Players have three (3) turns vs. the "Space Pirates" only one (1) turn...

Although there is no way that the "Space Pirate" player can get eliminated (aside from uncovering the Pirate Starbase), which means that even if the other players are "stronger" at times, doesn't mean losing the game...

stevebarkeruk
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Rather than having the space

Rather than having the space pirate take a turn in order with everyone else so they have 1 turn for 3 of the players', why not just have them be active on every player turn?

That way they get 3 "turns", in effect. Their part of the turn should be less intensive than that of the players so it's not exhausting but this is how a lot of "many vs one" games work.

andymakespasta
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Can you explain again?

I'm not sure I understood that right

In a game with 3+1 players, one of the 3 players has the pirate star base card in their deck. The pirate has to eliminate that person before they get to that card?
I don't really understand the basics.

questccg
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You understood correctly

andymakespasta wrote:
I'm not sure I understood that right

In a game with 3+1 players, one of the 3 players has the pirate star base card in their deck. The pirate has to eliminate that person before they get to that card?

Well from what you wrote, you seem to understand EXACTLY the mechanic proposed for winning the scenario (by the other players).

So yes, in a 4 player game, 1 player will be the "Space Pirates" (SP) and the other 3 will randomly have one (1) starbase added to their Planet deck. That deck is only 15 cards - but switching Planets, means you need to accomplish a mission.

Mission cards run from 30, 28, 24, 18, and 10 points respectively. And take 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 turns to complete. The SP Player can also win by stealing the most amount of points (by reaching 200 points). This is another victory condition.

And yes the goal is to eliminate the player with the "starbase". But none of the player know who that is. So there is a luck factor also. The odds go from 33%, 50%, 100% depending on the number of players remaining in the game. For example, in a 2 player game, one is the SP Player and the other is the one with the "starbase".

questccg
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Other challenges

stevebarkeruk wrote:
Rather than having the space pirate take a turn in order with everyone else so they have 1 turn for 3 of the players', why not just have them be active on every player turn?

That way they get 3 "turns", in effect. Their part of the turn should be less intensive than that of the players so it's not exhausting but this is how a lot of "many vs one" games work.

That's an interesting idea. I had not checked any "many vs. one" games... But your idea makes sense... Especially if what the "Space Pirates" (SP) Player can act on each player turn.

I still have things that don't seem to "work".

  1. IF the SP Player is allowed (highest # of starships) + 1 starships, that means he starts the game with 1 starship. This is not good because the other players will need time to build their deck and amass some cards before they can launch a starship...
  2. Why I wanted the "+1"? Well it means that in most cases the SP Player will be able to attack one of the other players. Because he can "combo" his starships to attack another opponent.
  3. I thought about a rule like, for the first five (5) rounds, the SP player cannot attack. But this sounds dumb to me...

One interesting though last night was "Inverting" the Missions. Instead of going 10, 18, 24, 28, and 30 (1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 respectively), I inverted the order. Why? Well because it takes 5 turns to finish a 30 point mission. From the monetary gain that's 6 points per turn. BUT the 10 points/1 turn is 10 points + it switches missions allowing you to move through your Planet deck QUICKER!!!

And that means you will either encounter a "dead" moon or the starbase quicker! If you encounter the moon, all that means is that you need to HELP your other players in trying to uncover the starbase...!

Update: What I like about the "micro" turns (3 vs 1) is that in a way the SP Player can choose what he does on that turn. It doesn't always mean that he will be on the attack (for example). Sometimes it might be time to re-build an armada, other times it will be to raid a Tradeship... etc.

questccg
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Trouble with initial "build up"

My problem at the moment is rather simple:

The three (3) Non-Pirate players need time to build their deck before they can launch missions to attempt to find the "Ultra Secret Pirate Starbase". How many turns, well that can vary per player and is ultimately defined by the scenario itself.

So if the first starship is at 15 points, that means player need a minimum of 5 turns with their initial cards.

Meanwhile my Space Pirate (SP) needs to have something to do DURING those SAME 5 turns... It's pretty lame to just be forced to WAIT until the sixth turn... So I am thinking that the SP Player should ALSO be building his deck also!

But the rules are different: instead of buying starships, crews, weapons and tactics, the SP Player will ONLY be buying "Configured Starships" (Starship + Crew + Weapon all-in-one). The rules are similar to the other players in that each card has a trade value, except the card piles are very different.

How different? VERY.

Instead Decks go from 5 Capacity (3-5 points to buy), 6, 7, 8 and 9 (15 points to buy). So it would be impossible for the SP Player to have a Capacity = 9 Starship because those cost 15 points to buy. And he will only start the deck with three (3) level 1 cards:

2x 5 Capacity and 1x 6 Capacity (Randomly chosen - by draw/shuffle). Alternatively the SP Player can start with three (3) 5 Capacity, 1 Point each cards... For a total of three (3) points.

The SP Player wants to BUY stronger starships to destroy his opponent's Tradeships and Starships. So the objective is "similar" to HOW the other Players play - but different (same reason, different method).

And a SP Player could use his three (3) cards to IMMEDIATELY attack all three (3) other players (or combos - if there are less players). So although I have solved the problem of PROGRESSION, I still have a problem with INITIAL START?!

Anyone have any ideas how I could DELAY the SP Player from launching Starship attack against the undefended opposing players???

Orangebeard
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Joined: 10/13/2011
Convoy raid?

Maybe the space pirate is actively ignoring the players in the first 5 turns and instead focuses on raiding supply convoys or lightly defended outposts?

fayinsky
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Maybe each player has 5

Maybe each player has 5 mercenary tokens in the beginning representing 5 chances of hiring mercenaries to keep themselves safe - cannot be attacked by pirates. Of course mercenary means that each time when using the token, price must be paid. When game progresses, price raises. Therefore player has to decide whether to use tokens early on for rapid development or save them for a more critical moment.

Or, per your original intention, just state in the background story that each player has reached an agreement with some secret organisation that they can be protected during the first 5 rounds.

Just my 2c.

wombat929
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Chaosmos

Have you played Chaosmos? It sounds very similar to what you're describing. There's a secret maguffin, the "ovoid," that everyone's trying to get. The player who has it at the end of the game is the winner.

There are planet cards where you can stash things, and equipment, and bettle rules, and so on. I'd check it out to get some ideas of how they solved some of the problems you're considering.

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