The more I play the game, the more I enjoy it.
Saturday night, Craig, Ken, Chris, and I played Any Port in a Storm, the story using Havens in Alliance space, and a simple goal: be the first to have 12000 and get back to your Haven. The Alliance are on high alert, though, so any illegal job nets you another warrant. And while we didn’t use the PvP option, we did have the expansion board in (Miranda and the Blue Sun, Lord Harrow and Mr. Universe).
As usual, I picked Yun Qi as my boat, just come to love the Lucky Lady while I play, and to try and play against type, I picked Womack (the Merciless), who gets a bonus for doing Immoral jobs. Started my Haven at Albion, right on the edge of Alliance space, and somewhat central to the expanded board.
The Aquamarine Ungulate says: the strategy is simple, assemble keywords early on, add in a strong ability in one area, and try to focus entirely on Crime jobs, the kind that pay off immediately on a single Work action, and which require Misbehaving to beat. . Verdict: Quite effective, will experiment more.
Once the pump was primed (three cards turned off the top of each Supply deck into the discard), I noticed that not far away was Regina, and Regina had some very sweet items: Nandi’s Gun Collection (a Gun icon, FANCY DUDS and FIREARM keywords, plus a reroll on Talk tests where the die comes up 1) and a good TRANSPORT option, along with a Grifter who added a FAKE ID keyword. On my way to buy stuff, I stopped at Niska’s, and got some new jobs – all three in my hand were now Crime jobs, with several Misbehaves to get paid. Two of them were paid based on the number of Gun icons in the crew and gear.
The strategy thus presented itself to me, and I went in whole hog (the shopping trip cost me $2500 of my initial $3000): I would deliberately seek out jobs which were Misbehave-only, and attempt to pass them through a balanced crew (3 or more of each icon, at least), heavy gun skills, and as many keywords as I could lay in on gear – not on people, because gear lasts, people die. The advantages were multiple: with half the keywords in the game, I was able to bypass many Misbehave cards quickly and easily, and the Jobs were all one-shot deals, much quicker to do. And if you can stack up a few in a row very near one another, you can get a lot of money VERY QUICKLY. I had a Fugitive delivery at Triumph (my only non-Crime job), followed by a Motherlode Crime, and a JiangYin Crime. In three turns (Fly to Triumph, Work; Fly to Motherlode, Work; Buy Fuel and Parts at JiangYun, Work), I’d made more than $9000.
It worked beautifully. By night’s end, I had a CryBaby to keep the Alliance off, and a Pilot and Mechanic to keep the Reavers off; 10 gun icons, and keywords as noted above plus SNIPER RIFLE later. Between the keywords, the shooters, and the generous use of Bribes on Talk tests, the only Misbehave card I couldn’t handle was the worst one in the game: the one which is botched unless you have River Tam. Period. You have your choice of ugly outcomes, but if you don’t have River, you’re not finishing your Work this turn. Every other card I drew, I passed.
In the end, I came second, barely; if I had not quite simply forgotten a second action in my penultimate turn, which would have been a payoff for $3500 net, I was literally one turn behind the eventual winner (Chris) – who’d had an unusual strategy of his own.
Finding Simon Tam on his first draw at Persephone, Chris decided he’d dig for River as well, and use her remarkable abilities (tempered by Simon) to enhance a balanced but weakish crew. This took all but two draws of three from the Supply Deck at Persephone, something like ten turns Chris sat still, Working for $200 and drilling into the deck for three cards. When he drew the Shepherd too, he had only two members in his crew’s six who needed paying. The low overhead, and a good crew with a bit of good fortune with River (no pudding in the hair at all!), meant that he arrived at his Haven next to Persephone one turn ahead of me accomplishing the same.
I had my good fortune too, though the whole table was having some weird bad timing: we had a huge number of 1s rolled on the die overall, and the Border Space Reshuffle card came up five times – three of them within TWO CARDS of the top of the deck. That is, we reshuffled, and the top card was REAVERS EAT YOU. Reshuffled, and the second card was REAVERS EAT YOU. After a more normal 15 or 20 cards into the next one before REAVERS EAT YOU, the ensuing reshuffle again led to the first card being REAVERS EAT YOU. It was weird and kind of hilarious, even though one of those was me. 🙂
A brief note: sorry to be so slow getting back to this. I deal with fairly serious depression, and winter is usually my very worst time – and it’s been a cold one so far here. Happily, my latest set of meds seem to be having an effect, and so far it seems to be a good one. Fingers crossed that this continues, but I’m going to try and keep the momentum rolling with another post in a few days showcasing my GTA Online cosplay fun. Tune in for Agent Carter, Winry Rockbell, Zoe and Kaylee, Joan from Mad Men, a droog from Clockwork Orange, and any others I can think of before then. We’re working on a Thelma & Louise tribute as well.