Just a quick summary of the changes I made to the scenario included with the Cinematic Starter Kit—hopefully this will be of use to those of you who have yet to run it.
I removed Lucas, and changed Cham's last personal agenda to 'You’ve seen what these monsters can do—they are a threat not just to your family, but to the human race as well. You must stop Weyland-Yutani from reacquiring the USCSS Cronus and everything it contains, by any means necessary.'—bringing him into opposition with Wilson and Clayton.
I indicated that the key cards carried by Wilson and Clayton to be the only way to access their ships' respective MU/TH/UR.
I neglected to destroy the USCSS Montero as I felt this was both a 'video game invisible wall' (to quote a player) and needlessly punishing.
I abandoned the flaw in the vaccine (and thus the Abominations). I also reduced the number of available vaccines from six to four, forcing my five players to make an uncomfortable choice.
It seemed ridiculous that it would take 20–40 minutes and a spacewalk to repair the comm array, 15–30 minutes and a spacewalk to repair the engines, but 5–10 hours to clean the air scrubbers—I changed all three to require one Shift instead.
I added a second Adult Neomorph.
I hinted at but didn't introduce the Sotillo.
The xenomorphs desperately need to be given values for their attributes as well as their skills—particularly Strength. One player managed to catch a Neomorph as it walked through a sliding door, allowing another player to grapple its tail. In both cases I rolled ten dice because I know how mobile and observant, but not how strong, a Neomorph is.
The sliding door example above also forced me to invent the 'delayed action', based off Overwatch—'A player can spend a fast action to set a trigger. If that trigger occurs before the player's next turn to act, the player may immediately spend a fast or slow action.'
With these changes it took our group of six (including me as Game Mother) three three-hour sessions to finish leaving just Miller alive onboard the USCSS Montero, drifting towards an unknown fate.