1. One ship, changed once in the course of the series. A minor change to the Layout A and B concept.
2. Small crew, no redshirts. Fits the FTL modeling.
3. The main cast have a sizeable fleet after them. No need to change the main FTL formula.
4. Generally grim environment for all the brutal deaths and shifty deals you want. The crew are not saints and not on a bold mission of great enterprise. Works in FTL as well.
5. Interconnected and standalone episodes that could be made into encounters and quests, possibly with equipment rewards.