Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Firefly: The Game Review (Expansions Included!)

Hi all! Finally coming back with the review of Firefly: The Game, now that I've actually gotten to play it with all the current expansions available (promo material not included)!

Base Game

The base game does a lot right. The Firefly theme is felt in every element of the game, and there are a ton of references for fans of the show to enjoy. When you're working jobs and upgrading your ship, it can really feel like you're a ship captain working your way through the 'Verse. Especially when things go wrong -- Reavers, ship malfunctions, running out of fuel, and other unfortunate elements.
Every time you take an extended trip through the big black, you take the risk of random things happening. Sometimes their good... but that's pretty rare.

The Reavers aren't actually much of a threat in this version. There's one ship that may get moved around a couple spaces, but there's really only one card that forces them upon you and, even then, it's easy enough to prepare for. The Alliance Cruiser, being centrally located and opposed to some of the best characters in the game, poses much more of a threat... if you're not keeping things strictly on the up and up. And it's MUCH more lucrative to play on the other side of the law.

Other players... well, they really don't matter. Very minimal interactions, you're just hoping they don't accomplish the goals, which are variable based on the chosen setup card, before you. Even then... that can take PLENTY of time.

My first game was with two other players and we were at it for about six hours. And we really, really enjoyed it.

Breakin' Atmo'

This was just a booster pack of cards for the various decks, It added a couple of interesting items/characters, but didn't in any way impact game mechanics.

Pirates and Bounty Hunters

This was an awesome expansion!
-It added two new, very unique ships. They offer substantially different play styles than the Fireflys, and they play to different styles -- one a super fast ship with little storage place but offering plenty of opportunity for hunting the galaxy's most wanted or maybe even engaging in a bit of piracy. The other is a slow, lumbering cargo hauler that... well, is really damn awesome at hauling cargo.
-It also added bounties -- using the characters that already have Warrants on their cards, now they may randomly become open season for all aspiring bounty hunters. Some huge payoffs, but taking these bounties aren't always safe... especially if they're on another player's ship!
-Piracy added an element of PVP, and some more tension between players. Is he coming by because he needs to get some shopping done at the Space Bazaar, or does he have a mission that allows him to board my ship and steal my goods? ... Better mosey...
-The new items and characters were also solid additions.

For the new ships alone, this expansion was awesome -- now six players can traverse the 'verse at once... though this WILL create MUCH longer games. Strongly recommend ONLY playing this many with an experienced group. The PVP was a nice touch, too!
The slow cargo hauler.

Blue Sun

This expansions expands the board, adds a new shopping destination and two new contacts, AND makes the Reavers (which are now three in total!) MUCH more of a threat. Seriously, I got munched on twice, and didn't have time to collect the Mechanic/Pilot combo needed to get out of the way :/

No real new mechanics, other than those that relate to the Reavers, but the additional space, items, locations, and faces were very welcome. I'm really looking forward to seeing what they add next, considering they've already used a lot of fairly minor elements from the show and movie...

The new board and the Reaver threat!

On another note, the base box kind of sucks. Its beautiful, but it just doesn't keep things organized or have enough room for the expansions. I actually decided to do some crafting for the first time ever, and made a custom box insert. It... well, it's rough, and I miscalculated all of my measurements by a half centimeter, but it is currently functional, fits everything from all the expansions, and makes setup/clean up MUCH faster. Seeing a show version 1.1 is a little rough (1.0 already had to have a couple modifications), I'll be waiting for version 2.0 before I do a write about about customizing the box... but this has been a project I enjoyed doing and would really like to look into for my other games... and it may make for an interesting series of posts. More on this later!

P.S. If you're on Instagram, you can always follow my progress there! You'll also see images from our game sessions, pictures of the work I've been doing on the Nerd-Cave, and maybe some pictures of a really cute baby. Who knows.

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