Firefly Boardgame (@ NAGA 18-03-2015)

Following the de-boxing and review of my Firefly game at the back end of last year I had been itching to give it a go with other players.  I had already tried it on my own as it is a game where players play against the game rather than each other. 

Last night at NAGA Derek Maynard offered to run a game.  So armed with my basic knowledge of the rules I set off to play in the shiny shiny ‘verse of Joss Whedon’s Firefly.

The Firefly game board without the Blue Sun expansion extension.

We had a few players;- Scott Moore, Owen Cartwright, Derek and myself.  We each rolled off to see who would pick ship and captain first.  Derek won, then I got to choose, then Scott and finally Owen.  I picked the Bonanza, a Firefly class ship from the original game, with Jubal Early (a bounty hunter who boarded Serenity with the intention to kidnap River Tam in return for a bounty in the Firefly episode “Objects in Space”) from the Pirates and Bounty Hunters expansion.  Once my ships hold was loaded with parts and fuel I was ready to pick some missions.

Capt. Jubal Early

The Firefly Class Ship cards, including mine.....the Bonanza.

I placed my ship at Silverhold, in the Heinlein system, on the game board allowing me to immediately buy some crew or gear to get going.  From the missions I had received I picked one from Harken, one from Patience and one from Amnon Duul.

Amnon Duul Job card.

Patience Job Card

Harken Job Card

Looking at them I chose to set course for the Red Sun system to collect my Cargo and hopefully swing by Londinium in the White Sun system to pick up my third cargo before dropping it all off at the various planets of the Georgia system.

The original gaming board with the Blue Sun expansion adds about another 1/3 or the board again and introduces Reaver Space and Miranda (from the Serenity movie)

The game itself takes an inordinate amount of space to set-up and play but I do think its worth the effort.  The mechanics of navigating the ‘verse aren’t cripplingly difficult but take some getting used to as you move between Alliance Space, Border Space and Reaver Space.

The trading element of the game is quite simple and adds flavour as you build a crew, get jobs and keep flyin’.  You might think that the big names of the series such as Mal, Wash, Zoe, Simon Tam, etc are the best cards and whilst they are powerful they may not be the crew you need or want for your jobs.  Some jobs are legal, others less so.  All crew need paying for jobs they participate in.

There are a number of large trading ports (Silverhold, Meridien, Osiris, the Space Bazaar, Persephone and Regina) that ships can dock at and buy fuel, pick-up crew and install upgrades to their ships.  You can also pick up additional job from the ne’er do wells or locals that frequent these locations such as Niska, Patience, Lord Harrow, Harken, Badger, Amnon Duul.

All set-up ready to blast into the 'verse!

Now we’re all set-up we got underway.  Immediately I picked up some additional crew to help me start my jobs.  Saffron and a Lawman joined Jubal and we set off for Motherlode and Harvest in the Red Sun System to pick up jobs from Patience and Amnon Duul.  Having collected my cargo from each I set forth for the Georgia system perilously close to Reaver space to drop off my cargo and get paid.  It was my intention to visit Londinium to collect the cargo for Harkens job too but the other players movement of the Reaver and Alliance ships made crossing Alliance space difficult.  Also one of my jobs was putting a strain on my fuel supplies so I was “burning” only when necessary.

I stopped off at Persephone to collect more fuel and pickup more crew.  Helen, the companion was a handy addition adding to both my ability to fight and negotiate.  Some toy dinosaurs were also picked up as no Firefly class is complete without toy dinosaurs stuck to the dashboard.

I then had a run in with the Reavers.  My choice was option 1, try to evade and maybe lose a crew or two or option 2, fight them and possibly escape but the repurcussions for losing were far worse.  I had crew to spare having already started my jobs and didn’t need them any more.  I took option 1 and even with my re-roll from Wash’s Toy Dinosaurs I lost and had two crew killed.  Given that I would need to pay my crew if I finished the job this was a blessing in disguise.  Saffron and my Lawman got eaten by Reavers but I evaded and lived to fight another day.

I snuck past them as one of my opponents pulled a bounty card with my new companion on it.  She had only cost me $200 to hire but by turning her in I could get paid $2600.  Seemed like a good trade as I was close to finishing, plus it saved me paying her.  She got dropped off at Newhope in the Georgia system and my coffers were swelled with $2600.  I just had to finish my jobs, get paid and I had won.

I crept to Regina and unloaded my cargo.  I got paid and was now “solid” with Amnon Duul.  I drifted to Boros and dropped off Patience’s cargo, again picking up my pay and becoming “solid” with Patience too.  This achieved my first goal of being “solid” with two traders.  By holding over $6000 (I in fact had $7800) in my hand I was ready to pay off Niska for my ship and win.  I just had to get to him at Ezra one space over before Scott’s pirates came and stole all my booty.  They had been lingering around the edges of Reaver space running jobs between Burnham and Meridien.

In my next turn I “moseyed” one sector along docking at Ezra and delivered my $6000 and won, with Scott and his pirates hot on my heels.

Tense game, fun game.  Its probably not the right sort of game for a quick evening at NAGA as anything other than the scenario we played would probably take far too long to finish.  As it was we just about managed to finish the game and with set-up and take -down it had taken close to three hours.

Definitely worth playing more, just need to fins some players to join me.  Any takers?


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