RogerBW's Blog

Boardgaming at home, June 2014 16 June 2014

Finally, a chance to play Firefly on a table that's big enough for the game! (With images; cc-by-sa on everything.)

Three people joined me for a game of Firefly with all the promo cards and expansions (specifically including Pirates and Bounty Hunters, the first chance I've had to put it on the table). We played Harken's Folly, rather than one of the story cards designed to provoke player conflict, but did have all the new cards in the decks to see if it would happen anyway.

Both the Interceptor and the Walden were in play, with the Artful Dodger and one standard Firefly. I was planning to go all-out for piracy to build up my cash reserves, so took the Walden, but wasn't able to get Sash to make it more lucrative; he ended up on the Interceptor, Walden got Marco, Serenity got Malcolm, and the Dodger got Jubal Early. (Yeah, this isn't the exact setup sequence, but never mind.)

Early days

Things started off fairly smoothly. There were quite a few piracy jobs in the early discards so they got into people's hands; I picked up a warrant quite quickly, which I never got round to doing anything about.

Piracy failed

One early piracy job went badly awry (the odds slightly favoured the attacker, but with rolls of 1 vs 6 this wasn't going to work), and we were a bit more careful about them after that; quite a few happened later on, though I managed to avoid becoming a victim, mostly because Jubal ended up being very unlucky at boarding.

Waiting for the Reavers

In most of the games I've played before, people have been fairly polite about moving the Reaver Cutter and the Alliance Cruiser. Not so this time! They were our major weapons against each other. I had a Cry Baby that I never had to use, but got hit by the Reavers quite a bit.

Middle game

Sash in the Interceptor was doing pretty well, and got the four solid reputations before anyone else (I was still on two). But he may have tried for the second goal a bit too early; he struck some very poor luck; he ended up with his whole crew disgruntled, and Marco and Malcolm swooped in to hire them away.

Goal Two for me

He had to keep going back and forth to try to recruit more crew to take on the Misbehaves, while the Reavers hung around eating everything that moved. Meanwhile I'd managed to bolster my crew a bit more to something like 7 fight, 7 tech, 5 negotiate, then completed my last two jobs in short order, and was able to sneak in while the Cruiser was distracted and get the second goal.

Final challenge

After that it was simply a matter of getting to the final goal sector, passing a three-Misbehave challenge, and rolling a 3+ to win (I didn't have quite as much Negotiate as I might have liked).

Yes, the dinosaur is my own addition.

Graveyard

An awful lot of characters seemed to get killed or arrested this time round (and River never showed up at all). I usually manage to avoid crew kills completely, but even I lost quite a few, generally to Reavers. While we'd had quite a bit of Piracy, nobody tried to collect on a Bounty, which was slightly disappointing; something to think about trying next time. Also, nobody spent time mining for particular characters or upgrades; I suspect that the combination of bigger decks with a sense of time pressure from our rivals helped there.

I didn't make a note of how long we took to play, but judging by image timestamps it was probably a bit over three hours: with one player who hadn't played before and two who'd played only once, I reckon that's not bad going, and for me at least the game didn't overstay its welcome.

Although Piracy jobs weren't a huge part of the game, I definitely felt we had more opportunities for interaction this time, and there wasn't the same feel of a runaway winner (though I thought Sash had it at first, and in the end it may have been I).

We went on to try my Expo purchases: Hanabi, which had its usual confusing effect on people who haven't played it before but from which we pulled out a 20-point marginal win, and Love Letter, which reminded me very strongly of Coup but with a more whimsical air. Having just a single-card hand makes play go faster, and while I'm not usually a fan of player elimination the rounds are short enough that I was reconciled to it here. I think I'll probably keep playing both this and Coup. (I came last.)

We finished the day with a game of Tsuro, not one I play very often these days but still distinctly enjoyable and of course visually gorgeous.

I should do this more often. But I always say that. At least the Automated Geek Herder exists so that it's easy to pick the date that can be made by the largest number of people.

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