RogerBW's Blog

Firefly: playing the Interceptor 23 February 2015

The Pirates and Bounty Hunters expansion to the Firefly board game brought in two new ships, which are quite different from the standard Firefly. How should they be played?

The Interceptor is challenging, especially in the early game. Only four crew, four cargo, and any ship upgrades slow you down. For a start, ignore most cargo hauling (shipping and smuggling) jobs. You don't have the capacity to make a decent profit. Stick to jobs that don't need you to carry much stuff, or at least not more than one cargo's worth of stuff.

With the fast drive, you can bounce all over the board, though you're still at risk from navigation cards; you'll need to keep fuel and parts on hand (I'd suggest two of each at a minimum, at least until you've got a Mechanic).

In the early stages of the game, don't bother with crew, do fast legal jobs, and grab any bounties that are loose on the table (rather than in someone else's crew). There are mail runs that a standard ship would take two turns to complete, and you can do them in one.

After that, you have choices. You might go through all of these, or you might skip some.

  • As a "mini-firefly" (add crew quarters and cargo/stash space), you have six cargo, seven crew, range six with no fuel needed. That's a bit like a poor man's Artful Dodger.

  • Or keep the full range, but load up on crew with lots of Tech and Negotiate, and get equipment for Fight. Then you can start doing Crime jobs that don't need you to haul things around.

  • Or as a pirate, focus entirely on a single skill and use that for all your Boarding tests and Showdowns; but you can't take away much in the way of goods.

When adding crew, look particularly for people who can carry more than one item of equipment. There's no room for sentiment; every crew member needs to be contributing heavily towards your stats.

This isn't a ship I'd recommend to a new player, and I'm not particularly good with it myself, but I've seen these approaches work.

As for the Walden, you have two big drawbacks: a fixed drive-core speed of 4, and no stash. You can fix the former with Wash or compression coils, and this is definitely worth doing. You can fix the latter with a ship upgrade, but it's not an automatic move like increasing speed; you may find you need that upgrade slot for something else. A stash gets contraband and fugitives through customs checks, but it also lets you save fuel from other pirates.

A Cortex Uplink is a good addition to the crew's equipment roster, to save you from having to take long slow trips just to see contacts.

Salvage Ops can be good moneymakers (mostly because you don't have to pay your crew), but they don't show up that often, and running through the nav deck brings Reavers down on you; this is even more of a consideration with Blue Sun in play. Get as many crew with "Salvage Op" bonuses as you can.

Your main option though is piracy, and this is where you really have to combine the bonuses: stack up the Salvage Op crew, use your Cortex Uplink to get a selection of target options, and lurk near a world that people will have to go to (Regina, Space Bazaar, Persephone). You won't convince people that you aren't a pirate, so don't even try. On the other hand you could charge people a fee to let them pass unmolested (because you might have a piracy job with them as a valid target)… you don't have to pay your crew, they don't lose cargo, everybody wins. (But make sure you charge them enough for all the cargo that you won't get to sell.)

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