RogerBW's Blog

Reading Boardgames Social 22 April 2014 23 April 2014

This time it was just Firefly.

I introduced three new players to it, and while the game went quite slowly at first they soon picked up the pace. We used the downloadable "First Time in the Captain's Chair" scenario: become solid with two contacts, amass $6000, and travel to a particular planet. It works through the basics of the system without having a really complicated goal.

During my explanation of the rules I emphasised the few aggressive moves one can make, and there was some heavy use of the Alliance Cruiser. Everyone tried to avoid having anything to do with the Reaver Cutter, but it came up around card three on the second pass through the Border Space deck, which made border runs suddenly a whole lot more dangerous. (It would be interesting to have a mechanic that let one put that back on the bottom of the deck, or at least increase the number of cards getting reshuffled. But hey, that's life in the big city.)

However, that ended up not mattering very much, as around then two players went for the final goal at the same time; and one ended up beating the other by a single turn of movement. I was not one of them; I actually had least money at the end, having blown much of it on ship upgrades that mostly didn't end up being useful. The other player who wasn't in contention for winning had a poorer crew and a warrant on his ship, so I'd count myself reasonably even with him in gameplay.

A good game, remarkably close at the end, and the players enjoyed it (I think the most vicious conflict was over Mal's Pretty Floral Bonnet). But I'm still really looking forward to Pirates and Bounty Hunters, now expected early next month after some slippage in shipment dates: among other things, it introduces boarding actions, and the ability to collect bounties on other players' fugitive crew.

By the end it was 10.30, so I came away rather than play another game. I'm still having a good time with Firefly and glad I'm getting some chances to play it.

  1. Posted by Thomas at 12:43pm on 23 April 2014

    Roger, I had a question for you about the Cruiser and Cutter cards. What happens if, once they've been shuffled back in, they come up again as the first card out of the deck? You can't shuffle a card with itself after all!

    I really enjoyed the game. It was a lot of fun to play and easy to pick up, and I liked how well the scenario was balanced. There was enough going on to get a feel for the game and how it would work with the more complicated scenarios, but at the same time I didn't feel the need to try and do everything. It limited the game, but in a good way.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 12:54pm on 23 April 2014

    Hi Tom, and welcome!

    I believe that the card is meant to move further and further up the deck. I've never seen it end up quite that high before.

    It's not quite as bad as I'd thought, though: a Cry Baby still lets you decoy the Cruiser away one space and keep flying. With the Cutter, you can Evade if you have a Pilot, Mechanic, and Fuel to spare, which means your total movement is still only two spaces for a Full Burn but that's still slightly better than one.

    On the other hand there are players on the BGG boards who reckon that Salvage Ops are the way to make money, and once they've got a Pilot and a Mechanic spend all their time cruising in border space looking for trouble.

    That said, I think that if either of those cards came up as the very first card off the deck I'd be inclined to house-rule that it should get shuffled in randomly (i.e. reset to the same situation as on the first pass through). Or maybe even shuffle the whole deck every time the card comes up, as opposed to just the discard pile.

  3. Posted by RogerBW at 12:56pm on 23 April 2014

    Second pass through. First pass it's on the bottom, second pass it's somewhere random.

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