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Subject: Non-biased opinion. Please. rss

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Danny Baverstock
United Kingdom
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Okay. I have read many reviews. The best of which, in my biased opinion, sadly seem to be written by fans of the show.

I, myself, AM a fan of the show. After recently being exposed to the Firefly 'verse, i became an instant fan. So, being a board gamer i instantly went straight for a board game based on the aformentioned universe.

Here is what i want to know, from someone who may or may not be a fan of the TV series, who is able to give me a non-biased opinion on whether i would enjoy this game. Here are a few pointers to help you understand the sort of thing that would tickle my fancy (Make me enjoy something):

* I am an, almost, completely solo gamer

* I enjoy games such as Merchants and Marauders (one of the other reasons Firefly the Game enticed me)

* I enjoy games that i can get creative with. Paint miniatures, create alternate or house rules, And generaly tinker with but keep it thematic

* I enjoy mainly thematic games

* I love games with nice looking components. This game seems to have them but its hard to tell from photos. Are they nice?

* Any other questions about my interests, pleaase ask...

Any opinions would be very much appreciated.
Thank you

-Dan
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J. Crisman
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Based on your interests listed here...yes. You'll enjoy the game.

The components are very, very nice. I haaaaaaaate paper money, but this game does it well. The stock is thick, and the designs could be framed and put on the wall as art. Seriously, it's that nice.

The thing to remember is that it IS a pick up and deliver game at it's heart. Nothing incredibly fancy or ground breaking. But, if you like pick up and deliver games, you can't go wrong here. Especially if you're a browncoat.

There won't be much to paint, as the game only comes with 6 minis (an extra player mini was available in GTM, so 7 if you acquire that). I'm not really a painter myself, but the casts are heavy plastic. Nice quality. I would assume they would take well to paint.

In my opinion, the game could definitely be storyboarded. By that, I mean you could create your own scenarios with different win conditions. It comes with a handful to choose from though. So you won't feel that you NEED to in order to change up the game.

I play solo games quite a bit as well, and I've played this one a couple times that way. Though it's still fun, it definitely loses some of it's flare flying solo. It's more of an "acquire this much money before the timer runs out" sort of deal. I suppose you could house rule that as well though. With the amount of components/set-up, I don't find myself getting this out when it's solo time. There are a looooooot of cards to be shuffled, bits to sort, and a cat to be contained. So, if you are looking for a solo ride specifically...there are better options out there. And that's coming from an absolute fan of the show.

I really hope that helps in some way, because I typed this on my phone...and my thumbs are very angry at me.
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Danny Baverstock
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That helps. Thank you very much. I am sad to hear that the solo side of the game seems to be a bit of a let down. That said, its never stopped me before.

And, sorry about your thumbs. Thank you for making that little sacrifice

-Dan
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Mark Englehart
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Hi Dan,

I am also a fan of the show and have now played the game with people who both are and aren't. Also, loving a theme will only keep my interest for a couple of plays, and I have played this one at least a dozen times already, so in my opinion the game is good as well as thematic.

* I am an, almost, completely solo gamer

-- That should be fine. The multiplayer game is a race with minimal interaction. The solo scenario puts you in a race against time to achieve one of three progressively harder goals. Trying those with different captains and different approaches will give a lot of replay value.

* I enjoy games such as Merchants and Marauders (one of the other reasons Firefly the Game enticed me)

-- This game isn't a copy of M&M, but it is in the same category. You are completing jobs to get paid. The higher paying jobs require greater risk and require you to build up your crew which can be expensive and takes time. How long can you stick with simple pick-up and deliver jobs and how far out can you afford to go to build your crew? The answers will be different game to game.

* I enjoy games that i can get creative with. Paint miniatures, create alternate or house rules, And generaly tinker with but keep it thematic

-- There are six miniatures for you to paint. Developing new goals for the solo scenario or new multiplayer scenarios is the easiest thing to tinker with, but I'm already working on a major rules variant. There's definitely room to tinker with.

* I enjoy mainly thematic games

-- The theme is beautifully captured in this game. It's captured in the components, in the terminology (you have to "misbehave" to commit crimes) and in the play (trying to keep your crew happy while being profitable, your reputation with your contacts is only as good as your latest job and you are constantly worrying about interference from the Alliance and Reavers).

* I love games with nice looking components. This game seems to have them but its hard to tell from photos. Are they nice?

-- Yes, the components are nice. The ships are well sculpted, the cards of good quality and will stand up to multiple plays and everyone thinks the money is cool.

As a fan of the show and a fan of well-designed, well-made, medium-weight "pick up and deliver" games I think you will like this one.
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Danny Baverstock
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Brilliant! This game is becoming more and more enticing the more i hear about it.
I think the reason i was asking in the beginning, for a non biased answer, is that i have heard mixed reviews from fans and non-fans alike. And i just did not know who's advice to take. The browncoat in me wanted to take other fans advice. But the other part of me wanted to be sure.

Thank you very much!



-Dan
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GodRob
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While primarily used for killing vampires, a wooden stake to the heart is also highly effective against most other opponents.
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A couple of questions regarding your gaming:

When you play solo, do you only play one player or do you play multi-player solo? For example, when (if) you play a game like Arkham Horror, do you prefer to only play with one investigator or do you find it more fun to play four investigators at the same time?

What is your opinion on games that take longer than two hours?
 
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Danny Baverstock
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I tend to create AI's where i can. For instance, in M&M i have created AI traders, and AI pirates other than those produced by the cards in game. Its nice to have some competition.
That said, i have no aversion to man versus game. Pure solo.

As for game time; it has never bothered me. Minutes or hours, it does not really matter to me. What matters is that i get a fun thematic game that has a few moments where i am going to get my backside handed to me because of some event, battle gone wrong, etc...

Hope that helps

- Dan
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Jonathan Franklin
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I saw someone describe Firefly as a cross between Merchant of Venus and Tales of the Arabian Nights, two games I really like.

Is that fair, or if I go into it with that mindset, will I be disappointed? I like the show/theme, but that is nowhere near enough to carry a 6 hour game for me.
 
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George Krubski
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At the risk of repeating what many others have said, I think you'll enjoy it. I must admit that I've been a fan of the show since 2002, so I'm not sure how unbiased I'll be, but here goes...

FreePrometheus wrote:
* I am an, almost, completely solo gamer


I play the game primarily solo and find it to be very enjoyable. The basic solo game can get boring fairly quickly, but at least three of the Story Cards (Harken's Folly, King of All Londinium, and Niska's Holiday) can be played fairly using the solo set-up. I find that whether I win or lose, it's usually a close affair.

Further, folks are experimenting with a number of new Story Cards as well as additional solo play options. I think you'll find yourself sufficiently entertained, even if you never play a non-solo game.

By the way, I find that I can now play a solo game to completion in an hour, give or take.

FreePrometheus wrote:
* I enjoy games such as Merchants and Marauders (one of the other reasons Firefly the Game enticed me)


I haven't played M&M, but have heard a number of players make the comparison. This is basically a "mission" based game that involves two major dynamics:

1) Pick up and delivery (usually a 3-stage process, since you often get the job assignment at a third location from either pick-up or drop-off point)

2) Single location "Crime" jobs, where you arrive, draw a certain number of "Misbehave" cards, generally with skill checks, and hopefully succeed.

FreePrometheus wrote:
* I enjoy games that i can get creative with. Paint miniatures, create alternate or house rules, And generaly tinker with but keep it thematic


I think there's room to tinker, although as some folks have pointed out, there aren't a lot of minis. A lot of folk are already working on house rules, alternate options, new Story Cards, etc. Join the fun! I'm putting the finishing touches on my first batch of custom-made Crew cards (including the crew of the Aces & Eights), and just yesterday, someone recommended an idea for a whole new deck to support play.

FreePrometheus wrote:
* I enjoy mainly thematic games


If you're willing to let your mind go free, you can practically picture the episodes. For example, let's look at "The Alliance Reserve Bank Heist," which I believe is the best-paying job in the game. Niska has hired you to open the vault and steal of ton of money for him.

Now, this is a tough job, requiring you to Misbehave four times, which means you've already accumulated a large crew if you want to succeed. Personally, the randomness of the crew of one of the things I love about the game. Maybe my crew at this point consists of Rance Burgess (my captain), Jesse and Billy (a pilot and mechanic from the OUT OF GAS episode), Saffron, the Grange Brothers, and Simon Tam.

Now, assuming I can get to Londinium, where the Alliance Reserve Bank vault is, with no complications (no mean feat), I have to draw and succeed at four consecutive Misbehave cards. They might be:

Kill the Alarm
Knife Fight
Denied Docking Rights
The Sheriff's Justice

Put that all together, and you can practically smell how the "episode" would play out.

Great thing is, you can get the same card next game (each contact has 25 different jobs to offer), but with a different crew and a different set of Misbehave cards, it plays out entirely differently.

I don't play a ton of board games, but I do find FIREFLY to be incredibly thematic. A lot of the game is about choice (very rarely are you strong-armed into a single option), from the types of jobs you choose to take, to the routes you travel from planet to planet. All of the Misbehave cards, as well as many of the Nav cards (the ones that come up when flying from planet to planet) offer you two different ways to deal with the situation. You just gotta hope your crew is well-equipped for at least one of the choices.

It's very easy to build the perfect crew (one that can succeed in almost every circumstances)... but it's also time-consuming and costly, so whether you're playing against other players or racing against the clock, you're bound to have to make some hard decisions. For example, Kaylee is the best Mechanic in the game, but based on the luck of the draw, she might not appear for a while. Do you spend time hunting for her, or settle for Bester (a decidedly inferior Mechanic) if he comes up first?

I've often had "the perfect crew" or -- or close to it -- only to find myself scuttled by a random encounter with the Alliance Cruiser (arresting some of my gang) or lost Moral crew members to too many questionable decisions in a row.

Just as in the TV series, no matter how secure you THINK you may be, it's a thin veneer of fantasy and you may be one bad card draw away from a major setback.

Of course, realistically, that setback probably only happens about 5% of the time... but for me, the threat is enough.

FreePrometheus wrote:
* I love games with nice looking components. This game seems to have them but its hard to tell from photos. Are they nice?


The map and the ship cards are fantastic. I think the cards are very cool, certainly in their massive variety.

There's certainly room for improvement for someone who wanted to customize things: for example, right now, Cargo and Contraband are thick cardboard chits that you place on your card. I wouldn't mind if they were 3D "crates" instead...

Hope that helps!
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Danny Baverstock
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Northampton
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Gwek you had me sold at the picturing the episodes bit. That is definitely a deal clincher for me. And i really like the sound of the job you are describing. Reminds me of one of my favourite Firefly episodes, the one in which they try and smuggle River and her brother into the hospital and smuggle out medical supplies. (Cant remember the episodes name).

Thank you for that. I am psyched already

-Dan
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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I played a turn at Essen, after some rules. That was enough. No significant interaction (the demonstrator almost looked blank when asked about the idea) and a sequence of random cards when just moving from A to B.
 
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Danny Baverstock
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I can see how the interaction thing would be a problem for a lot of gamers. There is bound to be a way of houseruling in something that allows for a lot more interaction. From what I know of the rules at the moment (still waiting for my copy of the game) which I read on the games website, it seems to me there is some big opportunities for variant rules. And I think one of my first attempts would be that sort of thing. Is it bad that I don't have the game yet, and already I have a dozen ideas for variants? haha!

-Dan
 
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Jonathan Franklin
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Do the other players do anything when someone is taking their turn? Reading cards, rolling, etc., or are you waiting for your turn for 15 minutes while doing nothing?
 
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George Krubski
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It depends on how comfortable the players are, I think.

When I played with my cousin, but the middle of the second game, we were beginning to shop and deal "over" one another when it didn't matter. By the third game, there were a few instances where we were basically completing our turns simultaneously.

Although there IS a definite competition aspect to the game, it's really almost like you're playing a solo game vs other players doing the same (with everyone competing for the same limited resources), so if you have players who stay focused, there's not a lot of sitting and waiting.
 
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Howard Massey
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grandslam wrote:
Do the other players do anything when someone is taking their turn? Reading cards, rolling, etc., or are you waiting for your turn for 15 minutes while doing nothing?


http://boardgamegeek.com/article/13777825#13777825


 
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Jon Snow
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arrrh I am especially interested in trying out the new fan rule for an active Alliance/Reaver Player; check that out for solo play, among other things here!
 
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Danny Baverstock
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Saw that. Could be quite interesting. Should be getting my copy of the game today. Cant Wait!!!

I think i prefer th idea of an Alliance player, though. I Ai'nt the authority type Would be nice to have someone on my tail a few times just to be a show off and leave 'em in my wake. hehe.
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