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Subject: Marcus and Corbin try to become "Respectable" rss

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Erik Miller
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Just the wife and I again.

I was Marcus, she was Corbin.
Played Respectable Persons of Business


Things started off great for both of us. I secured an overcharged grav drive on the first turn and the wife picked up the rad. core level 3 so she could burn 6 and mosey 2 spaces. Things went downhill for me from there. I struggled with my missions and continually lost crewmembers due to bad die rolls on misbehave cards. The wife waltzed around the map and purchased expanded crew quarters and quickly had a crew of 9, which she outfitted with vera, a mule, two-fry and his rifle, some fancy duds, a hacking rig, and a fake id. I had Inara, River, and Marcus. I had Jesse but she was caught by the alliance and I lost 4 other crewmembers due to gunfights. I became desperate since I had 3k and no missions and she had 10k and 3 Niska missions and decided to overcharge on some Badger missions. I wasn't prepared for them because I was so low on crew and I lost Marcus.... twice... due to bad die rolls in fights. This cost me everything. Meanwhile, the wife finished up her 3 Niska missions for a pretty 17k additional and ended the game with last call.

Grand Total: Her, 29k. Me: 1.5k.

I was realllly close. Just a little behind, really.

What did we learn from this game? Besides the obvious (losing crew and bad die rolls will ruin the game for you) we learned that Marcus kind of stinks. There are currently not that many expensive guns in the game, so his ability to get half-price is not that useful. You get a lot more bang for your buck with Corbin because almost all the ship upgrades and engine cores are 600+, while most the guns are 400 or less. That played a huge part because the wife tricked our her ship quickly, while all I picked up was the grav drive. It was almost impossible to beat someone who ignored breakdowns, had 3 extra crew, and a sky hook.

Total Play Time: 45 minutes.

Truly, this game was a disaster for me!

But it was a FUN disaster!
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George Krubski
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It sounds like you had some bad luck, and were perhaps not prepared for the Misbehaves. Marco is definitely not one of the best Captains, but CAN be pretty solid, because he counts as Transport. It also doesn't hurt if you can get even a few cheap Firarms early in the game.

If I use Marco, I don't usually go for weapons immediately. I try to fill in a fairly well-balanced crew, then do 1-2 Legal or low-Misbehave jobs. Then I take THAT money and run for Silverhold to get some goodies.

I'm not saying it's a sure-thing strategy, but it's been decent with Marco, especially in solo games (in fairness, I don't think I've ever played him in a multi-player game).
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Erik Miller
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gwek wrote:
It sounds like you had some bad luck, and were perhaps not prepared for the Misbehaves. Marco is definitely not one of the best Captains, but CAN be pretty solid, because he counts as Transport. It also doesn't hurt if you can get even a few cheap Firarms early in the game.

If I use Marco, I don't usually go for weapons immediately. I try to fill in a fairly well-balanced crew, then do 1-2 Legal or low-Misbehave jobs. Then I take THAT money and run for Silverhold to get some goodies.

I'm not saying it's a sure-thing strategy, but it's been decent with Marco, especially in solo games (in fairness, I don't think I've ever played him in a multi-player game).

He just seems one of the worst characters to start out with. The wife had a huge bonus because everyone wants to buy ship upgrades or crew ASAP so that you can get around better. Ignoring breakdowns from turn 1? Awesome. That solves half the problems you'll find in both movement decks.
 
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Carl Bussema
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I've never seen the expanded crew quarters used... for one, I've found that a crew of 6 with gear is easy able to handle everything (barring the River-only cards, and maybe the Kosherized fights, but there's not much you can do for those), and for two, having to pay 9 people after every job would just really eat into profits I would think. I suppose if you're doing the 3k+ jobs, an extra $600 from 3 crew members isn't a huge deal, but again, I don't usually see the need.
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Lance McMillan
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mil05006 wrote:
Total Play Time: 45 minutes.

Great AAR, until I read this. Haven't played a game yet where it didn't run well over two hours (and that with just 2 players). What's your secret?
 
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George Krubski
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mil05006 wrote:
gwek wrote:
It sounds like you had some bad luck, and were perhaps not prepared for the Misbehaves. Marco is definitely not one of the best Captains, but CAN be pretty solid, because he counts as Transport. It also doesn't hurt if you can get even a few cheap Firarms early in the game.

If I use Marco, I don't usually go for weapons immediately. I try to fill in a fairly well-balanced crew, then do 1-2 Legal or low-Misbehave jobs. Then I take THAT money and run for Silverhold to get some goodies.

I'm not saying it's a sure-thing strategy, but it's been decent with Marco, especially in solo games (in fairness, I don't think I've ever played him in a multi-player game).

He just seems one of the worst characters to start out with. The wife had a huge bonus because everyone wants to buy ship upgrades or crew ASAP so that you can get around better. Ignoring breakdowns from turn 1? Awesome. That solves half the problems you'll find in both movement decks.

I think it's a matter of play style and preference. Games I play, the only Ship Upgrade that goes with any regularity is the Cry Baby. Otherwise, people mostly ignore them and focus on Crew and Gear. (Although I DO notice an interesting thing where in a two player game, if one player gets a few ship upgrades, they seem to have a big advantage, even if the other player compensates with Crew and Gear).

In the games I've played, Corbin is actually the one who's mostly useless! Generally, we look at him and go "Well, at least he's a Mechanic..."

I agree re: Crew Quarters. I've only seen it used once or twice. I think it's most effective with Nandi, so you can just keep hiring people whenever you want and not pay them if you don't care.
 
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Carl Bussema
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Corbin has 2 tech, which is very rare, and as a mechanic, occupies half of the "pilot + mechanic" combo that any reaver fears. He's been a first-pick for me in a lot of games and I've done very well with him. Doesn't have the drawback of being moral either.
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George Krubski
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I momentarily forgot about his 2 Tech. I agree that he's actually good "stat-wise" -- I just don't see Chop Shop get much play.
 
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Sean B
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What's with all the Marco hate? I've never, ever had a bad game with him. You just start on Silverhold and shop for 2-3 turns and you're ready to start working on major crime jobs turns ahead of the other captains (except, perhaps, Nandi). Once you've got a well-armed crew + Stitch or a Head Goon + armed Enforcers you're more than well equipped enough to survive the whole game. Hell, I even survived without a mechanic because I slapped some body armor on tracy to use him as a human shield...
 
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Erik Miller
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Lancer4321 wrote:
mil05006 wrote:
Total Play Time: 45 minutes.

Great AAR, until I read this. Haven't played a game yet where it didn't run well over two hours (and that with just 2 players). What's your secret?

We take our turn at the same time (basically). If it's my turn I say what I'm going to do (travel/shop/job, etc) and if it doesn't interfere with the other person then they go. It makes things a LOT faster.

It does take us like 10 minutes to set up and 15 to take down. So maybe we should say total play time an hour and 15 minutes? Plus, we don't talk too much during the game- we just game!

Also, the story cards where you just have to get money are quicker then the ones were you have to pass tests because you don't need 9 guns or 10 tech, etc... You just need to pass some jobs.
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Erik Miller
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gwek wrote:
I momentarily forgot about his 2 Tech. I agree that he's actually good "stat-wise" -- I just don't see Chop Shop get much play.


We've never picked up chop shop. But some of the upgrades can save you in the long run. And I load up my crew not for the people but for the gear. I don't take everyone with me unless I really, really need to- like to do a story card goal. otherwise, I only take who I need.

They had 9 people in the show and usually only took 4 or 5 of them on the jobs...
 
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Erik Miller
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l33tspaniard wrote:
What's with all the Marco hate? I've never, ever had a bad game with him. You just start on Silverhold and shop for 2-3 turns and you're ready to start working on major crime jobs turns ahead of the other captains (except, perhaps, Nandi). Once you've got a well-armed crew + Stitch or a Head Goon + armed Enforcers you're more than well equipped enough to survive the whole game. Hell, I even survived without a mechanic because I slapped some body armor on tracy to use him as a human shield...

It's not that I hate him. He's just not my favorite. I think it's because he's ability seems weaker... but he does have transport, which is a HUGE help.
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George Krubski
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mil05006 wrote:
gwek wrote:
I momentarily forgot about his 2 Tech. I agree that he's actually good "stat-wise" -- I just don't see Chop Shop get much play.


We've never picked up chop shop. But some of the upgrades can save you in the long run. And I load up my crew not for the people but for the gear. I don't take everyone with me unless I really, really need to- like to do a story card goal. otherwise, I only take who I need.

They had 9 people in the show and usually only took 4 or 5 of them on the jobs...

I didn't mean Chop Shop the upgrade, I meant Chop Shop the special ability Corbin has.

Why WOULDN'T you take everyone with you? You have to pay them whether they go or not!

mil05006 wrote:
l33tspaniard wrote:
What's with all the Marco hate? I've never, ever had a bad game with him. You just start on Silverhold and shop for 2-3 turns and you're ready to start working on major crime jobs turns ahead of the other captains (except, perhaps, Nandi). Once you've got a well-armed crew + Stitch or a Head Goon + armed Enforcers you're more than well equipped enough to survive the whole game. Hell, I even survived without a mechanic because I slapped some body armor on tracy to use him as a human shield...

It's not that I hate him. He's just not my favorite. I think it's because he's ability seems weaker... but he does have transport, which is a HUGE help.

Thing with Corin is, he's designed as strong starter... and I think that's about it. Sure, Transport IS a huge help, and will save you money... assuming you don't invest in ANOTHER transport later in, making his ability largly redundant.

The idea of starting at Silverhold and getting a gaggle of fighters is solid, but you're focussing on a single skill -- especially Fighting -- you have to be VERY confident in your skill level. Folks seem to think that all skills are create equal, but statistically, failing a Fight test is most likely to carry a heavier price (Crew Death and/or Warrants, with Talk and Tech are more likely to result in a Botch).


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Erik Miller
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gwek wrote:
mil05006 wrote:
gwek wrote:
I momentarily forgot about his 2 Tech. I agree that he's actually good "stat-wise" -- I just don't see Chop Shop get much play.


We've never picked up chop shop. But some of the upgrades can save you in the long run. And I load up my crew not for the people but for the gear. I don't take everyone with me unless I really, really need to- like to do a story card goal. otherwise, I only take who I need.

They had 9 people in the show and usually only took 4 or 5 of them on the jobs...

I didn't mean Chop Shop the upgrade, I meant Chop Shop the special ability Corbin has.

Why WOULDN'T you take everyone with you? You have to pay them whether they go or not!

I have no idea why we do this. It's like a random, weird quirk that makes no sense at all.
 
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Sean B
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gwek wrote:
Thing with Corin is, he's designed as strong starter... and I think that's about it. Sure, Transport IS a huge help, and will save you money... assuming you don't invest in ANOTHER transport later in, making his ability largly redundant.

The idea of starting at Silverhold and getting a gaggle of fighters is solid, but you're focussing on a single skill -- especially Fighting -- you have to be VERY confident in your skill level. Folks seem to think that all skills are create equal, but statistically, failing a Fight test is most likely to carry a heavier price (Crew Death and/or Warrants, with Talk and Tech are more likely to result in a Botch).

Breakin Atmo gave him quite a buff with the vehicle mounted BFG. Stitch can make a fight check into a negotiation check, or alternatively a Head Goon with two Enforcers will give you 4 Negotiation and 4 Fight. It's easy to leave Silverhold with 4 crew and gear totaling 8-10 fight (I know enforcers aren't at silverhold, but the Bazaar isn't exactly far away), which is enough to pass every fight check in the game without a die roll. The remaining two crew slots can be easily filled by a Pilot + Mechanic buffing your Engineering skill.

To my recollection the only time I've lost a game with the above strategy was when I tried it with First time in the Captain's Chair, which is too short to make use of it.
 
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I forgot about the VFBMG.

That's a good strategy, but I think it's a bit reliant on the luck of the draw. There are only 4 Crew with 2 Fight on Silverhold (although certainly more than than elsewhere) and I'd think you need at least 1-2 of them.

Fight and Transport can get you safely past about two thirds to three quarters of the Misbehave cards. Without Stitch, that still leaves you pretty vulnerable if you don't cover a second skill. (I know it's just random shuffle, but Stitch NEVER seems to come up when I play!)
 
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Erik Miller
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gwek wrote:
I forgot about the VFBMG.

Me too- we have breakin' atmo and it hasn't turned up in any of the 3 games we've played.

Looks like I stirred up the hornets nest here!
 
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I don't know about hornet's nest, but I think what we're seeing is that the game designers did a good job: most of the captains have their supports, who've maximized strategy based on them.

Not to get to far afield, but I want to hear people defend Monty, Burgess, and Womack now...
 
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Erik Miller
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gwek wrote:
I don't know about hornet's nest, but I think what we're seeing is that the game designers did a good job: most of the captains have their supports, who've maximized strategy based on them.

Not to get to far afield, but I want to hear people defend Monty, Burgess, and Womack now...

Monty lost his beard! Don't diss him!
 
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Sean B
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Monty and Burgess are my other two favorite captains! I never even realized I was picking the underdogs. I don't even know where to begin defending them though.
 
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Do you have any strategies geared specifically for them?

Me, I like Crime (especially for Badger), so Mal and Nandi are the best matches for my style (Corbin to a lesser degree).

To me, the challenge with Monty and Burgess is that smuggling and shipping jobs are sort of sucker bets (smuggling is very unreliable to draw, and shipping is SOOOO low-paying!).

What works best for them?
 
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Sean B
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Smuggling is very common with Amnon and Patience, so I have Monty stick with them. If a Badger or Niska smuggling job ever shows up in the discard I bolt straight for them. The thing that puts Monty on equal footing with Mal is that Smuggling jobs (except those for Niska) require 1 misbheave or even none at all, so his crew doesn't need to be nearly as large as Mal's. In that sense he plays as sort of Mal-lite: a small crew with similar keywords but smaller paychecks. Give him a handful of cry babies and you can zip across alliance space with ease. Smuggling jobs do take longer than Crime, but the lower failure rate and the lower crew needs will make up for that difference...usually.

Burgess plays similarly in that he needs to hop across white sun a lot while working for Amnon and Patience, but he has the benefit of being able to work with almost no crew and not having to fear the alliance cruiser. He can even work for Harken nigh-exclusively for a few turns while other players are building up a crew to take on the high-paying jobs, as long as he gets Amnon solid at the same time. With Breakin' Atmo, picking up a Merchant makes Cargo equally valuable as (and less dangerous than) contraband. Focusing on acquiring Cargo and selling to Amnon using Taker alone will net him +$600 per shipping job, $700 with a merchant, for relatively little action cost since you'd be dealing with Amnon again anyway. If you're lucky enough to get Billy and Jesse as your pilot and mechanic (because of course that's all the crew you need) then you can also run a gorram empire off your salvage alone.
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I guess it depends on who you're playing against. Against an effectively played Crime crew, a lot of those numbers don't seem to add up to me.

l33tspaniard wrote:
Smuggling is very common with Amnon and Patience, so I have Monty stick with them. If a Badger or Niska smuggling job ever shows up in the discard I bolt straight for them.

I think "very common" is a relative term. Patience has only 6 Smuggling Jobs (out of 30) and Amnon Duul has 11. Of the three "Crime lords," Patience has the lowest concentration, with 15 jobs. Statistically speaking, it's much easier to get Crime Jobs (and to have your pick of them) than any other kind of job (except, I think, Shipping jobs with Harken).

As you point out, a lucky find is hoping that someone turns up the 3 Niska jobs or 4 Badger jobs, but that's another turn to get there.

l33tspaniard wrote:
The thing that puts Monty on equal footing with Mal is that Smuggling jobs (except those for Niska) require 1 misbheave or even none at all, so his crew doesn't need to be nearly as large as Mal's.

That is actually incorrect. Smuggling Jobs require 1-2 Misbehaves. Crime Jobs require 2-4. You're right that you can nab easier (lower paying) jobs pretty easily, but there are actually significantly more Crime Jobs with 2 Misbehave cards than there are Smuggling Jobs with 2 Misbehave cards.

The idea that his Crew doesn't need to be "nearly as large" as Mal's also strikes me as odd. Less Misbehaves doesn't mean EASIER Misbehaves. A smaller Crew just means you have a greater chance of failure on a smaller number of cards. With a large Crew, it's easier to mitigate failure. Given that FIREFLY is essentially a race, every time you fail at a Misbehave card, you fall behind.

l33tspaniard wrote:
In that sense he plays as sort of Mal-lite: a small crew with similar keywords but smaller paychecks. Give him a handful of cry babies and you can zip across alliance space with ease. Smuggling jobs do take longer than Crime, but the lower failure rate and the lower crew needs will make up for that difference...usually.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Monty's bad (I actually enjoy playing him, although I can't maximize his value), I just don't see the payoff in SMUGGLING, I suppose. I feel like Monty actually makes a better CRIME captain than a Smuggling captain!

l33tspaniard wrote:
Burgess plays similarly in that he needs to hop across white sun a lot while working for Amnon and Patience, but he has the benefit of being able to work with almost no crew and not having to fear the alliance cruiser. He can even work for Harken nigh-exclusively for a few turns while other players are building up a crew to take on the high-paying jobs, as long as he gets Amnon solid at the same time.

I can see the value in Shipping jobs because there ARE a lot of them (in the Core game, there are more Shipping jobs than anything else, but if you add in Breaking Atmo, Crime overtakes it).

I think perhaps Burgess's value varies based on the story card and the length of the game. I can see how he can get an early lead, but an effectively run Crime Crew is going to start catching up very quickly, and there reaches a financial tipping point after which relying on Harken seems to be a losing battle.

l33tspaniard wrote:
With Breakin' Atmo, picking up a Merchant makes Cargo equally valuable as (and less dangerous than) contraband. Focusing on acquiring Cargo and selling to Amnon using Taker alone will net him +$600 per shipping job, $700 with a merchant, for relatively little action cost since you'd be dealing with Amnon again anyway.

If you don't have an alternate means of accumulating Cargo, picking up a Merchant means you're operating at a net loss: you need to sell 2 Cargo to make up for his hiring cost, and then another two Cargo per Job you pay him for just to break even. Unless you're coming to the Space Bazaar planning to sell at least 3 Cargo and you happen to be able to hired a Merchant right before the trade (using up an action), it's a loss. Despite the tone of the character, the Merchant is actually about reducing his own cost rather than providing profit.

l33tspaniard wrote:
If you're lucky enough to get Billy and Jesse as your pilot and mechanic (because of course that's all the crew you need) then you can also run a gorram empire off your salvage alone.

But don't Billy and Jesse run counter to Burgess's strengths? With these guys on your crew, suddenly you're not only shelling out a lot of money, you're also now an Outlaw ship. It's also important to note that the changes of a Salvage Op are pretty slim, and most come with a Fight or Tech roll.

With that strategy, you also have to stop more. So, while I'm spending one round to get to a location and do a job, you need to Work, move, Work again, move -- stop to take perform a salvage Op -- likely move again, then FINALLY Deal with Anmon Duul.

The Crime crew, on the other hand... Pretty much they do the job. They get paid.

Look, I'm not saying that these are bad strategies (and certainly fun to try out!), but I think mileage may vary dramatically based on who you're opponents and what they're bringing to the table.

Thanks!
 
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Sean B
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Against a well-run and/or lucky crime crew, both Burgess and Monty will have to take a crime job or two in tandem with their usual shipping/smuggling, but they generally have a huge cash advantage anyway at that point, and if they suspect they'll have to start turning to crime they can build up a nice reservoir of gear (and in Monty's case, crew). After that It's easy enough to find some crime at or near your destination and do it while working your own specific job types for maximum profit.

Monty doesn't always pan out, it's true, but believe me when I say that Burgess has never failed me.
 
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I'll be honest: I'm not sure that I've every actually seen Burgess played!
 
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