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Subject: Firefly the game rss

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Benjamin McClain
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If you are a fan of the show, and haven't played yet...I recommend it.

Firefly: The Game

Here is a really good brief review of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-0F7J99sRM&hd=1

 
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Joe Salamone
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I have never seen the show, but I recently bought the game and the Breakin' Atmo expansion. So far, I have only tried a couple of solo learning games. It seems like it will be a lot of fun (probably more fun as a multi-player game than a solo game because of all the trash-talking you can do when one of your opponents suffers a loss of crew or cargo). Based on my first impressions, I'm glad I added it to my collection.
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Hardboiled Gregg
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joe_salamone wrote:
I have never seen the show
Glad to hear you like the game, and I hope you find other players who do too, but really you must watch the show and follow-up film!

If you like the game, there's a very good chance you'll like those. Plus, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for the in-game elements, mechanics and peculiar situations you may encounter.
 
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Lance McMillan
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I'm a huge fan of the show and movie, but my feelings about the game are mixed. The game absolutely drips with theme and is highly immersive, and by and large the system works as intended (there are a few issues with the rules being unneccesarily vague, but if you scan through the various posts here on BGG you can find clarifications and answers to any of your questions).

The two biggest issues with the game are a general lack of player interaction (which I understand will be addressed in the upcoming Pirates and Bounty Hunters expansion) and playing time (I've yet to have it take less than three hours, and that was with just two relatively experienced players). Related to the playing time issue is the fact that with more than just two players there's a disturbing amount of down-time while waiting for the other players to take their turns -- yes, you're supposed to be sifting through the job and item discard piles, but that means you're unable to really follow what everyone else is up to.

This is a great solitaire game, and I'm very glad I picked up a copy of 'Firefly: the Game' and the 'Breakin' Atmo' expansion, and I also anticipate buying 'Pirates & Bounty Hunters' as well when it gets released. However, I suspect this isn't a title that's going to be hitting the table when the gang comes over for game night: it's just too damned slow. soblue
 
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Sean B
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Weird, I rarely play a game that lasts over two hours and I play it with 3-4 people almost religiously. In fact, it's almost always a different group because I play at gaming shops and it tends to pull a decent sized crowd. I'm not quite sure why people end up with these crazy play estimates. Is it the scenario? We usually do one of the basic ones (Respectable Persons and Desperadoes) but I've also tackled the infamous King of all Londinium with a group or two and finished it in about two hours.

I mean, generally I encourage people to take their turns while others shop/deal if it's not going to impact them. We can almost always get a whole round of play done in well under ten minutes as a result, the only exception is if there is a lot of misbehaving or bad travel cards. I guess that could do it to.
 
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Lance McMillan
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Different dynamics for different groups. On average I'd say it takes most of our players about 5 minutes or more to complete a single turn -- there's just so much to analyze. And then the process of flipping a card over for each space your ship travels through is ponderous: move ship figure, reach over and draw card, read card, move ship figure, reach over and draw another card, read card, lather-rinse-repeat. It's worse if you actually have to interact with the card (e.g. it's something more than just "keep flying") -- then you have to read all the text on the options, choose one, tally up the appropriate skills, roll the die, calculate and apply the result... There's nothing "quick" about this game. In fact, if you tried to invent a more convoluted way of resolving things, it'd be hard to come up with one.

Again, it provides great narrative and is a lot of fun, but in a multiplayer setting where you want things moving along quickly to keep everyone engaged, this ain't gonna cut it unless you've got a group that's into that sort of quasi-role playing.
 
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George Krubski
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I think it's a matter of comfort and experience. I've played most with my cousin. Our first one-on-one game took probably close to two hours (including 45 minutes explaining the rules). By our third game, we had playtime down to less than an hour (not including set-up and breakdown, which adds another 15 minutes).

I've only done one 4-player game, which took about 3 hours, although I suspect that 2 more games with the same players would get it down to 2 or less.

I find that there's three stages, and things get much quicker once you grasp each one:

1) Knowing the rules
2) Knowing what's available
3) Knowing what your strategy is
 
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Sean B
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It's true that different groups have different dynamics, but as I said I rarely play this with any sort of regular group.

Try having one person handle the nav decks, preferably someone who knows them well, and place the decks right in front of said individual so there's not so much reaching and placing. You generally don't have to pause for every single card, you can flip through rapidly until a choice comes up, quickly ask "do you want to stop and get cargo or move on?", and you only really have to pause if there's a check or a card that necessitates a stop or evade.

There really isn't any analyzing that can't be done on other players turns, as well. Unless two players are both going to shop/deal consecutively at the same location, you don't really need to stop.
 
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Lance McMillan
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gwek wrote:
Our first one-on-one game took probably close to two hours (including 45 minutes explaining the rules). By our third game, we had playtime down to less than an hour (not including set-up and breakdown, which adds another 15 minutes).

Holy crap! surprise

You guys must be into speed cup-stacking or some similar ultra-fast sport that requires extreme dexterity -- hands moving at a blurring pace!

I've only played about a half dozen games so far, but even solo it takes me two hours, and in my experience each additional player added to the mix tacks on about an hour more to the playing time.
 
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Aaron Edwards
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I've only played once and had mixed feelings. It was with 5 people and we actually ended up quitting after 5 hours. It was 2 a.m. and nobody was even close to being able to finish the final objectives. Sure, 3 of us had never played before, but we were all gamers and picked it up within the first half-hour. And I don't think it was just that we were slow taking turns, everybody knew exactly what they were going to do when their turns came up, and we did have the experienced player flipping the cards, unless it was his turn. I think everyone agrees it was a fun game with lots of flavor. It is also a very pretty game, and relates mechanics to theme about as well as any game I've played. But I think it would be tough to convince us to play it again. I think it would have been much more reasonable time-wise with only 2 or 3 players. I'm also very curious about running it solo; seems like it could be fun, although I'm not sure what the challenge would be. Bottom line: I'd be willing to try it again, but it's not an insta-buy for me. Think I'll just save that money toward Merchant of Venus.wow
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George Krubski
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Lancer4321 wrote:
gwek wrote:
Our first one-on-one game took probably close to two hours (including 45 minutes explaining the rules). By our third game, we had playtime down to less than an hour (not including set-up and breakdown, which adds another 15 minutes).

Holy crap! surprise

You guys must be into speed cup-stacking or some similar ultra-fast sport that requires extreme dexterity -- hands moving at a blurring pace!

I've only played about a half dozen games so far, but even solo it takes me two hours, and in my experience each additional player added to the mix tacks on about an hour more to the playing time.

A lot of it is familiarity with the content. Move? I know a lot of people say it's slow, but I personally disagree. More 43 of 80 Nav Cards are "The Big Black," so you should be taking MAYBE 3 seconds to flip, process, and and get to the next card. With respect to the rest, that's where player preference comes in: I like to keep moving, so as soon as I see "Keep Flying" as an option, I do. Some folks like Salvage Ops, so they're on the look out.

If you've got multiple players, the best thing to do is let turns overlap. That way, one player is probably moving while another is considering jobs or goods. The Deal and Buy options are also a matter of knowing what you want: For example, 9 out of 10 times, when I look for a job, I'm looking for Crime. A few seconds to flip the cards. A few seconds to discard anything that's NOT Crime. Then (based on Captain and Crew), I may immediately get rid of Immoral jobs. Within 10 seconds, I'm just looking at payoff and requirements, then maybe location.

Honestly, there's not a huge trick to it -- it's experience. Having created spreadsheets that required me to re-type every card helped a great deal because it forced me to think about each one, at least briefly.

Solo games are a slightly different flavor, because you can't do overlapping turns, but, again, knowing what you're looking at and knowing what you're looking for speeds things up.

Give it time, man! You're only a half dozen games in. I've been playing the game since November or so, so I've had some practice.
 
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Sean B
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Yeah, but it bears repeating that only one player at the table needs to be experienced to tell the table what to expect and get things running quickly. From there the game runs itself and you'll be done in under two hours, guaranteed.

Now as far as scenario: DO NOT play any of the mutli-goal scenarios unless everyone has a few games under their belt. Stick to Persons of Business and later on Desperadoes. If you really want a short game, take a look at First time in the Captain's Chair in the files section here. The rulebook very misguidedly suggests you attempt one of the most complicated scenarios in the game on your first time and within my experience that's why most people get turned off the game.
 
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Aaron Edwards
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l33tspaniard wrote:
Now as far as scenario: DO NOT play any of the mutli-goal scenarios unless everyone has a few games under their belt. Stick to Persons of Business and later on Desperadoes. If you really want a short game, take a look at First time in the Captain's Chair in the files section here. The rulebook very misguidedly suggests you attempt one of the most complicated scenarios in the game on your first time and within my experience that's why most people get turned off the game.

Now THAT would have been nice to know my first playthrough.
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Lance McMillan
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l33tspaniard wrote:
The rulebook very misguidedly suggests you attempt one of the most complicated scenarios in the game on your first time...

I remember when I was setting up for my first solo run of the game: took one look at the "King of All Londonium" scenario card and actually laughed at the notion that it was appropriate for a first game. What idiot at GF9 came up with that idea?
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Sean B
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I believe they suggested it because it requires you to acquire a balanced crew (therefore seeing a bit of everything the game has to offer) and the goals have a scaling difficulty (with the theoretically low entry goal of 5-7k, lower than Persons of Business at 12k), which makes sense in theory. In practice you pretty much have to assemble a full crew, hope for no major setbacks, and hit all three goals in sequence, which takes two hours at the minimum (as in a game between two experienced players).
 
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Chris Malme
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Lancer4321 wrote:
And then the process of flipping a card over for each space your ship travels through is ponderous: move ship figure, reach over and draw card, read card, move ship figure, reach over and draw another card, read card, lather-rinse-repeat.
We simply put someone in charge of the movement cards and let them do most of the flipping for everyone (someone else is in charge of the bank, someone else the contact cards etc). If it says "keep flying" that's what they say. If it is a simple card, they read it out. If it is a card with options for the player to choose, they quickly read out the headings for the benefit of all players, but then pass it to the player whose turn it is for them to read in detail.

This makes movement pretty fast:

"OK, movement 1 is here, in the alliance"
"Keep flying"
"Move 2, still blue...."
"Keep flying"
"Move 3, into the borders"
"Reavers on the hunt, player to the right, move the reaver; but keep flying"
"Move 4, still red"
"Derelict Ship - you can keep flying or pick the bones." Passes card over. To other players - "He can keep flying or pick up some cargo."

Not only does it move the game along, it makes it entertaining for everyone. Plus, because everybody around the table has a job to do, "downtime" is not noticeable.

If it happens that someone is actually doing something (for example, considering a Buy action) when someone moves, the next nearest player to the cards does the flipping.

We handle misbehaves in a similar way.
 
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C David Dent
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Lancer4321 wrote:
Different dynamics for different groups. On average I'd say it takes most of our players about 5 minutes or more to complete a single turn -- there's just so much to analyze.
Once you've played a few games that should lessen as you get to know the cards. It also helps if your players who are planning to work or buy search ahead of time to determine how many "draws" and discards they want to take when it isn't their turn. This one thing shortened our games by an hour.
Lancer4321 wrote:
And then the process of flipping a card over for each space your ship travels through is ponderous: move ship figure, reach over and draw card, read card, move ship figure, reach over and draw another card, read card, lather-rinse-repeat. It's worse if you actually have to interact with the card (e.g. it's something more than just "keep flying") -- then you have to read all the text on the options, choose one, tally up the appropriate skills, roll the die, calculate and apply the result... There's nothing "quick" about this game. In fact, if you tried to invent a more convoluted way of resolving things, it'd be hard to come up with one.
Designate one player the "Encounter Deck Person" to draw the navigation and Misbehave cards. Again these are usually a binary choice or . Occasionally it is or to keep moving or .
As you move you ship have that person flip the card and say "Engine failure" Tech roll or part (for instance)? Once you decide play moves forward much quicker.

And "Keep flying" cards literally fly out of the deck.

Lancer4321 wrote:
Again, it provides great narrative and is a lot of fun, but in a multiplayer setting where you want things moving along quickly to keep everyone engaged, this ain't gonna cut it unless you've got a group that's into that sort of quasi-role playing.
No roleplaying required. It is a matter of distilling the choices down to the essence of the action.
 
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