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Subject: "The Beef Must Flow" Strategy rss

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Haplo
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I recently came up with this strategy when trying to come up with a way to avoid paying crew their Cut. First, complete any Patience Job to be Solid with her. Don't bother getting any crew, but you do want Cry Babies, since you will be smuggling Contraband. Then, start sifting through her Jobs and taking any that say "The Beef Must Flow!" Once you have at least 2 of them, head to the Pick-Up Planets. Load your Contraband, then Fly to one of the Drop-Off Planets. Your goal here is to get a Warrant Misbehaving. If you get killed, just place a Disgruntled token on your Captain. If you get a second token, just clear the first. This is why you don't want crew (they would get discarded if you had them). Once you get a Warrant, the Job is discarded to Patience's discard pile. Do the same thing with any other "The Beef Must Flow!" Jobs you have. Then return to Patience. Deal with her, selling her the Contraband you picked up, and take back as many "The Beef Must Flow!" Jobs as you can. Then repeat as often as desired!

This strategy is best if you have Monty as your Captain (since he gets a bonus for completing smuggling Jobs), and if you hire a Companion (2 of the 4 Beef Jobs have a Companion Bonus) right before you complete the Jobs, when you are ready to do so. Also, if you want to make money while Flying, you can invest in Pilots, Mechanics, and Medics, and get a Chop Shop to take advantage of Salvage Ops. Also, I recommend getting someone who is Expendable; that way you can kill him off without much real loss.
 
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George Krubski
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That's an intriguing -- and horrifyingly rule-intent-bending! -- strategy.

I see a few flaws, though. The first is that once you get the Warrant, you're no longer Solid with Patience so you can't sell anything to her.

Second, you need to get a Warrant on EACH job to avoid it cluttering your hand.

Third, once the jobs are in the discard pile, another player who cops to your strategy could pick them up. (I promise you that tactic would work against ME once -- but not a second time!). BEFORE they're in the discard pile, it's worse, because you're fishing and might sit around for 5 rounds before even one shows up.

Next, while you're looking for a Warrant, you could get Killed or get a Botch instead(luck of the cards). In either case, you're losing time.

All in all, this seems like a LOT of work to bilk your crew out of some coin when you could just do a Crime job and have enough money for everyone...
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Michael Tyree
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I thought if you get a warrant while working a job, you lose solid status with the contact.

*edit*
pg 15, you lose solid status as soon as you get a warrant while working a job. Worse in some conditions, Nisska kills a crew & Harken drops you if you get a warrant while working any job, not just his. Therefore, you would never be able to sell her stuff back to her. Patience may not be pretty but she ain't that stupid lol.
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Joel Tamburo
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gwek wrote:
That's an intriguing -- and horrifyingly rule-intent-bending! -- strategy.

I see a few flaws, though. The first is that once you get the Warrant, you're no longer Solid with Patience so you can't sell anything to her.

Second, you need to get a Warrant on EACH job to avoid it cluttering your hand.

Third, once the jobs are in the discard pile, another player who cops to your strategy could pick them up. (I promise you that tactic would work against ME once -- but not a second time!). BEFORE they're in the discard pile, it's worse, because you're fishing and might sit around for 5 rounds before even one shows up.

Next, while you're looking for a Warrant, you could get Killed or get a Botch instead(luck of the cards). In either case, you're losing time.

All in all, this seems like a LOT of work to bilk your crew out of some coin when you could just do a Crime job and have enough money for everyone...

Yep, this is just like his other exploit from an earlier thread - explicitly illegal in the rules. The Warrant makes you not solid with Patience so you're not selling anything to her. Gambit fails right there.

Maybe he should stop trying to come up with weird rules twisting exploits and play the game according to the rules for now and develop good strategies that way.
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George Krubski
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That's actually the EASIEST part of this little equation to fix. No one says you MUST sell to Patience.
 
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Joel Tamburo
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gwek wrote:
That's actually the EASIEST part of this little equation to fix. No one says you MUST sell to Patience.

It doesn't work even if you sell to someone else. I suppose you could get a cycle going where you take a job from someone like Patience, load the goods - misbehave with a warrant to blow the job then go sell the goods to someone like Duul who you previously got solid with. If you work out the number of actions it takes to complete a single such loop it is ridiculous (get job from Patience, go to first planet, work job, go to second planet, blow job, go to goods buyer, sell goods) - 6 actions to traverse the loop one time if everything goes perfectly.

He's jumping through hoops trying to acquire cargo to sell to contacts basically. The problem is you have to be solid with the contact to sell to them. That means working jobs for them.

This is why the designers did not give us a contact that provides contraband to load or a contact that pays you for passengers/fugitives. The game has no consistent income stream that bypasses the need to work jobs. He just needs to accept that and.....work jobs.
 
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George Krubski
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Agreed on all points. Although there are some points for abuse, the game designers did a great job of balancing most of it.

In theory, this strategy works... in that it's playable. It's definitely not a winning strategy, though, unless playing against someone with an equally "interesting" idea.

Firefly is ultimately a race, and any strategy with a cycle time this long is problematic. Ultimately, the amount of money per turn is much higher in actually DOING the jobs!
 
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Haplo
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Ah, yes. I guess I somehow overlooked that rule. I knew that Solid with Harken was lost when a Warrant was issued, but I didn't realize it happened with the others. That would, as you pointed out, George, require selling goods to a different Solid contact, which would eat up more actions, thus making the strategy less viable. However, I still think it could work with a Story that takes a long time or against relatively new players, or in just the right circumstances. Nevertheless, it's not a consistent winning strategy. Still, my main objective was to figure out a way to get through the game that didn't involve the usual means: completing Jobs; and, for the more adventurous, exploiting Salvage Ops.
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Haplo
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Oh, I have no trouble winning through working Jobs. The point, Joel, is to come up with a creative, out-of-the-box strategy, even if it makes the game more challenging. If you have any experience playing in large Eurogaming groups, then you understand that oftentimes the players who get the most respect are not the ones who win the most. They're the ones who pull off crazy feats that require daring and imagination!
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George Krubski
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Call me crazy -- I'd rather win.
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Joel Tamburo
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Paul, you can save yourself a lot of time here.

Basically, there is no consistent way in Firefly to short circuit the "work jobs" paradigm.

Blowing jobs on purpose not only takes you way too long but you'll be in constant danger of the Alliance Cruiser. Plus add in that the 6 action cycle I described is the shortest one possible - in all likelihood it will be longer.

Trying to move a lot on Full Burn to get salvage ops not only has poor odds of getting you sufficient salvage but the fuel costs will kill you. Also if you breakdown with no mechanic you're in for a lot of fun.

There are some fun stunts you can pull, but they deal more with things like moving the Reavers and/or Cruiser. For example, parking the Reavers on the Space Bazaar basically forces other players to deal with it (by moving a lot to get Reaver cards which is risky) or write off the Space Bazaar. A similar stunt can be pulled by parking the Alliance Cruiser on Persephone.
 
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Haplo
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Yes, Joel, we had someone put the Reaver Cutter on the Space Bazaar a few games ago, and it was horrible! No one could get a pilot or do Amnon Duul Jobs! I guess it's a good reminder to not keep all your eggs in one basket. Working Jobs from a single contact can, indeed, hurt you. The rule I hate the most is that a player can't move onto the space with the Reaver Cutter on purpose if they need to go there, but you can move onto the space with the Alliance Cruiser, even if you are an Outlaw ship. Plus, you can move the Cruiser with a Cry Baby, but there's nothing that lets you move the Cutter. The only option is to Fly around until someone has to move it, then HOPE they don't get to move it back! If there were an item that allowed a player to move the Reavers to a space not occupied by a firefly, the problem would be solved. As it is, that feature makes the game more luck-based and favors players who don't need to use the Space Bazaar. And yet, ironically, Amnon Duul's Jobs are supposed to be the easiest of the non-Harken Jobs! This makes it so a beginning player who is playing it safe can get easily screwed.
 
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George Krubski
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Unless you need to be Solid with Amnon Duul, he's not much of a loss. His jobs take too long for hte payoff. The Bazaar is more valuable as a source of Pilots and misc. Crew and Gear.
 
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Joel Tamburo
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You can get rid of the Cutter, it just takes tootling around in Border space long enough. And lest we forget it can be parked on other worlds too. Like Niska's hangout or on top of Patience.
 
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George Krubski
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Indeed. To me, one of the most effective uses of the Cruiser or the Cutter is to park it on a planet required for a Goal either a) right after you've completed the Goal, or b) before the other guy if you start to fall way behind.
 
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Judy Krauss
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But I wonder if the designer's intent for the Reaver Bait card "Decoy Them" option was really to:
Move the Reaver Cutter to any Border Section without a planet and not occupied by a Firefly.

Otherwise, it just seems like a spoiler action that gums up the game.

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