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Subject: Review after 2 plays this weekend rss

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Roy Stephens
United States
San Jose
California
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So, my wife bought us a copy of Firefly: Out to the Black card game this week. I tend to try to get any of our new games played and figured out before debuting them with her as our gaming time together is very limited and we like to avoid as many rules misunderstandings as possible.

With that in mind, I took it with me to my local FLGS this past weekend to play it with my friends there.

So, we played two four-player sessions. Both with fans of the show, or at the least folks who have a passing familiarity with it.

I had read the rules beforehand and was able to explain them quickly to the players. As most of them had played Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game before, the concept of throwing cards in to cooperatively beat a challenge was not a problem for them.

Overall, I would say the game was a hit. It certainly is not something you build an evening of gaming around. It is filler. And that is fine. One of the players, a huge Firefly fan, said that she liked it as a "game you play when waiting for people to show up for the big game you have planned".

That said, there were a lot of laughs and thematic moments. The highlight being when our Wash player pulled a Gorrammit card (i can't remember the name of it) that in effect killed him and forced him to play a different character for the rest of the game. As he was Wash, this couldn't have happened to a more appropriate character and the player, still thinking thematically, picked Zoe as a replacement.

Other cool moments were; the River player pulling the "Hands of Blue" job, and Shepherd Book using the honor pool to keep Gorrammit cards from taking effect late game.

We won both games (barely), but after the fact I realized I missed the rule where Wild cards of greater than 1 value cannot be split between two skills. That could have made a big difference, but, it also is counterintuitive to the functionality of the tracker that has a slot for "Wild".

Regardless, it is a fun, lightweight cooperative game.

Pros:

Easy to teach.
Plays Fast.
Co-op.
Sets up and puts away very quickly.
Fun with the right group (the type that can get into it. Both the theme, and the group dynamic).
As values are thrown in hidden (when not a character's primary skill) and players are not supposed to discuss actual card values/phrasing, there isn't much of an opportunity for a player to alpha-dog the group.
Can be very tense when agonizing over whether to use those precious tokens or to take your chances intentionally failing a job.

Cons:

The theme is there, but is thinly applied. A job may say "Shindig" and have a picture of Kaylee in her fluffy pink dress, but in the end it is still just a "we need 3 fight, 5 flying, 7 thinking" math problem.
Zero flavor text on the Job card, other than the name itself.
Probably not as interesting for non-fans/those unfamiliar with the show.
Cards are boring to look at. The special cards have small, somewhat dark screen caps from the show, and the skill cards have no photos at all. It almost has a "this is the prototype" look to it.
Not sure this will get played much with my wife as it isn't really geared for two-player sessions. I may be able to adapt it, though.


All in all, I really enjoyed the gameplay, which is the most important thing. I will keep bringing it with me to function as much needed filler on game days. It will not (nor is it supposed to) replace the Firefly board game for when I really want to get my Firefly gaming fix.

7.5 out of 10. Would have been an 8 or 8.5 if the cards looked better.

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Craig West
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Lawrence
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very helpful review. much thanks for taking the time.
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