Sarah @ Token Trove
Minimum age: 13
Playing time: 2-3 hours
Area movement, card drafting, dice rolling, pick-up and deliver
If you’re a fan of the Joss Whedon’s Firefly and you like board games, then this game is an absolute must. The box sums up what this game is about pretty well – Find a Crew, Find a Job, Keep Flying! Sounds pretty Shiny to me.
In Firefly: The Game you get to pilot your own firefly across the verse, travelling back and forth between Alliance space and Boarder Space taking on jobs from your five contacts, be they legal or otherwise, and trying to earn as much money as you can. Along the way there are five space ports you can stop at to re-fuel, upgrade your ship, increase your arsenal or hire new crew, most of which cost money.
On your turn you can complete two of four possible actions. You can either move your ship through space, take on work from your contacts, spend money if you are at a port, or you can work. When moving you can either mosey slowly on to the next sector or you can initiate ‘full burn’ which will allow you to travel further…but will cost you fuel. Each time you enter a new sector you must pull a card from either the Alliance or Border Space Deck which will let you know how smoothly things are going. With a bit of luck you’ll just keep flying, but there’s always the possibility that you might breakdown, or if you’re really unlucky encounter either the Alliance ship or the Reever ship, in which case either heavy fines or death ensues.
Assuming you make it safely to one of the ports, you can use your turn to go shopping. This is where you can buy more fuel so you can keep flying, upgrade your ship (so that perhaps you don’t even need fuel anymore!) and hire crew. There are a lot of familiar faces from the show which you can hire onto your crew and lots of more dispensable characters that have at one point or other made an appearance on the show. Each one comes with its own special skills which will be either tech, negotiation or fighting power. They may also have a useful profession such as pilot, medic or solider. Who you have on your crew is crucial to how you will do when completing jobs, so it’s important to choose wisely.
The other two possible actions both relate to the work you do to earn your money. You must pick up jobs from one of the five contacts, Badger, Patience, Niska, Amnon Duul and Harken. These may consist of picking and dropping off either cargo, contraband, passengers or fugitives. Alternative they may just involve travelling to a planet and misbehaving. I’ll come to that in a minute! You can also chose to use your turn to actually do the work and, most importantly, get paid.
There’s plenty of space on your ship to load up what you need to complete the job, including a secret stash, which may just come in handy on some encounters with the Alliance. Especially if your transporting contraband and fugitives! However, from time to time the aim is to misbehave, and there is a whole deck of cards dedicated to this favourite of Mal’s pastimes. The way these work is you roll the dice, add whatever tech, negotiation or fighting points you have from your crew (depending on whichever is relevant) and see if you may proceed, or have failed in your mission. Best case scenario, you complete the job, worst case one of your crew members dies.
So how do you win? Well that very much depends on which story card you’re playing. There are six in the base game, one of which is designed for solo play. Each story card has a number of goals that you need to reach to complete the game and the winner could be either the first to complete all goals, or the player who ends with the most money. These cards give the game great replay value and make expansions which include additional ones well worth buying.
As you have probably gathered by now there are a lot of components to this game. There are dice, ship figures, tokens for a wide variety of things, ship boards and decks of cards for each type of activity you might undertake on your turn. The dice are simple but thematic with a firefly for the six and the quality is good. In fact all of these components are good quality and very reminiscent of the TV show, but I think my favourite is the paper money because of the art work on them, which is just gorgeous.
My only real gripe is that I would have liked to have seen more of the Chinese slang that’s just such a big element in producing the atmosphere of the show, but of course that in no way affects gameplay. I would also like slightly better quality ship figures, but really I’m just nit-picking now. I love this game, and I think it has a lot to offer even those who aren’t familiar with the show.
As for the box, it is extremely well organised with slots for everything. What I especially like is that the section that holds the tokens can be lifted out and used during the game for token storage. I believe there should also be room in this box to accommodate the first two expansions as well, which is great.
I think this is a great game whether you like the show or not, but it’s a must for all firefly fans. This game is a strong favourite in my house, and I can’t see us getting tired of it any time soon. One things for sure...
...You Can’t Take The Sky From Me!
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can't you simply order it from Amazon uk? i searched it there, copied the article number into Amazon de: no postage!