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Subject: Firefly + Blue Sun + Ten Percent of Nothin': Campaign Sessions rss

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Ian Cooper
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SESSION 1: 2/3 PLAYER

I've been playing this variant with my daughter, Emily, for a few days now, so I thought I'd share our experiences.



Tuesday 24 February, Day 1.

We set up the game using the standard game plus the Breakin' Atmo and Blue Sun expansions. We decided to draw captains at random - I drew Marco and chose the Sandfly light transport boat "Wu Zheng" (from the variant) as my boat. Emily got Corbin and she used a custom-made boat I made for her, the "Twilight Sparkle" (she's really into "My Little Pony" right now).

This was the first time we'd played the game using the Ten Percent of Nothin' variant, and the rules were still evolving as we played.

We both started at Londinium (we decided to ignore the standard game rule about not starting in the same sector) and we both took jobs from Harken right away. As the game progressed, we each got solid with Harken and Amnon Duul. Things were going fairly well at first, although with the variant rules, money was tight. Still, Emily made a big score early on as she had Corbin deliver a boatload of passengers from Persephone to Ariel, so she was well ahead in terms of money pretty much from the start.

I focused on getting jobs from contacts, and I was soon Solid with Badger. I spent money on a reasonably competent crew, including Crow and Saffron, whose negotiation talent came in useful. Right towards the end of the session, the "Wu Zheng" was attacked by Reavers and there was no pilot so we couldn't do a Crazy Ivan. Fortunately I had picked up a cheap gun hand at Regina just in case of Reaver attack, and since I passed the test roll, everyone else survived. I did have to repair my boat's hull, so at the end of our first session, although I was close to a Victory Point (under the variant rules) for jobs completed, I was also flirting with financial disaster, having only 100 credits to my name.
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Ian Cooper
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Wednesday 25 February, day 2.

This day was a short session, and Emily and I both spent it consolidating our positions. Emily picked up Simon and River Tam, as well as Emma. Emily's captain, Corbin, consistently failed to pay his crew, cunningly using Emma's special ability to fix any disgruntled token as soon as it appeared. As Emily's dad, I'm not sure how I feel about Emily running a boat whose captain is paying his crew with the 'favors' of a crewmember, but those are the rules, I guess.

As time went by, I managed to build up a stash of $1000 credits. On Persephone, I picked up Billy, a salvage pro who was a good mechanic, and Crow picked up a fancy gentleman's duelling sword. Now I had a crew with great fighting skills, as well as two crewmembers who could each pretty much take on any mechanical or negotiation problems single-handed.

Then I tried to get to Patience on Athens, but the "Wu Zheng" suffered a breakdown on the way there, so I had Marco pull into Osiris to fix it, which put me back at square one with 100 credits. With the variant rules, I didn't want to head into Border Space without plenty of fuel, so I gave up on getting to Patience until I had more money. With half of my crew wanted by the Alliance, I couldn't find work with Harken, so I told Marco to mosey to Persephone and resigned myself to working for Badger or Amnon Duul for a while.

Towards the end of the session, Emily's boat, the "Twilight Sparkle" also got engine damage from a breakdown, and Emily was also down to 100 credits, while I had managed to get a few hundred more after a couple of nice jobs from Amnon Duul.

At the end of day 2, I had my first Victory Point and we hadn't had any serious problems. That was all to change on day 3.
 
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Ian Cooper
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Sunday 1 March, day 3.

We had taken a break on the Thursday and Friday, and Saturday was a busy day with shopping etc., so on Sunday we started up the game again. Elisabeth (my wife) joined the game - she drew Malcolm as her captain and her boat was the Sandfly light transport "Bellflower" (from the variant). She soon got Wash and Inara, which put her in a good position.

But then things started to go wrong for all of us. Firstly, Reavers had been slowly encroaching into Border Space since they had attacked my boat on Tuesday. They hadn't been a problem so far, but I was ferrying a boatload of passengers from Regina to Hera - I stood to make a great profit, but suddenly the Reavers were all over me. First, long range sensors detected two Reaver ships blocking my way, so I had to go the long way around - not a big problem, I thought, but then a third Reaver cutter appeared right in my sector - disaster! During the attack, all the passengers were killed so I got no money. Also, both Billy and Crow were killed. Not the best day for the crew of the "Wu Zheng".

Soon afterwards, Elisabeth ran into trouble on a crime job, failed a Misbehave roll and all her crew were disgruntled, but she did eventually pick up the fugitives she was supposed to convey to Deadwood. Emily, seeing an opportunity to possibly pick up the disgruntled Wash before Elisabeth had a chance to give him Shore Leave, did a full burn from Harvest to the Space Bazaar, and drew the Reaver Cutter card just as she arrived! In the ensuing attack on the "Bellflower", Elisabeth lost all her fugitives and Wash was killed. Emily was horrified at the prospect of the Reavers attacking her boat, until we realized that under the variant rules, Wash's death meant that the Reavers would be reset back to their starting positions.

Unfortunately, Emily was to have more trouble as, a few moves later, the Alliance Cruiser entered her sector and found Simon. He was marched away at gunpoint.

At the end of day 3, we were all depressed and exhausted by the bad luck we had all experienced, but it was an action-packed session and we were all having a lot of fun. I was still ahead on points and, with 3700 credits, was well on my way to buying a Firefly. Emily had only 1700 credits, but she was close to picking up her first Victory Point thanks to her success in the passenger transport business. Elisabeth only plays on the weekends, so she landed at Osiris and dropped out of the game at this point, having amassed 2300 credits.

 
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Ian Cooper
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Wednesday 4 March, day 4.

A short session on Wednesday. Emily and I both did missions for Badger, and for once he paid us the full rate. I finally got enough money to trade up to a Firefly, so I traded in the "Wu Zheng" and bought the "Cassandra" (a custom ship card I made).



Shortly afterwards, Emily got a warrant while working a job for Badger.

 
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Ian Cooper
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Thursday 5 March, day 5

I went to Silverhold for the first time today. Did a few jobs for Badger. I picked up Inara and Shepherd Book, rounding out my Firefly's crew. I had a great run carrying 8 ranch hand recruits from Space Bazaar to Aphrodite - got full pay: 2400 credits and got Solid with Patience. On a run from Persephone to Harvest my boat was attacked by Reavers at the Space Bazaar, but fortunately I had a pilot and a mechanic, so we managed to evade them. Unfortunately, the maneuvering drained our fuel, but we decided to finish the run to Harvest anyway. Getting back was the tricky part, but we managed to get out of Border Space running on fumes.

During this session, Emily steadily built up her cash doing a few illegal jobs. Simon Tam managed to escape from the Alliance (this due to a rule from the variant - the Persephone deck was exhausted, so it was reshuffled with all the cards that had been removed from the game) and rejoined Emily's crew. Towards the end of what was for her an uneventful session she managed to pay off her warrant and get enough credits to trade in her Sandfly for the Artful Dodger.

So now both of us have a Firefly. Yay!
 
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Ian Cooper
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Wednesday 11 March, day 6

We spent a good couple of hours playing yesterday. Emily did a couple more missions for Badger and she finally got her crew and her boat set up in such a way that her crew are virtually indestructible and impervious to disgruntled rolls. She has both Emma and Lucy paying the other crew with special favors, which means she doesn't have to hand out any paychecks. Also, with Simon and a fully equipped med bay, she fears no fights. Late in the session she took Saffron away from me (Saffron now calls herself Yolonda - she broke my heart!)

I decided to get solid with every contact on the board, and by the end of the session I was only missing Mr. Universe. Niska is usually my nemesis in this game, but this time his job was a piece of cake. I had a minor run-in with Reavers at the Space Bazaar, but now I have a pilot and a mechanic, they're not really a problem. Since I was at Meridian, I picked up some Reaver-flage, which made flying the Rim a bit easier. I decided to add medical facilities to my boat late in the session and hired medical staff.

This might be the end of the session, as I think we're both fairly comfortable in the 'Verse right now. Nothing can touch either of us really, so it might be time for us to delve into the Pirates and Bounty Hunters expansion. Or maybe we'll do this again, as it was a lot of fun. It should be even more fun when I've added a few more Story Cards that are specially designed for the Ten Percent of Nothin' expansion. So far I have one multiplayer Story Card and a whole bunch of solitaire Story Cards for players who want to copy the events of the TV show.
 
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Dalivus Morgan
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This sounds great! I've played with my daughter (also named Emily) before too but not this much. Kudos to you; what an excellent way to spend time!
 
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Ian Cooper
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Thanks Dalivus.

Emily is really into Firefly right now, though she's also getting into Mice and Mystics since I bought it for her 12th birthday.
 
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SESSION 2: SOLITAIRE MINI STORY CARDS

Today I played through a game using my Mini Story Cards.

Serenity

I got the contraband off the wreck okay, with no Alliance problems. Brought it back to Badger and he paid me nothing. I was being cautious at this point, so I didn't try to push my luck. I took the contraband to Whitefall, but I got stopped by an Alliance Cruiser. Luckily I still had my Cry Baby, so I used that, which saved me a lot of trouble.

Dobson was locked up without incident at Whitefall and Patience took the contraband, but she wanted to pay nothing too. I was so short of money at this point that I had to try renegotiation, which worked - I got 100% of the price.

Dobson escaped and I shot him - no problems there. Then the Reavers attacked, but since I had Wash and Kaylee aboard, we did a Crazy Ivan and evaded them.

The Train Job

The bar fight at Ariel didn't cause any problems, so I went straight on to Ezra. Niska offered me the job, so I took the down-payment and did it. I was hoping to give the money back, but when the time came I didn't have it because I'd needed some of it for the transport that the job required. So I had to leave the miners without their medicine. Still, it felt good being solid with Niska, especially since I had managed to make $4000 out of it.

Bushwhacked

This mission went off without a hitch, so I got solid with Harken and no casualties. After this I did a couple of quick jobs and was really lucky with my payment rolls, so I was riding on over $6000.

Shindig

Kaylee was the belle of the ball and Mal managed to survive easily in the duel with Atherton Wing. The problems came when we tried to sell Harrow's livestock. There were Reavers all over the destination, so I had to full burn around in Border Space hoping to get them away. I should have just gone to Meridian to get a hull mounted gun, but I didn't think of it. Anyway, the Reavers finally left and I delivered the goods. Got full payment again - I was really lucky in terms of dice rolls today.

Safe

Safe went really well too. Shepherd Book got injured (I chose him as the injured crew because that's how it was in the show), so I had to take him to the Alliance Cruiser. They treated him and he recovered. Then we returned to get River and Simon, which went well, though the die roll was close.

After this, I started using my money for tech gear, and managed to get a nice assortment of good stuff.

Our Mrs. Reynolds

We jailed the bandits on Triumph and Saffron boarded Serenity. She sabotaged the boat and we failed to fix the engine. However, we managed to shoot out the breakers on the chop shop, so we avoided any hull damage.

Jaynestown

On Higgins' Moon, we got 6 cargo, but Jayne failed to inspire the Mudders, so he got shot. Fortunately, Simon had his fully equipped med bay by this time, so he was able to save Jayne. Higgins' son broke the landlock and we were away - another successful adventure!

Out of Gas

Kaylee failed to fix the engine and when the crew left, Mal got wounded by the pirates and failed to reach the button, so he got disgruntled even though the crew returned.

After this, with Mal disgruntled, I gave the crew shore leave.

Ariel

This story went perfectly - we got all the available medicines and Simon, River and Jayne avoided "Hands of Blue" with no problems.

War Stories

We managed to get away with paying Niska only half our credits to get Wash back. We also got in under the station radar, so no problems there. And we got all the money back from Niska - a great result!

Trash

Mal got caught in the act of stealing the Lassiter, so he was disgruntled. But Jayne wasn't harmed reprogramming the drone, so we got the Lassiter out okay. Also, Mal managed to avoid Saffron's doublecross, so another almost perfect heist. Now if only we could sell the Lassiter.

The Message

Another mission that went perfectly. When we picked up Tracey's body, the police chased us to St. Albans, but their bombardment failed - no hull damage. Tracey was shot before he could hurt any of the crew and when the corrupt cops showed up, they backed down, just as in the TV show.

Heart of Gold

On Anson's World, I got rid of Mal's disgruntled token, thanks to the ministrations of Nandi's girls. Unfortunately, Inara got disgruntled when she found out. In the shootout with Burgess, everyone survived, including Nandi, which was great!

Objects in Space

When Jubel Early came aboard, Kaylee was disgruntled, but when Simon found his moment, he avoided getting shot. Then we got the drop on Early and he was tumbling in space. Great job!

After this, I decided to go straight into the movie story. I put Inara and the Shepherd off at Persephone, then I went to New Canaan to do the bank job.

Serenity Movie

The Reavers attacked, but the crew escaped harm. Simon got disgruntled because Mal used River on a job. At Persephone, River went nuts, but the crew just managed to avoid injury. After we went to Haven, Inara called for help and when Mal arrived, Inara stunned the Operative.

After Mal found the dying Shepherd Book, we went to Miranda and when we found what had happened there, Jayne managed to keep his calm undamaged.

Then we went to Cortex Relay 7 to send the message. When we got there, Mr. Universe was dead. Fortunately, Wash was wearing a protective vest when the Reavers attacked, so he survived the landing. Kaylee, Wash and Zoe were wounded in the Reaver assault, but all were saved by Simon, thanks to River getting his med kit. Mal dealt with the Operative and sent the signal by rolling a 6 for the last die roll of the game.

Conclusion

All told a great game with lots of really good luck in the die rolling. Everyone survived and we ended up with 2100 credits. I reckon I spent about 6 hours on the whole game, including some time doing jobs to make money. I might do a timed run-through tomorrow to see how quickly I can do the whole set.
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