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Legendary Encounters: A Firefly Deck Building Game» Forums » Reviews

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Steve Crow
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Well, played a game or two at GenCon, bought the game. Here's my review.

Firefly is the newest Legendary Encounters game, and to a large degree follows the Alien / Predator human-coop version. You're playing some of the crew of Serenity from the TV show & movie Firefly. There are nine of them (Avatars), so five are dealt to the players. The four remaining are the four you use to build your character deck.

If you have less than five players, the excess Avatars are still used as they can be damaged and may trigger certain effects.

You pick three Objectives per game, like A/P. There are 15 Objectives, one for each episode. So really, they're "episodes. The Episodes are rated A, B, C. A has 10 cards, B has 11, C has 12. You pick one of each letter. There are rules for playing all 15 as a campaign.

Each Episode also has an additional "Complete the Episode" card. To complete Serenity Part (B), you have to take out Dobson and Patience, for instance.

There are Side Jobs which serve the same purpose of Henchmen / Drones / Young Blood / Mercenaries. There's also an "End of Episode" card, that is put at the end of each deck. It ha a different back, so when it comes out, you can tell and don't add any more cards to the 'Verse (the City, in Marvel/Big Trouble terms) until it has entered the Combat Zone. When it enters the Combat Zone, episode over.

So you put together three Episodes, A, B, C, add in the Side Jobs, and that's your opposition. The cards come out on the 'Verse track one at a time in the usual Legendary way. They're facedown, and you have to scan them with Combat before engaging them.

Player turns are pretty much the same as other Legendary games. The main difference is the introduction of Talent and Flaw cards. Everyone starts with one Talent card. You can play it to draw a card. Then you can KO it to activate your Avatar's Talent. Book, for instance, can remove a Flaw from any one player's deck. Jayne gets +3 combat.

There are also Flaws. If a Flaw enters your hand, you have to play it on your turn and it gets KO'd. It then triggers the Flaw on your Avatar. Mel plays two new episode cards, Book brings back a defeated Enemy card, Jayne inflicts a Strike on each other player, and so on.

You get Talents and Flaws from completing some of the episode cards, or not defeating them, as the case may be.

Some Enemy cards are Ships. When they enter the Combat Zone, they strike Serenity. Serenity can take four strikes before blowing up, and the Strikes usually have a detrimental effect on the players. Strikes can be "repaired" with Recruit.

Once an episode is over, you have Intermission. Succeeding or failing at episodes pays off in Credits. You can use Credits to buy Upgrades (which take up Serenity damage slots, and help the players), or heal crew, or buy cards. Then you begin the next episode.

I think that's about it: don't have the game in front of me. The art hasn't changed from the previews. So brace yourselves for that if you saw it. Zoe, for instance, seems to have a different hairstyle on each of her four deck cards.

Overall, the game is an enjoyable simulation of the TV series. Clearly someone familiar with the show was involved, and a lot of the episode cards capture the feel of the show.

I'd say that it's an improvement over Alien / Predator, and the fact that the UD designers typically learn from what has gone before is always impressive. Yes, they're adapting a TV series with occasional space battles rather than movies, but things like Episodes, Intermission, Avatars (with Talents and Flaws), Upgrades, and Ship Damage fit into the Legendary setting and effectively capture the feel of the show at the same time.
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Adelin Dumitru
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You are on fire these days with the reviews!
Thanks for this, it was a pleasant reading. Why do you think it is an improvement over the other Encounters titles?
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Steve Crow
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AdelinDumitru wrote:
You are on fire these days with the reviews!
Thanks for this, it was a pleasant reading. Why do you think it is an improvement over the other Encounters titles?


Maybe it's that the "episode" format works better than the "movie" format. Almost everything in Alien/Predator Encounters is "personal" combat. But with the Firefly episodes, you have some personal combat, some ship combat, and some stuff that just gives people Talents and Flaws, or other benefits like Crybaby. There are more things to do than just kill Aliens and/or Predators.

There are Side Jobs, which are more varied than Drones/Young Bloods.

Having named Avatars helps. You actually feel like you're playing a character. While in A/P, it feels like you're more of a backup to the main characters in the deck: the Dutches and Harrigans and Blaines and Ripleys. In those games, you're not quite the unnamed mastermind of Marvel/BT. But you're just "Radioman" or "Priest." In Firefly, you're playing Mal, or Book, or Wash, or Inara. And you have Talents and Flaws, while in A/P you just have "Talents" of a sort with your Avatar card. And that has to be activated by someone else playing a Coordinate (Brother in Arms).

I like how the characters interact, with each other and with the episode cards. Admittedly, it's a little limiting because you've got what you've got. There's no way to just randomly create an episode. But it's more interesting IMO having Zoe trigger a Wash effect, or River trigger a Simon effect, or Jayne getting a bonus if Simon is a main character. Than just Brother in Arms, or an Avengers/X-Men-like trigger. I understand why you can't do it with Marvel, but I think it makes Firefly a better Encounters game.
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Dreadknot Knotdread
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Loving what I'm hearing, thanks for the review! This'll be my first legendary franchise purchase.
 
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Steve G.
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Did I miss mention of whether or not there are rules that let the Firefly crew take on aliens and predators?
 
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Justin
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steveg700 wrote:
Did I miss mention of whether or not there are rules that let the Firefly crew take on aliens and predators?


Re: No crossover?
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Steve G.
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Cool. Good to know there's allowances for a crossover. Just have to hope for "soft" support, such as the Firefly crew having the means to get a chestburster out of a player's deck.

In general, Legendary sets often seem to leave out a variety of means for trashing cards.
 
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Clyde W
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No comments about the game's art? *surprised*
 
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Steve G.
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Haven't seen the artwork, but I simply assume it's mediocre at best. Past artists had no technique when it came to drawing faces that aren't simple maneguins a la comic book characters.

In the name of Forest Whitaker, I pray they at least got the ethnicities right.
 
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Jay Johnson
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clydeiii wrote:
No comments about the game's art? *surprised*


I played a round of this game tonight (with someone who had gotten a copy at GenCon), and didn't have any real issue with the artwork.

Then again, I generally don't spend much time analyzing the pictures in games, so I'm not nearly as picky as many other people out there, it seems.
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Steve Crow
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steveg700 wrote:
Did I miss mention of whether or not there are rules that let the Firefly crew take on aliens and predators?


There are no specific rules, but it could probably be done. As someone linked to.
 
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Steve Crow
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clydeiii wrote:
No comments about the game's art? *surprised*


There was already a thread for that.
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