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

Subject: I finally figured it out! rss

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Brett Leeson
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There was something about Legendary Firefly that was bothering me since the first time we tried it out recently, and I haven't been able to put my finger on what it was. Aside from the art, obviously.

Then last night I was watching Sam Healey's Dice Tower review of the game and for some reason it suddenly clicked with me. Now I've only played Alien Encounters once or twice, so I don't remember exactly how characters work in that game; if there are Avatars and such. I think you have an avatar card, and then a single 'character' card that matches and goes into your deck, with a special ability.

So I think they did away with that, added the Talents and Flaws, and let you add talent and flaw cards to your deck, instead, potentially triggering your good and bad character traits more often than you would if a single character card was cycling through your deck.

But here's what bothers me. In our first game, we were all looking through the character decks as we set up, and I was like "Man, Zoe has some awesome abilities. I want to be Zoe." Then we get a few steps into the rules and the game is like "fantastic - now throw away all of Zoe's character cards, take her Avatar cards, and put Simon into the hero deck instead."

It's weird to me that the 'hero deck' in Firefly winds up being made up, literally, of the characters that nobody wanted to play as. I think it's my least favorite part of the game's design. I would much rather see the character cards you WANTED to use go into the deck, and then have Avatar cards for the UNused characters, which you could trigger every so often.

Did the Avatar system bother anyone else? I know the Talents and Flaws are meant to be vaguely thematic, but they seem like a poor substitute for being able to purchase that 7-8 cost card for your favorite character, which is always a high point in Marvel. I'm having a hard time getting my head around the fact that the entire player deck in Firefly is made up of the rejects nobody wanted to use, and THOSE are the only cards you can recruit during the game.
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Brian M
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One of many problems.
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Eric Chantigny
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Do you really have to do it this way? Is there a mechanic that would not let you use the same character in the deck and as avatars?

I have not played the game yet so I don't know how it works. I'm wondering because the game is in the mail and I should be playing it over the weekend.
 
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Brett Leeson
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I mean I know Encounters is a different system. But one of the things I love about Marvel is that you if you love Spider-Man, you can throw Spider-Man (a whole Spider-family, if you want to) in the game. You can recruit Spider-Man. You can fill your deck with Spider-Men (Spider-Mans?), and then keep drawing and playing him all game. Good times.

I don't think it would be quite the same if you had a Spider-Man Avatar card that just had an ability:

Talent - Wall-Crawl
Draw a card.
Activate: The next card you recruit this turn you may put on the top of your deck.

And then the game instructs you to build the player deck using Mary Jane, Aunt May, Captain Stacy and J Jonah Jameson.
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Jeffrey
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I don't see why you couldn't use the same heroes in the deck as in front of players, or just shuffle all the characters together. It'd make the game slightly more challenging (a River card that requires Jane me a main character is less likely to trigger if River is a main character), but it's not too big a deal.
 
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Dustin Crenshaw
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My variant is to shuffle all nine together. If cards come out of the buy deck the same as a main character, they go in front of them as their own personal buy area.
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Jeffrey
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What if it's a non-player main character?
 
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Chris G
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You kinda just answered your own question though. If you like Zoe's cards use Simon's avatar and Zoe's deck.
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Daniel Mandel
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Hi everyone,

The reason why the Avatars in a given game are supposed to be different from the characters in the Crew Deck is purely thematic. The idea is that the whole crew is working together. Some are represented by players and some are represented by the cards in the Crew Deck.

But when you take the game home, it belongs to you -- if you'd like to play with characters in the Crew Deck that are the same as the player Avatars, go for it!

Thank you,
Danny
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Brett Leeson
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kryyst wrote:
You kinda just answered your own question though. If you like Zoe's cards use Simon's avatar and Zoe's deck.


Man, nobody wants to play as Simon.
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Sean B
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I don't get this viewpoint at all. It was an ensemble show. My playgroup had a hard time picking characters because we loved them all. The idea is to have everyone represented as mentioned above...and really the only "reject" characters are the unplayed "main characters."

That being said I doubt making the crew deck out of your main characters' decks would unbalance anything as long as you have 4p or less
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Jay Johnson
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I don't see any reason why you can't set up your game by not only selecting your player avatars, but also selecting the 4 characters to use in the crew deck.

One could also use more than 4 characters in the crew deck.

I'd like to see the different variants that players come up with, and it would be cool if when folks come up with a good alternate setup (like Dustin's idea), that they create a thread in the Variants forum for the game, detailing their setup and rule tweaks, especially if you're able to playtest it and find it enjoyable to play that way.
 
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Alexandre P.
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In the first 2 Encounters games, you have 4 heroes on the deck and you play ... a reporter/radio guy/guerilla/...
So you have named characters in the deck and you play an anonymous guy.

I haven't played Firefly yet but this system seemed very interesting and thematic to me when I saw reviews.
 
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Nathaniel Chambers
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I feel the opposite of everything the op said. Glad they went the way they did. Such a huge disconnect for me with the Alien games playing as 'grunt' number 2 (or whatever generic terms they used)
 
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Luke Heineman
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Dannym77 wrote:
Hi everyone,

The reason why the Avatars in a given game are supposed to be different from the characters in the Crew Deck is purely thematic. The idea is that the whole crew is working together. Some are represented by players and some are represented by the cards in the Crew Deck.

But when you take the game home, it belongs to you -- if you'd like to play with characters in the Crew Deck that are the same as the player Avatars, go for it!

Thank you,
Danny


Danny, would you be willing to answer another question related to this topic?

With regard to playing solo 2-handed, a player has 3 Avatars sitting off to the side, basically doing 1 of three things: taking damage, buffing player cards, or being targeted by the event deck.

Normally if there were 5 players playing, each of those avatars would have their own deck of cards which include a talent card, and they would be able to use their Avatar's ability.

As the rules are written, playing solo 2-handed does not allow the use of the other 3 Avatars' abilities, and there are 3 talent cards missing from the game.

This seems pretty difficult for a solo player. Any thoughts on being able to use talent cards for any Avatar's abilities in this set up? Perhaps even adding an additional talent card to the decks?

Thanks
 
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Jeffrey
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There are a lot of differences between player counts that balance for and against low numbers of players. This game, more than the other Legendary games, plays at a more consistent difficulty level and at different player counts, IMO. I know the question wasn't addressed to me, but there you go.
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Luke Heineman
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Not sure I understand what you mean. Are you saying this game more than the others is unbalanced at different player levels? If so, yes I completely agree.
 
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Jeffrey
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I'm saying that other Legendary games punish you for having more players. They all do something to balance things, but two players are going to do better than five. This game has more mechanics to help this. The game is a little different at two than at five, but those two experiences feel more fair compared to one another than in other Legendary games.

For instance, in a two player game, you don't trigger fewer talents than in a five player game. You simply trigger the same two talents over and over. This might make the game harder, because you don't love your character's talent, or it might make the game easier because your character's talent is very helpful for a given episode.

Another example: you have fewer characters to soak up damage in a two player game (since the three non-player main characters can only take one damage), but you are "on your feet" more quickly with good cards in your deck, able to handle the enemies and not drowning in irrelevant side jobs.

So, if you look at one difference between the two player and five player games you might see an imbalance, but there are other imbalances that go the other way, and just from the little experience I have, it feels like they did a better job with overall balance than in previous Legendary games.
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Daniel Mandel
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lukeheineman99 wrote:
Dannym77 wrote:
Hi everyone,

The reason why the Avatars in a given game are supposed to be different from the characters in the Crew Deck is purely thematic. The idea is that the whole crew is working together. Some are represented by players and some are represented by the cards in the Crew Deck.

But when you take the game home, it belongs to you -- if you'd like to play with characters in the Crew Deck that are the same as the player Avatars, go for it!

Thank you,
Danny


Danny, would you be willing to answer another question related to this topic?

With regard to playing solo 2-handed, a player has 3 Avatars sitting off to the side, basically doing 1 of three things: taking damage, buffing player cards, or being targeted by the event deck.

Normally if there were 5 players playing, each of those avatars would have their own deck of cards which include a talent card, and they would be able to use their Avatar's ability.

As the rules are written, playing solo 2-handed does not allow the use of the other 3 Avatars' abilities, and there are 3 talent cards missing from the game.

This seems pretty difficult for a solo player. Any thoughts on being able to use talent cards for any Avatar's abilities in this set up? Perhaps even adding an additional talent card to the decks?

Thanks


Hi Luke,

In general the Legendary Encounters games get harder the more players there are. The fewer the players, the more total turns each of those players gets so they have more "time" to make their decks powerful.

For example, lets say a given game lasts 32 turns. With four players that's 8 turns per player. With two players that's 16 turns per player, which is a lot more time to make your deck amazing compared to the Attack values and abilities of the Episode Deck.

And due to the base mechanics of the game (such as how fighting an enemy is all or nothing -- you either have enough Attack or you don't; the Episode deck goes every turn as opposed to only each time the whole group has gotten a turn) two decks with 16 turns each will do better than four decks with 8 turns each.

Because of the above, we try to put in several mechanics that keep things relatively fair when scaling from 1-5 players. Some of these mechanics are:

- More Side Jobs in the Episodes (essentially gives you more time to make your deck better before the episode ends)

- Prep turns for 4 and 5 players (again adds more time to make your deck better)

- Coordinating

- Several one-off mechanics that allow the group to work together (and reward larger groups)


Whew. So all of the above is my lead in to saying having more Talents is another advantage we wanted larger play groups to have (along with other perks such as it being more likely that a player is Jayne and therefore better at fighting the Scrap Shop), to even out the fact that each individual player in the group will get fewer total turns.

That said, players have been discussing house rules along the lines of your suggestion and we think that's a cool variant.

Thank you,
Danny


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Luke Heineman
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Dannym77 wrote:
lukeheineman99 wrote:
Dannym77 wrote:
Hi everyone,

The reason why the Avatars in a given game are supposed to be different from the characters in the Crew Deck is purely thematic. The idea is that the whole crew is working together. Some are represented by players and some are represented by the cards in the Crew Deck.

But when you take the game home, it belongs to you -- if you'd like to play with characters in the Crew Deck that are the same as the player Avatars, go for it!

Thank you,
Danny


Danny, would you be willing to answer another question related to this topic?

With regard to playing solo 2-handed, a player has 3 Avatars sitting off to the side, basically doing 1 of three things: taking damage, buffing player cards, or being targeted by the event deck.

Normally if there were 5 players playing, each of those avatars would have their own deck of cards which include a talent card, and they would be able to use their Avatar's ability.

As the rules are written, playing solo 2-handed does not allow the use of the other 3 Avatars' abilities, and there are 3 talent cards missing from the game.

This seems pretty difficult for a solo player. Any thoughts on being able to use talent cards for any Avatar's abilities in this set up? Perhaps even adding an additional talent card to the decks?

Thanks


Hi Luke,

In general the Legendary Encounters games get harder the more players there are. The fewer the players, the more total turns each of those players gets so they have more "time" to make their decks powerful.

For example, lets say a given game lasts 32 turns. With four players that's 8 turns per player. With two players that's 16 turns per player, which is a lot more time to make your deck amazing compared to the Attack values and abilities of the Episode Deck.

And due to the base mechanics of the game (such as how fighting an enemy is all or nothing -- you either have enough Attack or you don't; the Episode deck goes every turn as opposed to only each time the whole group has gotten a turn) two decks with 16 turns each will do better than four decks with 8 turns each.

Because of the above, we try to put in several mechanics that keep things relatively fair when scaling from 1-5 players. Some of these mechanics are:

- More Side Jobs in the Episodes (essentially gives you more time to make your deck better before the episode ends)

- Prep turns for 4 and 5 players (again adds more time to make your deck better)

- Coordinating

- Several one-off mechanics that allow the group to work together (and reward larger groups)


Whew. So all of the above is my lead in to saying having more Talents is another advantage we wanted larger play groups to have (along with other perks such as it being more likely that a player is Jayne and therefore better at fighting the Scrap Shop), to even out the fact that each individual player in the group will get fewer total turns.

That said, players have been discussing house rules along the lines of your suggestion and we think that's a cool variant.

Thank you,
Danny




Yep, I understand the points you and Locutus are making with regard to adding special abilities to balance the increased difficulty of more players. I still see the inability to use three Avatars' special abilities as a distinct disadvantage to the solo player. It's not about "not liking" my two main Avatars' abilities, it's the absence of the other three that would be present otherwise.

I guess the fewer players having more powerful decks makes sense in terms of the balance issue in theory. However, I have a few counter points.

1. With fewer players there is a higher likelihood that the bridge will be clogged with high cost cards that are unable to be purchased for the first two turns. More players = more chances to purchase cards.

2. The above situation might deplete the Monty deck to 1 card. Assuming further bad draws, the players could get locked out of purchasing any cards and are at the mercy of their card draw.

3. More cards in fewer decks aren't always a benefit in deckbuilders. There are few ways to cull cards from a player's deck. Add to that the randomness of the bridge itself, and I really don't feel that fewer players have much of an advantage over more. They get to act more, yet each turn still consists of drawing 6 cards. As their deck bloats, the chances to pull off any meaningful combos is just as likely to diminish.

Anyway, I guess I'm not a big fan of the Avatars being in the game yet not really doing much. I guess in the end I feel that either there should be more monty cards to help with buying power, the ability to use any avatar's special ability if they're a main character, OR a way to discard cards from the bridge somehow. The combination of all three of these things, or lack thereof doesn't make much sense to me.
 
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John Van Wagoner
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would it make any sense to allow a player to mix-in 1/2 his Avatars' deck (randomly, and as opposed to the suggestion that all the character decks be mixed together)?

(just asking)
 
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Timothy Linn
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It would make sense to have the Characters be able to purchase cards from their character deck.

That would stick with the theme, you would have the cards that would be purchasable by everyone, and then your character cards that you could purchase.

This would lend more to the feeling that you're part of the crew. Right now, you "basically" stand by and order the 4 support characters around to do stuff. But if each main character could buy cards from their own deck, then it turns into "I shoot Patience and then Simon helps me out." or whatever.
 
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John Van Wagoner
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Keyh wrote:
It would make sense to have the Characters be able to purchase cards from their character deck.

That would stick with the theme, you would have the cards that would be purchasable by everyone, and then your character cards that you could purchase.

This would lend more to the feeling that you're part of the crew. Right now, you "basically" stand by and order the 4 support characters around to do stuff. But if each main character could buy cards from their own deck, then it turns into "I shoot Patience and then Simon helps me out." or whatever.
how best to implement this? mix all of them in, some of them?
 
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Timothy Linn
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Not sure, I haven't done any testing with it, but my thoughts would be, you have the Bridge full of support characters, and next to you, you have 1-2 cards from your avatar's deck that you can choose to purchase. Nobody else can purchase your avatar's cards.
 
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John Van Wagoner
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Keyh wrote:
Not sure, I haven't done any testing with it, but my thoughts would be, you have the Bridge full of support characters, and next to you, you have 1-2 cards from your avatar's deck that you can choose to purchase. Nobody else can purchase your avatar's cards.
as opposed to just mixing in those cards (into the deck)? (maybe pick 2 cards randomly)
 
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