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Bernardo Gonzalez
United States
Kirkland
Washington
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Hi BGG,

First a little bit of background. My usual partner in games is my wife. She and I love firefly, we've seen the shows at least 4 times, and we often quote them. In addition, we like coops, my wife dislikes take-that, or competitive games. This is one of the reasons I hesitated on this game. In addition, we have two kids a 2 year old and a 4 year old, thus we don't have a ton of time to play.

Ok. then....

I just got the game and both expansions. Any advice on how to approach it? is there a coop variant that is good and entertaining. I see some comments in the forums, but what's the verdict. In addition, I think that the Hunters & ... is more PvP, therefore I think I'll keep that under wraps . Also, there are several other expansions of the game and/or promos. Is there any that has a coop feeling, what's your recommendation.

Thanks in advance.

BAG
 
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Erik Miller
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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So far there are no official co-op scenarios/ways to play. I have not tried anything unofficial.

My wife is much the same way. We usually end up keeping Hunters in the box. She hates the piracy missions and the bounties can get a bit... swingy depending on what bounty you have. We use the shop cards though, since those are nice. Pirates really ramps up PVP, and it just didn't really work for us. We do use the SS Walden, however.

The Jailbreak scenario is fun though from that expansion!

For me, I would treat it like you would a normal game. Just use the base game first (mixing in Breaking Atmo, if you picked that up, is fine. Only adds 1 new rule) and just go. A lot of the game sans Pirates mostly revolves around you guys doing your thing while trying to mess each other over by moving the Reavers/Alliance ship to bother each other. There is not a lot of direct action here, which sounds like what you are looking for.


The rest of the expansions either add more board, which is nice, with extra people to take jobs from, a new place to shop, and some new jobs/items for everywhere else, which are nice, plus some interesting scenarios, or are ship expansions. There are two of those- bigger Firefly-class ships that hold a lot more, but have a smaller stash and less upgrade slots, but start with some upgrades. There is nothing that will really encourage either co-op or PVP play in the other expansions (sans Hunters).


that being said, it is a really great game, though sometimes it does feel like you are both playing a separate game with a shared job/market pool, but we have had plenty of tense races as you go around trying to beat the different scenarios. Enjoy!
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George Krubski
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I can't directly address the coop aspect (which there isn't an official version for), but I will recommend that, despite picking up a number of expansions, you start with the core game first THEN add in additional elements. There's a ton of material in the game, and the release of various expansions allows you to learn and evolve - AND get a ton of bursts of enjoyment out of learning new things!
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David Maraya
United States
California
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My wife and I are almost identical. Only difference is that we decided to bite the bullet on this one. We made a house rule that, when moving Reavers and Alliance, it was required to do the worst possible thing. Keep an eye on the rules for encounters (sometimes moving a bad guy ON the space of the opponent isn't the bad thing, instead blocking their path to cause them to run out of moves is...)

Sounds like you might want a house rule that encourages the opposite.
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Judy Krauss
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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If you decide to add an expansion, I recommend Breakin' Atmo -- it's small and cheap and doesn't change the game except to add more contacts and gear.

BTW, there are some solo and co-op user-created variants and story cards for this game.
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Darth Ed
United States
Maryland
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If your wife doesn't like take-that, you definitely do not want Pirates & Bounty Hunters. If you haven't opened that expansion box yet and can return it to where you purchased it, I would recommend that you do so. If you can't return it, maybe you can re-sell it here on BGG or eBay.

The base game without Pirates & Bounty Hunters can be played non-aggressively, although that will neuter the Reavers and the Alliance somewhat, but the Blue Sun expansion will help with that.

I agree with Judy: Breakin' Atmo is practically a must-have.
 
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Darin Bolyard
United States
Oak Grove
Missouri
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P&BH does have stuff your wife probably won't like. But since you've got it, just leave the piracy jobs and PvP mechanics in the box. There's plenty of good stuff to get from that expansion without going after one another. Blue Sun is good. I enjoy the added reavers; my wife not so much. Again, plenty of good stuff in there. My advice is to play the base game, and add what you feel will enrich the game for you as you experience it more.

My wife once preferred coops, but has since come to enjoy just about anything in small, low incremental doses. As for Firefly, she enjoyed playing more before all the expansions. We own it all now, and she plays it less. She's made it clear that she likes less board to fly around on, and definitely doesn't like being messed with by other players.
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Dave Rowley
United Kingdom
Stafford
Staffordshire
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I don't have the "customizable ships" or the stuff out of the Crate, but everything else!

We are going back to basics and just going to play with the core game, no expansions, well maybe a couple of extra "home-brewed" crew & leader cards. whistle

My wife found the whole damn 'Verse just too overwhelming!

So suggest you follow George's sage advise and walk before you can run.
 
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George Krubski
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I cannot stress how potentially overwhelming the full board game can be if you try to start with it!

I must give kudos to the game designers for their brilliance in putting this game together, and it doing it the right way. If you go back to the comments when the game was initially released, there was a lot of conversation around a number of elements the game eventually added or addressed. These guys clearly had the end goal in mind from the beginning, but knew that putting it all out at once would be, at once, offputting.
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Anana 11
United States
Colorado
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Yup to all of the above. My BF and I love the game and played it several times (figuring out the official rules, establishing which House Rules worked for our personal play style) before discovering that a friend of mine and her husband had the game and found it extremely challenging to learn. We had a game night centered around us teaching them the game and woah, boy, did they ever have some rules wrong. My guess is that they didn't have a lot of patience to sort out the rules (which are admittedly not written or organized in the clearest manner possible), so flew by the seat of their pants. We set them straight, but that was just with the base set. No expansions, not even Breaking Atmo. Unless you are extremely experienced gamers who pick up on game design strategies like they're a second language, I agree with everyone above and recommend just starting with the base game or base + breaking atmo. It's complicated and could be easy to drop if you become frustrated. The complexity is really what makes the narrative bloom, in my opinion.

Good luck!
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Bernardo Gonzalez
United States
Kirkland
Washington
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Report-out.

We've played twice since my last post. I kept it clean and simple, just the core game. For the Reavers and the Alliance ship we moved them randomly. We played the initial scenario, the one that you need to buy a fake crown and interchange it with the real one and do fourth. I must say that both of us are quite pleased with the game.

In first game, we cut it short as it was late and it took us a little bit more time to put the kids to sleep. In this one, I had a ton of luck. I got to the 7,000 needed for the crown.

The second, my wife had the luck. It was quite annoying that every time I wanted to move in the blue space, I got the card that you have to either evade or full stop (that for all purposes was the same). Meanwhile my wife was sailing away with keep flying. The other thing that happened is that I got a ton of so-so jobs. Meanwhile my wife got a ton of people with the 'speech' skill, and she kept on getting only speech jobs. Even in the misbehave. She ended up winning, but I was close behind .

A couple of points, and maybe you guys can help me on this. By moving the reaver and the alliance ship randomly, we basically ignored that piece of the game. It seems we missed a big part of the game. It would be great to have an AI that moves these ships. Is there anything out there. I was thinking of something like this:

I saw two ways a ship can move:
1) Move the ship to another players space
2) Move the ship a space.

For 1)
Roll a die:
1: move the ship to your space.
2-4: Don't move it
5-6: move the ship to your opponent space.

For 2)
Roll a die:
1-2: move the ship to the closest space to you
3-5: move the ship to the closest space to your opponent
6: don't do anything.

If you have access to both.
Roll a die:
1: choose 1)
2-6: choose 2)

What do you think?

BAG
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George Krubski
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Oh, you'll find all manner of AI for the NPC ships.

Are you looking for something aggressive or random?
 
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David Maraya
United States
California
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gwek wrote:
Oh, you'll find all manner of AI for the NPC ships.

Are you looking for something aggressive or random?


I'm going to vote for aggressive, as it really adds flavor from the show to the game. It also removes double-bad luck (drawing the lousy card and then rolling a lousy dice). Just do the worst thing to your opponent with the comfort that they get to do it back to you and it's not personal.
 
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George Krubski
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Aggressive AI for the Alliance Cruiser is very easy:

* Move Alliance Cruiser toward the nearest Outlaw Ship.

* In case of a tie - or no Outlaw Ship, move toward the active player.

The other card that optionally moves the Alliance Cruiser, Alliance Entanglements, is the decision of the active player, but if you wanted to AI it, I would say "Move the Alliance Cruiser to the Sector the active player just vacated."


Reavers are a little trickier because there are more cards:

Reavers on the Hunt: Move 1 Sector toward the nearest ship. In case of ties, move toward active player.

Reavers in Orbit: Move Reaver Cutter to the nearest planetary sector to the active player not occupied by a Firefly. In case of tie, place in the sector that would create the most direct route between the Reaver Cutter and the target ship.

Reavers Dead Ahead: For simplicity, I would go with sector just vacated, although that's behind, not ahead...

Reaver Bait, again, allows the active player to move the Reaver. AI would be as Reavers Dead Ahead.


The Operative follows a mix of these:

Persistent Pursuit: Move 2 Sectors toward the nearest Outlaw ship (stop after 1 if originally adjacent). In case of a tie, or no Outlaw ship, move toward active player.

He'll Come at You Sideways: Move Operative to the sector just vacated by the active player if unoccupied, or nearest adjacent sector to that one also adjacent to active ship's current sector.

Leave No Ground to Go To: Move Operative to the planetary sector most recently vacated by active player if unoccupied. If occupied or if there has been no planetary sector vacated, pick the adjacent planetary sector closest to the most recently vacated sector.
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Bernardo Gonzalez
United States
Kirkland
Washington
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Two answer the question: aggressive vs. passive. It depends. I don't want my wife to get overwhelmed, but I don't want the functionality to be lost. I'll try the proposed one and will report back . thanks guys.

BAG
 
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JakAnze
United States
La Vista
Nebraska
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Sometimes the worst thing a player can do is place the ravers or alliance on the end location of a job that another player is working. OR on a goal point that slows everyone down. We do things like this regularly and it's the worst having 3 people "circling" a goal token but no one wanting to move the reaver when they get the chance due to having to wait for their turn to complete the goal. Makes things interesting....
 
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Jay Johnson
United States
Cedar Falls
Iowa
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JakAnze wrote:
Sometimes the worst thing a player can do is place the ravers or alliance on the end location of a job that another player is working. OR on a goal point that slows everyone down. We do things like this regularly and it's the worst having 3 people "circling" a goal token but no one wanting to move the reaver when they get the chance due to having to wait for their turn to complete the goal. Makes things interesting....

If you're playing with the Blue Sun expansion, it is allowed to mosey (but not Full Burn) into a sector with a Reaver ship, then you could use your second action to do a Work Action for the job/goal (or a Deal action with a Contact, or a Buy Action at a Supply Planet). The Reaver Contact event isn't initiated until you START your turn in a Reaver sector (with the exception of drawing the reshuffle Nav card, then it is immediate).

If you aren't playing the Blue Sun expansion, then you only have the one Reaver ship, and you don't have the option of not moving it when a Reaver movement Nav card comes up (such movement is not optional)
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