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

Subject: Game is basically Candyland for 5 players. rss

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David Campbell
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So, I've played several 5 player games and have come to the conclusion that this garbage game is basically Candyland. I say that because the outcome is decided after you shuffle the cards before the game starts.

For instance, in the last game we played, only one of the beginning character cards available to buy were at a cost of less than 5. Therefore, we had quickly ran out of options of cards to purchase. Then, the first enemy to come up with a 10 health ship that gave all other ships +1 health. Keep in mind we're stuck with low cost cards that can only do 1, maybe 2 hits each.

The game was over before it began. There was absolutely no plays that we could make to win.

The thing is, that isn't an isolated scenario. If you're reading this, haven't played the game, and you doubt me, have a look at the BGG forums. You'll see all kinds of house rules people are coming up with to make the game more fair. Does that seem like a game that isn't broken?

There was a lot of early buzz on how ugly the art is in this game. Defenders (whom I mistakenly believed) argued that the art doesn't reflect the quality of the game. In this case, I think it does. It was a sign that the game was rushed to production. That means corners were cut and I'm betting one of those corners was play testing.
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John Bandettini
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I don't think I would ever play any Legendary game with five players. The system has never scaled well and five is too many. But I am starting to agree that the game although it has some nice ideas is so hard as to be unplayable.
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Luke Heineman
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I agree. I've been playing solo 2-handed and using the talents of the other 3 characters as a house rule. Beyond playing with the combinations of what characters are being purchased on the bridge, it's largely luck based.

It's fun to see how the episodes are implemented, but beyond that I have to admit that I don't find the game itself fun. I've never been a fan of the "Ascension" style deckbuilders. Oh well.
 
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Brad103
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In a 5-player game you get 2 full rounds without any enemies coming out.
If each person buys a Brown Coat, chances are they'll be able to coordinate with you later to buy those high cost cards.

Of course the 10 health ship early on still hurts a lot, but that's not going to be happening often.
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The Shader
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Braffe wrote:
In a 5-player game you get 2 full rounds without any enemies coming out.
If each person buys a Brown Coat, chances are they'll be able to coordinate with you later to buy those high cost cards.

Of course the 10 health ship early on still hurts a lot, but that's not going to be happening often.


yes. You get two full rounds of being able to purchase and prep before the first cards come out. If your whole HQ is all 5+ cost cards, just reshuffle and start again.

That being said, if you don't like the game, don't play it. I love this game and legendary in general. Every game has been *this* close to losing, then a clever play turns it around for us.
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Paul Sauberer
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I'm not sure what the OP is complaining about.

Is it that it is like Candyland? That would mean that there are zero decisions to be made in the game and that the players might as well not even be there because the game plays itself and nothing they do has an impact. From what I've read, that isn't true. The game can go in different directions based on player choices. So it isn't like Candyland.

Or is the complaint that it is impossible to win? That would be an entirely different matter. However, seeing that there are people who say that they have won the game this would be a false claim.

If there is something else the OP is complaining about, I don't know what it is.
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J. Crisman
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I agree that the art is ridiculously bad. But that's as far as I can agree. Especially the Candyland reference. I don't get that at all.

I play mainly solo running two characters and have played the "campaign" system multiple times. I would say I win about 1/3 of my games (which IMO is a pretty good spot for a co-op). Some setups are definitely bad, and make it very difficult to win, but there's usually a way to counter things.

Just my 2 Credits.
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David Campbell
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Braffe wrote:
In a 5-player game you get 2 full rounds without any enemies coming out.
If each person buys a Brown Coat, chances are they'll be able to coordinate with you later to buy those high cost cards.

Of course the 10 health ship early on still hurts a lot, but that's not going to be happening often.


We did that in our last 2 games. We got all the browncoats and used coordinate. I truly feel we did everything we could as a team. It all comes down to the shuffle of the cards, which is why I compare it to Candyland. It truly felt like a losing outcome was predetermined.
 
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David Campbell
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therealtheshader wrote:
Braffe wrote:
In a 5-player game you get 2 full rounds without any enemies coming out.
If each person buys a Brown Coat, chances are they'll be able to coordinate with you later to buy those high cost cards.

Of course the 10 health ship early on still hurts a lot, but that's not going to be happening often.


yes. You get two full rounds of being able to purchase and prep before the first cards come out. If your whole HQ is all 5+ cost cards, just reshuffle and start again.

That being said, if you don't like the game, don't play it. I love this game and legendary in general. Every game has been *this* close to losing, then a clever play turns it around for us.


Well, you had to fix the game by making up your own house rule (reshuffle when HQ is all 5+ cards). That was actually a suggested house rule I saw in another thread.

So far, everyone that has said they like the game has house rules to fix it. That leads me to believe the game is broken out of the box.
 
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David Campbell
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Psauberer wrote:
I'm not sure what the OP is complaining about.

Is it that it is like Candyland? That would mean that there are zero decisions to be made in the game and that the players might as well not even be there because the game plays itself and nothing they do has an impact. From what I've read, that isn't true. The game can go in different directions based on player choices. So it isn't like Candyland.

Or is the complaint that it is impossible to win? That would be an entirely different matter. However, seeing that there are people who say that they have won the game this would be a false claim.

If there is something else the OP is complaining about, I don't know what it is.


What I mean is that your decisions don't matter. The shuffle of the various card stacks predetermines whether or not you have a chance of winning. So, you may as well have 0 decisions. None of your decisions will affect the outcome if the deck is literally stacked against you.

If it was an outlying occurrence, it would still be a broken game, but I might be able to overlook it. However, there are just too many ways the setup decks can be stacked against you. So, we ended up with 3 out of 3 games where we knew exactly how to play and still lost strictly because of the way the setup cards were shuffled.
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Brad103
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dvc1190 wrote:
therealtheshader wrote:
You get two full rounds of being able to purchase and prep before the first cards come out. If your whole HQ is all 5+ cost cards, just reshuffle and start again.


Well, you had to fix the game by making up your own house rule (reshuffle when HQ is all 5+ cards). That was actually a suggested house rule I saw in another thread.

So far, everyone that has said they like the game has house rules to fix it. That leads me to believe the game is broken out of the box.


It looks like he reshuffled and started the entire game again (which on the first round is just reshuffling the crew deck and re-dealing) so no houserule there.

90%+ of any game with cards and/or dice are going to somewhat luck based. Comparing this to candy land is like comparing Magic the Gathering to black jack as they both are card games where you're at the whim of the shuffle (though with blackjack having a dexterity component makes it the more heavy game i suppose).

I played Legendary:Firefly once with mistakenly doing the B deck before the A deck. It was quite brutal, Patience attacked over several rounds, with no one able to kill her. We did eventually win though, with barely any health left...
 
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David Campbell
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Flixster wrote:
I agree that the art is ridiculously bad. But that's as far as I can agree. Especially the Candyland reference. I don't get that at all.

I play mainly solo running two characters and have played the "campaign" system multiple times. I would say I win about 1/3 of my games (which IMO is a pretty good spot for a co-op). Some setups are definitely bad, and make it very difficult to win, but there's usually a way to counter things.

Just my 2 Credits.


Try it with 5 players (or solo using 5 characters), which is what my review is for. The game has rules to try and mitigate the ramp up in difficulty for 5 players, but it's either not enough (2 setup rounds) or can backfire (adding more sidejobs, but you end up getting a sidejob early that is impossible to complete and has a punishing failure condition).

Initial setup can go beyond difficult to impossible, which means the game is broken. It means players might as well have 0 decisions. Just play cards randomly and let the game play itself. The outcome is exactly the same. Thus, the Candyland reference.
 
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Jennifer Tan
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Braffe wrote:
dvc1190 wrote:
therealtheshader wrote:
You get two full rounds of being able to purchase and prep before the first cards come out. If your whole HQ is all 5+ cost cards, just reshuffle and start again.


Well, you had to fix the game by making up your own house rule (reshuffle when HQ is all 5+ cards). That was actually a suggested house rule I saw in another thread.

So far, everyone that has said they like the game has house rules to fix it. That leads me to believe the game is broken out of the box.


It looks like he reshuffled and started the entire game again (which on the first round is just reshuffling the crew deck and re-dealing) so no houserule there.

90%+ of any game with cards and/or dice are going to somewhat luck based. Comparing this to candy land is like comparing Magic the Gathering to black jack as they both are card games where you're at the whim of the shuffle (though with blackjack having a dexterity component makes it the more heavy game i suppose).

I played Legendary:Firefly once with mistakenly doing the B deck before the A deck. It was quite brutal, Patience attacked over several rounds, with no one able to kill her. We did eventually win though, with barely any health left...


If you are reshuffling until desirable cards show up in the line up, isn't that a house rule?

I am curious on how many players were in your game. I love Firefly and really want to like this game. I haven't found any online, but if there's someone who won this game with 5 players, I would really like to see a video of the gameplay to see where I might have played the game wrong.
 
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David Campbell
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Braffe wrote:
dvc1190 wrote:
therealtheshader wrote:
You get two full rounds of being able to purchase and prep before the first cards come out. If your whole HQ is all 5+ cost cards, just reshuffle and start again.


Well, you had to fix the game by making up your own house rule (reshuffle when HQ is all 5+ cards). That was actually a suggested house rule I saw in another thread.

So far, everyone that has said they like the game has house rules to fix it. That leads me to believe the game is broken out of the box.


It looks like he reshuffled and started the entire game again (which on the first round is just reshuffling the crew deck and re-dealing) so no houserule there.

90%+ of any game with cards and/or dice are going to somewhat luck based. Comparing this to candy land is like comparing Magic the Gathering to black jack as they both are card games where you're at the whim of the shuffle (though with blackjack having a dexterity component makes it the more heavy game i suppose).

I played Legendary:Firefly once with mistakenly doing the B deck before the A deck. It was quite brutal, Patience attacked over several rounds, with no one able to kill her. We did eventually win though, with barely any health left...


That's not a house rule to just restart the game if you don't like the setup? I guess not. It's simply admitting to yourself that the game is already lost as soon as you see the opening cards. If that isn't broken, I don't know what is.

In Magic, you control your deck composition. There is luck, but you have a way to control it. In Firefly, the bad luck is completely out of your control.
 
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Brad103
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Games that lose before they start is just bad luck, but its not a broken game. If it was than the majority of games with luck in them would be considered broken. What would happen in the Dead of Winter if each character rolled a tooth and died? Moral would plummet and game would be over. Broken game? or just bad luck. I know that I'm talking extremes here but you're calling a crew deck of 5+ an extreme situation, which I don't believe it is.

A deck-builder by definition is controlling your deck composition. But I see that you mean controlling the crew deck that you buy from. In which case you also can control the composition. For instance, if Inara is a main played character, and Simon is a main non-played character ...yer gunna have a bad time...

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Dale Stephenson
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It never would have occurred to me that a solitare or co-op game with random setup elements is "broken" if it can produce an unwinnable setup. I always figured the possibility of such a setup was just part of the price to play for variety from random setups.
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David Campbell
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I guess the difference for me with Firefly compared to something like Pandemic or Robinson Crusoe is that there isn't much game going on when the setup is against you.

For instance, in our last game, our turns after round 2 were:
(Player 1): Can't buy anything. I can scan the verse. Can't do anything about that 10 health ship. Next.
(Player 2). Can't buy anything. Coordinates don't help me, but go ahead and play them to cycle your deck. Scan a space in the verse. Can't do anything about that 3 + 1 health ship.
(Player 3). Can't buy anything. Coordinates don't help, but play them if you want. Can't even scan a space.
(Player 4). Can't buy anything. Coordinates don't help. Can't scan.
(Player 5). Can't buy anything. Can't scan. Coordinates don't help. Take a ship strike.
..repeat until game is over

Every once in a while, we could add a card to our deck, but mostly the above was the "gameplay" (scare quotes intentional).

In other GOOD co-ops, if you get an unwinnable setup, you at least FEEL like you have a fighting chance and you have things to try, decisions to make, i.e. a game to play as you march to your doom. In Firefly, it's just can't-do-anything-can't-do-anything-can't-do-anything-repeat-repeat-repeat-game-over.
 
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Brad103
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In your example above, you say on some rounds you cant scan or attack or buy. This is highly unlikely. If you cant scan it means you dont have 4- attack power. Which means you have at least 3 buy power (4 if you're holding a browncoat). This early in the game chances are, 1 or 2 of your allies also have a browncoat in their hand. You should have 5-8 buy power?


Also, I'm not trying to argue here, just trying to understand, as I don't really see how it's possible to not have any options after setup. You're following all the proper rules I assume?
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Trevor S.
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I have been so disappointed with what they did with this set that I have not played a legendary firefly game in quite a while. I was so stoked for this game, I just can't believe had badly it has been bungled and the direction they went.
 
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David Campbell
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Braffe wrote:
In your example above, you say on some rounds you cant scan or attack or buy. This is highly unlikely. If you cant scan it means you dont have 4- attack power. Which means you have at least 3 buy power (4 if you're holding a browncoat). This early in the game chances are, 1 or 2 of your allies also have a browncoat in their hand. You should have 5-8 buy power?


Also, I'm not trying to argue here, just trying to understand, as I don't really see how it's possible to not have any options after setup. You're following all the proper rules I assume?


I didn't keep a turn log, so some details might be off. But basically, we'd have 3 attack, 3 buy. All available character cards cost 5+.

Keep in mind, after a 2 turn setup, there's about a 50% chance per player that he will have a brown coat in hand (assuming 1 browncoat per player). Also, keep in mind that with 5 players, if you manage to buy a 5+ cost card as early as possible (which is round 3), it will take at least 3 rounds to get back in your hand. That will be 15 cards added to the verse before you get to your "good" card.

Bottom line is, an unwinnable scenario in this game equates to letting the game play itself, which makes it broken, imo. There should at least be the illusion of agency.

FWIW, My friends that own the game tried with 2 players and it was more of a game. They still lost, but felt like they had decisions to make (i.e. a game to play). This is in line with other positive reviews. It makes me think Top Deck skimped on 5 player play testing (along with art) in order to get it ready for GenCon.
 
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Jason
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It sucks that the randomness of the game dealt you a punishing game.

dvc1190 wrote:
Keep in mind, after a 2 turn setup, there's about a 50% chance per player that he will have a brown coat in hand (assuming 1 browncoat per player). Also, keep in mind that with 5 players, if you manage to buy a 5+ cost card as early as possible (which is round 3), it will take at least 3 rounds to get back in your hand. That will be 15 cards added to the verse before you get to your "good" card.

Depending on your luck, you can buy a 5+ card your first turn. You get a 6 card hand. While the odds aren't great, it's possible to get 5-6 Shiny cards. Worst case is one turn with 3 Shiny and the next with 4 Shiny.

If you're playing with the recommended characters, then one of the player's was Mal. Mal could use his talent early to increase the draw of two players. That could help to increase recruitment points too. You could always change up the crew and use Inara. Her talent gives her 3 extra recruitment points. It can be useful for grabbing a high cost card early. (The crew is only recommended.)

It's bad luck if the 10 ship is the first card and the all the bridge is filled with 5+ cards. It's 1 in 14 (10 cards + 4 side jobs) that the 10 ship is the first. The 5+ recruitment cards sounds like another anomaly. Seems like you shuffled a perfect storm.

Sounds like having most of the 9 starting cities from Pandemic in the same region with and early Epidemic that causes a chain reaction. Sure, you can fight against it, but there are certainly no win situations in solo games.

I'm also going to point out that the game does provide rules to make it easier:

Quote:
Adjusting Difficulty
The game can be very hard, especially for newer players. Some Objectives are harder than others, and some combinations of Main Characters are stronger against certain Objectives. In addition to trying out different
combinations, here are some ways to make the game easier or harder.

To make the game easier, do one or more of these:
• During setup, shuffle extra Side Jobs into each Episode deck.
• Give each player one (or two) extra Preparation turns at the very beginning of the game. Note: On a preparation turn, players skip the Episode Phase.
• When you set up Episode 2, put fewer than two cards into the ‘Verse. When you set up Episode 3, put fewer than four cards into the ‘Verse.
• Give each player an additional Talent in their starting deck. (You can also give them an extra Talent before the second and/or third Episode starts.)
• Give the team 1 or more bonus Credits in between each Episode.
• Treat each player’s Defense Value as extra Health.
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Fred Jandt
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Sorry, luck is the part of any game. Take Pathfinder ACG for instance. There is a lot of luck in what comes up in the various location decks for that game.

If there was no luck involved in a game like this, it becomes simply a mental puzzle to solve.
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Des T.
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Registered just to point this out.

dvc1190 wrote:
Coordinates don't help me, but go ahead and play them to cycle your deck.


This is a critical mistake. It's better to hold on to coordinates until someone needs them or it's the turn before yours. That way, you can "coordinate" to set up one player for a strong play (such as buying a big card or taking down a huge enemy).
Also, in some episodes (Like episode 2), you should avoid having more than one card at a time revealed, even if it's the only thing you can do.
Out of the six episode of LE: Firefly we've played, we lost every episode on the first attempt, then discussed what went wrong and beat it on the second try. The only "house rule" we play is that we allow the two rounds (Edit: It was only one round) of setup with any amount of players. But seeing as you were playing with five people, you already had the double setup.

That being said, a part of almost every co-op game with random elements is that if the game is in a "bad mood", it can and will destroy you. I've seen this happen in Legendary, Arkam Horror, Pandemic, Pandemic Legacy, and Mice and Mystics. To me, that's what creates suspense. It'd be boring if you knew that you'd beat the game every time you sit down to play it.
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Jason Nopa
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dvc1190 wrote:
Braffe wrote:
In your example above, you say on some rounds you cant scan or attack or buy. This is highly unlikely. If you cant scan it means you dont have 4- attack power. Which means you have at least 3 buy power (4 if you're holding a browncoat). This early in the game chances are, 1 or 2 of your allies also have a browncoat in their hand. You should have 5-8 buy power?


Also, I'm not trying to argue here, just trying to understand, as I don't really see how it's possible to not have any options after setup. You're following all the proper rules I assume?


I didn't keep a turn log, so some details might be off. But basically, we'd have 3 attack, 3 buy. All available character cards cost 5+.

Keep in mind, after a 2 turn setup, there's about a 50% chance per player that he will have a brown coat in hand (assuming 1 browncoat per player). Also, keep in mind that with 5 players, if you manage to buy a 5+ cost card as early as possible (which is round 3), it will take at least 3 rounds to get back in your hand. That will be 15 cards added to the verse before you get to your "good" card.

Bottom line is, an unwinnable scenario in this game equates to letting the game play itself, which makes it broken, imo. There should at least be the illusion of agency.

FWIW, My friends that own the game tried with 2 players and it was more of a game. They still lost, but felt like they had decisions to make (i.e. a game to play). This is in line with other positive reviews. It makes me think Top Deck skimped on 5 player play testing (along with art) in order to get it ready for GenCon.


Actually, your complaint is a valid one on the Legendary system as a whole (as well as many deck builders). The availability and luck of getting the right low cost cards to slowly build up your deck is an inherent problem with most deck builders. Many try and alleviate the problem by either 1. Skewing the ratio to lower cost cards, 2. Creating a larger amount of options for buying (see Xenoshyft), or 3. Letting you choose what goes into the deck of options (Legendary).

Some games also give you the option to scrap the buy area to reset with new cards. In general, Upper Deck doesnt supply a rule to address your complaint, because it's just something that players just accept and either house rule a fix or go with the luck based draw. UD also supplies their own set of variant rules. Because these games are fully coop, they're designed to be pretty hard (because easy coops tend to be less fun for most people).
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Scott Kaforey
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I registered just to say that I take offense to you comparing this game to Candyland. The artwork in Candyland was much better...
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