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Subject: A couple of war stories, and why I love this game. rss

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Got a 6 player game in Monday before last with one new player, and 2 more who have only played a few games. We decided not to include alert tokens or bounties, and a few other advanced mechanics to simplify the finer points.

First run through: We played "Patience's War", which was chosen for its apparent brutality (killing potentially multiple crew members every goal, relatively high numeral tests of different types associated with goal tests). I find it incredibly easy to get distracted in this game because of how cool just doing shit feels. In the end we played from 6PM (some of this time was setup and brief meal distractions) until 11PM and only one of the players got a single goal token during this time. Since most of us had to work IRL the next day we called the game ended on account of the hour, the single goal token holder declared the winner.

I received my Vera mat in the mail on Thursday. This completes my full kit outside the Silverhold loot crate card (which frankly I don't think I'll ever procure) and the Artful Dodger ship / drive / die. I'm really hoping for a reprint on the AD when the misbehave deck expansion comes out in March, but I have nothing to base that upon but pipe dreams. Also, I'm excluding the custom ship models from my completion checklist; since I don't paint minis, I don't see the point.

Friday: another play this time with ALL expansions in play on the new mat. Before I recount the play: Jesus, it's huge. Overlaps my tables edge by about 2 inches on all sides and my table is not small. Overall I couldn't imagine playing without it now, the assigned placeholders for every job and gear deck makes organization very simple, and it's readily apparent something is out of place, allowing incremental corrections instead of the sudden realization that "guh, this board is a MESS."

This game we played "Niska's Holiday" 1v1, myself the Interceptor, and my opponent Esmeralda, who I'll call Dawn. I once again ended up distracted by cool shit pretty much the entire game and (as expected) quite cramped with the limited cargo space equipped on the interceptor. We made quite a few rule oversights this game, but we also learned quite a bit from it. We did include alert tokens this game but eventually we became frustrated with it and declared next game we would skip that mechanic. My heavily goal-oriented opponent (in all walks of life, lol) ended up focusing on Niska jobs (the endgame goal, that being 4 Niska jobs completed) while I tried to scrape cash together to get a better loadout. One of the rules oversights was pretty significant: Post-game we determined that taking a warrant while working a job for someone you're solid with will REMOVE any good will held with that contact (clearly stated in the rules but missed thus far). I remember clearly thinking when my SO took a warrant on their third Niska job (already solid on 2 counts previous) that there was something of this measure in the rules but couldn't recall specifically. Drawing this detail from my hat based on a vague recollection seemed unnecessarily harsh at that moment and probably would incite a ragequit, especially since we hadn't had this scenario before to memory. It would have changed the game a LOT obviously, but I was itching to start the next game at that point. Dawn won, but in hindsight we found the victory tarnished due to the above rule error, which is unfortunate.

Following this, the two of us played "The Choices We Make" scenario (PvP focused, all piracy jobs available at the get-go). A no-holds barred panicked race to get 5 goal tokens, which are gained through successful crime jobs or piracy. This one was interesting. I played the S. S. Walden (the BOAT with tons of cargo space and no stash... And only 4 sectors full range) and my SO played the interceptor (1/6th of the cargo space and twice the range). Goal-oriented as always, 3 jobs quickly were completed on the opposite side of the table. I was scraping by with a shipping job here, a legal job there, and I was really struggling comparatively due to my near halved burn range (I did manage to get a +1 range ship upgrade).

I finally ended up in Higgins neck of the woods and started two consecutive "heavy load" jobs, 12 spots filled with cargo and contraband. The ol Walden didn't even looked remotely cramped. With no stash to speak of I was eyeballing the long routes, alllllllll the way round the side of the board where losing staff is a problem (border / rim space), and not so much danger losing contraband. I actually pulled the fire in the engine room card with 2 entire jobs worth of cargo (Jesus, heart attack) but passed the mechanical check. "Whew... Fire's out." flavor text has never been more appropriate.

Around this time Dawn realizes I am carrying a crew member (Dalin) with a bounty on his head. I'm in the vicinity of Niska's sector so I can deal and get some jobs, since the only jobs I have completed thus far are the Higgins jobs. Dawn beelines for my ship (1st action bring the move action) and attempts a boarding check (2nd action), which they pass easily, since they exceed 6 wrenches. We are both pretty heavy on fight bonuses so we are head to heading the same stat. Before that happens, though, I have Sash's Hand Cannon equipped on a crew member, so the invading captain takes a disgruntled token, which is shrugged off and pretty much ignored. Now the fight check. I end up 2 points shy, and I have 2 discards that give me +1 to fight checks, which I use immediately. Defenders win, so parameters of a failed bounty collection on Dalin is 2 crew killed. Medic checks save both the crew members on the other side.

I stay in the same sector, and don't even blink, don't even flinch. This turn I'm cool and collected, looking for a job and making work. Dawn says "trying to collect your crew member again, I have 7 wrenches so I succeed the boarding test automatically". I have a house rule that you roll the die even if you exceed minimum requirements, that way it's a definitive action. Before we do anything with the showdown I insist the boarding test is rolled for, per my house rule. It succeeds, obviously, so we're committed. I still have Sash's Hand Cannon equipped on a crew member, which, before the showdown is resolved, disgruntles the already disgruntled captain. And fires the entire invading crew.

At this point I could dance on the table. I don't try to gloat when I pull a rabbit out of my hat but this time I couldn't help it. My opponent flipped their collective feces and started throwing cards and money at me, because I have REALLY shown just plenty of schadenfreude. I mean it was unmitigated GLEE. They are MEGA salty. My defense? It's a PvP scenario, pls get rekt, kthx.

After while they've settled down and we resume play, their ship now bereft of crew members. I have a piracy job ready to go and we're still in the same sector...but at this point it kinda feel like I shouldn't grind their face in the mud puddle. I finish my business in the sector and head on out.

The game proceeds, and my opponent eventually ends up completing the fifth crime job, so, I lost.

Did I really, though?
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Chris Laudermilk
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Great report. Love the last bit on the piracy attempts. It is hard to restrain yourself when your opponent makes a concerted effort to ruin your day & you manage to decisively turn the tables on them. I'm glad our current dining table is heavy so a literal table flip is impossible. whistledevil

I share your pipe dream. AD & the Loot Crate card is about all I'm missing. I don't care much about the card, but want the ship.

This game is indeed fun & you can easily blow time running around just flying & doing jobs. I just did a 6 player game that blew past the indicated 2hr time (It's All In Who You Know) by about 3x. Oops.
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Karl Gallagher
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As someone who once collected $21k in cash in a game with a $12k goal I agree on the distraction factor. Glad you're having fun!
 
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