Firefly: The Game - Board Game Box Shot

Firefly: The Game

| Published: 2013

In Firefly: The Game – based on the popular Firefly television series created by Joss Whedon – players captain their own Firefly-class transport ship, traveling the 'Verse with a handpicked crew of fighters, mechanics and other travelers. As a captain desperate for work, players are compelled to take on any job — so long as it pays. Double-dealing employers, heavy-handed Alliance patrols, and marauding Reavers are all in a day's work for a ship's captain at the edge of the 'Verse.

Firefly: Board Game
Prototype Image © Gale Force Nine

User Reviews (21)

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Legend of the Five Rings Fan
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68 of 72 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 3
“You can't take the sky from me”

Almost universal among the group of us who played the game during GenCon was an undercurrent of nostalgia: we wanted to watch the show again after playing this game. It captures the feel of the show beautifully, using locations, situations, and characters both great and small to do so.

Gameplay is widely varied. Players select from identical Firefly-class ships to start (including Serenity), choose a captain (including Mal Reynolds), and are loaded up with identical drives, fuel, and spare parts. Everyone is on an equal footing, and can start anywhere in known space (the game board) to begin play. The ultimate goal of the game is drawn from a stack of cards, and will involve changing up your strategy significantly from game to game.

Players visit various fixers/employers (Badger, Patience, Harken et al.) to take on jobs, ranging from shuttle runs for cargo and passengers to full-on heists involving risk and skill checks (“aimin’ to misbehave”). They can stop at one of five supply planets to hire crew or purchase gear or ship upgrades. They can steal (hire away) disgruntled crew from other ships. Travel between planets can be slow and safe, or reckless and risky, with the possibility of encounters and/or salvage along the way.

Complicating things are various modifiers, such as Fuel and Parts (both required to continue moving through space, and both of which take up valuable cargo space on your ship), Moral crew members and captains (who frown on taking on Immoral — but not Illegal — jobs), Warrants, Wanted crew, Fugitives and Contraband (which can make things tough when you travel through Alliance space), Solids (the benefit for completing a job for one of the fixers), and many more.

Complicating things still further are the ever-present Reaver Ship which wanders unregulated space, and the Alliance Cruiser which patrols inside the Halo at the center of the board. These elements are moved by other players during your turn, which allows them to throw obstacles directly in your path — or force a confrontation you can’t afford.

The components are well-designed, using photography from the show for most character/ship/gear art, but also demonstrating a savviness of design in the art deco and retro look of the card backs representing the supply planets, for example. The ship pieces are durable plastic, and the card stock is heavy enough not to worry about wear. The game can accommodate up to 4 players, and even includes a solitaire mode for player-vs-gameboard play. Game length will vary; one of the most time-consuming goals is a Monopoly-like variant involving accumulating the most cash, which can take 2-3 hours.

Pros:
Clever game design, incorporating traits from various other game types
Substantial replayability
High production values
Captures the spirit of the show brilliantly

Cons:
High setup and play time
Complex rules system
A handful of Full Stop conditions that can create failure with no chance of success (dice rolls irrelevant)
A handful of Easy Out conditions that can create success with no chance of failure (dice rolls irrelevant)

 
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Pet Lover
Treasure Chest
The Gold Heart
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7
94 of 101 gamers found this helpful
“Yes sir, Captain Tightpants!”

This game is a fairly simply pick up and deliver space game themed to take place in the space western Firefly verse. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very thematic and immerses you in that… without losing those of us who didn’t watch the show or were fans previously. In firefly, you are in control of a ship from contact to contact to pick up and ‘work’ jobs for them all while trying to complete game goals for whichever scenario you chose. Some jobs are legal which will make it easier to slide by that Alliance Cruiser and other jobs not so much so, not to mention there are those immoral ones that will upset any moral crew members causing them to be disgruntled. They can also get that way if you don’t pay them in order to fatten your wallet… oops 😉 Just be careful disgruntled crews can be purchased by other ships in your space or leave you altogether if they get too unhappy, and if the unhappy one is your leader well… he’ll go on a firing spree making it that much harder to get those jobs done.

In order to do jobs you will need to hire crew and gather upgrades and weapons including some with keywords to help you misbehave. The misbehaving deck is where an element of take that comes into this game as you will have to use keywords, and or certain skills to get it done. Failure can result in botched attempts or warrants issued making your job that much more difficult and possibly even killing off crew members. Along with that there is a neat card mechanic for movement through either the alliance space or border space where there is a chance that the reavers or cruiser will catch up with you and ruin your day.

Final thoughts:
Overall it’s a solid game but there are others out there that fill a similar niche, so far I am more than happy with this one though in my small collection.
What I like: The cards are well dispersed on their various supply planets making it so your buy actions aren’t usually wasted if you stop in to pick something up.
What I dislike: Not enough cards, once you know who’s where it becomes less a guessing game and more a waiting to draw them.
Who it’s ultimately for: Fans of the show, fans of pick up/deliver games
Who it’s ultimately not for: People who enjoy quick games/People who hate luck in games/ People not into pick up & deliver or take that games.

 
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Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
oddball Aeronauts fan
8
82 of 89 gamers found this helpful
“Misbehaving across the verse”

First impressions. The box for this thing is real heavy and there’s a reason, its jammed with content and all of it beautiful. There are decks and decks of cards, a big wad of money (its paper but looks stunning) and a large board, individual player boards and a big mess of tokens. You also get 4 firefly models an Alliance cruiser and a Reaver ship.

All of the content and production values are top draw, I suspect the choice of the paper money will draw some groans from certain sectors but they are very colorful and neat reproductions from the show. And when you have a stash of these in front of you how can you not feel happy.

The game itself is actually pretty straight forward and is at heart a pick up and deliver game, depending on how much you loved the show is really going to be the deal breaker from this being a OK game to a must own. The big and only issue that some players will have is the length of time it takes to play.

Once I received this I was desperate to dig in and fortunately it comes with a solo mission variant so you can do just that. The card estimates this will take you an hour, in reality my initial play-through lasted approx 2 hours, although this does include a lot of rechecking of rules and general faffing. And I think that might be this games big deal breaker for some, what is at heart a very simple and light game it does go on a bit. However if you love this show and dig the theme then what better way to go get lost on a Saturday afternoon than moseying about the verse and getting up to mischief. Right that’s the negatives out the way, now lets dig into the game and see how it plays.

Everyone gets to choose a captain and a ship. this is pretty straight forward with all the Firefly’s being exactly the same and the captain cards giving you a mix of advantages and disadvantages. These only really become clear once you begin playing. Its a shame that there wasn’t a bit more variety in the ships but that is somewhat negated as you can upgrade them once playing.
Other than your skipper you also get a fistful of cash $3000 and some fuel and parts to rattle around your hold, and then your set.
Then its time to work out how to go about winning this Gorram thing. Included with the game are six story cards, each of these will give you a set of goals to complete in order and victory conditions, with some occasional variations in the set ups.
They are a nice idea and add some more theme and structure to the game rather than just the first to so many points.

And finally you get dealt a hand of job cards – You get to take a look at them and keep whichever ones take your fancy. These are the meat of the game as they will discern where it is your heading and what you will be doing. And how much trouble you are about to get into.

These come in different flavors and which you choose will have ramification’s on the rest of your game. You can take the easy route and just pick the legal ones, these will mainly involve hopping from one side of the verse to the other and ferrying cargo or passengers. Simple but also not terribly lucrative you’ll just about make ends meet.

Or you can go take illegal jobs, these pay much better but the risks then start to multiply along with your earnings. For starters if your’e carrying illegal cargo or passengers you risk entanglements with the Alliance, which means its probably best sticking to the space lanes outside of their control. This unfortunately means a longer trip costing more fuel, and worse also puts you in Reaver space, and that’s never good.

Picking the Illegal missions can also effect your crew. Some missions are not only illegal but also immoral and if any of the crew you have employed don’t share your dubious views on right and wrong, well they are going to start playing up. They get disgruntled counters placed on them, get too many of these and they will jump ship, and worse the other players can bribe them to join their happy crew’s.

There are other issues that come with dodgy missions including skill checks and Misbehave Cards, but we’re get onto them in a bit. A lot of the missions have some nods to the show and add a nice thematic touch to proceedings, especially when you start excepting jobs from Niska and digging into that Misbehave deck. I like the subtle push your luck mechanic of these missions, it ties nicely into the show and can lead to some nail biting skin of the teeth moments as the Reavers and Alliance close in.

Each turn you get to perform two actions either Fly, Buy, Deal or Work depending on where you are in the verse will have some bearing on which of these you can perform.

FLY
This is one you will be doing a lot. You all start with the basic Firefly and it has two modes of travel. You can Mosey which means you move one sector a turn but you don’t run the risk of any additional problems or burn through that precious fuel. Its slow but safe.

Or you can go for Full Burn when you perform one of these you can travel the maximum range of sectors of your engine. This will burn one fuel but more importantly as you move into each fresh sector you need to draw a Nav Card, there are two decks of these, one for Alliance space and one for Border Regions. now some will just let you carry on but others will have less pleasant results.

Some require a skill check. These will be specific to either an engineering skill or shooting, each character has a specialization in one of these and you need to roll a dice and beat whatever that skills level is. Fail and it could mean you losing your stash of illegal goods, the ship breaking down maybe picking up a warrant or worse crew members being killed.

Others will give the player beside you the option to move the Alliance or Reaver ships. And you can be pretty certain that they are not going to put them anywhere near theirs. You get one of those landing on you and you are in a world of pain.

BUY
Pretty self explanatory, but yeah you can browse the best the galaxy’s malls have to offer and pick up some crew or maybe a shiny new weapon. Spread about the verse are planets that offer this opportunity, fly to one and you can pick up 3 cards and chose to buy up to 2 of them. Any you don’t go to a face up discard pile that any other player can purchase from when they get there. You can also purchase fuel and parts whilst stopped at these places.

There are also various ship upgrades to increase your cargo space, or engines. Before you start some of the bigger missions you are going to want to stock up on some of these goodies.

DEAL
This is where you pick up those juicy jobs. Fly to one of the planets or space stations that are home to one of the contacts and you can draw 3 cards and pick to keep up to 2 of these. As with the buy cards anything you discard is freely available for the other players to pick up when they pass through.

WORK
This is where everything comes together. To start a contract you need to meet the specifics of missions. Some require you to have either equipment or skills among your crew to complete. Most of these come in two parts the pick up and then when you reach your destination the drop off. Others can be robberies or even highly immoral assaults.

Before you can start you need to assemble what crew and equipment you will be sending on the missions. Some won’t go if the mission is morally dubious, this is important because if you are going to be pulling Misbehave cards from that deck to complete a mission you are going to want a good mix of skills and goodies.

As we’ve touched on it here and above I’ll cover off the misbehaving cards. These hold a chunk of the theme for this game many call back to events during the series. These work as wild cards testing even the most experienced crew and should not be taken lightly, attempting a few of these in a run will sort the boys from the men.

And that is all the main mechanics of the game. Then its a case of trying to outrun the Reavers dodge the Alliance and cash in those big pay days. The fun comes from all the little details and thematic touches.

I love that you can run the risk of taking illegal jobs through Alliance space only to have a run of ghastly flight cards that cripple your ship or lose your precious cargo, its straight out of the show. The other option is of course the border space and then the even worse situation of running afoul of a Reaver attack.

The morals of your crew again is a simple but effective mechanic, the most hilarious moment in one of my games was when Mal (my captain, of course) became so disgruntled by a bad run of luck that he fired his entire crew.

For me this is a keeper, I loved the show and this ticks all the boxes. With the expansions already coming and more announced I think this is one i’ll be coming back to as often as I can.

 
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US Army Service
I play green
7
80 of 87 gamers found this helpful
“The Show in a box with one bad issue.”

Firefly is a pretty decent board game for 1-4 players, 5 players if you managed to get the Artful Dodger ship card and ship from Game Trade Magazine #167 for you collectors out there. The length of the game varies depending on what mission you are doing. Right now there are two expansions that have been announced for the game. Breaking Atmo which adds some more jobs and supply cards and then Pirates and Bounty Hunters which is going to add player vs player interaction, more crew, captains, jobs, missions, ships, supply cards, etc.

Gale Force Nine managed to capture the feel of the show and put it into the game. This game literally oozes theme. It is a really delivers almost the entire feel of the show minus the antics. Its biggest flaw as a multiplayer game is that it feels like a single player game. The interaction between players is extremely minimal, so there is no need to really have any vested interest in what the other players are doing. I am hoping that future expansions will address this issue. Just keep that in mind if you are looking for a game that will have players interacting with each other.

I do recommend picking this game up if you loved the series and movie.

Pros:
-Great components
-Decent insert for the game that actually works well.
-Has awesome theme
-Medium to Long length game (depends on if the players are new to it or not)
-Excellent artwork
-Promo cards are a toss up on difficulty to get, but the Artful Dodger ship can cost you a pretty penny on Ebay.

Cons:
-Pretty much a single player game even with multiple people playing it due to extremely limited player interaction.

 
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Comic Book Fan
Book Lover
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66 of 73 gamers found this helpful
“Shiny. Let's be bad guys. ”

I was worried when I saw the release Firefly : The Game. I had concerns that it was a Firefly skin over a race game full of bad mechanics, so I waited for reviews and a little fan feedback before taking the plunge. Boy am I glad I got this game.
First set up is a little overwhelming, there are a lot of components including 13 decks of cards! But the components are great quality, with some great art work, and you’ll be amazed how much content they managed to devise from such a short lived series. The initial board set up with decks, bank and tokens will take up quite a bit of space, AND each player has a game board (their ship with cargo space) and will require quite a bit more space for their crew, gear and missions. So clear a big table or 2…
The rule book is not laid out as well as needed for the amount of content – it certainly could’ve broken things down a bot better. With all the fine details the game comes down to this:
1) Buy – stop on a supply planet to acquire gear, ship upgrades, and crew from the appropriate deck. OR take some shore leave.
2) Deal – stop on a planet with a connection and consider new jobs. And if you’re solid with them, sell some cargo/contraband.
3) Work – Stop on job destinations and complete tasks in order, or pickup small cash else where.
4) Fly – make your way to your next destination, either by burning fuel or you can just mosey.
5) Catch up with another player’s ship – if on the same space, trade, make a deal, or make a better offer and steal some crew.
Five of the decks are different locations for gear, crew and ship upgrades. Five of them are your contacts with jobs, both legal and illegal. One Aim to Misbehave deck, for when an illegal job requires a little something extra. The more illegal and dangerous, the bigger the pay off. The last two decks are the Reaver Space and the Alliance Space decks which reveal encounters, move the Reaver or Alliance ships or Keep Flying.
The Objective? It depends on the Story Card. Each story card has a different scenario, with Goals you have to meet, often in a specific order. They vary in difficulty and time, which is a nice feature, and more can be downloaded from various sources. But no matter what the Story is, you always need to build your crew and equip them. You start off with a decent amount of cash, but don’t hold on to it, spend it on your crew. Without a well equipped crew the good jobs are out of reach and the small jobs will take forever.
Anything with any difficulty requires skills or the right gear just to do, many require skill checks. Crew and gear give you bonuses on the three skills used in game : Fight, Tech and Negotiate. Great thing is the Misbehave cards always give you at least 2 options, so if you build a crew around 2 of these skill sets you can’t be totally stone walled.
The game includes some resource management, like fuel and parts, and there’s managing the crew as well – you need to pay them their cut after jobs or they become Disgruntled. A crew member with one Disgruntled token can be bought off by another Captain (player), and one with 2 tokens will jump ship.
Admittedly, a first game is a bit chaotic, and the recommended First Story Card is pretty plain. But after your first game, you really get a feel for it.
I have to say me and my group really like the game. Every player has wanted to play it again, and fans of the show can really get into the cards. Playing with the wife made us want to watch the whole series again, and watching the series made us want to play the game.
PROS :
1) Its a good scifi game about smuggling, even if you haven’t seen the show.
2) The components are very nicely designed and made.
3) Serenity fans will be thrilled. Characters and gear are write out of the show. All of the Jobs and Misbehave cards remain true to the shows feel.
4) Story Cards, including fan downloads allow you to change things up.
5) You can only take 2 actions on your turn, which is supposed to keep the game moving.
6) Priming the Pumps – all the supply or job decks have a discard pile which is available and you can view at any time. This keeps players from flying blind and allows players to go through decks and plot their next move during opponents turns.
CONS :
1) Its not hard to teach, but its hard to learn. It really requires a play through before you “get it” and that first game with newbs is always long and slow.
2) Its not for light gamers. The amount of components is overwhelming , and the amount of time required. Average game play is 2-3 hours, with newbs add 45 min to 1 hour.
3) While being a fan is not required, not being a fan means you’re missing the joke. Fans will get excited about things in game that you just won’t understand.
4) It is not a heavy strategy game either. Its all about putting together the best ship/crew/gear combo that works for you and chasing goals – so it does have race game elements rather than depth.
5) Players will slow things down. Even with the action limit and the ability to go through the piles on your off turn, some people can just drag the game in their indecision.
6) You need a big space to play. There’s a lot of game here.
7) Reavers will eat your crew and passengers. (for some this will be a Pro)

I recommend this for people who are more mid weight gamers than light, or fans who really want run a crew in the ‘verse. It’s the most thematic game since Battlestar Galactica. We had a lot of fun, and it keeps coming back to the table. The Breakin’ Atmo expansion fixes some complaints on there not being enough cards, and the Bounty Hunters and Pirates expansion fixes any complaints about there not being enough player interaction.
Good luck out in the Black…

 
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Gamer - Level 5
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66 of 73 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“FireFly Changed Us!”

As a gamer and a fan of modern pop culture (including comic books, sci-fi, fantasy, CCGs, RPGs, MMOs, board games and action figures), I normally check out all manner of new sci-fi that comes along. Unfortunately, my work schedule back in 2002 and 2003 prevented me from watching Firefly when it was originally on Fox. I heard it was good but I also had heard the scheduling was all messed up, there were barely any commercials for it and it was canceled before I could even hope to see it. Fast forward several years and I finally got to see it on Netflix and I was hooked! No, not just a mild, “Oh, its ok”. I was absolutely taken with the dialog, the way the crew interacted, the structure of the stories and the weird mix of western and space adventure. It made me think about the better parts of the original Battlestar Galactica or the original Star Wars (a New Hope).

I told my wife back then that she should beware of getting into Firefly. It was easily addictive and even after watching the series and then watching the Serenity movie, it’ll leave you wanting more only to be reminded that the series is canceled. She stayed away from it for over a year but then she slipped, watched it and fell in love just as I had. We started getting other Firefly and Serenity stuff. We bought the series and the Movie DVDs, the Serenity table top RPG, the Jane Cobb knitted hat for my wife, t shirts and a decal of the ship for our car. Still, as a gamer, we needed more.

We had gotten further and further into tabletop gaming again ( My having been a lifetime table top gamer, back then my wife mostly played standard board games like Clue and Monopoly and every trivia game ever made(!)) we heard that a Firefly board game had been announced. We preordered it and waited months for it to arrive. I’m still glad we made that purchase!

To start off, Firefly is another really big game, like Arkham Horror in its size, number of components and even somewhat in game play. It’s a lengthy game too, taking up hours of play. Although the game has different scenarios which changes the focus of the game and those generally say 2 hours, I have no idea how the game can be played in so short a time! The game has tons of stuff and when laid out, takes up a lot of space on the game table. There are 5 decks of cards for Supply planets (used to purchase Crew, Weapons, Ship upgrades and equipment) and 5 decks of Contacts (who you can get jobs from, each of which need to have a discard pile for players to access). There is a blue deck (for travelling the Alliance sectors and a red deck for travelling the Outer sectors where the Reavers hunt. There is a deck of Misbehaving cards for accomplishing missions. There are also card board chits for Fuel, Parts, Cargo/Contraband, Passengers/Fugitives and for Disgruntled Crew. In addition to that are large cards representing the ships available as well as plastic miniatures of the ships used on the board and paper money in several denominations. A ton of stuff!

If you’ve never seen the game, please don’t let all of that content to dissuade you. It’s all used in an orderly manner and it all makes sense. The difficulty with starting this game isn’t learning the rules so much as learning when to make certain contacts, when to hire crew to perform jobs, what jobs are really not worth it vs which ones are really great to do and when to focus on the mission’s goals and when to keep building a bigger and better ship. This kind of thing you just have to play through a few times and see what play style you prefer. There are a lot of ship captains to choose from, each with their own strengths. (If the game group has only one new player, be kind to them and give them Malcom Reynolds. He’s easily the best captain, having two really useful skills – Pilot and Soldier.)

As for how this plays by players who didn’t watch the Show? I haven’t seen it played by someone who didn’t know the show. It’s a niche game in that it really caters to Firefly fans. On the other hand, I’d imagine it would be easily played by anyone unless they really hate long playing games, games focusing on underhanded smugglers or people who aren’t fans of the source material itself. The makers of the game have to have poured over every episode and tossed in as much of the travelling, smuggling and contract negotiating from the episodes as they could to make such a good simulation.

On the other hand, this is a board game, not a social game so the interactions of the crew members from the show are missing. The crew becomes an upgrade of sorts, allowing your ship to accomplish missions that it otherwise couldn’t. The quirky dialog and funny situations have to be added by the players, but trust me, they will be more than happy to oblige! This is a game for the fan of Firefly and the long play times, dirty deeds of Misbehaving and the desire to just get out there and fly through the Verse is its own reward!

Another odd thing- in order to add play balance, it’s almost impossible to have the crew of the Serenity from the Firefly series in the game. Those characters are spread out across the supply planets, often come with a Warrant on them which makes them a liability when coming across an Alliance cruiser, and at the onset, each ship can only have 6 crew members, not the 9 from the show. The chances of getting an upgrade to allow more crew, recruiting all of those characters before someone else does and then using them without losing to them to The Alliance patrol is nearly impossible! Since you have to pay each crew member a cut of each job, it might not even be feasible to have them all, anyway!

One other limitation to the main game needs to be addressed, before this review is done. In this set, the only times two ships interact is when both ships are in the same place. If one ship has Disgruntled crew, another at the same location can attempt to lure them to their ship. The ships can also trade items. That’s it. The rest of the time, the ships go about performing tasks, recruiting crew, completing or botching jobs all alone. No interaction. This game doesn’t seem to bothered by this, however so as long as direct conflict with other crews isn’t your desire, then Firefly will be a great game for you to try. If not, then maybe the expansions will address this issue?

Finally, to sum it all up, Firefly is the game you need if you love long, detailed space smuggling intermixed with lots of travel, contract work and dice rolls for completing tasks. It’s an immersive game, allowing a certain amount of ‘living’ in the Verse. The game is fun, and that’s about all a fan of this incredible series could ask for.

 
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66 of 73 gamers found this helpful
“By Browncoats, for Browncoats”

You know how sometimes you get really excited about something and it totally lets you down? Or when you buy something because it’s branded with your fandom but you discover the spirit of said fandom is nowhere to be found and it’s purely a case of commercializing what you love to sell merchandise? This is not one of those times.

This game nails it. The spirit of the ‘Verse is in every piece of this game. The art on the backs of the cards is stellar. The money is beautiful. Even the tokens have a meaning and give a nod back to the show and movie. Every crew or piece of gear is a reference to the show and the pictures are all screencaps.

If you’ve never seen the show, you can certainly play this game but it probably won’t hold the same joy it does for us Browncoats. There are a lot of little jokes you won’t get, but game play does not require knowledge of the Firefly ‘Verse.

The rule book is lengthy and the pieces are many, which may seem overwhelming the first time you sit down to play. Once you get past all that, the game play is actually fairly simple. In a nutshell, your goal is to build your crew and improve your ship so you can take jobs and earn money. In addition, there are story cards to give you different goals and win conditions.

One of the biggest criticisms I’ve heard of this game is that it takes much longer than the rules and story cards say. This is definitely true when you first play it as there are a lot of elements to get used to. The more you play, the easier and faster game play becomes. If you’re performing a Buy or Deal action at the end of your turn, play can pass to the next player while you make your decisions to keep the game moving. This is actually suggested in the official rulebook, but it can lead to a less interactive game because you may miss what other players are doing while you make your choices.

I adopted a couple of “house rules” to help move things along, especially if you’re playing with new players:

Instead of taking only 2 unique actions each turn, take 3 actions per turn; you are allowed to take 2 fly actions a turn but all other actions are still only allowed once per turn. In addition to helping you complete jobs more quickly, this helps ensure that you don’t get stranded out in the big black.

Start the game with a basic crew to help you complete more jobs from the start. To accomplish this, I pulled all crew cards from their respective Supply Decks, shuffled each location’s crew separately and then dealt one from each location to each player. Players can then choose to “hire” as many or as few as they’d like following the normal rules for hiring crew members. The crew cards are then shuffled back into their respective Supply decks and setup continues normally.

Review originally posted on my website here: http://theladynerds.com/firefly-the-game-tips-reviews/

 
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Gamer - Level 3
9
66 of 73 gamers found this helpful
“A TV show based game that's actually good”

When a member of my board game group pulled this out a few weeks ago a collective groan came from round the table. Invariably games with a theme developed from popular media are dissapointing at best and we expected no better from Firefly.

Boy were we wrong. This game not only captures the feeling of the series perfectly but is also well designed (game play and components) making the game highly enjoyable and extremely repayable.

The rules are easy to follow to most players. Very casual gamers may need a couple of reads of the rulebook, but should be fine after that. Game play follows you a captain of a firefly class ship travelling across the galaxy to do jobs from a number of contacts. Will you stick to the straight and narrow doing low paying but safe jobs for Hakan or try for the more lucrative illegal and immoral jobs from other contacts such as Niska or Badger. But beware if you get caught by the Alliance, fines and confiscation await you. Also beware the reavers, whatever jobs you do they will come for you. Both cruiser and reaver are controlled by your adjacent players meaning that most players remain engaged throughout the game. Additionally bettween jobs you can visit supply depots to buy upgrades or hire crew, pick up additional cargo or resupply yourself with parts and fuel needed to move quickly across space.

This game has quickly become a group favourite and is played at nearly every session

 
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6
Hockey Fan
My First Game Tip
Detective
9
64 of 71 gamers found this helpful
“Browncoats!”

My husband and I have played this game twice through now (and admittedly, we realized that we played parts of it wrong the first time & probably the second), but nevertheless, thought I’d post a review:
The game is big. In that there is a lot in that box- lots of different decks, lots of different pieces- so lots of space is needed to play the game. Like more than a card table. Just warning you.

The artwork and choices they (the game designers) made for every single card and detail are spot on (if not actual photos) from the series/movie- so that part makes the game way cool if you a fan of the show/movie (which is probably why you are playing the game).

The rule book is very confusing. That first game we played (and have never seen it played prior) was stressful in that it caused us to argue over our understanding of the rules- the second game got better since we had worked out a number of the kinks the first go through). Although, having played it twice (with two different game objective cards) we still have a few questions (which I posted in the discussion). This is the most frustrating part of the game.

The missions, the “aimin’ to misbehave objectives, the movement when you burn fuel- and the ability to play with characters you know and love- make this game fun and worthwhile. I am glad that there is an expansion already in the works- it will be neat to see what cards show up next.

All in all- this game is best played the first time through with someone who has played it before if possible- if not, expect to be frustrated (with the rules not the actual game play). It’s a creative tribute to a great show/movie and as a fan- you will enjoy it.

 
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5
Book Lover
Video Game Fan
9
85 of 95 gamers found this helpful
“Shiny Fun for Fans”

This game is loads of fun. As a huge fan of the show it’s possible that I am slightly biased in favor of a game that let’s me captain my very own Firefly class space freighter.

Gameplay; players fly around the Verse carry freight, grabbing salvage and getting paid while dodging the Alliance and avoiding Reavers. We were lucky enough to grab the 5th player extra ship from Game Trade Magazine when it was out so our whole family can play. We’ve played a few times and there is enough variety and randomness that replay was very entertaining. Obviously the game is full of references to the show which will make fans happy. Players can crew their ships with a mix of beloved characters and random folks from around the Verse while shopping for items they will recognize from the show that give bonuses to various activities.

The game has a beautiful board depicting the core worlds and outlying planets, it has several decks of cards; supply cards, contact cards, nav cards and misbehave cards. The smaller cards are somewhat awkward to handle and with all the decks and other game components the game takes up a surprising amount of table space but those are small complaints, really. The only thing I would actually want to change about the game would be to add more of an element of player interaction. The game could be a little more social and interactive if players had more dealings with each other. As it is, players sort of play parallel to each other, racing around chasing their goals.

Gameplay can be a little on the long side. The first time we played it took five hours but some of that was just our lack of familiarity with the rules and such. Subsequent games have run more like 2 1/2-3 hours and were enjoyed by all of us, even the 11 year old.

Overall, a very engaging game full of sweet surprises for fans in each deck and there is already an expansion out, in the form of a deck of dozens of new cards to keep gameplay fresh.

 
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3
Miniature Painter
10
66 of 74 gamers found this helpful
“Keep flying. Keep flying.. Keeeeep flying!!”

First time I played the Firefly game, I had not watched the TV show, but I enjoyed the game so much that I had to see what it was based on, and I was sold by the first episode!

Every player get their own ship and a captain. Then the objective is to gather a crew, complete assignments and thereby gather money.
Beside the assignments issued by the five different dealers in the game, there is a main story that by completion, one win the game. Completing assignments for each for the dealers also gives different benefits. Besides the dealers there are also different sales places where opgrades can be purchased, which can make the assignments easier or make the ship better.

Det koncept of the game is great, but it as a steep learning curve. The first game takes a long time, it was estimated to 2-3 hours but we used approximately 6-7 hours, but it is worth it!

I love playing this game, and I look forward to trying out some of the expantions!

 
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4
8
5 of 5 gamers found this helpful
“The 'verse in a (BIG) box!”

My friends and I are fans of…pretty much EVERYTHING Joss Whedon puts out, especially Buffy and Firefly. Sooooooo, when a couple that I’m friends with found out there was a board game based on the truest example of a Space Western (sorry Star Trek, but I fail to see the Western part there), this was a natural fit for them. They actually bought this as a Christmas gift last year and then, knowing that I was into hobby board gaming, they invited me over to play it. Not knowing of this site, or the large YouTube community out there, they actually plowed through the rules and learned it. Kudos to them, as this is definitely NOT an entry level game, and they aren’t board gamers (yet!).

Well, through several fits and starts, we managed our first game. Quite frankly, we had a blast! This is, quite simply, as the title says, is Firefly in a box! At its heart, it is quite literally a pickup and deliver game. Given what the show was though, the theme fits right in. It’s hard to imagine a true Firefly game without some form of this mechanism. And the combat fits right in. Again, it’s a Western, and Mal is Mal, so naturally, there’s going to be some kind of fighting. Fitting the theme, fighting is important, but not central. In fact, most of the possible fighting you want to avoid, just like rebels, given the high risk in this game. You can’t just call in reinforcements here. If Zoe dies, she’s out of the game, that’s it! You might find another CARD that replaces her somewhat…but it’s Zoe, or Wash, or Kaylee…We’ve actually seen people in our games not do what was probably the best option because it would have risked their favorite character, whereas if it was a random background person they would have taken the chance.

OK, enough on the theme, what about the game and mechanisms? The movement system is innovative. Obviously, you can move 1 space per turn and there’s almost no risk…but then you get nothing done, and you’ll end in dead last. Most of the movement is done by “burning,” which moves you faster, but obviously, there’s danger in that deck of cards. Most of them just tell you to keep flying, but there are Reaver cards, Alliance cards, breakdowns, and even some chances to improve yourself and find loot. Either way, we’re all tense as we flip those cards over, even if we’re not flipping, because each player knows that every Keep Flying card flipped means that more of the remaining cards have bad stuff. They even put in separate decks for Alliance and Rim Space, reflecting the increased danger of flying outside Alliance territory. And the use of fuel to burn is a nice touch to make one judicious in how one uses that fuel. While you’re not stranded because of “moseying”, we’ve said “Oops” plenty of times cause we forgot to buy fuel. And the Reaver ships (they went and bought ALL the expansions, but I’ll try to limit this to the core game) add an extra element of danger. We tend to play “nice,” but boy there are plenty of opportunities to mess with opponents by moving these ships to block where you know they’re going, or even drop them right on them.

The planet missions and the Misbehave cards definitely add flavor, and make it more than just “move and do.” Any game could just have us shuttle from one place to another with this or that good, but there are plenty of “trading in the Mediterranean” games out there, and truth be told if that’s something a player wants, stick to lawful missions, although those aren’t nearly as lucrative. For some of the games, you can’t even win without doing illegal missions. The Moral indicator on many of the characters adds further complications, as you might see a great mission to perform, but your Moral crew can’t do it without being disgruntled; or you might really want this one crew member, but you know you can’t use them for most of the missions you’ll be performing, making it a puzzle on the crew you want to construct, some of whom may already be on another player’s ship. Of course, you can always try to buy them from your opponent, adding another wrench into the mix. I’ve had a few games where I was just minding my own business, didn’t think an opponent could reach me, and BAM, they hired someone who wasn’t happy with me. This nice “take that” mechanism is nice, without dominating the game. Searching the planets for the items you need to complete missions, improve the ship itself, and hire a crew, is awesome. After some plays, you learn who is on what planets, and what goods to find where, but there’s still the aspect of what will I get? I know this awesome jump core is on this planet, but so does the other player. Will they get there first? And the missions associated with each person are thematic. I’ve watched the series once the whole way through, my friends have done several times, and the missions fit the episodes, and the people. They fit the general Western theme and the ‘verse theme.

Regarding the components, they’re top notch. It might have been nice to have a couple of different ships, but it’s not too bad. The symbology is easy to understand quickly, and you learn how to read them and assemble a crew and complete missions quickly. Most people don’t seem to like screenshots taken from shows and movies starring their favorite intellectual properties, but I actually prefer it, as it’s more recognizable. The dice have a nice look to them, especially the Firefly in place of the 6. The mechanism of boosting on any 6 rolls is nice and makes having the fancy dice (fancy duds?) worth it. The board is HUGE and does take up a lot of space, but it means that we don’t have to crowd around the board. The cards have held up too, despite repeated playing, and have a nice feel to them.

My complaints…this game is LONG! Longer than what most of the missions state. Towards the end of the game, we find ourselves hoping someone would win, just so we could finish, although this could be because we were playing until 1 or 2 in the morning. Still, the games did run quite a bit longer than stated. I don’t mind long games, but I would like an accurate time frame, to know how much I have to set aside. And this game takes up a LOT of space. A LOT! All the decks of cards associated with the game, and all the counters, they take up space. Now, we’ve been playing with all the expansions for some time now, with the 2 extra boards, but it took up a lot of space even when it was just the base game. I also wish they had included more mission cards. Even with all the cards in all the expansions, it seems like they could have added more. Obviously, players can create their own, and there are probably more online, but it seems like there could be more. Maybe I’m just spoiled, but hey. The other problem is that the rulebook wasn’t clear that you only use 1 die. We actually played with 2 dice the first few times and I wondered why it was so easy to pass many tests, some of which 2 dice meant I didn’t even have to roll. My friends actually found this out after reading closer and kept that from me, figuring I’d force it to be a 1 die game. However, in light of our already long play times, as noted above, I was fine with this house rule, cause I want to get home before the sun comes up. But this could have been a little clearer.

Overall, this is an excellent game! It is perhaps the most thematic game I have played thus far. I mean heck, it was enough to prompt 2 non-gamers to go out and learn a fairly complex game, without the benefit of YouTube, and then go out and buy EVERYTHING for the game! That’s no small feat! If one is a gamer and has even a passing interest in the ‘verse, check this game out. And even if one has never heard of Firefly or Joss Whedon…well first, what rock have you been hiding under…but check this game out for the mechanics. And one YouTube reviewer even said that playing this game caused him to go out and watch Firefly. They fit together seamlessly and fit the theme flawlessly. I couldn’t imagine another IP on this game fitting so well. Check it out!

 
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6
I play green
9
65 of 77 gamers found this helpful
“Solid, Shiny, and just plain FUN!”

Being a bit of a “Browncoat” I had been looking forward to this one for some time, and beamed like a kid when the box arrived at my doorstep. The local Game Group brought it out last night for a first run – and it was a huge success.
The components are good quality and the rules are OK. We found a few fan-generated “cheat sheets” that were a BIG help. This game takes a lot of room, so be sure you have a good-sized table!
The core of the game is a straightforward pick-up-and-deliver game, but there is so much “color” and “flavor” and THEME knitted into the adventure! Flying through the black, interacting with familiar settings and characters, doing mischief and dodging the Alliance. It was great to feel IN the story.
There were, as usual, a few finer points in the rules and on the cards that we missed until several rounds into the game. All part of the learning curve, but a little more clarification in the rule book would make this less intimidating to the casual gamer.
There was some talk around the table about developing strategies. It was shiny when a key crewmember popped up in the card deck – but now that we know where they are, our strategy is surely changed. Will this take away from some of the “unexpected delight” experienced when you don’t know where those cards are? Probably. The natural answer to this is going to be in EXPANSIONS. More stories, more stuff, more characters, and maybe a supplemental board with more SPACE to exploit.
We didn’t finish our first game, but we all agreed that we’ll come back to the ‘verse as soon as we can to carry on the adventuring. A good solid game, and unbeatable theme, and a few hours of excellent entertainment. Looking forward to our next Firefly session!

 
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3
Went to GenCon 2011
8
63 of 81 gamers found this helpful
“Fantastically Themed”

I got to spend a couple hours learning this game from the designers at GenCon 2013 and was so very glad for the opportunity. The game is well designed and solidly themed. Any firefly fan will have an absolute hoot comparing their knowledge of the game and being reminded of obscure characters and moments in the show.

As far as the gameplay goes, its a pick up and deliver game. It personally think it gets a little simple as the game progresses. It needs some escalation factor to make later play more challenging and some additional rules for messing with the other players but the way the game is written it should be easily expanded even with house rules.

My biggest criticism is that the rule book is absolute dross. It’s impossible to find some of the critically important rules or see how they fit together. Having someone demo the game makes it clear in moments but finding the corresponding rules in the book is a nightmare. If anything kills the success of this game it will be that.

 
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3
My First Heart
9
66 of 86 gamers found this helpful
“Amazingly Fun - Choices Abound!”

This game is amazing amounts of fun! It is the type of game if you are losing you are still having, again, amazing amounts of fun!

Your goal will vary by scenario, but everyone has a ship and the ability to fly thru the universe. From there, it’s up to you to go with legal and not lucrative, illegal and lucrative, or a mix of both.

You stand a chance to be raided by the evil ship and have your legal goods, eaten and/or destroyed or boarded by the Imperial Patrols who will confiscate contraband and freed prisoners.

If you hit a bad streak of luck, you can wait tables on any of the planets.

The design is great albeit a bit hodgepodge.
Each major marketplace, there are five or so, has their own design for artwork. The marketplaces sell equipment, ship parts, crew, and items. All of these will be needed at some point to complete missions.

The expansion adds two ships which is worth checking out.
One is a scout that travels quick, but little cargo.
The other is a cargo ship that moves slow but dwarves all others for storage.

The board is well thought out along with general game mechanics.

My only gripe is that you could lose you cargo in a raid, but still be on the hook for the mission. This is however mitigated somewhat by the traders you could randomly encounter.

I highly reccommend this game for gamers of any type.

 
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5
Canada
Belfort Fan
The Bronze Heart
9
65 of 93 gamers found this helpful
“Shiny!”

This game is very rewarding for those familiar with the series, but that knowledge is not essential to enjoy the game.
It does require time to set up, even for those who have played before, and a large table surface is essential as each player will need a storage area in addition to the space required for the draw piles.
The board is gorgeous and so are the heavy card stock components.

Randomized quests make replay interesting!

It does take a while to become familiar with the map, which helps strategy.

For shorter games, house rules could opt for one of three quests instead of trying to complete all three quests on a given challenge.

 
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7
Z-Man Games fan
Bandai fan
9
65 of 97 gamers found this helpful
“One of my new favorite games!”

Another amazing games for Gale Force 9! I loved Spartacus and I loved Firefly the show, so it was only natural that I check this game out and Gale Force 9 did it again. I love their games because they have so many details and aspects to the game.

It Firefly, you play a ships captain, who is trying to get by in the verse the best way they know possible. There are 6 different scenarios you could choose as the mission for the game. As you play you need to pick up crew members, equipment and then jobs along the way to make money in order to bring you closer to your talk. Your ship can only hold so much and your can be pirated along the way so keep track of your cargo and passengers.

Your use up fuel and parts and can do many side adventures while trying to finish your tasks. You can play clean or sneak around and do illegal jobs for money but don’t get caught by the alliance!

So much fun, can’t wait for the Pirates and Bounty Hunters expansion.

 
Player Avatar
1
8
63 of 105 gamers found this helpful
“Firefly ~ vibrant with theme!”

Firefly: The Game is rich with theme and very easy to learn. At its core of game play the mechanics are smooth and simplistic to grasp. As a player you will take an action and move but not necessarily in that order. There are a few objective cards that come with the game and in the beginning one is randomly chosen to be the end game goal. Once you know what the end game is, you setup and commence play. The game itself has a press your luck aspect while it is enveloped by a point to point travel strategy. I give this one a big thumbs up or a 4 out 5 and it is a game meant for all levels experience. I would say it will scratch the itch for gamers that are fans of the Firefly series. Game-on in the verse!

 
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6
PC Game Fan
Indie Board & Cards fan
7
64 of 110 gamers found this helpful
“A fancy and fun game”

I loved the show as cheesy as it was, but I wasn’t immediately sold on the game. I’m a bigger fan of the BSG and Star Trek TNG series but will probably not buy their board games. I guess I’m afraid of being disappointed by a “static” iteration of much appreciated tv series. The Firefly tv series was fun and wasn’t afraid to poke fun at itself, thus I made the board game purchase. The Firefly board game comes close to fulfilling what I hoped to find- a fun, engaging game with strategy, fancy clothing and shiny things. I really liked getting my crew, getting my jobs, and moving around the ‘verse. I didn’t like so much being caught by the “authorities”. But that was part of the fun. I thought the Reapers could have been more destructive and scary overall. After 6 or so playthroughs (with two players only, mind you), the game started to get redundant and lost some of its shine. I hope, should there be an expansion (other than the boost pack) that a stronger central story would help polish up an already fairly entertaining game. Not sure if I can revise my original score, but I’d actually give Firefly a 7.

 
Player Avatar
3
3 of 5 gamers found this helpful
“Long and boring”

Trying to emulate the TV series into a board game is hard. Because the strength of the show was the story and interactions. Two big things this game doesn’t have. The issues with this game are, it is too long, you just do the same thing over and over again for 2-3 hours, there is imbalance with getting crew and weapons and there is no player interaction.

I haven’t played the 10 or so expansions for this game and maybe they fix the issues above, but looking at getting all the expansions for firefly, you would be looking at over $300 including the base game. If a game needs that many expansions, then it shows how flawed the original idea was.

If you can get the base game for $40 then go for it, but don’t expect a lot from the game, it is fairly weak with its game mechanics and you really have to ignore a lot of boring downtime to enjoy the game. Nice idea but it fails at being a fun space themed smuggler game and succeeds at being mediocre.

 

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