Big Damn Review: The Firefly Board Game

It’s been over a decade and Fox just seemed to have woken up and realized that a show they killed could still make money. The merchandising department cranked out this game and I couldn’t be happier. The premise of the game is you are piloting a Firefly class transport ship around the ‘Verse, doing jobs to make money to eventually complete the current storyline which is how you win the game. There are plenty of in depth reviews out there, so here is my basic impressions in a few bite sized bits of information.
Shiny parts
The physical game parts are on the whole great. The cardstock is solid, the money looks and feels like money, and the printing is spectacular. The ships, while finely detailed, remind me of rubbery pencil toppers in elementary school and some of the tall spires on the Alliance cruiser are a bit droopy, but that is the only major detractor. The game cards are filled with still photos from the show and fantastic original art deco artwork. You will need a LARGE table to play the game. The two of us playing the game on our 4×4 coffee table still had cards pushed to the table edge so keep that in mind. The price tag is worth the original artwork alone, but here is a game behind all of the shiny
A ship will get you work, a gun will help you keep it
The rules are very simple and straight forward. You win the game by completing the main story line, you do jobs to get money to do the main story line. The jobs vary in difficulty and requirements while the main storyline changes every game. You roll six sided dice and add skill bonuses to pass certain checks that pop up while completing Misbehaving cards, which you have to complete for some missions, or checks while simply flying around the ‘Verse. The rulebook had a poor layout so expect to be flipping through it for one line that defines a certain rule, but that’s just small potatoes when you look at the game as a whole.
(Insert your favorite Firefly quip here)
The game is full of flavor. Any level of fan will love this game for all of the small quotes scattered around the cards. You can buy Jaynes Cunning Hat as easy as you can buy Rance Burgesses Bad Ass Future Jeep and take jobs from Patience and Niska. This game is chock full of flavor and it meshes with the rules, such as when you have Wanted crewmembers or contraband and are stopped by the Alliance cruiser you have to sneak your way past or risk losing cargo and crew.
One last thing…
There was one card that kept turning up that destroyed the game, my humble opinion, in which the only way you could pass is if you had River Tam, every other option was filled with either dead crewmembers while failing or just failing the mission. My wife and I felt the game was tons of fun except for this card. I think in the future we’ll just ignore this card
EDIT: After playing through a few times, I realized that the crushing card was not actually that bad if you know how to play the game. In our first game, we didn’t know what to expect. I’d recommend going through and looking at all of the cards before playing the game to get an idea of what to expect on Misbehave cards, missions, and which goods are sold at what ports. It makes the game enjoyable instead of instilling you with table flipping rage.
Overall, the game is a lot of fun, will charm the orange and yellow knit hat off of any Firefly fan, and has rather simple rules with a lot of strategy, just have a backup if all of your plans go south, because they will, trust me. Play this game the first chance you get, you won’t be sorry.


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