Battleshed Diaries

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Jail Break in the 'Verse!

There was an epic game of Firefly in the Battleshed on Sunday. A marathon four hour game with all the current expansions in play, including the latest, Kalidasa, which is the second Rim expansion (after Blue Sun) adding another new star system to the 'Verse. 

With a father and son combo from my local club keen to give the latest expansion a try, but the 'Verse expanding far beyond the bounds of their dining room table, the Battleshed was called upon. Mind you, given the huge amount of card decks and paraphernalia involved with this epic board game, even the Battleshed's 8'x4' table was being tested! 

Firefly, for those unfamiliar (shame on you!) is a board game based on the cult SF Space/Western TV series and film (Serenity) from Joss Whedon.  This is a future where humans have ventured into new star systems and follows the adventures of the dissident crew of Serenity, a 'Firefly-class' spaceship.  A kind of space truck/RV combo. 

The board game has the players controlling a distinctive Firefly ship (the Bonnie Mae for me) with a pilot and a bit of starting capitol to help get established in the 'Verse.  A Story Card is drawn at the start of the game and from there it's up to each player how they go about fulfilling the game objectives. 

Competing against or working with fellow pilots? Taking on Legal or Illegal jobs to earn hard cash needed to hire crew, buy new kit or ship upgrades? It's a fantastic game and its one of the best that I've played that's close to the original theme. My previous Firefly posts may help to explain further.

What's new with Kalidasa? Here's the blurb:

"The Game, Kalidasa adds a massive star system to the ‘Verse with loads of new opportunities for adventure and profit. No sector of space is safe as the long arm of the Alliance reaches out beyond the central planets with the addition of the Operative’s Corvette. Every region of the ‘Verse becomes more dangerous with the addition of new Nav Cards for Alliance Space, Border Space and Rim Space. 

Two new Contacts, including the twin brothers Fanty & Mingo, provide new work opportunities for ambitious crews, especially those willing to get their hands dirty. The bustling port of Beaumonde offers exciting new gear and supplies for captains of all sorts. The bounty of the Rim also flows back to other Supply Planets with new crew, gear and ship upgrades appearing on other worlds.  Finally, new Set Up cards, new Story Cards and a host of surprises await the bold."

How did it play? Wow, what a great game! We drew the Jail Break Story Card which came in three parts:

  1. Belly of the Beast - Must be Solid (successfully complete a job first) with the agent contact Harken, then board the Alliance cruiser! Easier said than done! 
  2. Badger will make it all better - Must be Solid with Badger. Travel to Persephone, Deal with Badger and pay $5000 to clear all Warrants. 
  3. Headin for ther Hills! Travel to the planetary system Three Hills. First player to arrive at with the above two Goal completed wins!

Now, boarding an Alliance cruiser is only something a suicidal or completely bonkers Firefly captain would attempt. So that's what we did. This proved to be the most tricky objective, given that crews need a 6 Communication skill to successfully board in the first place and 10 in Weaponry to make the jail break. Which inevitably meant our captains firstly had to acquire enough crew, skills and kit to even consider this madness! 

I attempted to do some easy, but low paying, Legal jobs at first, hoping to keep a low profile with an Alliance corvette now joining the cruiser patrolling the core systems. However, it became clear that this was turning into a bit of a race. Therefore, I was forced by circumstance into criminality (honest Judge!) and signed on for a dodgy 'transport fugitives' job sending me way out into the Rim. To the Kalidasa system in fact.

Here, I soon got into difficulties having to desperately evade the cannibalistic attentions of Reavers and ended up running out of fuel and having to limp to the nearest supply planet!

Mind you, my fellow Firefly captains were also having their own troubles. One was having repeated run-ins with Alliance spot checks after doing a succession of illegal jobs. 

The other appeared to be having severe crew issues, particularly with his hired gun Jayne all tooled up but spending much of the time in an EVA suit trying to hide from Alliance boarding raids and a succession of hired medic crew were rumoured have been mysteriously ejected out of the airlock under suspicious circumstances. Some captains are just ruthless!

By the latter stages of the game my crew, having eventually completed the boarding raid on the Alliance cruiser and completed a number of jobs to accumulate enough cash to satisfy Badger, was struggling to reach the agent's home base on Persephone to make the Deal - what with the hornet's nest of Alliance and Reaver activity now in just about every system!

Unfortunately, one of the other Captains was just ahead of me and after some tense rounds of attempting to navigate the safest route, eventually made it to Three Hills for the win. Drat! My crew were thought they were in the clear.

This was an epic game, with so much going on each turn. Far too much to post here. And yes, it really did take the three of us four hours to play. It says ' 2 hours' on the objective card but I think this is probably referring to how long it takes to pack up all the cards and tokens afterwards! 

Once again I had another brilliant game of Firefly and can thoroughly recommend this as a worthy addition to any board game collection.

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