Firefly, the board game. Surprising Space Smugglers

Firefly: The Game. The game where you have to behave badly to win!


Firefly, the board game

What ? How ? Don’t tell me that’s not true? While looking at what was new in August, I came across a well-known game merchant website Firefly: The Game. The re-release of a 2013 game from a legendary TV series. Just like then, it was the Americans from Gale Force Nine who stuck it out.

Let me tell you about the adventures of space pirates in the Verse, pursued by Alliance ships seeking to bypass the planetary underworld bosses while dodging and cursing the Reavers! A whole program. Welcome aboard Serenity.

firefly, the game, is therefore the adaptation of Firelfy, the TV series, released in 2002. A single season created by Buffy’s father, Joss Whedon, which will be remembered. Despite a… monumental flop to USA.

Become cult in the years after its cancellation, fans will finally get a movie in 2005. Thus allowing to complete at least the main narrative arc.

I’m not here to praise it. A host of specialist sites do much better. Simply, for those who don’t know, jump on it! For those in the know, you know what I’m talking about.

I am a leaf in the wind

Back to our sheep. Which also risks being stored in your holds in the direction of Beaumonde.

In 2013, the first edition of the game came out of the boxes of Gale Force Nine. In my opinion, the game did not enjoy the success it deserved. Would the American publisher try to relaunch the game for the series’ 20th anniversary? Or would it have anything to do with behaves badlytheir very recent major deck building takes place in the same universe (that’s the case to say).

Find a crew – Find a job – Keep flying

First, let’s talk about the hardware. Consider putting Firefly: The Game in place on a large table!

ONE huge table represent the two known regions of space: the core system (The Core), run by the Alliance, and the edge, where, how shall we say, things are wilder.

Maps galore, for equipment or people looking for work, used when traversing the interstellar void to find out how things are going. But also the different contracts available as well as a certain poker game to simulate certain conflict situations that seem to validate certain contracts.

But also real tickets from ‘Verset’ with a small side… Monopoly in the room. Firefly ships, but also an Alliance cruiser and three Reaver hulls that will pose serious problems to those who cross their paths. These are the core of the popular belief about the ‘Verse’. They circulate beyond Rim, but they sometimes make raids to loot, kill and kidnap the population. A whole program.

They are considered demons who feed on the suffering of their prey. That is, any living creature other than one of them. Any sane person would rather kill themselves than fall into their hands…

In this glittering universe, you take control of one of the 4 Firefly-type ships. A favorite of smugglers due to a multitude of possible caches following a certain design of its architecture. In short, we can easily hide illegal goods and refugees.

I do the job and then I get paid

In the board game firefly, you are the captain of a ship that navigates between different systems. Your missions will be, in the order you choose or all at the same time, to meet the local barons of the underworld or rich merchants to see the contracts they offer, accept some or not, recruit a crew, buy equipment for your troops, upgrade your ship’s capabilities, complete your contracts and return for well-deserved pay and recognition from your employers. Simple on paper … more complex in practice.

There are many contracts. Transport cattle to colonies or medicine to a planet in health crisis. Transporting slaves or weapons stolen from the Alliance. Attacks on banks or ships. Murder and other fun!

Some contracts will be legal, others will not. Some will be moral, others will not. The more illegal and immoral the contract, the higher the reward. But you, or certain members of your crew, may have an ethic, and taking this kind of contract will pose a moral problem for you, which may lead to certain members of your team giving up… They will decide to leave their own if you link jobs that are too “dirty” for them.

In the game firefly, some jobs will require charisma and negotiation. Others pilot or hack skills or just pull out the weapons.

You can also try doubling your employers. Some may want to let it go unpunished. Others will try to make you pay dearly for it!

Another important point is the handling of fuel and spare parts. If you want to go far and your engines last, consider thinking big in this area!

But it is enormous, this ‘Verse!

Half a dozen expansions have been released since the board game was released firefly. Some are not worth a penny for the price, I think jet wash Where Emerald e.g.

Others are must-haves: Blue Sun and Kalidasa each add a new piece of verse to the starting board. With their new employers and contracts, plus some new rules. Seriously consider expanding the table if you use both…or even buy a second one.

Crime and Punishment as well as Pirates and bounty hunters meanwhile bringing more depth to the game, adding boarding and looting as well as several extra cards to “misbehave”.

Let’s be bad guys!

Precisely, we come to an important part of the game: “misbehave”, in the original version, which can be translated as “behaving badly”. To resolve certain situations to validate a contract, a certain number of cards written on the contract are drawn. These cards are drawn at random from a special deck. We solve the first to move on to the next and so on. If the latter succeeds, the contract is validated.

Each card gives you a situation to solve and two ways to do it. It will be up to you. Certain professions or equipment will make you pass automatically.

Otherwise, it will be resolved by an open dice roll, modified by the skills of your crew and equipment on board. It’s up to you to boost certain skills or diversify to cast a wider net. At the risk of missing your attempt. A bit chaotic I can give you. But manageable chaos with a little preparation.

And honestly, watching your opponents pass their tests is just as breathtaking as trying yours is stressful!

Oh God… Oh God… We’re all going to die!

To bring replayability and variety, the authors chose a scenario card, which was chosen at the start of the game by the entire table. A story is told and the 3 – 4 technical developments that will specify the conditions for victory. Each card indicates the “supposed” game time, interesting to predict.

Knowing that the middle part is approx. 120 – 180 min. You don’t want to take the gear out to put it away immediately afterwards. Note that a significant number of scenario maps, written by fans, can be found on BGG. Just to prolong the pleasure!

The re-release offers to be able to play up to 5 instead of 4 on the first edition. with a ship coming out of an extension (Artful Dodger) and some promotional cards in addition.

Small changes in the rules could also be part of the tour. It was already possible to play 5 or 6 with the available expansions, which offer us, instead of a Firefly, to use a salvage freighter or a space jet. Their characteristics will of course be different, as will the ways to play them.

Firefly, dom

To conclude, we fully find the universe of the Firefly series. With the rights, the editor GF9 used the images of the series to facilitate immersion. All fans will find the markers that made the series a classic. The others will be able to jump in with both feet and discover it from the inside.

So get your longcoats, load your weapons, hide your tickets, dodge the Alliance and the Reavers to finish in one piece. Explore the ‘verse with the controller of a good old Firefly, and if you come across Captain Malcom Reynolds and his crew, try to make allies of them. You won’t regret your trip… Especially if Jayne is wearing the hand-knitted hat her mother offers. As Wash said: “a guy who walks out on the street with this hat… we know he’s not afraid of anything!”

Just outstanding despite minor flaws


























Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


  • Authors : Aaron Dill, John Kovaleski, Sean Sweigart
  • Editor : Mad Force Nine
  • artwork : Charles Woods
  • Number of players and players : 1-4 / 1-6 with the extensions (turns very well at 2 or 3, risk of getting long after more)
  • Recommended age : From 13 years (if English is mastered, or with help)
  • Duration : 120 – 240 min
  • Theme : Science Fiction, series
  • Main mechanics : Pick up and Drop off, Race, Secret Objectives. To learn more about the various game mechanics, go here.

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Article written by Chab. Roleplayer became Platonist due to lack of time. Insider baker and Robbie Williams fan. Heart patriarch of a pack of gremlins. Likes a game to tell her a story.

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