The new board sections and contact decks are a welcome additions to the game offering more choice and variety.
The Reaver rules are the gem in this set and add a much missed slice of peril and greatly improve the play experience.
This is now officially a table hog, its footprint is massive and worry that some people will struggle to fit all of this on one table.
The Reaver's rules whilst excellent really should have been available in the base set.
Its time to take another mosey around the verse in the latest Firefly expansion from Gale Force 9, this time we’re heading out to Rim Space with the Blue Sun expansion. Since its launch over a year ago Firefly is a game that has been met with equal parts adoration and loathing with many being put off by its star destroyer sized playing length, clunky play and mechanism choices. But then most of that is the charm of the game so yeah this expansion doesn’t fix any of those things, but were they really that broke. I like to think of this game as the cranky, juddery old space freighter that’s carrying us through our journey, yep some times it breaks down or a part drops off but then that’s all part of its charm.
Now if your already a fan and loved the show then let me start off by saying that this is awesome sauce for us. So what do we get this time out? Well previously on Firefly we encountered the Pirates & Bounty Hunters that added a big ole chunk of PVP mayhem to the verse and now Gale Force 9 have turned their attention on another area of the game that the fan’s had grumbled was given poor lip service the Reavers.
Ah the Reavers, those deranged and vicious cannibal mad men on the raggedly ass end of space who’ll eat you soon as do other unmentionable things to you, they were a serious threat in the show and movie but in the game up to now have felt more a mild inconvenience, well all that’s about to change.
Its not all about the bitey men we get other shiny goodness including more jobs, supply decks and two new contacts in Lord Harrow and Mr Universe and of course that new Rim Space board. Kudo’s to Gale Force 9 they have taken a leaf (on the wind) from Wizards of the coast and much like the Waterdeep expansion Skulldeep, these come with one main mechanism change and lots more flavor, allowing them to slot easily into the existing game making it a breeze to teach to new players as much as brown coats.
So lets take a look at the most fun bit that comes in the box. We get two additional Reaver ships and a stash of alert tokens, the Reaver’s now start out in Rim space all nestled up together cozily orbiting Miranda but don’t go getting comfortable because they are definitely not staying there. In addition to these there are 10 new border space navigation cards that replace the existing Reaver cards and really spice up the threat, allowing them to move about with far more alarming regularity and giving players plenty of scope to sic them on their competition. The new rule for the Reavers is they drop an alert token whenever they move from one space to the next and these can stack, whenever you enter a zone containing tokens you roll a die and if its below the amount then you are getting some Reaver company and about to have an awful afternoon.
These new rules have given some serious teeth to the Reaver threat, they are prowling all the time now and venturing out to those Rim spaces is now a nail biting prospect and combined with the alert tokens there is a sustained threat of getting eaten. The Rim cards also have some cool little rewards and challenges to reflect the tribulations of a captain tear arsing around at the far reaches of civilized space that might just make it worth the trauma of heading out into that part of the black.
As mentioned there is also the Lord Harrow and Mr Universe decks, the Harrow cards offer some very lucrative jobs and getting solid with him also pays out big. Mr Universe is the more interesting preposition he doesn’t offer specific jobs but rather modifiers ” Big Damn Challenges” that you can attach to any jobs that you start working. These do things like make you have to pass more misbehave cards, or prohibit you from using certain skills on jobs and have a nice element of push your luck where you need to balance the risk reward, and some of these come with big pay days.
Finally there is the Meridian supply deck which is loaded with goodies and lots of gear specific to dealing with the increased Reaver presence, there might just be enough sweet trinkets to make the trip worth the while and all in all these are great editions to the base game.
If you own the original and play it and love it then this is an essential purchase, my main niggle is concerning the Reavers and the rules associated with them, personally this should have all have been available in the base set. The Reavers as they existed where completely toothless and I think the base game suffered because of this. Still, I’m glad that we now have them in all their violent crew munching glory and the extra models, I’m just a little irked its taken this long for us to actually get the rest of the game that I bought a year ago. That said the new board is great and adds some interesting new tactics and decisions and along with the Rim navigation cards is an exciting new area to explore offering plenty of scope for further adventures.
If your on the fence as to which expansion to go for it breaks down pretty easily. If you want more player versus player than Pirates is for you, otherwise this is my choice as it offers a heap more game, and those new Reaver rules really spice up the proceedings and combined with the new contact decks is a pretty solid deal. And best of all throwing everything into a game doesn’t make it feel bloated or overlong as this has developed into a cool sandbox style affair where you are free to pick and choose what you do during the game, All I have to wonder is whats next?