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Firefly Adventures: Brigands and Browncoats
Firefly Adventures: Brigands and Browncoats
2018 | Entertainment, Miniatures, Science Fiction
Okay! Yes. Firefly, a great IP. Check! Gale Force Nine, a publisher that brought a previous Firefly game to life and was pretty darn good. Check! Solo, Cooperative, or Competitive? Check! So far so good, so how does it stack up and have I finally found my gorram Firefly love?

Firefly Adventures: Brigands and Browncoats (from here just Firefly) is a miniatures skirmish game that can be played as a one-off game experience or as a campaign style story game. In it players will either control one or more Crew (the heroes of the show) or all of the Goons (the bad guys). For the solo experience I will be detailing here the solo player will control all characters on both sides. The Crew will be attempting to pull off The Rescue Job by rescuing an injured comrade hostage stashed in one of the 10 buildings on the board. After the hostage has been rescued all Crew and hostage must make it to the landing pad area before time for the Job runs out.

To setup, follow the instructions on the included Job pamphlet (there are four included in the box). The beginning of the Job will look similar to the photo below, though other components outside the board setup may be in whatever location fits the player best. After Equipment cards have been revealed and shopping completed, the game may begin in earnest, and best be quick – you only have 50 Moments to complete the Job!
Firefly is a turn-based minis game, but turns will probably never be in the same order. Each action taken by a character costs Moments in time, tracked by the brown Moments tracker around the board. Each character, be they Crew or Goons, will have their own Time Marker to show where in the 50 Moments the character currently resides. The character whose Time Marker is furthest in the rear of the pack will take their turn next. On a turn characters will have several choices of actions to take: Move, Complete a Test, Heal, Assist, or even Brawl and Shoot!

This Job focuses on gathering Intel from a terminal in one of the buildings or by chatting up nearby Cowboys. These Intel chips may be turned in for information to help narrow down exactly in which building the hostage is being held. Along the way, however, certain events may cause the Crew to have to “act heroic,” which means swapping out their gray “casual” mini for their green “heroic” mini in order to complete the event. Funny thing though, once a Crew member acts heroic, if ending their turn within line of sight of a Goon, that Goon becomes Alerted and joins the Timeline with their own mini and Time Marker. The Goons will now be trying to take out the beloved Crew member! As in the photo below, poor Mal is being surrounded by Goons with Zoe and Jayne nearby to help.

When all is said and done, Crew and Goons will be taking actions and spending Moments to do so. Should the Crew get to the landing pad with the hostage in tow the Crew wins! However, if time runs out on the Job (as it did with me twice) then the Job has failed. In either case the Crew may receive Rewards in various amounts of credits or Intel or other rewards that they may carry with to the next Job if playing a Story (several Jobs in succession).
Components. I am a HUGE fan of the components in this box. Not only are the minis great, the tokens chunky, and the artwork very good, but each 3D building is pre-assembled right out of the box. They nest very tightly and neatly within the box (whose bottom is also a very large building), but you will need to provide a bunch of baggies or other storage means because all the small components will be dumped into these buildings otherwise. I love all the components in this game, and they are all wonderful to handle… except one – the Time Markers. These are the tokens that represent the characters on the Moments tracker. As characters move along the tracker their Time Markers will be placed on a blank spot, or more often than not, on top of a stack of other Markers. No problem usually, unless your big man-hands tend not to be dextrous enough to grab the top Marker cleanly off the stack and it causes a giant mess of Time Markers on the board. I mean, not that it happened to me several times, of course…

In any case, Firefly is a marvelous scenario-based minis game that I have had nothing but great times playing – even solo! I honestly cannot imagine having more fun by adding more players, so this may be another “solo only” game for me. I will probably try it with my wife, maybe, or someone else once the COVID is gone. I love being able to figure out how best to maneuver each character in order to achieve the goals of the Job, but then something always causing me to have to act heroic and end my turn in LOS of a Goon, so now they are coming after me. I would not necessarily compare it to an action-programming game where you make plans only to have randomness obliterate them, but it certainly adds a giant amount of tactics to the game. In fact, during one play Mal alerted four Cowboys at once, and then the game was no longer a strategic stealthy experience but an all-out melee just to survive. I lost the Job, but only by a few Moments.

Ahh, this one is fabulous, and I am so happy that I have finally found that perfect-for-me Firefly game. If you are a fan of the Firefly mythos and are looking for a game that does it justice while having a ton of replayability, then please check out Firefly Adventures: Brigands and Browncoats. I am seriously also considering purchasing the expansions to add Book, Inara, Simon, and River. I mean, how could you NOT want to add River to your game?? I’ll be in my bunk.