Sunday, February 15, 2015


Although I have not been providing updates regularly, Game Night has continued in my house. Over the past month, we have played a couple of new games, which I received as presents. Let me give a quick synopsis of each.

The first of these new games was my Christmas gift,  Firefly: The Game.

Based on the cult classic TV series, the game strives to re-create the experiences of the crew of Serenity. Each player takes the role of a captain of a Firefly class merchant ship. The captain must hire a crew, make contacts, acquire contracts, and hopefully earn some cash while avoiding trouble with the law or the reavers. To achieve your objectives you'll need to fly your ship throughout the 'verse, visiting various ports.

One cool aspect Firefly is that there are different missions cards. You select a mission for each game so this creates variety. We played this once, using the basic mission where you have to make contacts and earn some cash. I managed to acquire (mostly) legal contracts, so I could avoid any legal complications. After zipping around a few planets, I was able to rake in enough cash to win.

Fortune and Glory
Fortune and Glory was my birthday present.

It's a pulp-era themed game of treasure hunting for archaeological relics (a la Raiders of the Lost Ark). Players race around the world, avoiding Nazis and mobsters, then facing various dangers in order to retrieve the artifacts. But be careful, if you fail you may find yourself in a cliffhanger! Wil Wheaton provides an entertaining overview of the game on Tabletop (he gets some of the rules wrong, but you'll still learn the main sequence of play).

Box back showing board and some of the components.
We played the basic competitive game last night (they also have advanced rules and a competitive version). I was Jake Zane, the pilot based out of San Francisco. I got lucky; there was a plethora of artifacts in North America (locations are determined randomly) so I didn't need to go very far. However, my wife found one artifact that gave her a boatload of fortune so we had a tight race. We both got to 15 fortune (the goal of the competitive game) in the same turn so then it was a race back to our home cities. I got initiative and made it home but she made it too. However, when she drew a City card (which you draw to see if some adventure occurs in the city) she got involved in a chase that delayed her. Thus, I was victorious!

Both are fun games that effectively evoke their themes. In each, you have to strategize which missions to take then hope that you can roll well. Fortune and Glory has a neat press-your-luck mechanic. When trying to retrieve an artifact, you have to overcome (via dice rolls) a number of dangers (which are drawn from a deck). After overcoming a danger, you can camp down and heal or press on. If you fail, you'll lose any accumulated glory. Do you press forward to get a jump on your opponents or do you play it safe? Interesting choices.

While we enjoyed both games, they both have one serious drawback - they have a ton of components! Large maps, several card deck, lots of markers, etc. Thus, it is a little daunting to set the games up. Sometimes we just want to grab a game and go. I have a feeling that this feature may limit how often we play these games. Nevertheless, I am glad that we have them.

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