Legendary Encounters Firefly Deck building Game from Upper Deck

upper Deck have pumped out all sorts of cool Legendary systems, mainly focusing on Marvel such as Villians (check the article for an idea on how to play) and now we look into something different with Firefly, a great Scifi show that sadly was far too short, that introduces some excellent new gameplay elements so should appeal to fans of legendary AND fans of the show!

So whats different? apart from not being in super hero spandex?

Legendary Encounters is back with an all new Firefly core set! Play as the crew of the Serenity and work with each other to complete each episode that players choose. Upgrade your ship to gain an advantage, but be careful that Serenity does not get enough strikes to end the game. Once players complete an episode, everything resets to start anew! Each Core Set comes with over 500 playable cards featuring all original art and will feature some of Firefly’s greatest protagonists, including Patience, Niska, Saphron and the evil Alliance. Also included will be a game mat to help to organize the play field. Get ready to explore the ‘Verse! 

Lets crack it open, and take a look around the verse!!

 As always, a ton of cards, a lovely playmat and rules booklet.
 The mat is amazing, i LOVE the art work on it, its clear, uncluttered and very impressive.... sadly the art does not continue in this way... but we shall come to that.
 The ship herself, Serenity is rendered perfectly, and yes.. she has her own spaces on the mat, so you get to manage the ship with upgrades as well.
The rulebook does give a nice setup and first game list telling you the decks to use, and makig it ice and easy to learn, as this is a standalone game, but does have some similiarties with previous releases.

So what are the major differences? lets see....

The starting hand setup for Legendary® Encounters: A Firefly™ Deck Building Game is almost the same as the other Legendary Encounters games. Each player will begin with 13 cards in their starting deck.
Starting decks are made of seven Shiny cards. These give players one Recruit point each. There are also five Misbehave cards. Each one of these gives players an Attack point. Shiny and Misbehave cards are used to Recruit Characters, Scan spaces, and Fight Enemies.
http://upperdeckblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/2016-upper-deck-legenday-encounters-firefly-deck-building-game-card-preview-starting-hand-shiny.jpg  2016-upper-deck-legenday-encounters-firefly-deck-building-game-card-preview-starting-hand-misbehave
The thirteenth card in the starting deck, called Talent, is a new card designed specifically for Legendary® Encounters: A Firefly™ Deck Building Game. Talents and Flaws (explained below) are special cards that are gained during the game. These cards represent the strengths and weaknesses of each crew member.  Players can play a Talent card the same way they play a Character Card. Once played, that player follows the Talent text on their Avatar.
2016-upper-deck-legenday-encounters-firefly-deck-building-game-card-preview-talent  2016-upper-deck-legenday-encounters-firefly-deck-building-game-card-preview-avatar-jayne
Each Talent ability draws a card immediately. Then, at some point during that players turn they may Activate the Talent to get a special ability. By Activating this ability the Talent card is then defeated and placed back onto the Talent card stack. If the Talent ability is not Activated the Talent card is placed into the player’s discard pile at the end of their turn.
Flaws work a little differently. At the start of the players action phase, if they have any Flaw cards in hand, they must play each of them one at a time. Also, if the player draws any a Flaw card during their Action Phase, they must play it immediately before they take any other actions.
When a Flaw card is played, the Flaw text on that player’s Avatar must be followed. A played Flaw card is placed back into the Flaw card stack.

Then of course the way its played, which is episodic, all based on TV episodes of the series, which i don't want to spoil, as you will have a great time recognizing them from various episodes that have already happened.

Then there's the ship..........

The Episodes in Legendary® Encounters: A Firefly™ Deck Building Game take place not only planet side but also in space. This means the players will be facing off against Ship enemies. What makes these enemies dangerous is when they strike; they strike Serenity herself instead of a player.
On the board Serenity is made up of four slots. When a Ship enemy strikes, a Ship Strike is drawn and placed in the lowest slot. If all slots of Serenity have Strikes and another Ship Strike is drawn, Serenity explodes and the players lose the game. This makes Ship enemies especially dangerous. Ship enemies will strike Serenity turn after turn, eventually destroying her.
Some Ship Strikes have an “Ongoing” effect that begins immediately and lasts as long as it is on Serenity. Otherwise the Ship Strike effect is followed only once when the strike is drawn.
The good news is that each Ship Strike has a repair cost. A player may pay the required amount of Recruit on their turn to repair a Ship Strike. They do not have to be repaired in the order they were drawn.
Players do have the ability to purchase Upgrades for Serenity in between Episodes. Players can purchase one or more Upgrade cards by paying its Credit Cost. Credits are earned during Episodes by completing Objectives or Side Jobs (more on this in a later post).
An Upgrade is placed in the highest empty slot on Serenity. If there are no empty slots, players may discard an existing Upgrade to replace it with a new one. If a Ship Strike is drawn and the next slot up contains an Upgrade, the Upgrade is destroyed and the strike is placed onto the slot.

These new additions add some twists, and a new way of playing legendary (how i would LOVE to see a Star Trek version), it proves though that vehicles can be used well in the game.

 In these episodes, there are also sidejobs, that give you extra things to complete, keeping plenty of variety in the game, but the art.... is somewhat flat, and not that impressive, certainly after seeing the Marvel versions.
 There are still enemies to deal with though, and they could come in the form of baddies from the show, or ships, so you need to make sure you can fight on planet or off. 

 The art for the strikes is downright awful, Olivia could do better, the characters are barely recognizable, its just..... maybe they treied for a different art style, but they failed in my opinion.  With this being a TV show the characters need to at least resemble them.
 Again, just.... awful.... which is sad, as i am a Firefly fan.
 Events add all sorts of in jokes for Firefly fans to enjoy, with classic moments from the show, presuming you can decipher them from the sub par art that is.
 Onto the heroes, of course all the ones you expect from the show are here representing the crew of the serenity, some of the art is a improvement here, others... just bad still, and dont resemble the characters at all.
Some of the other variants though for the main player cards (you pick your main crew) are great, Jayne in particular with his hat, and all are mostly easy to recognize by picture alone.

Overall, its excellent as a game from a  mechanics point of view, it adds real innovations, and plays well solo or coop, but its the art.... if you can get over that you will find an excellent game that drips theme, and atmosphere, and rules wise is the best of the legendary systems... if you can not get over that though.... GET OVER IT! the game itself is well worth it even with the poor art, and once you are immersed into the world of it you will barely notice, i do admit it was a bit jarring for me at first, but when you are going, and upgrading your ship... and into the campaign system.  Yes this has an ongoing campaign system, where you can get upgrades fro your ship, its just a fantastic game, which is what makes it double sad on the art front.  When you play it solo it runs smoothly, and when you play it together in a group of other firefly fans they will have a blast with quotes from the show and playing in character, and enjoy the best (mechanics wise) Legendary set yet.

With an RRP of £54.99, despite the artwork, and because of the excellent mechanics, its a must have for any Firefly fan, so jump in your ship and head over to your Local Game Store and grab a copy.


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