Review – Legendary Encounters: Firefly

Posted on by Jesta

A Co-Op Deck Building game.

Title: Legendary Encounters: Firefly

Year Published: 2016

Designer: Ben Cichoski, Daniel Mandel

Publisher: Upper Deck Entertainment

Players: 1-5

Game Time: 45-90 minutes

Set-up Time: ~5 minutes

Ages: 14+

Theme: Firefly ‘Verse

Mechanism: Co-op, Deck Building

How to win: Complete the Scenario

Game Description

A stand-alone game utilising the Legendary Encounters system set in the Firefly universe.

Set Up

Players have a starting deck of 7 Shiny, 5 Misbehave and 1 Talent card.

Each player picks an Avatar as a main character. As the number of Main characters in every game is ALWAYS 5, add a number of Avatars under the Bridge to bring the total to 5.

This is a two player game with the players using Mal and Zoe. Wash, Kaylee and Jayne are placed under the bridge to bring the character count up to 5.

Shuffle the cards belonging to the other 4 characters to make the crew deck.

The remaining Avatars, River, Simon, Inara and Book are put aside. But they each have a deck of cards and they’re all shuffled together.

Shuffle the Upgrades, Browncoats, Ship Strikes and Crew Strikes and put them on their spaces on the board. Put the Talent and Flaw cards face up near the board.

Pick objectives A, B & C from the chosen Episode cards and shuffle each related mini deck under the card. Add Sidejobs (depending on the player count) and put the ‘Inevitable’ card for that set at the bottom of each stack.

Put 5 cards from the Crew deck on the Bridge.

Players shuffle their deck and draw 6 cards, the player who has the Highest Ranked Character goes first.

Game Play

Each of these decks plays through an episode of the TV show and a turn is split into 4 phases… Episode, Action, Strike and Cleanup

Episode Phase
The first thing you do is add the top card of the Episode deck to the ‘Verse face down, pushing any other cards to the left. If a card is pushed off to the left of the ‘Verse track it goes into the ‘Combat Zone’ and it is revealed if it’s face down and any actions on the card are resolved if required.

Action Phase
Play cards from your hand and resolve immediately when played… Cards give you  two resources, Recruit Points and Attack.

Shiny gives recruit points, Misbehave give attacks points.

Cards also have abilities that are activated when played and some have class combo abilities. If you play a card with the same class as one played already, you can activate it’s extra ability.

‘Safe on my Table’ has been played, as ‘No power in the ‘Verse can stop me’ is played after and has a matching symbol, the extra ability triggers.

Talents and Flaws are cards that can be earned throughout the game.

Playing a Talent allows you to draw a card… But, if you decide to use it’s full potential you can also activate the Talent on your Avatar. If you do, the Talent card is returned to the talent deck.

Mal is fiercely Loyal and lets other players draw cards.

If you have a Flaw card in your hand you MUST play it and resolve the ‘Flaw’ effect on your Avatar. If you gain a Flaw card during your turn you MUST play it as well. Once a Flaw card is activated, it’s returned to the Flaw stack.

Zoe’s ‘Memories of War’ cause a card to be moved form the ‘Verse straight into the Combat Zone.

Cards give you recruit points which you use to bu new cards. The cost of the card is in the bottom right and you can buy as many as cards as you can afford. When a card is taken from the Crew deck row it’s immediately replaced so you can see the next card before you keep spending. You can also recruit the top card of the  Browncoat deck. Purchased cards go to your discard pile.

‘Safe on my table’ costs 3 Recruit Points, which the player has in the 2 played cards..

You can scan a space on the ‘Verse by paying the cost shown in Attack Points under a face down card to turn it face up.

What happens to a revealed card depends on the type of card…

Enemies can be defeated by spending attack power equal to their attack value and defeated enemies go into the discard pile. Some have abilities that trigger when they are defeated and any remaining attack power can be used to defeat additional enemies or scan spaces.

A Sidejob sits in the ‘Verse and moves along as normal. If you manage to complete the objective shown on the card, you gain the ‘Success’ text as a reward. Once a Sidejob is in the combat zone it MUST be completed that turn. If it isn’t, you get the penalty listed is the ‘Failure’ text.

Events are simple. Once one is revealed, resolve it’s text and discard it.

Ship Strikes do damage to Serenity. They are placed onto the lowest empty slot on the ship and you can pay the repair cost shown to remove the Strike from the ship.

Characters get shuffled into your deck…

Special cards are resolved when revealed…

Goal cards show what you need to do to complete the current objective…

The Inevitable cards are placed at the bottom of a mini deck face up and move once space each turn. They represent the end of the chapter of the episode so they can’t be interacted with and they don’t stop. If a card says to add cards to the ‘Verse, this card is moved instead, pushing everything along as it goes.

Once it reaches the Combat Zone and once it has been through a Strike phase on each players turn any uncompleted objectives are failed.

Strike Phase
Enemies in the Combat Zone will strike…

For each Ship Enemy, one at a time, place a Ship strike on the lowest empty space of Serenity.

For each Crew Enemy, one at a time, place a crew strike near your  Avatar. The attack value on the card is the amount of damage your character takes. Some have abilities so you resolve them as the Strikes are drawn.

If you’re defeated (KO’d) end your turn, (except you still draw all the Ship Strikes you would take)  turn your Avatar face down and shuffle your hand, deck and discard pile into a new deck.

You are effectively out of the game… However, if a player has the ability to heal a Strike for a player and this brings you below the damage required to knock you out, you’re back in the game.

Cleanup Phase
Discard your hand and any cards played and draw 6 cards.

Check to see if you’ve completed all of the objectives on the episode card, if not play continues clockwise.

As soon as the objectives on the Episode card are complete the episode ends. The active player goes straight to the cleanup phase. All cards from this episode, played or not, go into the defeated deck. The inevitable card is set aside and now you have an Intermission.

You only have these Intermissions after Episode 1 & 2 where you resolve ‘End of Episode’ effects and reveal the top 3 upgrade cards.

You work out how many credits you have to spend as a reward for completing the episode.

With these Credits you can…

  • Buy Ship upgrades by paying the cost and adding them to highest slot on Serenity
  • Repair Ship Strikes by paying the Credit cost next to the Strike and discarding it
  • Heal Crew by paying the cost in Damage to remove a Damage card
  • Draw cards by paying 2 Credits to have each player draw a card

Now setup Next Episode. Episode 2 starts with 2 cards already in the ‘Verse, Episode 3 starts with 4 cards!

Game End

If all Crew are Eliminated, you lose.

If Serenity is full of Strike cards and takes one more, she blows up and you lose.

If you fail the mandatory objectives of a Goal, you lose.

But, if in Episode 3 you have completed all of the Mandatory objectives you win the game!

Episode 3 contains text on what to do in the next scenario but if you’re not playing a Campaign, ignore it.

Round Up

My favourite mechanism is Deck Building.

My favourite deck building system in Legendary Encounters.

My Second favourite IP ever is Firefly (My favourite, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is coming to the Legendadary system later this year :D)

So not a bad combination for me 🙂 Not much else to say really.

Playing through the Episodes is great and the cards really sell the theme of the episode you’re in.

Having the game effected by which 5 crew you pick is great too. It means you can’t just play with your fave 4 sets of cards (I used to do this in Marvel Legendary) and buy the same ones every game. You need to move some of those characters into your main crew do the game doesn’t kill you.

Most people complain about the art and claim the game is borderline unplayable because of it… I really don’t care… It’s not the best art of course but it’s not offensive at all and doesn’t effect the game for me.


Fantastic deck building game system with a great IP attached.

I give it 9/10

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