Firefly Misbehavin’ is a deck-building game for 2-4 players that can last anywhere from 45 to 60+ minutes. Each player takes a faction from their favorite franchise and tries to accumulate enough power to reach the threshold of victory. This includes Serenity, Niska, Eavesdown and Alliance.
Once players have chosen their factions, they will receive a 10-card faction starting deck and player space, as well as a poem token and credit. The goal of the game is to reach your win threshold based on the number of players in the game. This power must be equal to the total power of the cards on the player’s board. Although you start with only 10 faction cards in your deck, you begin to expand and build your deck from the various markets located on the market board. This is where luck and strategy come into play, as most of your points come from the cards you receive.
The main way to build a deck will be making deals and hiring. Both of these use the power and influence of your cards to draw new items onto the player field and into the deck. You can also supplement this with credits, allowing you to add higher value cards to your deck, making you even more of a threat at the table. The supply board allows you to bring some items into your deck that are set each game and immediately return to your supply after use. Both the market and supply allow you to build your deck, and this is where most of the action is concentrated.
During each player’s turn, he can perform 1 action and several other actions. Your primary action will be playing cards on the player board, activating on the board, fighting, or making a deal. Card a player’s board costs you an action, but that’s how you get cards into active play. If the card is already in play, you can activate it. combat operations it’s how you can stop your opponent’s momentum by stealing their cards or causing them to fold. Conclusion of agreements allows you to use force to buy and sell cards on the market. You can also hire, which is a more “common” form of buying something, but it puts the purchased card into your discard pile instead of your hand.
One of the last steps players can take on their turn is to create and spend “poem tokens”. Each faction has its own way of generating verse tokens that allow you to perform various additional actions, such as performing additional actions or saving cards that may have been lost in battle. Players continue to take turns until a victory threshold appears on their boards.
When I played Firefly Misbehavin’, I could only play with two players, but I feel like three or four players would just make the game longer, not necessarily more enjoyable. Each faction in the game is extremely unique, allowing players to focus on their strengths when acquiring cards or interacting with others. The cards do have a certain feel to the Firefly show, but sometimes they feel more like a Firefly skin stretched over a designed card game.
Speaking of acquiring cards, it was really confusing which resource to use, when, and for which cards. Between power, influence, and credits, it took a full game before we felt able to spend our resources on a deal or hire. This was a major frustration during the first game as we were constantly trying to figure out if the action was going and which cards to use.
The game is slow-paced, but over time you’ll be able to build up your resource engine nicely, allowing for additional actions and resource generation. The main way to break this with your opponents is to fight and force them to take black cards. In wrestling, it was more about knowing when to strike than luck. There are some combat trick abilities that can surprise your opponents, but not enough to say the combat is deep. Forcing your opponent to put black cards into their deck is much more effective and can essentially clutter their draws and actions with unnecessary cards, allowing you to gain card advantage.
The box also comes with several game shape options. This includes adding Stealers or playing with different episode cards during setup. Marauders are dangerous cards that lurk in the market deck and cause negative effects to all players during their turn, forcing players to spend resources to remove them. Episode cards affect supply and victory conditions. Honestly, these two sets of cards should be mandatory in any game after the first. They add much needed depth and variation to the game.
Firefly Misbehavin’ this is a great game if you like machine and deck builders with easy interactions. The factions stand out thanks to the base decks, and the game snowballs and accelerates nicely as your resource generation picks up speed. In the first game, I didn’t want to interact with the opponent and just focused on building the deck until I had to stop him from getting enough power to win. I think a lot of episode cards could fix this with alternate win conditions.
It may take a game or two to figure out how to spend resources. We still needed to figure out exactly which action takes up our 1 action per turn and which can be done freely with which resources. Overall it was a good game with good mechanics that allow you to enjoy the deck builder against the light background of Firefly.
Final score: 3 Stars is a decent engine building game that revolves around strengthening your deck with minimal player interactions.
• Each faction feels unique, and core decks help reinforce strengths.
• Engine and deck construction moves quickly and looks efficient when done right.
• The cards look like a Firefly skin over another card game.
• Combat lacks a large number of combat techniques and deep strategy.