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  • Cracked LCD- Firefly: Pirates and Bounty Hunters in Review, ERP, Going back Chrome

Cracked LCD- Firefly: Pirates and Bounty Hunters in Review, ERP, Going back Chrome

MB Updated
Cracked LCD- Firefly: Pirates and Bounty Hunters in Review, ERP, Going back Chrome
There Will Be Games

GF9 does it again.

On the Table

The new Pirates and Bounty Hunters expansion for Firefly is a triumph. I was a little nervous about this one since it was adding PVP and some new content that was kind of not really very in line with the Firefly setting, which the game does so well. But they aced it. The adds are awesome, they increase options in the game without piling on new rules or subsystems and suddenly just tootling around doing odd jobs is DANGEROUS. Bounty Hunting in particular is FUN- you can go after these posted bounties for crew members that may be on someone else’s ship or hunt them down in the discard piles on supply planets. Go this route, and you can take a fast Interceptor-class ship (just like Jubal Early’s…you can even be Jubal Early) with a skeleton crew and no cargo space to make the big bucks. Or you can play nice, watch out for other players, and only take on a piratin’ job when the fancy strikes you…or somebody looks really vulnerable.

Firefly was one of 2013’s best, and this makes it even better. Bring on that Sons of Anarchy game, boys. Here’s the review.

AEG sent the Doomtown Reloaded package…I dunno. It looks really awesome, there’s really a lot of nice detail and incorporating actual poker mechanics is inspired…but it seems just as clunky and complicated as it did in 1998. I have a friend that just loves Doomtown, he used to round up folks to play his decks all the time at the store, I’m sure he’s excited about it and I’ve got a call in to meet up for a few games. But after tooling around with it last night, I’m less enthusiastic about it. I’ll play a few games with the precons and see where it goes. There’s a lot I like, and it is a _great_ package for fans but I don’t think it’s going to be something I really dig into. It is also AEG’s first foray into LCG territory. I’ll be reviewing several of their latest releases next week, most notably Sail to India, Mai-Star and Valley of the Kings. They’re all pretty good.

Eurogames Reclamation Project status report. Black Rose acquired. I traded my Marvel Dice Masters set for it (all commons and uncommons, mind you, since the rares were proxies) so I think that was a good deal. I’ll grab Dice Masters again at some point, it really didn’t take much effort to build a casual set.  Besides, I’ll gladly trade a game that there are millions of for one that there is like, five of. Adel Verfliptochetichstahcthcistet is on the way too as part of the same trade, I love that game. Can’t wait to play it again.

Right now, I’m targeting  Manhattan, Kramer racing games, Through the Desert and I’m still on the hunt for the Alhambra big box. I just want a good deal on it, it’s available but $60 is more than I want to go on it. Um Reifeinbreite is another one, trying to find a good price/good condition one somewhere. Never played it. Bull brought it up in the forums. I was close to a Wildlife Adventure, but I balked since it was in German. I do want the English since it’s one for the kids as well as me.

I have to say that the OOP board games aftermarket is really fucked up right now. So, so many speculators with “optimistic” prices- Detroit-Grand Prix listed for $99 on Amazon, for example. Through the Desert at $199. There’s no barometer of actual value or worth, it’s all just speculation. And this makes the guy that has a Through the Desert up for trade  think he can pull $200 worth of stuff for it. Even though there’s a Q3 reprint coming, he sees that price and gets ambitious. Sucks when you’re hunting down old games. And the thing is, these games almost NEVER find buyers, they sit there artificially increasing the assumed value of games without any indication of actual sold prices.

After another session, I think Taj Mahal may be one of Knizia’s absolute best. That is such an awesome game.

I could not possibly recommend that you “back” a Kickstarter project, but a good friend of mine is the designer of that Xenoshyft thing that is popping up in the banner ads. I played an early version of it and gave some advisement on it. I also heckled it, calling it the Avatar board game. But he’s my friend, so it was totally acceptable. Haven’t seen the final version but it had some promise. All of the illustration is his too.

On the Consoles

Hitting the 20 hour mark in Mario Kart 8. Just can not put it down. Most FUN I’ve had with a video game in a while. I’m actually interested in the possibility of add-on tracks and whatever those Amiibo figures do with it. You know, it’s funny. The 4-wheeler and some of the other lighter vehicles lean on two wheels and threaten to roll over when you take a sharp corner. It will never happen, you can’t roll over. But every single time, I’m like “shit, I’m about to flip this thing”.

Wii U at E3, holy keeeeerist. Bayonetta 2 comes with the original game AND she can wear Samus’ armor. Mario Maker. NEW STAR FOX, get outta here. Hyrule Warriors. Lady Palutena in SSB. Whatever Splatoon is. There has never been a better time to be a Wii U owner.


The Alhambra app is pretty good, despite the bad reviews. It’s like Kingdom Builder in that it’s very functional and the AI is competent…it’s just sort of clumsy.

Still playing Battleheart Legacy, but I found a game-stopping bug. There was a patch last night, I need to see if it cleared it up. Great, great game.

Keltis is pretty good, oddly addictive. It’s basically Lost Cities but multiplayer and with a couple of different bonuses and scoring options. Not really sure why it won SDJ, out of all of Knizia’s designs.

Wish Star Realms would hurry on up.

On the Screen

Really stuck on Trek right now, not watching much else. I did get the kids to watch Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla, which was a huge hit. Scarlett- “ooh, it’s baby Godzilla, he’s sooooo cute!” River- “ARGH! Stop saying that!”

On Spotify

Wandered back to Chrome…I think it’s time for me to just come out and say that Chrome is one of my favorite bands of all time. It’s taken me like 20 years to realize it. I remember when I got a Chrome record (“Half Machine Lip Moves”)sometime around 1992 or 1993, I had no idea how to process it. I thought they were some kind of industrial band at the time…which was kind of but not really true. I didn’t expect the more Stooges-y garage rock, the crude electro noodling or the bad acid psychedelia.  Over the years, I listened to more and got the whole story, and realized that they were in some ways the San Francisco version of Throbbing Gristle. And in other ways they were unlike any other band, ever. They were true sci-fi punk, but not in the popular Tubeway Army/Gary Numan sense. There futurism was pitch black, crushingly empty and alienating. The atmosphere of cheap tape effects and Helios Creed’s psychotic and heavily processed guitar soling, the crepuscular machine-funk of tracks like “Slip it to the Android”, the alien gothic of the entire 3rd from the Sun album (by far their best, and one of the best records of the 1980s). They were also one of those bands that could actually bridle their aggressive experimentalism and turn out a great tune- witness “Firebomb”, “Heartbeat”, “Future Ghosts”.

So yeah, I’m just going to slate Chrome on that list from now on, where they always should have been.

There Will Be Games
Michael Barnes (He/Him)
Senior Board Game Reviews Editor

Sometime in the early 1980s, MichaelBarnes’ parents thought it would be a good idea to buy him a board game to keep him busy with some friends during one of those high-pressure, “free” timeshare vacations. It turned out to be a terrible idea, because the game was TSR’s Dungeon! - and the rest, as they say, is history. Michael has been involved with writing professionally about games since 2002, when he busked for store credit writing for Boulder Games’ newsletter. He has written for a number of international hobby gaming periodicals and popular Web sites. From 2004-2008, he was the co-owner of Atlanta Game Factory, a brick-and-mortar retail store. He is currently the co-founder of and as well as the Editor-in-Chief of Miniature Market’s Review Corner feature. He is married with two childen and when he’s not playing some kind of game he enjoys stockpiling trivial information about music, comics and film.

Articles by Michael

Michael Barnes
Senior Board Game Reviews Editor

Articles by Michael

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