Category Archives: Boardgames

Firefly – The Board Game


Though it has been out since 2013 the Floating Citadel’s first encounter of this board game was at Salute 2015.  We got to play a demo game and we loved it, so much so that two of our members purchased a copy that day.  Since then a number of us, along with a few other regular gaming buddies have played it several times and we’re starting to get a real feel for the game…even if Servitob happens to have an uncanny ability to win every game…guess he’s just better at the whole smuggling thing 😉


firefly_board_game1The premise of the game of the game is that each of the players gets one firefly class ship with a captain and spends their time doing jobs, salvaging wrecks and avoiding the reavers.  There are a number of missions that you can choose from to set the scene for the game.  The default one is to get ‘solid’ with two of the five contacts (people you get jobs from – Badger, Patience, Niska etc.), then make 6000 credits and then give that to Niska so you can buy your ship.  Jobs can be legal or illegal and come in a variety of flavours from simply cargo/passenger carrying from planet A to planet B to train robberies and bank hold ups.  Money can be spent on ship upgrades and crew that will make completing these jobs easier (and all the characters from the show are in there).  Sounds simple enough doesn’t it…except for the fuzz and the Reavers.

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Above is our group playing a game recently.

In the centre of the board is Alliance Space with an Alliance Cruiser patrolling and if it lands on you, your firefly will be subject to a customs inspection and any contraband or fugitives may be confiscated which can really screw you over when you’re about to drop said contraband off at your destination…

It gets even worse if you’re in the outer systems where the Reavers roam as if they catch you not only will you loose your passengers but also a good number of your crew too.  Both help keep the game interesting…

“Define interesting” – Mal, “Oh God, oh God we’re all going to die” – Wash

The game works on a turn based system, but can have two players working out their turn at the same time, with a a dinosaur token indicating who is controlling play at that moment.  This allows one player to move their ship whilst another player shops or looks at potential jobs.  This has the great advantage of speeding up play.

Picking up jobs or buying stuff is pretty self explanatory: you can look through 3 and choose 2.  Jobs are active when you start them and upgrades, crew and items are bought and paid for.  An interesting point is that your crew have to get paid after of each job you do and if you don’t pay them they get disgruntled allowing another player to buy them if they land on the same space.  If they gain a second disgruntled token then that crew member will abandon ship, so keep your crew happy by paying them.  You can of course give them money to spend on shore leave when you get to a planet.

The interesting part of the game comes in moving.  You can choose to mosey (move 1 space safely) or spend fuel to do a full burn.  If you do a full burn you turn over a movement card for each space you move.  There are two decks; blue for use in Alliance space and red for when you’re in the outer systems.  This adds a good degree of randomness as you may have an uneventful journey sailing into the black, get stopped for customs inspections, savage opportunities, break downs etc.  There are also cards to move the Alliance cruiser or Reaver ship or worse case they turn up on your square immediately allowing both other players and card randomness to screw you over.

“Ah curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal” – Stegosaurus (yeah if you’re not getting the quotes I encourage you to watch the show…hell I encourage you to watch the show anyway).

The game has a high level of replay-ability, despite that fact that Servitob seems to win a lot.  The randomness of the movement cards and the large number of jobs means that each game won’t be the same.  If you’re a fan of the show and a decent board game I recommend giving it a go.  It should take about 2 hours depending upon the number of players (1-5).

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More Super Dungeon Explore!


sdeimagesSaturday saw the denizens of the floating citadel descend upon servitob’s trash cans  for a last minute arranged game of SDE.  Turnout was good, folks were stoked but nBreaker had forgotten the cards to play the myriad of expansions in his possession.

Luckily servitob had a basic card set stashed at a trusty neighbour’s house and was able to collect said cards and neighbour for a four hero game with the evil mastermind gribblin playing consul.

In keeping with our hardcore masochistic SDE tendencies we played the five hero version of events and selected the heroes entirely at random.  We therefore proceeded one hero down with a mismatched crew of hexcast, druid, barbarian and ranger.

Despite our best efforts gribblin managed total party kill before the big boss even spawned, much to his credit.  First to be slain was the hexcast who was an obvious target given her possession of the resurrection charm.  Second to be killed was the barbarian who was on a foolish solo jolly miles away from the rest of the team, then it was only a matter of time before the ranger and druid fell to the tide of denizens.

Overall, SDE remains a firm floating citadel favourite given it’s emphasis on teamwork and simple fun mechanics with very good visuals.  We’ll continue to play for the foreseeable future; especially as nBreaker acquires more and more RL SDE loot.

 

New Dreadball Edition Gives You Wood


Mantic have sold out of yet another printing of their “totally not Blood Bowl” sci-fi Football mash-up Dreadball. To honour that fact they are releasing a new version of the game with a slightly larger cost and a few more bits thrown in, or if, like me, you’ve been playing the game and scavving off a mate’s copy, you can go all in and buy way more stuff than you need.

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That being said, yet again Mantic put together a really nice deal. While their Restic isn’t the nicest of materials I’ve had the joy of working with and their models do have their moments, Dreadball has been a welcome addition to the halls of the floating citadel. It’s one of those games that it’d be nice to get people playing in a league for and with me now being the second person to get a set we’ve got the potential for playing two games at the same time as well as not having to cart everything to someone else’s house if we travel for an evening’s entertainment. There’s only one problem, this is due to ship in July and will therefore potentially be around the same time as the second shipment of Deadzone. That’s a lot of new toys going to be finding their way into my house. I really don’t have that long to knuckle down and really put some effort behind shifting all the GW stuff I have lying around.

I don’t need the rulebook and the season 2 book so those can go to a good home of someone else who’s interested in starting things up but there’s a significant saving to be had if you’ve got the coin to splash out.

Looks like I’ll be living off tin of economy beans for the rest of the month though.

Pandemic Board Game – Infectiously Great!


pandemic-2013-board-gameLast night was the irregular meeting of the Floating Citadel Irregulars – a bunch of hangers-on who basically turn up at servitob’s house every once in a while in a vain hope that one day they may get a chance to publish on the almighty 6 Inch Move blog. Either that or they just need somewhere with appropriate snacks to go to when their wives kick them out for the evening like the feral flea bitten cats they are.

This meeting had board games in mind, and someone brought along Pandemic for a first time play through. We read the rules, assembled the pieces and were off in short order. Pandemic is a co-operative game where players must cure deadly diseases and stop outbreaks of apocalyptic plague. Each player is assigned a rules-bending role in this team of bug fighting heroes and must work with other team members against the clock to save humanity.

To be blunt – it’s a brilliant game. The co-operative nature means everyone loses or everyone wins, no-one has to play as the bad guys here. The rules are deceptively simple yet demand strategic thinking to achieve victory. At every point of the game the tension and excitement is just right; it’s a hard game but the challenge simply keeps you on your toes rather than being disheartening. The game also isn’t overly long – about 45 minutes to play through which is certainly a change over most other games. The fact that after we lost to the bugs in our first game yet everyone’s reaction was to play again is a sign of how good this game is.

Two thumbs up, way way up!

Floating Citadel Turns a Corner


It might seem tricky that a castle in the sky would be able to turn anything, yet, this bank holiday weekend saw the furious rattling of dice and page-flicking of rulebooks as once more we got to throw down with some toy soldiers.

While getting some games in is an event worthy enough of note for our little group it’s probably not something to make a blog post over. However, as happens whenever gamers get together, we spent some time discussing the hobby as a whole, what we are doing as individuals and what our desires are for the continuation and evolution of our hobby time. Even in the run up to yesterdays festivities I’d been talking to Gribblin over email about my feelings towards the gaming landscape and the orgy of models I have littered around the house.

Bearing in mind that we’d just been to Salute barely a month ago and seen everything on offer in today’s gaming market we really are treated to a cornucopia of miniatures goodness.

After looking at the way our gaming is developing and the larger factors at work I’d already decided to ditch Warhammer Fantasy. I have two armies for that games, over 3000pts each of Ogres and Dark Elves. However, with the Sherriff’s well publicised and much criticised issues on pricing I cannot justify these forces any more. I only play against one person and we’ve not played a game in at least 18 months and I don’t see that changing. Better to get rid, get money and reinvest in something I’m actually going to want to play and get use out of.

We’ve recently played more Dropzone Commander, which is a game I genuinely enjoy. It makes you think, not only about how to build your army but each and every turn about what battlegroup to activate when and trying to second guess what your opponent might be up to. Then there is also Dreadball and Deadzone that have graced the tables too. Both games are excellent and don’t take much time to set up and play. The fact you can run them in a limited space is also a big boost in their favour.

I gave Gribblin the option of playing some 40k this weekend as we’d done Dropzone the last time we got together, but as his reply was less than enthusiastic we went with DZC again. This, to me, as well as seeing a preview of White Dwarf with what the future of 40k holds, I’m pretty sure that I’m going to be ditching that too.

This is actually a very hard decision to reach. When I first started gaming over 20 years ago at the tender age of 12 GW was the only real entry into the hobby. Over the years that has kind of generated this perverse brand loyalty. I see it manifest in other gamers as well that go out of their way to seemingly justify that they’re not getting hosed by GW. To each their own and if folks enjoy things and are willing to pay then that’s their prerogative. I’m not going to tell them how to spend their money, it’s almost like WoW players who end up addicted to the game and can’t break free. However, finally, I think I’ve had my fill. I have fond memories of all the games I’ve played, but I’ve moved on. Other companies produce better games that are far better supported, not to mention costing less. Even the age-old argument of “GW’s models are better” is something that is so open to personal aestheticism as to be a moot point.

The consequence of this decision is not only that I’m going to have a ton of floor space again, but also I’ve actually got more chance of getting stuff painted. Rather than knowing I’ve got 20-30 dudes in a squad to paint I might have that number total for the whole army. That is one hell of a smaller hurdle to climb and having less around the house will mean a happier wife and a happier mental picture of just how much work I’ve got to do to field armies that actually look like they belong.

So, whatever you’re playing out there, I wish you all the best, may you roll plenty of 6’s, 1’s or 20’s, or whatever.

To the Sherriff, it’s been nice playing your games but I’ve finally had enough of what you are doing. Thanks for the memories but I’ve got a whole load of new ones to make that I look forward to.

Easter – The Time of Intergalactic Conflict and Sporting Rebirth


Among the denizens of the Floating Citadel being given days off work is heralded by an anticipation of the potential for staying indoors and hovering around little models of men in armour, or, possibly, really small tanks. Sacrifices are offered, supplications made and trips out with the family to he most horrifying of all places on Earth, the shopping mall, to placate the almighty deity known as “wife” in the hope we will be allowed out to play with a friends.

With a wave and a cheer I dispatched my significant other to her parents and had the delightful company of Gribblin and Servitob to share my gaming time with. While we don’t exactly have photos or a full feature battle report to bring you I thought it’d be at least worthwhile to show off what we played and how we felt about it. As gaming is so few and far between right now deciding what to play becomes a much larger concern than ye olde “buy everything” mentality that pervades our hobby.

So it was that we kicked the day off with Deadzone. It’s a cinch to set-up and plays pretty quickly too. I love the fact you don’t need a huge table full of terrain as the mat is a great thing to play off. We ran our second ever game using Rebs against the Plague. For the Plague I created a list with the 3A General, 2 Stage 2As, 3 Stage 3As, 2 3Ds and two 3As with HMGs. Up against them were an eclectic band or Rebs; Rebs Commander, 3 Humans, 1 Yndij, 1 Survey Drone, 1 Desolator Grogan, 1 Kraaw, 1 Zee Scavenger and 1 TK-Zero.

I drew Scour for my mission and Gribblin, armed with the Zombie like Plague drew Infiltrate. Eventually it was the Rebs who won. After turtling in their deployment zone and despatching their faster moving elements to go grab the loot tokens they did a pretty good job of destroying the enemy using the Grogan and TK-zero. Turn 1 the Grogan one shotted a 2A with a pretty awesome display of marksmanship. Gribblin did manage to get the second 2A off the board as well as a 3A. Unfortunately that was as far as his game went. TK-zero took a number of shots that put the pain into his Strike Team, despite the HMGs of the Plague doing their best to suppress the weapons team. The highlight of the game was a missed shot that left the 3A in the target cube undamaged but the resulting explosion catapulted the general into a cube occupied by a 3D. The resulting collision saw both fleshy sacks of alien mutagen expire and, with a follow-up headshot from the Commander sealed the game with a rather empathic win for the plucky Rebs.

Following on from that we dived into Dropzone Commander. Up against Gribblin’s totally cheesy Shaltari teleportation shenanigans were my UCM. We played 1500pts and it was a really tight game. I horribly misused both my Wolverines and Katanas, so much so that none of them had any real impact on the game at all. My 6 Gladius however were a total wrecking crew. A Battlegroup that costs over 400 points may be a little excessive in a game of this size but they certainly paid for themselves with the impact that they had. They killed a terra gate, stopping the moving of an objective off the table, dropped some bricks on the head of the Shaltari warsuits preventing them from finding an objective (after a pair of Raven B’s had already put the hurt on the same building killing off an earlier attempt to find the objective with a different squad) as well as nuking a Coyote. Not bad when they lost not a single one from their number over the course of the game.

My Legionnaires in the Raven As were brilliant. They went into buildings, found objectives and then de-bussed quickly. With the blistering pace and small landing zones the Ravens got away quickly securing two objectives that I managed to get off the table. Gribblin managed to down one with an attack run from his fast mover but all it did was ground the transport. A transport I quickly replaced with a “Call for Extraction” card. I never felt hampered by my lack of a Commander above CV3 although spending so much on the Gladius group meant I had far fewer AA units that I’d have liked.

When it came around to post-pizza Dreadball I took my Void Sirens for their inaugural run against Servitob’s more masculine looking dudes. The game was quick and brutal, my good dice from earlier in the day deserting me. I was happy to lose as I’d had pretty decent luck through the rest of the day and I still got to play a game that was a blast and has the benefits of, like Deadzone, being quick to set up, play and pack away. Always a bonus in my mind.

We had three great games, it was really nice to get to spend some gaming time among friends. I’ve now got more motivation to get the stuff I’m using painted so that it looks nicer and we’ll see when it is we can get around to doing it again. It certainly looks like we’re all in a good place with the games that we’ve got to play and not a GW mini in sight.

Dreadball First Playthrough


DreadZine_CoverZombiePirate and I managed to play an inaugural game of the Speedball2 40k Bloodbowl mash-up general GW trolling Dreadball yesterday. It was the not-quite-space-marine Trontek 29ers vs the not-really-sisters-of-battle Void Sirens.

Fortunately we had both looked at the pretty pictures in the rulebook which is always a plus when trying out a new system. There were naturally some high levels of rules lawyering and checking owing more to it being our first game rather than us being competitive twelve year old at heart.

Overall it was a positive experience. The game system seems very intuitive after a few goes, and the whole thing should flow very quickly after a few games. The game itself is very fast paced and good fun. Hopefully it can become a good staple game.