Welcome to this weeks installment of MK Tabletop Talk! This is MK and I will be your host this week as we take a look at and review the Firefly Tall Card Game! I personally wanted to review this one as I am quite a huge fan of Firefly.
The game was created based on the Tall Card game you see the crew playing on the ship, Serenity. They are playing what looks like a betting style card game and using ship chores as currency. If you have seen the show, you know exactly what I am talking about! If you haven't, I won't judge. But you need to go watch the show NOW. Rather than waiting for you to spend almost eleven hours experiencing what is quite possibly the best show ever to air on television (yes, it is that good!) only to come back angry that there is no more to watch and be hungry for anything Firefly, I will continue.
This game has been described by many as "a complicated version of Texas Hold'em Poker" some even say it has been "bred with Mahjong". There is a detailed set of rules and suggested variations within them straight out of the box. There is also some strong encouragement for creating your own set of house rules, and many people have. You can find variations of them all over the net. I have read many reviews in preparation for this one to assure I am not just saying the same thing you have already read a bunch of times. A lot of people (I assume fans of the show not Tabletop enthusiasts) complain about the complexity of the game and end up saying things like "I'd rather just play poker". I am of another opinion.
If you play the base game straight out of the box, not the extended content (also in the box!) it is not much harder to play than poker. The hardest part is remembering which hand wins when the cards hit the table, and they have included a card-stock layout that makes it very clear. The only thing not included in the box, that you need to play, is a way to keep score. So grab some poker chips, a piece of paper and a pen, or perhaps some household chores written on bits of paper and you are ready to go!
The extended content basically adds more possible hand combinations. These are also included on the hand ranking sheet to keep it easy should be playing with them. Does it complicate things? Not really. If you have been playing the base game and are ready to add another level to your game play, it actually gives the game extended life! You don't get board playing the game after a dozen times due to the ability to continually adjust the deck itself, the rules that drive the game, and the people you play with. All of these elements do add to the game. Nothing takes away from it other than possibly playing with a sore loser, or someone who has no patience for learning a new game.
The rules are similar to Texas Hold'em Poker in that each player has an opportunity to wager each round on the card hand they hold. However, instead of having the river cards (it was so hard not to make a River Tam reference here ...oh I guess I just did. lol) that everyone plays off, going around the table each player has an opportunity to add the Tall Card to their hand, once a player has decided to add it to their hand it is their card. No other player can play off it. If no player takes the Tall Card, the "Leader" takes it. The game ends when everyone has had a chance to be the "Leader" twice, or one player holds all the credits at the end of any given round.
So for all those folks out there who have slammed the game for being overly complicated ...get over it! If you can learn the hands and flow of Poker, you can learn this game just as easy. It is fun to play and with the extended deck options you could play with more than the recommended maximum of 6 players. Basic rules, each game lasts about a half an hour so it can be a great way to kill some time, or create a whole game night out of it and have a Firefly themed "Poker"-party!
While I am not truly an advocate of Poker, I give this game a solid 3 stars. If you are interested in adding this game to your collection, head on over here!
Thank you for reading! I am calling game on this one. ;)
Until next time ...Game On.