If you love the Firefly board game from Gale Force Nine, you will love this expansion pack. Breakin’ Atmo is a booster set of 50 cards. There are 9 new Crew cards, 16 new Gear cards, and 25 new Job cards (five for each Contact). There are cards in here that you simply won’t want to do without once you find out what they are. For example:
> Merchant (Crew Card): Whenever you sell Cargo to a Contact, take an extra $100 per Cargo
> Accountant (Crew Card): Whenever you earn a Goal token, take an extra $500 from the bank
> Helmsman (Crew Card): Counts as Solid with Harken
> Alliance Body Armor (Gear): gives you a 50-50 chance (via dice roll) to save a Crew from being killed if they are wearing the armor as their Gear
> There are also cards that let you remove Disgruntled from all crew without having to pay for Shore Leave, cards that let you look at the top 3 Misbehave cards and then put them back on the top of the deck in any order you wish (great for picking out the easiest ones for your turn, or putting the hardest one on top for the next player), and cards that allow you to consider (and accept if you wish) the top face-down card from a Contact, even if you are not at their system – great for getting a job that you need without having to Fly halfway across the Verse to get to their system
> There is also a “Gambling” card. With this card you pay $500 to the bank and take the top 5 Misbehave cards. If 3 of the 5 cards share the same suit, you get $1500 from the bank. If not, you’re out your $500. (You’re Gambling, remember?) If you were ever wondering why the Misbehave cards had suit symbols on them, now you know.
The 25 Jobs cards are similar to those in the main game, but most of these have a great new feature: a “Skill-Based” pay. The payout itself is smaller than Jobs in the main game, but you get an added Skill Point bonus. And it’s a nice bonus, usually equal to (but sometimes less than) the main payout. So, for example, if the job pays “$1000 + $500 (Fight)” and you have, let’s say, three Crew on the job, each of who have one Fight pip on their card, then you get $2500. And if the Job also has a “Soldier” bonus of +$500, then you still get that one-time bonus as well, so if one or more of that Crew is a Soldier, your total would be $3000 before paying the Crew their cut. This is a fun way to address one of the issues with the main game, namely that if you have hired an expensive Crew, sometimes the Jobs wouldn’t earn you enough to pay their cut so you would actually lose money working the job.
There is also a new Job Type in this deck: “TASK,” which is the Legal version of the “CRIME” type in the main game. Instead of Shipping/Smuggling by transporting things from one system to another, TASK jobs have a single destination to do a Legal job (like CRIME has a single destination to do an Illegal job).
A few of the jobs here also have something new in the “Needs” box needed to work the job: “SOLID REP WITH (CONTACT)” which means you can’t do this job until you have earned a Solid reputation with the Contact listed on the card.
Each of the cards in this deck is marked with the “Breakin’ Atmo” icon (a ship nosecone ramming an atmospheric shock wave) so you can easily tell whether the card came from this deck or the main game. That’s a nice touch for those gamers who are picky about not mixing up their decks when putting away the game.
Are there any drawbacks? Not really. There are no new Story Cards, but if more aren’t forthcoming in the next expansion pack (Pirates and Bounty Hunters) I’m sure we’ll get more soon. They wouldn’t fit in this deck anyway; despite the very large box cover images you can find for this item online, the actual box is only about 2 by 3 inches (the size of the cards in the game). What you’re getting is a small box of 50 playing cards, but they are sooooo worth it! They make a great game even more awesome.
Just to clarify: this deck is not a stand-alone product; you must have Firefly the Game. And if you do have Firefly the Game, you will love this deck!