Zoe M
Canada
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This play was for the May Flash Point Solitaire Challenge, Waiting for Backup. This is a veteran-level game with a twist: the ambulance arrives first, with the Rescue Specialist and Paramedic, and those are the only two firefighters allowed for the first four rounds (eight turns) of the game. After that, the fire truck arrives, and additional firefighters can be added or existing ones swapped out.

The starting set-up looks like this:



Fortunately, all the POIs were grouped together, so it was clear what area to start in. But there were still some difficult decisions to be made. I usually begin by getting the fire under control, and move on to the POIs only afterwards. But in this game, given the limited firefighting abilities of the two starting characters and the convenient clumping of the POIs, it was tempting just to start dragging them out as quickly as possible.

Ultimately, though, I decided that would not be the most prudent course of action. The Paramedic and Rescue Specialist may have limited firefighting abilities, but they aren’t completely useless. Both can put out one fire each turn, and the Rescue Specialist can move a bit too. I decided that the best thing to do would be to defend that area of POIs and hazmats by slowly putting out fires as best I could, trying to ward off any dangerous explosions. There was nothing to be done about the NW quadrant, but there was also no immediate danger there.

The immediate danger was the fire right next to the hazmat, so I started at that door with the Rescue Specialist, who spent her first turn moving into position and extinguishing the critical fire. She wasted her final movement action, but I made a deliberate decision not to check on those POIs: they were safe where they were for the moment, but if one of them turned out to be a false alarm, a new POI could appear in a hopeless danger zone and perish before I could do anything about it. Much better just to leave them all where they were for the moment.

Meanwhile, every roll was going to be a nailbiter for these first eight turns, as I just hoped to avoid any huge explosions in the NW quadrant. My first roll wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great either: smoke appeared at 1-7, right on top of a POI. I guess the Rescue Specialist wasn’t going to be putting out any fires on her next turn, and there was another dangerous roll before she could act again.



The Paramedic was in position at the east door, but she ended up doing nothing for her first turn, since she couldn’t quite reach the fire. So it was time to roll again immediately. This roll at least was relatively harmless, just adding smoke in the kitchen.

Then the Rescue Specialist rushed back to deal with the smoke on the POI before heading again into the flaming bathroom. I love the Rescue Specialist because she’s able to do so much on a turn. Move back a space, extinguish a smoke, move forward two spaces, reduce a fire to smoke. But in this case, reducing the fire to smoke turned out to be useless, since I rolled the one remaining spot in the bathroom and that just-extinguished fire flared up again. At least it wasn’t the spot where the Rescue Specialist was standing.



Finally, it was time for the Paramedic to act. With her saved actions from the previous turn, she moved into the building, opened the door, and extinguished one fire. And of course I proceeded to roll smoke on the hazmat almost right next to her, and actually next to a POI. On the bright side, she would be able to deal with it on her next turn. On the gloomy side, it might blow up in the meantime.



The next turn was fairly uneventful. The Rescue Specialist extinguished one fire (wasting all three movement actions), and the added smoke ended up in a completely out-of-the way room for a change.



The next turns were similarly uneventful. The Paramedic extinguished the smoke on the hazmat, then the Rescue Specialist extinguished another fire in her bathroom. The Paramedic extinguished a fire in the kitchen. It seemed like I had survived the first four rounds! Reinforcements were on the way.

There was just one slight problem. On my second-last roll, I got 1-7 again, placing yet another smoke on that POI.



It was a good thing the Rescue Specialist had gone back to extinguish it before, or that POI would have been gone! But it still made me nervous to have smoke on a POI. I had really been looking forward to the arrival of the Driver/Operator, but when he actually showed up, I decided that I’d prefer to put him in the middle of my lineup. So from Round 5 onwards, the order would be Rescue Specialist, Driver/Operator, then Paramedic. This way the Rescue Specialist could get the smoke off that POI right away, and even drag out a hazmat on that same turn.

This is what the board looked like at the end of Round 4—not bad, all things considered!



I felt pretty confident about victory at this point, especially with the Driver/Operator about to pull up to the NW quadrant. I felt even more confident a couple of turns later, when he rolled a 2-4, and then re-rolled the black die to get 2-2, extinguishing almost all the fire in the quadrant on his first shot! Yay. He didn’t even bother firing again, saving his actions to put to better use as the Generalist on his next turn.

Finally, it was time to get to work saving the victims. Still more smoke had appeared on and near them on the last two rolls—that was apparently a hot area of the house! But fortunately the Rescue Specialist had never been too far away, so she had dealt with all the previous smoke as it appeared.



This time, while heading toward to smoke, the Rescue Specialist passed through the POI to investigate on the way. And the one at 1-7 turned out to be a false alarm! I felt vindicated in my decision not to look at the POIs immediately, because I would not have wanted to place a new POI in the house while one quadrant was hopelessly ablaze. But the POI below that was real, so I knew what the Rescue Specialist would be doing on her next turn.

Yet again, the smoke appeared in that room. And when it came time to place the next POI, I was amused to encounter one of the longest arrow chains I’ve even seen. I rolled a 2-7, and ended up placing the POI on 4-3! This was especially striking because there wasn’t even a fire raging out of control in the area, just some firefighters and a few smoke in exactly the right positions.



The game basically proceeded as expected at this point. I was not happy when that smoke chain in the kitchen turned to fire on my next roll, but the Paramedic and the Generalist between them were quickly able to get it under control. Several victims were rescued, by a combination of the Rescue Specialist’s extra movement and the Paramedic’s healing ability. There was an explosion in the green bathroom, but nothing too serious.

But the SW quadrant had been pretty sadly neglected all this time, so it was starting to accumulate a worrying amount of smoke, along with a couple of POIs and its initial hazmats:



Fortunately, there was a door right there, so the Rescue Specialist and Paramedic were able to hop in the ambulance together and head over. Everything seemed to be under control, so at this point I got a bit greedy. I had been really fortunate so far about barely rolling any hotspots, but I decided to bring in the Structural Engineer anyway, mainly to repair damage and try to boost my final score by maybe 10-20 points. I had only rescued 3-5 victims so far, and had just had an explosion in the pink bathroom too, but I still felt pretty confident. So the Paramedic left, and the Structural Engineer came in.

And he was able to repair some damage (and a bunch of hotspots too), but I’m not sure how much he ultimately helped—the pace of rescue definitely slowed down considerably, while the fire accumulated. I think he probably only increased my score by about 6 (three cubes), because I ended up having several more explosions after his arrival, so some of his efforts were just devoted to undoing damage that might have been prevented if he hadn’t been there at all. Oh well. At least the decision didn’t do any serious harm, in that I was ultimately able to evacuate all ten of the victims and all of the hazmats. Here’s what the board looked like at the end:



Score Breakdown

10 points for winning
100 points for victims rescued (10x10)
20 points for hazmats cleared (5x4)
38 points for damage markers remaining (2x19)
Total Score: 168

Final Thoughts


I loved the idea for this challenge, and I want to try it again in an even harder form. For example, what if the fire truck never arrived at all? It would be interesting to see how many victims I could rescue with just the Paramedic and Rescue Specialist before the house inevitably collapsed. I might also increase it to heroic level, adding another explosion and hazmat at the start.

I’m really happy with all the variety that these challenges introduce to the base game. I have several expansions that I haven’t played much, but I find that I’m even more excited to go back to the base boards with these new twists. Thank you to everyone who creates them!
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Ryan Mayes
United States
Gilbert
Arizona
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“Whilst I count my schnookels”
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We'll done! Protecting the POIs while waiting for the fire truck was a really strong strategy.
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Andreas Krüger
Germany
Krefeld
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Would it make sense to post the challenges in the play by forum forum of Flash Point? They are pretty well hidden in the solitaire guild forums.
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Dan C
United States
Florida
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Thamos von Nostria wrote:
Would it make sense to post the challenges in the play by forum forum of Flash Point? They are pretty well hidden in the solitaire guild forums.

Agreed. Or even in the general or variants forums?
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J. M.
Belgium
Tongeren
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Thamos von Nostria wrote:
Would it make sense to post the challenges in the play by forum forum of Flash Point? They are pretty well hidden in the solitaire guild forums.

Agreed. I stumbled upon it by accident. Don't even know how tbh!


Really nice score btw! Going to try and better mine now...
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Zoe M
Canada
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I also came across the challenges by accident, when I saw someone else's session report last month. It would definitely be nice to have a thread about them in the variants section.

But I was happy to discover the solitaire guild too
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