Caleb Finkelstein
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I recently had the pleasure of playing Flash Point: Fire Rescue with a friend at a lovely board game cafe somewhere in Boston. This was the first time playing for both of us. We used the basic ruleset. Upon opening the box the first thing I noticed was that one of the tiny firemen was red. I declared my intent to use the red fireman. My friend read the rules as I played with the small firemen and made fire truck noises. The rules seemed simple enough. Save people, try not to die in a fire. Easy. I decided I’d go first to establish an early advantage. "Friend" said something about ‘co-op’ and ‘teamwork’, but I was too busy plotting my victory to pay much attention. Anyhow the game started.

Right off the bat I figured out I could break down walls with my axe. Which was great, because it meant I could safely ignore doors and common sense. I nabbed the first victim and dropped ‘em back outside. Meanwhile my friend had run around to the other side of the house to begin retrieving the rest of the poor saps. Things were going pretty well right up until the bit where they began to go horribly wrong.

Fig. 1. Trained professionals at work
Spoiler (click to reveal)


AHHHHHHHHHHH


So yeah. Turns out an important part of Flash Point is not just getting peeps to safety but also, y’know, fighting the fire. The fire hadn’t actually advanced to any of the places with the people, so we’d been ignoring it for the most part. Then we got a couple of bad rolls and hoo boy that’s a lot of burning happening and also structural damage wow! Lucky for us I had the foresight to open some handy escape routes beforehand. So the building collapsed into a fiery wreck with several people still inside, but we made it out OK. So that worked out alright.

In the end we managed to rescue five whole people! And also make it out alive! It may not be a victory according to the rules, but that’s a win in my book! Woo! Go us! Fire fights!! Yeah!!! Also I had fun. Which is great. Fun is great. Flash Point does seem like a rather well-designed cooperative game. I’d like to try it again sometime, perhaps this time with less incompetence. Also tactical wall breakage with the whole structural collapse system is a superb mechanic which I am totally stealing for my own nefarious purposes. All in all definitely an enjoyable experience. Even though a bunch of people burned to death and/or got collapsed on. But all’s well that ends well, right?
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Mark Beazer
United States
Orem
Utah
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I learned this lesson early too. "I'll just save the people REAL fast". Yeah, and meanwhile the out of control fire is blowing out walls left and right. You usually have to balance rescuing with enough fire fighting to hold it together.
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David Scheele
Germany
Lüneburg
Niedersachsen
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In later stages, when characters are introduced, I discovered you even need to plan who is what character. A few solo games went horribly wrong because the Captain, Paramedic and Rescue Specialist had their turn right after the other and Generalist, CAFS and HazMat Disposer only came afterwards.
Had to learn the hard way to space them out evenly.

Fighting fire is probably the most important task at hand. Because on harder difficulties things will EXPLODE
 
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