Doing a cooperative board game is a great way to spend time as a family. So what better thing to do on a Friday night than to crack open the new Flash Point game, and give it a whirl! Our family played three games over the last couple of days, each time with a different group of players and a different number of players. Here's a brief report of our fire-fighting adventures, all with the Family rules.

Game 1: Four player game

Players: Dad, 7-year old, 7-year old, 9 year-old

I played the first game with three youngsters to kick off our Friday evening. All the children found the rules fairly easy to grasp, and we were soon under way using the Family rules. Our fire-fighting team didn't lack courage, but they weren't quite prepared for the series of explosions that would follow. The fire appeared to have started in the kitchen area, and as our brave firefighters desperately fought the flames and tried to make their way to the poor victims trapped inside, they were constantly forced back by explosion after explosion in the center of the house, as the fire advanced quickly and furiously.


A brave firefighter about to enter the burning building, where a fire is raging out of control

While some of the family pets were fortunate enough to be rescued, along with some other family members, the casualty count quickly reached four. Our firefighting team sadly had to concede defeat, but everyone had a great time, and the younger crew members were particularly enthusiastic about the whole experience despite the loss.

Result: Loss (due to four casualties)


The game is over after losing four victims to the fire

Game 2: Two player game

Players: Dad, Mom

After the youngsters were tucked safely in bed (hopefully not being tormented by dreams of house fires!), their mother suggested a two player game. Who was I to refuse? Having had one game under my belt, and having re-read the instructions to ensure we were playing correctly, the rules were now becoming second nature, and as a result we were able to keep the game flowing nicely. Actions; Advance fire; POI check; Your turn partner! We sure were working nicely together as a team, and our combined efforts ensured that we were able to keep the fire relatively under control. Fortunately for us there weren't too many explosions, and the cries of apparent victims trapped in the house didn't require us to venture too far into the flames.


Cries for help seem to be coming from the kitchen area!

Despite several false alarms, we were able to rescue most of the family safely from the house, with the exception of one casualty. With the structure of the house close to crumbling, we retrieved what our mission had required, and barely half an hour after the onset of the fire, could settle back for a comfortable victory with eight victims rescued (we did an extra one for good measure, out of compassion for our fellow mankind) and the house structure still intact.

Result: Win


Eight victims are rescued and the house is still standing!

Game 3: Three player game

Players: Dad, 11 year-old, 13 year-old

The next morning I introduced the game to two more members of the clan who hadn't yet tried the game. After a quick run-through of the rules, we got to work in battling the flames. Things progressed nicely for the firefighters, and we were able to make light work of the rescue efforts, keeping the fire at bay. But uncovering what proved to be a false alarm in the kitchen had expended enormous effort from one of our team members, and by now the fire was also beginning to rage in that area. While enroute to rescuing a different victim, another unfortunate firefighter had to witness the fire advance and was sadly unable to prevent the fire consuming the poor creature.


A firefighter watches helplessly as a victim succumbs to the flames

Still, they had worked hard, and six victims were safely pulled from the burning ruins of the house. One firefighter had located the seventh and final family member in the house, and was in the process of bringing her back to safety, when a couple of explosions and shock-waves destroyed a few key load-bearing walls, and suddenly the house collapsed. A very narrow loss indeed, but a thrilling game!

Result: Loss (due to house collapse)


A final explosion, another destroyed wall, and the house collapses - just one victim short of winning!

Summary

All in all, we're enjoying the game immensely using the Family rules, and quite happy to take on the challenge several more times using this rule-set, before moving on to the more advanced rules for Experienced players. This is proving to be a fantastic cooperative game, with a rich theme, tense-game play. Certainly it seems to be a very fun game for families thus far!


The fire is burning out of control
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Andy Andersen
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Excellent report. Just waiting for my copies.
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Dan Massek
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Nice report! Looking forward to when my girls are old enough to play it with me.
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Richard Dewsbery
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I played two or three times this Sunday with the "family" rules. I've played the PC implementation many, many times but haven't yet played the (slightly different) full game, as each time I've sat down to play the game it's been with a number of new players, and the family rules seem like a good way to introduce the game.

The house fell in on us every game this weekend. Which surprised and annoyed me, as I reckon I can beat the game on the PC whenever I play it on easy (the family game) and medium difficulty levels.

The first game was always going to be a loss, as the others were running around trying to rescue everything that moved, whereas I spent the entire game knocked flat - the first square I entered was one of those "incredibly unlikely to explode" spaces, that promptly exploded and the fire in that room was bad enough that every subsequent turn was spent getting back up, only to be knocked straight over again. The same thing happened to another player in our second game (although he managed to get four or five squares into the house before it happened, and the square he was on placed him at risk of a knockdown from two directions at once).

The second game was closer, as it really looked like we had the fire well under control (down to just one burning square and about half a dozen smokes, IIRC) and were getting plenty of people out (five or six out, for only one death), until the roof inconveniently fell on us again.

Perhaps it was due to playing the game with 6 players; there are a LOT of rolls between your turns with so many players, making moves that are almost risk-free in a 3-player game almost three times more likely to bite you when playing with six.

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Mike Krajewski
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Fitchburg
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I haven't read the rules for awhile, but I thought when you get knocked down you actually go back to the ambulance so you wouldn't keep getting knocked down every turn.
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Richard Dewsbery
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In the standard game, yes indeed; I think it's only in the family game (where you don't use the vehicles) where you can get trapped like this.
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Jonathan Warren
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Wisbech
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"Elves are very good at board games, and I'm NOT an elf!"
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RDewsbery wrote:
In the standard game, yes indeed; I think it's only in the family game (where you don't use the vehicles) where you can get trapped like this.

No, the family game rules move you direct to the nearest (as the crow flies) ambulance parking space.
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Richard Dewsbery
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That'll teach me to read the rule book rather than rely on the out-dated PC version!
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