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Flash Point: Fire Rescue» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Fire Frenzy! A game with 33 hotspots rss

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Zoe M
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This was played as part of the Flash Point solitaire challenge Fire Frenzy, run by Malaiser.

There are a few special rules in this challenge: unlimited hotspots, five initial explosions, and no changing firefighters after you start. In other words, the ground was laid for a fire frenzy.

I had made several previous attempts on this challenge, mostly unsuccessful. Any game with five initial explosions is going to be swingier than average, because so much depends on your rolls in the first couple of rounds. If you roll badly, you won’t have a chance. If you roll well, your doom may at least be caused by your own bad decisions. And I made plenty of bad decisions.



There’s plenty to think about with this board setup. First of all, it’s the Ranch House, which means that it only has doors on a couple of sides. There’s generally a pretty easy solution to this problem: chop some holes in the walls. Given the amount of fire and damage on the board already, that might seem like a pretty risky strategy in this case. But I was also very aware of the fact that even if I survived the initial rounds, there would be unlimited hotspots coming out: time was of the essence here. And with those two tempting POIs clumped in the SE bedroom, I couldn’t resist starting the Rescue Specialist and the ambulance right outside.

The Rescue Specialist was another acknowledgement of the time limit imposed by the infinite hotspots. In a board engulfed in flames, she wasn’t the obvious choice; normally I would wait until the fire was more under control and then have her take over for the Driver/Operator. But of course, no switching was allowed here, and the expected escalation of the danger from hotspots meant that I wanted someone who would be able to get victims out fast. So she was part of the team.

The Driver/Operator was the most obvious team member here, given the amount of fire on the board. No one else can put out so many flames so quickly. He may not be the most precise, but in a situation like this that didn’t really matter. There was enough fire that he would probably hit something on most turns anyway. But I did resolve to do one thing different from some previous games: no matter what happened, he was going to stay in the truck. Occasionally in the past I thought he would do better walking a short distance to target a specific fire, but the cost always turned out to be too high: fire would flare up in another location, and he would be too far away to deal with it. This time, he was staying in the truck.

The starting location for the Driver/Operator was at least an easy decision; two of the explosions had happened in the south bedroom, with another in the hall above, so that was where he would target the deck gun. Of course, there was a chance that he would miss completely and hit the unburnt SE bedroom instead, but with two shots and the opportunity to re-roll I wasn’t too worried that he would miss entirely.

It was the other firefighter(s) and their starting position(s) that gave me a bit more trouble. I knew roughly what I wanted them to do: they were in charge of the fire in the centre of the board, which the Driver/Operator would be unable to target effectively. I just wasn’t sure quite how to get them there, or what they should do on the way in.

There were two main contenders: the Generalist and the CAFS. The Generalist was faster at walking across large open areas, and would be more helpful for getting victims out after the initial flames were under control, while the CAFS effectively had more AP in situations with a lot of fire.

In my previous successful attempt, I had gone with the CAFS, starting him in the NE corner to deal with the flames there. In numerous unsuccessful attempts, I had instead used both the Generalist and the Fire Captain, figuring that the Captain could help the Generalist get to the central fire faster. Again, they started in the NE corner.

I was strangely concerned about that small explosion in the NE corner, and for some reason wanted to deal with it quickly, just because I could. In retrospect, I think that’s where I went wrong. I was focused on putting out as much fire as possible in the very first round. But although a firefighter in the NE corner could put out those flames relatively quickly, he was then pretty far from the rest of the fire. Besides, the fire in that corner wasn’t particularly dangerous; even an explosion wouldn’t do too much harm (especially given that a firefighter starting in that corner would have to chop through), and the Driver/Operator could be there on his next turn.

Once I had realized that that fire could wait for the next round, everything went much more smoothly. I decided to start my other firefighter at the door to the kitchen, where I had also seen Lines starting a firefighter in a game that he recorded for this challenge. And that starting position made it easy to choose between the CAFS and the Generalist: after taking two steps and opening a door, that firefighter was going to face a continuous line of fire leading through the hall and into the bathroom, so the CAFS would be able to put his extra actions to good use. There was no longer a need for the Fire Captain, since everyone would be right where they needed to be. And so it began.


The starting lineup. Credit goes to Lines for the idea of marking whose turn it is with an extra firefighter—there was much less confusion this way!

The game got off to a good start. The Driver/Operator managed to extinguish all the flames in the south bedroom, and both of the POIs near the Rescue Specialist turned out to be real victims. Of course, there was an explosion on the third turn, but you can’t have everything.



This was the situation at the end of the first round:



At that point, the Driver/Operator drove around and managed to extinguish part of the NE fire that had been a source of so much concern before. At the end of his turn, I rolled my second explosion, making two in four turns.



Still, by the end of the third round, things were looking pretty good. Sure, there were 17 damage markers on the board, but there were only scattered flames remaining. It was particularly helpful that the Driver/Operator had managed to land a shot in the bathroom on his third turn.



I had also managed to rescue a couple of victims by this point, and uncovered at least one false alarm. For the next little while, things went pretty smoothly, and at one point there was actually no fire on the board at all:



Of course, that couldn’t last. Remember the part about the unlimited hotspots? They just kept coming and coming, until I had to come up with a different way to mark them on the board. This is what the board looked like when I pulled out the seventh victim:


I think I normally do my flashovers correctly, but sometimes I'm overly eager to take pictures....

I had six damage counters remaining, and the left side of the board was basically one big hotspot.

Of course, I decided to push my luck and try for just one more victim. And just one more….

The CAFS and the Driver/Operator did an admirable job of putting out the flames, but even they couldn’t keep up with all those hotspots, so the situation just got worse….



And worse….



That final picture shows the end state of the game, when the house finally collapsed thanks to an explosion in the small gray room at the top. In retrospect, I can’t believe I kept playing as long as I did. I count 33 hotspot markers on the board! (And one smoke that should have flashed over, but I’m sure I would have noticed if anything relevant had happened in that area).

My total score was as follows:
10 points from winning
90 points from saved victims
5 points from saved hazmat
Total: 105

As usual, the key here was knowing when to stop, and as usual, I didn’t. I really wanted to save that tenth victim. Still, I’m happy with my overall approach, and I think I could do even better with this same firefighting team and same starting positions, if I were inclined to play a few more times. That final victim is both so close and so far.

In retrospect, I'm glad that this wasn't a winning score, because looking back at my pictures I see several smokes that should have flashed over to fire. I'm pretty sure I noticed when it actually mattered—i.e., whenever something caused me to look at the relevant area again—but it's just as well that there's no GG on the line here.
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Ryan Mayes
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Another great writeup, Zoë. Wow, 17 damage markers by the third round and one point there was no fire at all? That must have been a fun and exciting game. Keep up the good work!
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Zoe M
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Thanks! It was definitely an exciting game.

(I like to think that's why I kept missing bits of flashovers — too caught up in the excitement! whistle )
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Ryan Mayes
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Dunyazad wrote:
Thanks! It was definitely an exciting game.

(I like to think that's why I kept missing bits of flashovers — too caught up in the excitement! whistle )


That makes sense to me!
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