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Flash Point: Fire Rescue» Forums » Strategy

Subject: CAFS underpowered? Do you use it? rss

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Andreas Krüger
Germany
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Does anyone use the CAFS? With only 3 AP for movement, I have no idea how to bring it to use.

(This is, maybe unintentionally, in line with German firefighting doctrine*: The CAFS is considered expensive, difficult to handle and potentially prone to accidents. Most fire departments prefer to spend their budget for equipment and training on other systems, because a well trained firefighter with standard equipment should be nearly as effective as a CAFS firefighter. Just like in the game where the Generalist can put out a burning room almost as fast as the CAFS. Besides, German firemen are much more occupied with accidents and other non-fire operations than with actual firefighting.)

*) I am citing Wikipedia here, I am not a firefighter.
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Anthony
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I think you are goign to want either the CAFS or the Driver/Operator on your team to focus strictly on fires. While I personally think the Driver/Operator is the better of the two, it does get a little boring spending your entire game mostly in that truck shooting the cannon so I think the CAFS at least gives you an alternative way to focus on fires but getting a bit more versatility.

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Brook Gentlestream
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Long Beach
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I really prefer the CAFS Firefighter. Three AP seems to be more than enough movement when you don't have to pay for putting out the fires.
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Jeff Mays
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The CAFS Firefighter is probably my favorite role to play. Although there are occasional times when the 3 base AP is a hindrance, this only arises when he is too far away from fires (we generally play veteran or heroic level, so usually this is not a problem). As long as used properly, the 3 addition "extinguish only" AP makes him very well powered.

Some of my favorite moments in FP:FR are the result of my CAFS putting out 3 fires in a turn (especially when it disrupts the path of a potential explosion which could take out a victim or set off a haz mat).

I do try to take advantage of using the extinguish AP to its maximum effect and banking a regular AP or two when I can (I try to do this early so if he does need to go a little farther to get to fires, I won't lose any of the additional extinguish AP because of it).

He also comes in quite handy for clearly a path for the Paramedic and/or Rescue Specialist. In general, we have found each of the roles to be valuable with the right combination of teammates. If I had to pick the one that is the most difficult to use to the best effect, it would be the Structural Engineer (from the expansion), but maybe it is just a question of us waiting too long to employ him or simply not pairing him up with the right partner.
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a valiant, pungent reindeer king
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Figure out where the highest concentration of fire is.

Walk into it.
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Andreas Krüger
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Sigafoos wrote:
Figure out where the highest concentration of fire is.

Walk into it.


Structural Engineer cannot put out fire at all.
Paramedic can extinguish 1 fire when not moving.
Captain, Hazmat or Driver can walk 2 steps and extinguish 1 fire.
Rescue and Generalist can walk 3 steps and extinguish 1 fire.
CAFS can walk 3 steps and extinguish 1 fire + 1 smoke.

So yes, he is the best fire fighter, but his advantage over the next best is just one smoke if he has to "walk into it".

The use of the CAFS depends a lot on the distance to the fire, and as soon as the major fire is put out, the CAFS has either to walk to the next spot where he cannot put his extra action points to full use (because he cannot always reach fire worth three AP) or back to the engine to change roles.

Not sure at which level of difficulty there are enough fire rolls to create a constant need for a CAFS right near where he is just standing. I guess I have to play a few more games to find out...
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Tim Stellmach
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Thamos von Nostria wrote:
Sigafoos wrote:
Figure out where the highest concentration of fire is.

Walk into it.


Structural Engineer cannot put out fire at all.
Paramedic can extinguish 1 fire when not moving.
Captain, Hazmat or Driver can walk 2 steps and extinguish 1 fire.
Rescue and Generalist can walk 3 steps and extinguish 1 fire.
CAFS can walk 3 steps and extinguish 1 fire + 1 smoke.

So yes, he is the best fire fighter, but his advantage over the next best is just one smoke if he has to "walk into it".


Your analysis only makes sense if you take walking 3 steps to get to 1 or 2 fires as a typical case.

1 or 2 fires strikes me as a wildly unrealistic interpretation of "the highest concentration of fire." What about the turn after he gets there, and the turn after that?

In my experience, the CAFS Specialist only occasionally finds himself without opportunities to use all 3 of his bonus extinguish actions per turn. Only the Generalist is a competitive firefighter (though I admit that my aversion to the Driver/Operator may be irrational). Rescue isn't even close, because why are you running around to get to a different fire every turn?
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Andreas Krüger
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Yes, the rescue specialist does not really belong that high on the list. When I tried the Fire Academy challenges I was quite surprised how versatile he was to prevent an explosion, but of course, with scripted fire rolls you know exactly which one fire you have to remove. I understand that this is certainly not his role in a typical game.

 
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Jeff Mays
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Maybe it is just the dice rolls, but I have seldom had the CAFS needing to move very far to get to an ample supply of fire (and when he does need to move a bit, there are usually smokes along the way to use up some the extinguish only AP). Then again, we usually have the Fire Captain along to help with movement when someone needs it (Granted he can only use 1 AP of movement for the CAFS, but that general seems to be enough in most instances).

With the Rescue Specialist, we have had good success pairing her with the Paramedic. Paramedic treats victim, Rescue Specialist runs them out.

Maybe it all comes down to individual preferences. I like the CAFS, but then, we typically lose more games than we win.

Then again, if we didn't, I am not sure we would like it as much.
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Tim Stellmach
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GrrBlarg wrote:
With the Rescue Specialist, we have had good success pairing her with the Paramedic. Paramedic treats victim, Rescue Specialist runs them out.

Yes, this is ideal, if you have a team large enough to admit two people dedicated to rescue and still have room for fire suppression roles.

The Rescue Specialist also makes a good second-choice Hazmat officer, by the way.
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Andreas Krüger
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Quote:
(Granted he can only use 1 AP of movement for the CAFS, but that general seems to be enough in most instances)


Is this in the rules? I do not remember this restriction.
 
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a valiant, pungent reindeer king
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Thamos von Nostria wrote:
Quote:
(Granted he can only use 1 AP of movement for the CAFS, but that general seems to be enough in most instances)


Is this in the rules? I do not remember this restriction.


Yep! Only 1 AP of the Captain can go to CAFS.
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Tim Stellmach
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Sigafoos wrote:
Thamos von Nostria wrote:
Quote:
(Granted he can only use 1 AP of movement for the CAFS, but that general seems to be enough in most instances)


Is this in the rules? I do not remember this restriction.


Yep! Only 1 AP of the Captain can go to CAFS.

Specifically, check the long-form version of the Captain's ability on p. 9 of the rules.
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Jeff Mays
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timstellmach wrote:
The Rescue Specialist also makes a good second-choice Hazmat officer, by the way.


Never thought about using her in that capacity. I will definitely keep that in mind. thumbsup
 
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Chris Korfmann
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We don't always start with the CAFS, but we always use him at some point. When he gets into some of the spots where there is a lot of fire, it's not uncommon for him to put out three fires in one turn. That can be crucial. If the engineer follows him, he can do repairs behind him. That works well too.

Another strategy we discovered recently is to pair the Paramedic with the Rescue Specialist. If the Paramedic goes first, they can heal the POIs and then the Rescuer can get them out quickly with 7 movement AP. It's a nice combo.

I usually play with the Fire Captain and I've also discovered that it seems to be almost better for him to stay in one spot and move everyone else on his turn.
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Mark Thomason
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ckorfmann wrote:

Another strategy we discovered recently is to pair the Paramedic with the Rescue Specialist. If the Paramedic goes first, they can heal the POIs and then the Rescuer can get them out quickly with 7 movement AP. It's a nice combo.

I usually play with the Fire Captain and I've also discovered that it seems to be almost better for him to stay in one spot and move everyone else on his turn.


We did this; the Captain ran the fire engine most of the game and helped the Paramedic and Rescue Specialist move around. Unfortunately we still lost when uncontrolled explosions took out the building while we still had a couple people trapped inside.
 
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Joe F.
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I've found that if the Structural Engineer 'follows' the CAFS fire fighter to clear the hot spots and repair the walls it is a great combo. While no guarantee, my group has won all the 4 boards on Veteran fairly regularly.
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Andre Oliveira
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My experience is pretty poor with him. In higher player counts the heavy fire tends to explode in my face before I get to put it all out.
 
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Thibaud Dejardin
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Quote:
Rescue and Generalist can walk 3 steps and extinguish 1 fire.
CAFS can walk 3 steps and extinguish 1 fire + 1 smoke.

But the rescue specialist will never extinguish more than a fire, while the CAFS can extinguish 2 and move 2 or move 1 to extinguish 2 fire and 1 smoke.
-----------------------------

When playing solo (usually with 3 firefighters), I always play the CAF, and that's the only role I almost never replace.
He is a beast when he is in the middle of the heat. I find him a lot more usefull than the generalist.
Of course, the driver is awesome, but he is random (even with the reroll) and is sometimes a full turn lost. And on boards like second story, he is a lot less usefull, as no firefighter can be present on the whole half board!

Usually, I start with the CAF, the hazmat specialist (he disposes most hazmatts possible and then I change his role) and another role, depending on the board.

I play often the paramedic, and the rescue specialist (just go throught all walls!). I really enjoy using the dog when I have a chance. The sensor guy is situational (and stays outside). The commander is a really good choice.

I don't find the structural engineer really usefull, but he may be a good choice with more firefighters in the team (but I think the veteran will be awesome with high player count!).

I never play the generalist... I find him blank.
 
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Daniel Skrivan
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Sometimes that 1 extra over the generalist can make all the difference, because you get rid of a fire instead of turning it to smoke. If it's already next to another fire, you can't get rid of it.

However, you guys are only looking at per turn. Let's look at what can happen on 2 turns:

CAFS: Move 3 towards a fire. Wait, collect no bonus tokens because you can't save extinguish AP. Next turn you have your base actions.

Generalist: Move 4 towards a fire. Wait, collect 1 bonus token. Next turn you have 5+1 actions which can be used on anything, including extinguishing fire.

Over time the Generalist will likely save more AP, and be better overall than CAFS.

Still, CAFS is a good secondary to the Generalist, and can come in handy in certain scenarios.
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