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Flash Point: Fire Rescue» Forums » Variants

Subject: Yet another deadlier knockdown variant rss

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Pol Michiels
Belgium
Ottenburg
Vlaams brabant
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Since I'm a firm believer in not making things easy for myself, I've been playing around with ideas to change the "beam me up, scotty" nature of "knock down" in this game. Since I've also won more than I've lost, I see no problem in adding a bit more difficulty, but I want to leave the option open for heroic rescues in the nick of time. So here's what I came up with:

If a firefighter is knocked down, place his pawn prone. The next time his turn comes up, he skips his turn and turns over his specialist card to remind him of this. If his turn comes up again, he dies; add one heal token to the casualty pile, this token counts as an extra casualty. The player can choose another role, and starts out at the fire truck on his next turn.

At any time before he dies, another firefighter can rescue him by eliminating the fire in his square (fully eliminating, reducing to smoke is not enough). His pawn is then placed back up, and he can continue playing as normal.

Note that you cannot save firefighters with the deck gun. If the fire in his spot is extinguished with the deck gun (this could happen due to slashover from another quadrant along the edges), another firefighter must still get to him in time (he is pinned/injured/...) and spend 1 AP to save him.

So far I like the results, but I think it needs more playtesting. If it proves too harsh, I'm thinking of increasing the amount of allowed casualties to 5, but still with a maximum of 4 victims.

I'd love some thoughts and suggestions from people who have a longer experience playing this.
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Lutz Pietschker
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Berlin
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I think you should allow other firefighters to drag/carry him to safety.
I tried a variant of the old (Flash Point) rule: Put the FF flat in the space, but do not extinguish the fire in that space (the rule said you should- the "stop, drop and roll" drill). The FF may spend all his AP in his next turn to stand up *if* the space was no longer on fire, or to crawl one space (into any space, even if on fire). Unfortunately this rule tended to put those firefighters out of action practically permanently, as he would take many turns to recover (if at all). May have been bad tactics on my part, though, someone should have been near enough to help him. I also allowed dragging/carrying him away, which included putting him on his feet in the first space not on fire.

If you include FF as victims (which makes sense, I had something FF-related in my Oktoberfest scenario as well) I think you also should modify the victory conditions. I thought about a list like from "Excellent operation- Medals handed out to all involved by the mayor" down to "We lost this one- the press is furious and asks for a scapegoat". In between would be something like "OK, clean your gear and meet me for additional training" which would be the highest grade you could achieve if any FF was lost in the action.
 
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Kevin B. Smith
United States
Mercer Island
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How often do you experience knockdowns at various difficulty levels? I have only played on the lower levels, and they are very rare (most games have none). I can imagine they would become more common at higher levels.

Of course, there are also things you can do to increase/decrease the odds of being knocked down. "Hey Bob, why are you ending your turn next to that big pile of gasoline instead of stopping a safe distance away?"

If knockdowns are rare enough, then the penalties can be stiff. If they are unavoidable at the higher levels, then allowances must be made.
 
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Andreas Krüger
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Krefeld
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The frequency does also increase with player number, because if the fire spreads three or four times before your turn, you will need much more distance to be safe.
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Andreas Krüger
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Just to keep things simple, I would allow the use of the deck gun. Sure, the Operator can use it very effectively, but the game is not about knocked down firefighters, it is about the victims.

The dying firefighter could also be turned into a victim and moved one space (or even more, following the arrows, out of the fire that knocked him down). I think you have one extra victim in the box if you play by the rules. Of course, the game then ends only with one extra rescue, and you still lose with the same number of victims.
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