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Flash Point: Fire Rescue» Forums » Sessions

Subject: My first two 3-player games end...poorly rss

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Steven Durst
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Tampa
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After trying this game out at a local Con a few weeks back, I decided to pick it up. Nobody in my game group has it but we like Pandemic so I figured it would be a good fit. I went home for Thanksgiving and brought it along to teach my Mom and brother (not gamers). Figured a nice, easy co-op game would go over well.

We go into the advanced game right off the bat. I randomly assign specialists and off we go. First game we had a fire engine driver, hazmat specialist, and imaging technician. We were doing pretty well, having the driver spray down affected areas, while the imaging tech found the POIs and I went to rescue them with the techs help. We got to 5 rescues and I thought were doing well until the fire started to get out of control. We had all the extra hotspots down and 2/3 of the house had fire. We ultimately had the building fall down on us after a couple of explosions finished off the walls. Game = lost

Second game, we again set up random people, getting the Fire captain, Generalist and Medic. Again it goes well for a time, getting 5 people saved relatively easily. Had the Fire captain in the fire engine spraying down when able, or just moving us around. The medic helped alot in getting people mobile and out of the house. However, again the fire gets out of hand and the building collapses.

So not sure what happened to us. I played this game the first time with 4 people and we won easily. It seems like this game might be easier the more fire fighters you have. Also, I didn't advocate changing out roles during the game so maybe we just had bad combos or should have switched out. I'm not a big fan of the changeout and figured we should be able to pull it off with a random assortment of people but it was not the case. Perhaps we didn't spend enough time on fighting the fires and focused too much on rescue?

Anybody want to chime in and let me know what we should have done different?
 
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brian
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Cedar Lake
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Changing roles is important as you deal with the changing scene. More firefighters help as you have more hands on deck to rescue and fight fire, though you are also getting more smoke (and potential fire) as a result.

Much like the luck of the draw in Pandemic, you have the luck of the dice here. Things can be kept under control if you avoid rolling the same spots for explosions or keep the fire spread out. But if you get a few rolls that really concentrate and expand the fire, it can take some time to get it back under control.

Based on your session reports, I would say consider changing a role or two as needed. The way to win is to rescue people and in your first session it seemed you only had one person doing the rescuing. But then in your second session it seems you state the opposite.

The other thing to do is adjust the difficulty back down. Play the advanced game but put it on the most basic level. Or each play 2 firefighters next time you have 3 and see how that goes.
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David Boeren
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Marietta
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The number of firefighters doesn't have that big an effect on difficulty as the spread of the fire scales so well.

More people is somewhat easier, but mainly in the sense that it's more likely someone can get to an important place without having to spend too many actions on movement.

Forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but when you played at the con, did you have different people playing than you did at home? Possibly some experienced players instead of new ones you just taught?

Two common reasons things can go bad in my experience are:
1. Rescuing victims instead of fighting the fire
2. Poor role selections

New players seem to want to rescue people prematurely or too often. The fire looks ok *right now*, so let's go be heroes! That's incorrect thinking. What you're worried about is what the first will look like AFTER you make that little side trip to rescue someone. Is it still easily under control? Probably not. So make sure the fire is very contained before deciding to ignore it for a while to do rescues. Also, be ready to abandon your rescue plans if things chance - for instance an unexpected explosion happens.

With lots of players, you can take any role and you're OK because someone else has it covered. With 3-4 players you've got to be a little more selective. For instance, I would avoid the Medic and Rescue Specialist at this level, you can't afford to have people who are bad at fighting fire. MAYBE one of them in 4p if you guys are skilled, but no more.

Hazmat and driver are both OK early game, with the intent to drop them soon. At some point there aren't enough Hazmats to bother, and the big clumps of fire are gone unless things are going very badly.

So in your first game you basically had two guys you don't want to keep long - you may have held onto them and gradually paid the price in lost efficiency. Imaging Technician is OK, kind of supporty but OK.

The Fire Captain and Generalist are both core characters you want to have, even if the Medic is kind of fluff in a 3p. Drop the Medic for nearly anyone else and you've got a winning team there. CAFS I feel is the other one of the "golden" roles.

If anyone who isn't the Driver is in the fire engine, you're probably doing it wrong or at least making a last-ditch effort to save a badly lost game. It's just not efficient for anyone else to do it, although the Chief is a better pick than most since he can be efficient on some turns just ordering people around and only spray VERY rarely as needed. Still, who's he going to move? Only the Generalist really fully benefits as the Medic can't fight fires well.


I think #1 would be to put more emphasis on fighting the fire and not rescue people until the fire is very subdued, and then avoiding using the Medic or Rescue Specialist in 3p games. You just can't afford someone who can't fight fire in that small of a group.
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russell smith
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unlike pandemic you actually can choose which personell you bring to the fire.
also you may be right. the way to win is to rescue enough people but if you don't spend enough time controlling the fire your chances of sucess are greatly diminshed
 
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Matt Smith
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Rescuing 5 in your first two games is very good. The other guys gave the right advice:
- Keep the fire well under control. Otherwise, building damage will kill you every time.
- Don't be afraid to change roles.
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Steven Durst
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Reviving this thread since I've gotten many more games under my belt with my game group. For some reason we still continue to have difficulty. We have played 4-5 games a night and maybe only win 1. Tonight we played 4 games and lost all of them, badly (with 4 people). My group is not incompetent either, as we routinely play heavy games and can fairly regularly beat Pandemic with 6 epidemics.

But for some reason we just cannot save enough people before the building collapses. At first I chalked it up to inexperience but now I feel we must be doing something strategically wrong to keep losing and losing at this. I even dropped the difficulty down to recruit tonight (usually we do Veteran) and still lost worse than ever (without having rolled a hot spot the entire game). The only times we seem to win are with the driver/operator but I feel we should be able to win without him.
 
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Rich Charters
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Chandler
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Don't chop the walls.....ever.

Enjoy!
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Jack Byrd
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richcharters wrote:
Don't chop the walls.....ever.

Enjoy!


Totally disagree. A few well-placed holes (such as the north wall of the SE bathroom on the easy side of the board, and N/E enterances and the west wall of the utility room on the hard side) save so many AP getting to fires to put them out before they explode that they're well worth it. Chopping an already-damaged wall to be able to start extinguishing a room full of fire *right now* is also likely to be a move that comes out ahead in damage tokens.

The rescue specialist with her 1 AP chop and ability to traverse 2/3 of the board in a turn is on the verge of being overpowered, and a 2P game on veteran with her and the generalist (although she spends a few turns as D/O firing the deck gun at the start of the game) is generally a walk in the park.

In addition to not being shy about chopping, not being shy about using the Rescue Specialist and Paramedic's 2AP extinguish action to take care of nearby smoke prevents lots of problems before they happen. I'd be pretty hesitant to spend a whole turn putting out a single fire, but at least cool it down to smoke to buy time for the more effective firefighters to get there.

For the most part, you should only be thinking about rescuing anybody with a firefighting role if there's no or almost no flames on the board, and no more than 3 or 4 adjacent smoke anywhere. (in fact, this is the ideal state of things for the whole game - it'll take a turn or two to get unlucky explosions contained, but for the most part a good map looks like a few puffs of smoke and maybe a 1-square fire somewhere far from firefighters and POIs).

You can take your sweet time dragging victims towards the exit while making detours to knock down nearby smoke before it flashes over, because without any explosions, the game's time limit isn't advancing. Dragging hazmats toward the nearest exit (or at least away from any walls), however, is something everyone should be doing if it's even remotely feasible.
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Zeddy
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Tips to doing better?

What Matt Smith, Jack and others have alluded to, and Travis reinforced in a Reddit discussion about hints to winning the game: do what firefighters do best!!!! Focus on fighting and controlling the fire initially, and removing hazmats. Knock those fires down, and isolate chains of fire to individual smokes at the minimum.

Once you are at that stage, its much easier to manage ( I love the generalist for this- mobile yet effective for fire control); you can then change other roles as needed to start identifying and rescuing victims (e.g. Rescue Specialist).

Strategy works very well for us.

jackbird wrote:
richcharters wrote:
Don't chop the walls.....ever.

Enjoy!


Totally disagree.


+1 Once you have a handle on the fire, you'll have a pretty good handle on how the building damage situation is, and what you can get away with in terms of chopping. Then it's risk vs. reward choice. Obviously, try to find an already damaged wall to 'enhance' rather than start a new hole entirely, and optimise your hole location.
 
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