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Flash Point: Fire Rescue» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Broken Strategy? rss

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Colin Nordstrom
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I've been playing FP for a while, and I have discovered a strategy that never loses on the heroic level (on the 2 outside door side).

I play solo with 3 Starting Roles: structural engineer, generalist, and driver/operator.

I begin with the D/O in the worst area, then pair the SE with the G to clear fire for him so that ALL hot spots and non-"doorlike" markers can be removed.

Once the SE has completed his work, I switch him out for the paramedic or rescue specialist. The G or RS becomes my hazmat guy.

I've learned you need the D/O a minimum of once every 3 turns. I've found a huge jump in difficulty when 4 roles are played.

I also feel the CAFS is worthless compared to the G. The CAFS movement is a liability and has lost me many games.

I hope some gamers can test out my theory. I haven't tried it with variants or expansions; but the base game board on heroic has been solved.
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Colin Nordstrom
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A few things I would like to add are that (1) I am playing the game correctly, (2) I used to lose most games playing with other role combinations and number of FF's, and (3) the D/O and SE are far and away the most overpowered roles.

Removing hotspots is no question the most important aspect of FP. The SE's power can't be measured in AP. His power is measured in how many less rerolls you experience throughout the game. By getting all the hotspots off the board, you have saved yourself a minimum of 50 AP during a game (counting all the saved explosions, flashovers, and flare ups). Throw in the ability to pull cubes off the board...good lord. Who cares if he can't extinguish a match, that's what the G and D/O are for.

This strategy unfortunately brings the game to a crawl. However when the SE exits stage left and the paramedic/RS enters, the game zips to a conclusion.
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Andreas Krüger
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I can imagine that this works, especially in this role combination.

The D/O is very powerful in 2 and 3 player games, maybe less in games with 4 players and more. I never saw how the CAFS should work, but most player seem to think he is very powerful.

When you place the Captain to the right of the CAFS player, he can give him one command point just before the CAFS has his turn, so the CAFS should then work much better. If the seating order is different, the Captain cannot help the CAFS without putting him in danger.

The D/O is much less powerful on the 2nd story maps, because the gun aims at two quadrants simultaneously and getting the desired result is less likely.

Maybe the SE should be used only with the expansion maps which are a little bit more difficult and require more chopping (thus more damage cubes).
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Jae
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Just to clarify that you are indeed playing correctly.
The SE can only remove cubes from walls that are damaged, but not yet breached. Have you ever removed a cube from a breached wall?


Also, the value of the CAFS, he is equivalent to the Driver. The driver cannot shoot into a quadrant with a firefighter in it, where the CAFS is more mobile and can do so, at the cost of putting out fewer fires.
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Jae
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additionally, your strategy is only broken (for you) if you continue to play the "same scenario" the "same way".


What that says to me is that a given strategy is valid and that the game isn't as random as it appears. If an experiment is repeatable, then it is a valid solution.

All coop games are essentially puzzles. The goal is to find a winning strategy. Once you find a winning strategy, by definition, it will win.



//EDIT as a programmer, I should know the difference between then and than...

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Charlie Theel
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Interesting combo, but yes, 3 player is much easier than 4 player. Your combo also won't work in 2 player which is what we play this with about half the time.

We also play my Ladder 11 variant so the available roles is greatly reduced. In these games the CAFs is an all-star.
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Travis Worthington
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I am surprised that you can do this consistently at the heroic diFficulty level.

But there is a reason that the structural engineer is included in the hrrder expansion boards - because used at lower difficulty levels and/or easier boards the ability to quickly sweep the initial hot spots is too likely to allow what you are doing with some very specific combos of specialists on everything but the heroic levels.

I'd suggest challenging yourself with random draw of specialists and/or new crew changes.
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Sean Tompkins
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I plan on doing some tests myself tonight! If you are able to consistently win, the cool thing about the game is you can start with more initial fires and/or hotspots -- two action points to move through fire, combined with the risk of knockdown will add to the difficulty of the job. After all, you're not always guaranteed what size the fire will be when you're called out by the alarm bells ringing!
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Colin Nordstrom
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Jae, yes I am only removing single cubes from damaged walls. And the CAFS is in no way as strong as the D/O. The CAFS once the fire is out in their area is stuck, whereas the D/O can shoot to another side of the board.

Also, I plan ahead with the other FF's to make sure they stop short of the quadrant the D/O will enter. I constantly keep the other two FF's on the other side of the board from the D/O.

Travis, I imagine that's why the SE wasn't included in the base game. He clearly breaks it.

Cheers!
 
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Jae
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evidence wrote:
Joe Jae, yes I am only removing single cubes from damaged walls. And the CAFS is in no way as strong as the D/O. The CAFS once the fire is out in their area is stuck, whereas the D/O can shoot to another side of the board.

Also, I plan ahead with the other FF's to make sure they stop short of the quadrant the D/O will enter. I constantly keep the other two FF's on the other side of the board from the D/O.

Travis, I imagine that's why the SE wasn't included in the base game. He clearly breaks it.

Cheers!


Actually, I find the CAFS, Rescue Specialist, Commander are just as powerful as the triple combo you use. It's just a matter of knowing how your tools work.
 
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Colin Nordstrom
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Jae,

Those 3 may work on heroic with lucky rolls, but you won't dominate the base game unless you can remove hot spots. If you have 20+ hotspots on the board during a game, your 3 will never compete with my combo.

I wouldn't want to tackle any game without the D/O if I have no way of removing hotspots/damage markers. You may win, but I doubt you can do it consistently at heroic level.

You are talking about heroic on the tougher side aren't you?

Colin
 
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Jae
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evidence wrote:
Jae,

Those 3 may work on heroic with lucky rolls, but you won't dominate the base game unless you can remove hot spots. If you have 20+ hotspots on the board during a game, your 3 will never compete with my combo.

I wouldn't want to tackle any game without the D/O if I have no way of removing hotspots/damage markers. You may win, but I doubt you can do it consistently at heroic level.

You are talking about heroic on the tougher side aren't you?

Colin


Who needs to worry about hot spots when you've completed the game in 14ish rounds? The difference is winning through speed vs overwhelming force.

Your reliance on the Driver and SE show that you haven't explored other nuances of the game and you should expand your horizons to master all of the tools. I can, mostly, consistently win on heroic, solo with the three characters I've described. The only times I don't win is when the dice are being completely unstatistical. Even as such, I don't think any combination can overcome truly brutal dice rolls.
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Colin Nordstrom
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The original point was broken strategy not whether a certain combo could win.

Jae, I played your role combo 3 times and lost decisively each time. The best I did was get 4 people out on heroic. Not having the D/O lost me each game. Cubes flooded onto the board as I was unable to control 3 of the 4 initial explosions.

You mention nuances of the game and speed vs. force. The rescue specialist is worthless even when paired with CAFS. When the POI's pop up on the other side of the board away from her it's game over. She can't move people through fire. Not to mention if she's chasing false alarms.

Again, my original point was whether the SE is broken in the base game; not whether a certain combo is good or not. I would love for Kevin or Travis to chime in. But I feel I know what they're going to say.

 
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Andreas Krüger
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Have you seen this reply by Travis?

T Worthington wrote:
I am surprised that you can do this consistently at the heroic diFficulty level.

But there is a reason that the structural engineer is included in the hrrder expansion boards - because used at lower difficulty levels and/or easier boards the ability to quickly sweep the initial hot spots is too likely to allow what you are doing with some very specific combos of specialists on everything but the heroic levels.

I'd suggest challenging yourself with random draw of specialists and/or new crew changes.
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Colin Nordstrom
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Thanks Andreas. That slipped my mind. I'm waiting for Kevin to add a comment regarding the SE.

Cheers!

Colin
 
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Kevin Lanzing
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Flash Point: Fire Rescue is based on Flash Point, a game I produced and sold for a time on The Game Crafter. That version of the game is pretty nearly the same, with the largest single change being the addition of hot spots. The original Flash Point had no hot spots, but despite this seemed to challenge almost every group I introduced it to. I lost plenty of games as a solo playtester, as well. Sometimes the dice just conspire against you.

So while the hot spots add an additional challenge and while I consider them a particularly welcome addition to the game, the game is designed to challenge even without hot spots. And while I have no statistical models to prove that any given combination is optimal or 100% guaranteed to work under any circumstances, I have almost certainly played every permutation at least once. The Engineer, played properly, is very good. But I have lost plenty of games with him too.

It may be that the Generalist-Driver-Engineer combo is ideally suited to the basic boards. In which case it may be time to graduate to the expansion boards (High Rise, anyone?), or just leave the Engineer out of base game maps. Or mix up the player numbers (2 or 4 players will change the dynamics).

Personally, I feel that the Driver/Operator is the strongest role. He's not always the MVP, but his is the role that most often pulls victory from the jaws of defeat.
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Brian
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Momerath wrote:
...Personally, I feel that the Driver/Operator is the strongest role. He's not always the MVP, but his is the role that most often pulls victory from the jaws of defeat.

I enjoy very difficult cooperative games and have only played this 4 times on veteran. (Each time we had new players so I didn't up it to Heroic.)

With my limited experience, I feel like the Driver/Operator is overpowered. During the designing of the game, did consider making it 3 AP instead of 2 AP for him to fire the deck gun (or any other variation of his power)? Would doing say make him incredibly underpowered? It seems to me that getting two re-rolled deck gun shots instead of one non-re-rolled deck gun shot to be too powerful.
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