Flash Point: Fire Rescue - Board Game Box Shot

Flash Point: Fire Rescue

The call comes in…”911, what is your emergency?” On the other end is a panicked response of “FIRE!” Moments later you don the protective suits that will keep you alive, gather your equipment and rush to the scene of a blazing inferno. The team has only seconds to assess the situation and devise a plan of attack – then you spring into action like the trained professionals that you are. You must face your fears, never give up, and above all else work as a team because the fire is raging, the building is threatening to collapse and lives are in danger.

You must succeed. You are the brave men and women of fire rescue, people are depending on you. This is what you do every day.

flash point fire cards

Flash Point: Fire Rescue is a fully cooperative game, everyone plays on the same firefighting team - win or lose together!

Every turn is filled with the tension of having to fight the fire back, rescuing victims or investigating points of interest. Players can ride the ambulance to safety or fire the engine's deck gun in a desperate attempt to control the blaze. No two games are ever the same - and with three rulesets (family, & experienced) and 3 different difficulty levels there is a challenge to be had for all.

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User Reviews (22)

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5
USA
Cross Hares fan
8
134 of 137 gamers found this helpful
“Haz-Mat and Hot Spots. Oh my!”

Flash Point: Fire Rescue is a unique game that puts players into the role of firefighters, trying to save people from the raging inferno and live to see another day. It uses an action point system and (in the advanced game) player abilities to help stem the flow of the fire and rescue the civilians trapped inside. But be warned of structural damage, for if the building takes enough, it will collapse and crush all inside. Are you prepared for the heat?
The Gameplay
After all the tokens for fire, hot spots, haz-mat, doors and the Point-of-Interest markers, each player has a number of actions that they can take, which is generally four. These actions range from moving, putting out smoke or fire, chopping holes into walls and rescuing civilians. They can also reserve up to four actions that then allow them to have more actions available for their next turn.
After the active player has done all that they can or want to do during their turn, they then roll a ten-sided die and a six-sided die. This gives them the coordinates for placing smoke which, pending on where it lands could create another fire or an explosion. When playing the game and placing smoke, there is a simple equation to remember: Smoke + Smoke = Fire, Smoke + Fire = Explosion. After this has been resolved, the player rolls both dice again to replace any Point-of-Interest markers, if needed. This continues with each player until either seven victims have been rescued which results in the players winning, or either four victims are lost or all the damage markers have been used and another would be placed making the building collapse, which then means all players would lose and have to lick their wounds until the call rings out again!
Pros
- Cooperative play, so players are going to either win or lose together
- The use of dice and coordinates allows for lots of replayability
- Good scaling system set up in the game, so it can be as tough or easy as you want to make it
- Various player abilities, allowing for a more rich theme of specialists actually taking out a fire
- Easy to learn rules, and great for teaching younger players
Cons
- The board is a bit flimsy and shows wear after a few games
- Won’t interest competitive players, as it is 100% cooperative
Conclusion
This is one of my favorite games. I absolutely love the theme and the miniatures that come with it are great quality. If you are a fan of cooperative games and fire-fighters, this is definitely a game to look into!

 
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9
Critic - Level 5
Professional Advisor
Professional Reviewer
Marquis / Marchioness
7
308 of 319 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“Cooperative Fire Rescue - Team Players Needed”

Some popular cooperative games have you fighting the forces of evil (Shadows Over Camelot), evil toasters (Battlestar Galactica), evil “forces” (Yggdrasil, Defenders of the Realm), and evil diseases (Pandemic). Now, you can assemble your team to fight a less evil, yet still deadly, force of nature – fire.

In Flash Point: Fire Rescue, you’re taking on the role of modern day (and real) heroes, fighting a house fire while trying to save the inhabitants. Rooted more in reality (said with apologies to those that believe cylons walk among us), Flash Point is easier to immerse yourself in the theme and put yourself in the shoes (boots?) of your character, allowing players to make decisions more based on experience, or how they would react to situations. It’s possible this detachment from fantasy could put some players that use games as an escape off of the Flash Point, but for those not bothered by the theme, the game often does a good job of grabbing and holding one’s attention.

Game Play

Players take on the role of emergency responders (firefighters and paramedics) responding to a house fire. Working as a team (fully cooperative), the goal is to save 7 victims before the house collapses, or 4 victims are lost. This is done using an action point allocation system, with a player getting 4 actions per turn. These actions can be used for straightforward activities, such as moving around, extinguishing smoke/fire, opening/closing doors, cutting holes through walls, and carrying victims.

Each player starts with a character that has a special role. The majority of actions for each character are the same, but each has a strength (and sometimes a weakness) that allows each character to play somewhat differently, without needing to stray far from the basic rules.

In a given turn, the firefighters will each spend their action points as they choose (possibly banking extra actions for later turns). Then the fire will spread through the rolling of dice, which will randomly select squares of the house. Each roll will place a smoke icon. Any smoke next to fire becomes fire, and a roll that would place smoke in a location that is already on fire will cause an explosion. Explosions not only spread the fire, but will cause damage to walls (shown as black cubes). If all of the damage markers are on the board, the game will end in failure.

While fighting fires is a major part of the game, the goal is to get to, and save, victims. The game uses Points of Interest (POIs), which are blue circular tiles. A player will need to move their character to a POI to determine if it is a victim, or a “false alarm” (blank). Victims will need to be carried out of the house and to an ambulance, while false alarms are left in search of victims. Once 7 victims are saved, the game is won, even if the house is barely standing.

My Thoughts

Flash Point is a well-designed game, allowing for multiple levels of difficulty – determined by how many initial explosions and hazard materials the board is initially seeded with. Advancing past the family game, teamwork will be needed to successfully search the house and pull out victims. While fighting fires is not the overall goal, it is necessary to keep the house standing and give free space for rescuers to get to victims. Many times throughout the game, decisions will need to be made on whether to make a run at a victim, or fight some of the fire help future players.

The different roles (specialists), in my opinion make the game. They aren’t extremely different, but they each carry a flavor that makes sense, and allow for more strategy. Additionally, unlike most games, you have the option of changing your role during the game (at the cost of 2 action points and starting your turn with the fire engine). It’s a great touch that there is a fire engine and ambulance that also need to be balanced. The deck gun of the fire engine will be a major part of your firefighting (though it does tend to keep one player assigned to the engine, making the game a bit repetitive for them).

I would advise avoiding this game if all players are new to the game, and not experienced gamers. While I don’t find the game all that tough to get the hang of once you play a few turns, there is a lot of information that needs to be explained at the beginning. There are a number of different ways you can spend your actions, and not all actions take the same number of action points. Additionally, the spread of the fire (and even the beginning seeding of the board) is best left to an experienced hand. Again, there is nothing overly difficult about dealing with fire, but expect the first play through to require a number of times flipping through the rulebook. Of particular note are the “hotspots”, not fire themselves, and not something you can put out, but they cause smoke to immediately turn to fire, and spawn more hotspots. I recall our first couple of games leading to much confusion over how they work from new players.

In the end, I find Flash Point to be different enough from the co-ops listed at the top to be worth giving a try. I’m not sure that a gamer already owning a few from that list will feel a strong need to add Flash Point to their collection (unless they decide they prefer it and trade/sell one of the others). Easy enough to grasp for casual gamers (if given good rules guidance) with enough difficulty for the avid/power games, Flash Point is a good addition to the co-op lineup, though may not be different enough to play in series is with games like Pandemic, Forbidden Island, or Yggdrasil.

 
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5
Australia
I play red
8
36 of 37 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“Well-designed with very strong co-op theme”

Flash Point is solid cooperative game that encourages a lot of talk and planning as players assume the roles of firefighters in a team and try to save victims from a burning building.

Gameplay
Below I cover the BASIC gameplay only, without the roles or more difficult elements

The game board, which is a top-down view inside a building, is placed in the middle of the table, with tokens representing smoke, fire and victims laid out in various positions within the building.

On their turn, players spend action points to move, open doors, carry injured victims, and of course, extinguish fires or smoke. If a player doesn’t use all their actions, they can carry a limited number over to their next turn.

After spending their actions, the active player will roll the dice to further spread the fire (sometimes causing explosions which can damage walls, or injure victims and players), and also to replace any rescued victims.

Your team wins if you rescue eleven victims before the building collapses. Your team loses if the building collapses or if four victims die.

Look and Feel
Flash Point does well thematically and the cooperative element feels stronger than any other cooperative game I’ve played. The game is very well-rounded and plays smoothly. You always feel like part of the action while other players are taking their turns, because this game really encourages a lot of strategy discussion (“Why don’t you pick up that victim and I’ll look after the fire in that room”).

Best and Worst
Best: The role cards (with different special abilities) add more excitement to the basic game, and the higher difficulty levels also add other challenges. The fire engine deck gun is always a thrill to play! The board, cards and tokens are all of a good size and style, well-suited to the game and the way it’s played.
Worst: Even though this is an extremely well-designed game that I enjoy playing, the theme is fairly serious, and it just doesn’t quite seem to scratch my “fun” itch enough to make it into my top five.

There is a lot to like here for both casual and serious gamers. The roles and difficulty levels allow for a decent amount of customisation, and nobody need feel starved of challenge. I’d recommend this game to most gamers, and anyone to whom the theme appeals!

 
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5
I play green
7
187 of 196 gamers found this helpful
“Good Co-Op, Great Theme”

Flash Point is one of the many board games I’ve backed via Kickstarter, but one of the very few to actually live up to my expectations. This is a very good game that should be considered by fans of co-op, firefighters, and all around good group experiences.

The components of the game are top notch. Great art, super thick, sturdy box and board, solid wood meeples, and more. You’ll have fun setting up all the pieces and looking at the board.

The game is cooperative, which means you all win together or lose together. Each player takes control of a firefighter, each of whom have a special ability. The game is very similar to Pandemic and Forbidden Island in this regard, though I must say my friends and I enjoyed the Flash Point roles more. We also liked that you can change your role in the middle of the game, which makes for a fun strategic choice.

In the game, a home has caught fire and you must take advantage of your firefighter’s ability, and those of your friends, to hold back the fire, stabilize the building, and rescue enough people before the building collapses or too many casualties are suffered. The fire spreading mechanic is random and very dangerous, which means every decision counts.

The game features all of the things you might expect from a firefighting game. Volatile household items can explode. The fire might blow out doors or walls, or you as the firefighter might axe these barriers. Smoke is bad, but fire is much, much worse! All in all, the game greatly takes advantage of its theme. Again, I have to give it the nod here versus Forbidden Island or Pandemic.

The only downside is that the game has many things to keep track of. After a game or two it’s not a big deal, but early on you must track things like hot spots, chain reactions, and other things. There are quite a few token types and each one has a slight rule that affects the game. Pandemic and Forbidden Island are a bit more elegant and accessible for this reason.

I’m not a huge fan of co-op, but I’m glad I own Flash Point. It definitely offers something new to the co-op genre and takes great advantage of its thematic premise. The components are great. You will definitely get your money’s worth.

 
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4
Rated 25 Games
7
142 of 149 gamers found this helpful
“Great for new gamers playing with avid gamers.”

At the beginning of the game, you seed the house with a certain number of Threat markers depending on the difficulty you decide on. There are also 3 Points of Interest (POI) markers on the board at all times, which are usually victims that need to be rescued, but may also turn out to be false alarms. You may also place out some Hot Spots and maybe some Hazmat tokens onto the board, then you choose your starting Role (in the experienced game, anyway), place your firefighter pawn/fireeple next to the building, and place the vehicles (fire engine and ambulance) where you want them at the start of the game.

Player Turns

On each firefighter’s turn, they basically get a certain number of Action Points (AP) to spend doing things. In the Family Game, everyone just gets 4 AP, but each Role in the Experienced Game has a certain number of AP and a special ability.

AP can be spent to do things like move (1 AP alone or 2AP when carrying a victim or moving through fire), extinguish (1AP for smoke or 2AP for fire), open or close doors (1AP), chop through walls (2AP to place a damage cube, 2 cubes destroys a wall space), change roles (2AP, only when at the fire engine), or do some other actions with the vehicles.

But how does is compare to Pandemic?

As much as I almost hate to even go here, enough people compare Pandemic and Flash Point: Fire Rescue that I feel compelled to do so as well. First off, however, I need to say that the games really aren’t nearly as similar as some people would lead you to believe. Other than including a few similar elements (action points, roles, and being cooperative, of course), pretty much all the other mechanics and, more importantly, the whole feel and flow of play is different.

Pandemic is a great game near the top of my collection , and in rating them against each other, Flash Point: Fire Rescue doesn’t really do anything to threaten that position. But while I prefer Pandemic for a lot of reasons, there are certainly a lot of things that Flash Point does better. I feel like I have a greater ability to affect the outcome in Pandemic since it’s less random, and it’s also a lot more elegant and seamless. But Flash Point is more flashy and intuitive, and is probably a little bit lighter overall if you’re looking for something more along the family-game lines.

And again, being a big coop game fan, I’m very happy to have both in my collection because they really do have their own strengths and scratch different itches for me.

Once I got past some of the fiddlyness of managing the game, Flash Point: Fire Rescue has begun to shine as a thematic and exciting cooperative gaming experience. Even just the base game has a lot for me to continue to explore, and I can see myself, my game group, and my family playing this for years to come.

• Rules: As long as someone knows what they’re doing to manage the game, most players will have no problem picking up on what to do.
• Theme: Totally awesome, and done really well.
• Downtime: Even though it’s cooperative, players can take a little long on their turns deciding how to best use their action points.
• Length: 30-60 minutes, which seems very appropriate for the pace and depth of the game
• Player Interaction: Solid cooperation with both niche protection and lots of teamwork

 
Player Avatar
8
Professional Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Silver Supporter
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
7
254 of 267 gamers found this helpful
“Great theme, fiddly, hard rules, solid co-op”

Flashpoint: Fire Rescue is a cooperative game for 1 to 6 players. Each player takes on a role of a firefighter with special skills, and everyone works together to rescue the people inside before the building falls down or four people die. The game is very well designed with good components and provides a solid co-operative experience.

Pros:
Great theme
Tense action
Nice components

Cons:
Fiddly…lots of pieces to maintain
Confusing and hard to remember rules for fire resolution (especially on experienced rules)

Gameplay:
Each player normally gets 4 action points (unless role card says otherwise) to spend on their turn. They can move, extinguish fires, rescue victims, chop walls, carry chemical hazards, move emergency vehicles, shoot the water hose on the truck, etc. After a player uses their points up, the die is rolled to see where the fire grows, and this gets to be the hard part. There are lot rules to keep track of depending on where the die says the fire lands. The family rules are easier to track fire resolution, but the experienced rules get really complicated. Various things can happen during fire resolution: smoke markers turns to fire, explosions happen causing shockwaves, chemical explosions, victims die, firefighters get knocked out, and walls get damaged. After fire resolution, you then determine if more POI – Person of Interest markers get placed on the board which are normally the victims you need to rescue.

There are plenty of roles to choose from that encourage working as a team. The CAPS firefighter can extinguish 3 fires for free, yet only has 3 action points. The Generalist gets 5 action points. The Rescue Specialist gets 3 free movement points, chop for 1 AP (half), but pays double action points for extinguishing. The Imaging Technician can identify any POI marker on the board for 1 AP (weakest role). The Hazmat Technician can remove hazmats for 2AP which is better than carrying it out of the building. The Paramedic can reduce the cost to move victims out the building, but pay double for extinguishing. The Fire Captain can spend 2 free action points to move other players. The Driver/Operator gets to fire the water hose (deck gun) for half the normal action points, and riding around in the truck and shooting the water hose is probably the funnest part of the game. It’s usually the fastest way to get ahead of the fire if you can roll a good number. However, figuring out the dice is still confusing for when the roll is outside the sector, and it really needs some rework.

Conclusion:

Flashpoint is the fifth co-op game that I own, so I really like co-ops. The theme is superb and readily appeals to my son. However, I find the game very fiddly with so many different components compared to my favorite co-op: Pandemic. Also, the fire resolutions rules seem really complicated to me and hard to remember especially when you add in the chemical hazards and hot spots. I constantly ask myself, did I resolve this part correctly, and later on, I look at the board in another turn and found out that I didn’t resolve it correctly. So, I find it highly annoying, and I still don’t understand the “hotspots”! This has to be the hardest co-op yet to get the rules right consistently. My kids love it, but they’re not the ones trying to figure out how to resolve the fires. Pandemic is so easy with a epidemic cards telling you what to do, and the outbreaks are very simple to resolve. The family rules are nice, but I find them lacking without the role cards that add the spice to the game. I personally think the roles should be included in the family game.

My kids want to play it frequently, but it makes me groan and rub my head every time they do. Not too mention, I find it disturbing thematically that you win by saving seven out of 10 people in a burning building…hunh? “Sir, there are still 3 people in the building” “It’s okay to lose a few there chief, now move along and celebrate your victory” All the criticisms aside, Flashpoint is still fun to play and gets very tense at times as you watch those damage markers shrinking and the fire growing.

 
Player Avatar
9
I play blue
Football Fan
USA
Advanced Reviewer
9
217 of 233 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 2
“What Finds ‘em Hot and Leaves ‘em Wet*”

What Is It About? – An Overview of the Game
Flash Point: Fire Rescue is a cooperative board game for 2-6 players. Players answer the 911 call to battle a raging fire together. The goal is to rescue 7 trapped citizens before the building collapses or too many victims are lost to the flames.

What Do I Get? – The Components in the Box
The game comes with a double sided board representing two different scenarios. There are 6 wooden player pawns (though newer editions come with plastic figures). There are cardboard counters representing Fire/Smoke, Victims and False Alarms, doors, hot spots, and various other tokens. There are also larger tokens representing the Fire Engine and Ambulance. Wooden cubes represent the structural damage. Two dice are include, one d6 and one d8, for locating threats. A deck of cards is split between player aids, identification cards, and 8 Specialist cards.

What Do I Do? – Playing the Game
Following the winning structure in co-op games, each player does their moves, advances the fire against themselves, and then replenishes the “Points of Interest” (POI) markers aka Victims. Play continues around the table until the win condition is met or one of the fail conditions is triggered.

On a player’s turn, they have 4 actions they can complete. They can do as many of the actions in any order that they choose. They can move orthogonally for 1 Action Point (AP). If they are carrying a Victim, it costs them a total of 2 AP. Also, if they are moving through fire, it also costs 2 AP (a Victim cannot be carried through fire). They can also open or close a door for 1 AP. If they need to make their own path, they can chop through a wall for 2 AP but this places a damage token on the wall. Two damage tokens make an opening but you are spending a lot of AP and risk hastening the collapse.

Fighting the fire is the other set of Actions you will consider. There are two threats: Smoke and Fire. Extinguishing smoke costs 1 AP while turning Fire back into Smoke also costs 1 AP. So for 2 AP you can clear a space of Fire completely. Since Smoke can easily reignite, you’ll want to completely extinguish as much as possible before moving on. You can also fire the deck gun for 4 AP potentially washing out 5 spaces. You can drive the vehicles into position for 2 AP per location.

Each player starts the game as a Specialist that allows them to break the rules in some way. Some lose AP (starting with only 3 instead of 4) but have AP they can spend on specific things – such as moving or fighting fire. The Generalist has no special ability but gets a 5th AP per turn. Players can head to the engine to switch roles for 2 AP. Some of the crew has additional actions that they can take for variable AP costs.

There are a couple free actions. These include flipping over a POI to see if it is an actual Victim or a False Alarm when you are on the same space as that marker. You can also ride in the vehicles for free (as long as the AP is pent to move them). In addition, any unspent AP can be saved for the next round up to a maximum of 4 saved.

After a player completes his Actions, the Fire Advances. Both dice are rolled to determine where new Smoke will be placed. If Smoke is already there, it will be flipped to its Fire side. If Fire is already there, an explosion sends new Fire out in the 4 directions. If an explosion occurs and the travel of the Fire is blocked by a closed door, the door is removed from the game; if blocked by a wall, a damage cube is added. Open doors and walls with 2 damage cubes are open and will allow Fire to travel. Now any Smoke that is adjacent to Fire will itself turn into Fire.

In the advanced game, there is the potential for HazMat tokens to cause another explosion, spreading the fire even further. After that, Hot Spots are resolved. These are super hot locations that will cause you to roll again in addition to the original Advance Fire step. These are triggered when the original roll places you in a space with a Hot Spot. Hitting a Hot Spot will require that a new Hot Spot token be placed at the end of the turn, ratcheting up the difficulty that much more.

While all of this is going on, any fire fighter that finds himself on a space that is now on Fire gets Knocked Down and placed on the Ambulance. Any POI is immediately removed from the game when Fire hits them. False Alarms are simply removed while Victims lost in this way count towards the lose condition.

After this, the board must have 3 POIs. So any Victims that were rescued during the turn or any POIs lost to Fire are replaced. The dice are again rolled to determine the placement of these POIs. If there space has a threat, the little arrows on the board are followed to find a clear space to place them. This will draw them closer to the middle of the board in most cases. In the family game, simply continue to re-roll until a clear space is found.

The crew must save 7 Victims to win. Since there are only 10 real Victims out of 15 potential POIs, losing 4 Victims is an automatic loss. If the supply of 24 damage cubes runs out, the game is also a loss for the firefighters.

What Do I Think? – Final Thoughts
As with most little boys, I always wanted to be a fireman when I grew up but my career path led me away from that. This game gives me the chance to try it out without actually getting burned. And while it doesn’t come with actual heat, you can feel the pressure of working against the clock, getting everyone out before the building collapses. You feel the agony when you just fought through a fire to get to a potential victim and it turns out to be a false alarm. Or worse yet, a cat! Frustration sets in when a room you just cleared flares up again.

Kevin Lanzing seems to have captured the right elements in this design. Going to the Engine to change equipment, based on what the fire needs, is a good mechanic. While the random placement of fire may not be accurate, the way it travels and how it can explode seem a very good abstraction of the real thing. The specialized roles depict what those actual roles can do.

As a game, it scales well. Given the random nature of the fire and starting location of the victims, the replay value is here. Each of the building boards has a different approach. The added difficulty levels correlate well with the chances of success. It is easy to explain and has always been well received, with most players wanting to play again immediately. There is an introductory level that is good for families and non-gamers. But after one play of that, it is best to move along to the “advanced” game.

Really, there isn’t much to complain about in this game. The only negatives I can come up with are a slight reach. They could have included 2 more player aids since it plays up to 6. Also, I am not sure what type of ink Indie Boards & Cards uses but some of my cardboard pieces are smudged after only a few plays. I have noticed this in some of their other games too, particularly Avalon.

I always enjoy a game of this whether we win or lose. It covers a theme that is lacking in my collection but sorely needed. This is one of those games that I will continue to play and support for as long as they make new expansions.

What Next? – Other Recommendations for this Game
This game lends itself well to expansions, and they have delivered. There are two expansions currently available with both offering new double-sided maps. Urban Structures offers high rises including an apartment building and a downtown office building with elevators. It also includes a new specialist that can repair structural damage and remove hot spots. 2nd Story splits the two buildings in half and gives you 2 floors on top of each other. No new specialist comes with it, but it does include more tokens to reflect the “ladder” and “window” rules. It also includes some useful tracking tokens that would have been nice in the base game.

This is on par with Pandemic in terms of “complexity” and that would be a decent next step. While not yet released, the upcoming Police Precinct by Common Man Games will probably have a similar feel as well. Though different designers, you are moving from the fire department to the police department. It even features the same artist so the graphic presentation will be familiar.

* Title ripped from my favorite of the Coed Naked … series of T-shirts: Coed Naked Firefighting!

 
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5
AEG fan
Miniature Painter
8
30 of 32 gamers found this helpful
“Where there is smoke....”

Flash Point is a very well designed and nicely implemented cooperative board game that supports 1 to 6 players. I initially purchased the game because it allowed solo play while playing all the way up to 6 and it has not disappointed.

Flash Point is played on an 8 by 6 grid – and this grid is constantly referenced by rolling a d8 and a d6. Dice rolling is a primary mechanic and I find that the randomness is well suited to an environment filled with the chaos that is fire – the smoke, heat, limited visibility, and unexpected are all very well represented due to the unpredictability introduced by the dice.

The game comes with basic (family) and advanced rules. The basic rules are good for learning the core mechanics, but I suspect that most players that enjoy the game will rapidly move on to the advanced rules. The advanced rules provide players with unique roles, improves the way that potential victims are placed, introduces hazmat problems, and opens up the rules regarding fire trucks and ambulances.

I’ve played a couple of very gripping, danger-filled roller-coaster rides of Flash Point and I’ve also had several games where we were in control and stayed in control almost from the start. My advice is to keep the difficulty high (more starting explosions) and to consider playing random roles. Cooperative games need pressure in order to remain engaging and well-organized, capable players need to take on more difficult challenges – where losing is a very real threat – in order to get the most out of Flash Point. Make your game memorable.

Likes:
It seems like there are always a few sudden surprises
No two games play out the same
Solo to 6 player
High quality components
Manual is well written

Dislikes:
Box needed to be a bit deeper
Early good play / luck can result in a boring play through
Fairly fiddly – each turn ends with a dice roll and placement of at least one token
Game is more “dangerous” with more players (you are stuck until your turn)

Plays best with: 3 or 4
Rating: a very solid 8 multiplayer, 7 as a solo game

If you like cooperative board games that play fairly quickly, Flash Point is definitely worthy of your consideration. If it turns out that you like it, there a long list of available expansions to add more depth and variety to the game play.

 
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6
Finland
I'm Completely Obsessed
Intermediate Reviewer
5
231 of 252 gamers found this helpful
“I burned out on this game pretty fast”

Me and Flash Point: Fire Rescue

I got this game early on when I started board gaming. I had a friend who is a volunteer fire fighter, and since the game was co-op also (a mechanic that I am a fan of), I thought this would be a good fit. Well, the game is solid and has a great theme. It’s the replay value that’s an issue for me.

The premise

You and your team must rescue citizens in trouble from inferno that’s raging in a local suburbian home. You have limited time before the fire consumes the victims and the house collapses. Oh, and watch out for the explosions as well or you are the one that has to be dragged out of the house!

Out of the box

The components are nice. Basic colored pawns to represent the firefighters, LOTS of tokens to represent fire, flammable materials and the victims. Big and thick cards. The board is double sided, both still representing your average family home.

There’s one issue with the tokens though, and it’s that there isn’t enough of them. When the fire gets huge, you simply run out of the markers. This I don’t like.

Actual gameplay

There’s lot of firefighting roles to choose from, which is great. Every one of them has a different special ability which helps in your quest to save the victims. There’s also two different rule sets, basic and advanced. I recommend strongly that you jump to the advanced rules as soon as possible. The basic (family rules) are just bland and boring.

Every game’s different. The fire starts at random locations and spreads from there. The victims are randomly placed. You then storm into the building and start fighting fire.

There are couple of mechanics that I like very much in this game. The spread of fire is represented in a dynamic way that I like very much. Also the damage that the house takes is a nice addition as the holes in the walls can’t be used to traverse inside the house, but it also brings the house nearer to the collapsing.

The game is strong in gameplay. It’s replay value however isn’t. Every game feels same. There’s two sides on the board, but the difference is the number of doors the house has. That isn’t enough for me. Sure you can try to use different tactics, but most of them are just equally effective. There isn’t enough variables involved. Your character cannot die, only the victims can. While that adds to the feel of danger, the representation is just that you move the victim token to the side. That’s that.

The game is simple to learn so it is a great game for beginner gamers. I would think that especially children would like this game because of the theme and simple mechanics. For advanced gamer’s this game just gets boring fast.

Final words

The game is solid in mechanics and theme, but lacks in replay value. I’d recommend this game for new gamer’s and children, but everyone else should look in other directions for a co-op game. There’s plenty on the market.

Still, if you think that the mechanics are enough for you, there’s nothing else that should prevent you from getting this game. It’s a great game, but I got bored of it fast.

 
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9
Rated 100 Games
Mask of Agamemnon
Advanced Reviewer
6
199 of 219 gamers found this helpful
“Fight fire with... firefighters!”

Firefighters are true heroes. Voluntarily entering burning buildings to save people and risking life and limb to fight fire is very dangerous. Not many people are willing to do that on a daily basis. Flash Point: Fire Rescue gives everyone a chance at being a hero in their own (small) way.

In this game the players are firefighters that have to rescue a certain numbers of people from a burning building. At the start of the game a building is selected and a small fire is put on predefined coordinates. Players take turns to move into the building in search of “points of interest” (POI) that might contain a victim in need of rescue. These people need to be bright outside where an ambulance is waiting for them.

After every player’s turn the fire might (and probably will) spread. Die rolls decide how seriously and where. So a new location might only start to smoke, while adding fire to existing fires might trigger explosions (these are not good news!).

The players need to rescue their set of victims before the building collapses (when too many supporting walls have burnt through). Of course when too many victims die in the fire it is also over.

This game is all about cooperation and theme. It really simulates the effects of spreading fires and the urgency of getting people out. When first playing it, everyone is a generic firefighter (you use the Family Rules). Later on, when you get used to the rules, you can play specific roles (an echo of Pandemic) that have special abilities (you use the Expert Rules).

Personally I rather play Pandemic, because I like the abstractness and theme better. However, this is talking like the hardcore strategy gamer I am and I think Flash Point: Fire Rescue has a different audience. Especially children will like the idea of being a firefighter and rescuing people from a burning building. So I’m not grading this game very high personally, but I see it’s appeal to a different class of gamers. So if you’re not into hardcore strategy and like a break from the unforgiving Pandemic try this game for a change!

 
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4
Rated My First Game
8
18 of 21 gamers found this helpful
“Brilliant and adverse co-op game for the whole family”

Background

Like most of my games, i heard of this game through a youtube-series called “Dice Tower Reviews”, with Tom Vasel. I already had amazing experiences introducing all my friends to “Pandemic”, and seeing the addiction spread, so I went into this game expecting the same co-op core, albeit with a different, perhaps more relatable theme.

Impressions

The game box has an awesome cover, displaying a fireman blazing towards you (axe, mask and all) – and it really sets the tone for this hectic co-op experience. I immediately noticed the unfortunate simplicity of the inside of the game box. it is just split into three parts; the middle is pressed down, and will hold all your game pieces in one big pile, and the sides can just about contain 3 layers of cards without getting in the way of the lid when closed.

This is really unfortunate, since there are soooo many different cardboard game pieces, that could use separation, and no zip-lock bags are included. Otherwise the fireman-miniatures in 6 different colors look super cool, and the specialist-cards for the advanced rules, boast some equally stunning art.

The board itself is not as sturdy as i would have liked, and is already showing wear along the bending-crevasse (i havn’t studied board game anatomy!). The designs of the rooms and such is a little bland, but it doesn’t in any significant way subtract from the fun!

Gameplay

“Flash Point – Fire Rescue” is a cooperative board game for 2-6 players. The game pits the firemen, against an already burning house, containing possible victims that need saving. The game is played on a board, that in birds-eye view shows the house, its different rooms and furniture, as well as the outside sidewalk, where you will begin the game.

The object of the game is to reach, identify and rescue 7 victims from the burning building by carrying them outside(a little different with advanced rules). You lose when 4 victims have perished from the fire. The game can be played with either family rules, or with the advanced rule set that expands on the family rules, making it a lot harder.

I played with these rules on my first 2 playthroughs, and found it a lot of fun. With these rules, every fireman has 4 action points (AP) that they can spend on each of their turns (or store the spare points away, for future turns!). With an action you can move one square, open a door, or flip a fire-marker to its smoke-side in an adjecent square(not diagonally). Spending an extra AP will let you extinguish that fire completely!

Alternately, a player can spend 2 AP when standing next to a wall to hack at it, and thus place ONE damage-token on this part of the wall. A wall with 2 damage-tokens is considered to be broken, and works like an open door = you can simply walk through. I won’t go through it but the advanced rules add a lot more possibilities that include: piloting a firetruck, using the big hose on it, drive an ambulance, switch to a different role and much more.

When you land on a square with a POI-marker(Point of Interest, there are 3 of these at all times in the house), you flip it (for free) and see if it’s one of 3 things; a cat, a dog, nothing, or a human victim. Only in the case of the POI-marker being a victim, do you keep it on the board; the other 3 are considered “false alarm”. You want to escort this victim to any space outside the house, for him/her to be considered “rescued”.

After a player has spent all his AP, he/she ends by doing the “advance fire roll”, where a black 8-sided die, and a red 6-sided die are rolled, to determine the coordinate of the next smoke/fire. This mechanic is at the basis of this game, and keeps everyone on their toes, as a roll can cause either smoke, a fire, or an EXPLOSION, which runs rampant in all 4 directions, possible damaging walls and resetting firemen in its wake to the ambulance outside(see rules for the rest)

Verdict
I was a little skeptic that this game would go off the wayside, and my group would continue to prefer Pandemic over this, but I have played this a few times now, and theres has definitely been more laughing (almost to the point of tears), EVERY TIME we played this game. I can’t exactly say why, but I think the theme is maybe not as deadly serious as a worldwide rampaging epidemic, or it could be that its not as strategy heavy as Pandemic.

I like playing this game both with the family rules and the advanced rules, but prefer the advanced rules, as it really adds some great mechanics(hazardous materials, flare ups, hot spots, ambulance, fire truck etc.) and the unique roles that made pandemic an awesome co-op game.

I would recommend to anyone who likes pandemic and wants another great co-op experience with a different enough mechanic and theme, to make it worth owning alongside. The fun factor in this one is through the burning, charred roof!

 
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25 of 30 gamers found this helpful
“Club Fantasci Review: Flash Point Fire Rescue”

Publisher: Indie Boards and Cards

Game Designer: Kevin Lanzing

Artwork: Luis Francisco and George Patsouras

Players: 1-6 (Cooperative)

Ages: 10 and up

Playing Time: 45 minutes

Game Mechanics: Action Point Allowance, Dice Rolling, Pick up and Deliver, Variable Player Powers

Contents: One full color rules booklet with rules for family play and advanced rules, One 23″ x 16.5″ dual sided, mounted game board, 6 firefighter miniatures, 33 Threat markers, 18 POI markers, 24 damage counters, Eight door markers, 24 hot spot markers, 21 action markers, 3 heal markers, 6 hazmat markers, 3 vehicle markers, 6 player cards, 8 specialist cards, player aids, One D6, One D8

Suggested Retail Price: $39.99

Parental Advisory: Safe for children

Awards: 2012 Golden Geek Best Family Board Game Nominee, 2012 Golden Geek Best Thematic Board Game Nominee, 2012 Hra roku Nominee, 2013 Nederlandse Spellenprijs Best Family Game Nominee

The sweat stings your eyes as you struggle to keep your breath under control while you battle the raging structure fire that is moments away from a horrific conflagration. You clutch the young girl in your arms tightly as you dodge the flames that lick at your turnout gear, threatening to swallow you both up before you have a chance to break free of its clutches. The wall of fire is closing in, just a few more steps is all you need.

An intense and involving game, Flash Point: Fire Rescue is one of my favorite types of board games; a heavily themed, purely cooperative game that relies 100% on teamwork for a successful outcome. In this game, you play as a team of firefighter’s battling structure fires while rescuing victims trapped inside and bringing them to safety. Sounds simple right?

This game is fairly reminiscent of Pandemic in many respects with each player having a specific role (in the advanced rules) with unique abilities and the explosions, flashover’s, hot spots and flare ups working in similar fashion to the epidemics and outbreaks along with an evocative theme throughout the game. Unlike Pandemic, there is a pick up and deliver mechanic in this game to coincide with fighting the fires that will continue to plague the structure until you’ve rescued seven of the people trapped inside, four or more people are lost or the structure collapses around you.

Just as in Pandemic, the interaction between gamers at the table will be high as the collective group think is what drives the team forward and is a large factor in determining success. And yes, just as you can in Pandemic, this game can be played solo for those like me, who enjoy that added benefit.

Complete with both a ‘family’ and an ‘advanced’ rules set, Flash Point: Fire Rescue has done it right for any type of gaming group you play with. The family rules are simple enough to be grasped by young children with some guidance, yet offer enough freedom of choice while working through the decisions at hand to get minds racing both young and old. The advanced rules take things several steps further, complicating the map with new and more dangerous hazards yet keeping the mechanics of employing them on the board straightforward and simple.

Game setup is easy for the family game; the format is diagramed for you in the full color rules and takes only a couple of minutes to lay out on the board. This way you can easily setup the board and get to playing, allowing a familiar setup each time you play. With this format, the game is still random in many ways and offers enough replayability that you can easily get the mechanics down in no time and be chomping at the bit for a little more danger and chaos.
Using the advanced rules is where that chaos starts to show, before you even get to playing. Once again, setup is simple but now varied every time as it is all based on the grid system employed on the board . Using a 48 grid system (6 x 8) and a D6 and D8, you resolve where each fire marker, hot spot and Person of Interest (POI) marker is placed which gives a completely new layout every time. In the family rules you just place individual fire markers down in assigned grids, or random ones if you choose to roll for them. The advanced rules now introduce explosions in the setup, so you are going into a very involved structure fire when you roll up on scene and we’ll cover those further on in the advanced rules portion of this review.

Using the family rules, each player is a generic firefighter with 4 action points and identical abilities and limitations in battling the fire and saving lives. Everyone starts at a location of their choosing on a space outside the perimeter of the house where you can enter through any exterior doorway. Movement is simple, it costs 1 AP to move into an open space or one with smoke, 2 AP to move into a space with fire but you cannot end on a space with fire or you will be knocked down and sent back to the nearest ambulance spot outside of the house.
You move through the house knocking down fires with your hose, these fires come in two stages, smoke and flames. It takes two action points to extinguish a fire and only one point to remove smoke. Along the way you will come upon POI markers, distinguished by the question mark icon on them. Once you enter a space where the marker is, it is a free action to flip the token and see if it is blank (false alarm) or if it is a victim. Blanks are removed from the map and replaced by random dice roll placement, victims must be carried to an ambulance space outside of the home and it costs two action points to carry a victim.
You can reach victims trapped in rooms through doors that you’ll need to open but if you cannot get to them through a door that may be overrun with fire, as a firefighter you carry an axe so chop your way in! Beware though, every wall you destroy takes two tokens from a pool of 24 and when they run out, the structure collapses and you lose. Walls will also get damaged by explosions as the fire grows and spreads, so those tokens will rapidly diminish which leads to some tense moments late in the game as you are running up against what is essentially a timer. You have to balance the need to cut through a wall to save a potential victim with further detracting from the structural integrity of the building.

Once you move on to the advanced rules, you’ll find a lot more stress added to the game as things really heat up, pun intended. Using the advanced rules, the board starts out with random fires, explosions, hot spots and hazmat materials being placed before you ever enter the building. No longer are you dealing with the same stage as in the family rules, it’s a completely random one each time. There are also new attributes to the fires called hotspots and flare ups and you start each game with a varying number of hot spots based on player numbers. Where these hot spots get really nasty is when you roll to advance the fire and it advances onto a hot spot location, you then roll an additional time and lay more fire down at the newly rolled location as well and this is the flare up. This can happen multiple times if you roll for locations that contain hot spots, so this can chain very easily with some ugly rolls. Each time you roll for the location of the flare up, you also place a new hot spot marker so hot spots can be quite prevalent throughout the board increasing the likelihood of one of these chains to take place if you don’t contain the fire.
To combat all of this, players now choose specialist cards with variable powers that offer different capabilities to each firefighter, opening up different tactics. Here is a rundown of those specialties with a brief description of each.

Paramedic – 4 AP per turn. Can resuscitate a victim and lead them to safety rather than carry for 1 AP per movement.

Fire Captain – 4 AP, plus 2 Command Points per turn. Fire Captain can use their AP to command any other firefighter to move, open or close doors on the captain’s turn.

Imaging Technician – 4 AP per turn. Can flip any POI marker anywhere on the board for 1 AP each. This helps speed up identification of real victims and not waste time flipping over a false alarm.

CAFS Firefighter – 3 AP plus 3 free extinguish AP per turn.

Hazmat Technician – 4 AP per turn. Remove a hazmat from the board immediately, as long as the firefighter is on the spot of the hazmat for 2 AP.

Generalist – 5 AP per turn. No special abilities, one more AP per turn than average.

Rescue Specialist – 4 AP plus 3 free movement AP per turn. Chop only costs 1 AP rather than 2.

Driver/Operator – 4 AP per turn. Can fire the deck gun on the fire truck for 2 AP.

Along with these specialists, vehicles are now introduced which add another option for fighting the fires while adding another aspect for saving victims. The Driver/Operator can move the fire truck around the structure to where it is needed most and fire the deck gun, drenching the area with water. Success is based on die rolls and if it hits a location in its quadrant that has fire. There’s a really neat way of flipping the die if you roll a number past the location, that will put you back in the quadrant you’re in and you can reroll the other die if you choose. It doesn’t guarantee the water will hit the location you want it to but it puts you back in the quadrant you’re spraying the water on. It’s actually quite good and increases your chances of success, with good rolls the deck gun can quickly bring a fire under control. The other vehicle available is the ambulance, you will now need to spend AP to radio the ambulance to the location of a victim so they can be whisked to safety.

I have played Flash Point: Fire Rescue a bunch of times and it has never gotten old nor have I ever felt it was getting ‘samey’ as some games can over time. Each trip out feels fresh but familiar with a sense of concern, as it should if you’re simulating fighting fires. With four expansions currently available, there is a great amount of challenge and replay value for anyone interested in the theme this game offers. Plays smoothly both with a group and solo, so solitaire gamers should definitely have this in their library.

Club Fantasci Scoring (Based on scale of 10): 8

Artwork: 8

Rules Book: 8

Re-playability: 8

Component Quality: 8

Club Fantasci Overall Score: 8

I am giving Flash Point: Fire Rescue 8 out 10 stars because it offers a solid theme with good mechanics that really draw you into the theme of the game. The game has nice components, art and fantastic firefighter miniatures to round out the box to give you the whole package and make it worth your hard earned dollars.

This game is Club Fantasci Certified!
Company Website: http://www.indieboardsandcards.com/
Company Twitter: https://twitter.com/IBCGames

Note: A review copy of this game was purchased by me. If you like what we bring you, please vote for us here: http://www.boardgamelinks.com/links/details/1420

Club Fantasci on Facebook: www.facebook.clubfantasci
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5
I play green
10
94 of 152 gamers found this helpful
“Liked the "Family" version.”

This is a great co-op to play with friends & family – esp. those in the Fire/Rescue field. It only took a couple of rounds to get the hang of it, but we found ourselves looking for a “action point summary” card to remember the basics. After four plays, I still haven’t won the thing – but soon will! On the up-side, the theme is the strongest point, I think. Many non-gamers are completely turned off by the common fantasy/battle/sci-fi themes, and this one gets their attention. Also, because I backed the kickstarter on this one, I got the extra bonus board with two more floorplans. (Thanks, Travis.) On the down-side, the box busted a corner seam already, and the parts just BARELY fit in the trough in the middle. I’ll be re-engineering the contents. Overall, it’s a green light for me.

 
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4
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
BoardGaming.com Beta 2.0 Tester
Amateur Advisor
6
163 of 284 gamers found this helpful
“Pretty fun but 'piloting problems' and clunky mechanics”

I played through the family version of Flash Point at Gen Con this year. It was fun (if a little easy), and I enjoyed several mechanics. The tension of knocking down walls for easy passage while also bringing the house closer to collapse was fun. Not knowing whether a Point of Interest was a person to save, or just a false alarm was clever.

That said, I found the mechanism for new fires to be placed on the board extremely clunky. To do this, the game uses a coordinate system determined by the roll of a d6 and a d8. In addition, the rules for putting down new fire are inscrutable… sometimes you put down smoke, other times (based on what’s already there) you put down fire, you overflow to adjacent squares, or you start a shockwave. I would have much rather seen fire placement done with tiles like ship damage in Space Alert.

Finally, although this is billed (at least in part) as a casual-friendly game, I would expect the gameplay experience would suffer terribly for new players playing with experienced ones. In short, the experienced players would always tell the newbies exactly what to do, ‘piloting’ them.

 
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2
I play green
8
77 of 136 gamers found this helpful
“More interesting when its get harder, ”

Its rare to see a firefigther do their job in real life, so this game is something can turn on some vision how they work.
Before i played this game, i read a manga “FireFighter Daigo” it has a great story, how the main character act to rescue as many as victim as he can.

In flash point i can finally understand how hard the challenge when we have to rescue someone, sometimes we find fake alarms sometimes a real victims but in bad location.
I can also find how the empty room when fiiled with smoke can turns to be fire soon or later.

I played the game 3x this month with my friends, last game was on friday. Usually we play with Veteran difficulty, altough we often lose than win, lol. Well, on last game we try to level up the difficulty to Heroic and yes it two times harder than Veteran, but it also become more interesting. In the end we lose, the building collapsed.

We’ll spend a great time to try to win the Heroic level

 

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