Manufacturer: Indie Boards and CardsDesigner: Lutz Pietschker
Okay recruits, today we're going to talk about one of the most dangerous fires you may ever have the misfortune of being in: A fire in a chemical plant or laboratory. The fires burn hotter, the explosions blast fiercer and then you have all the other hazards, chemical spills could potentially knock you unconscious in minutes, barrels of chemicals or waste can ignite within seconds. I'll never forget my first lab fire, we rushed inside to be met with walls of fire, the air makeup units were still on feeding the fire fresh air like it was thanksgiving. As I was dragging my third victim outside I heard a sickening crunch, the CEO had taken a dive from the third floor window. Looking back I think that I should have been stronger, faster, I should have been there before they jumped. I lose count of the number of people that I've saved, but I never forget the ones I failed!
Flash Point: Fire Rescue – Extreme danger is an expansion to Flash Point: Fire Rescue which we reviewed back in July. Much like the base game you will find yourself fighting fires, but Extreme Danger adds many new elements and locations to the game, you’ll be fighting fires in a garage or trying to save staff from a multi-story chemical laboratory. These new buildings pose new risks, with more hazardous materials spread around, windows that can be blown out, fire doors that can become stuck and floors that can be broken.
Let’s start with the new maps, Extreme Danger comes with 1 full new double sided map tile featuring the aforementioned garage and laboratory. The garage feels the most like the original 2 houses included in the base game, there is a large open area on one side of the board which can easily become a blazing inferno should the included car end up exploding. The lab has 2 stories so you’ll have to ensure that you keep the staircase free, should you fail to do that then you can also use ladders to get into the upper floor and rescue survivors through the building’s windows. The game also comes with a basement/attic tile, this tile can be added to any of the maps, you can use a staircase tile to add the entrance to these new maps and having someone appear in the corner of the basement suddenly adds a new level of trickiness to getting everyone out alive.
The extra floors mean that you switch from a D8 to a D12 whenever you roll for fire spread, this is one thing that I’m a little disappointed about, rolling the D12 means that you are less likely to roll the same tile twice, making the fire a little easier to handle. As the expansion doesn’t come with any additional fire tokens you may find that you run out of tokens without the fire being too out of control.
Another major change is the inclusion of large hazardous materials, multi-tile set pieces that can’t be moved, absorb damage in the form of the black damage cubes and then explode causing a larger than normal explosion. I think that these work well because they present a hazard that you can’t simply remove from the map, diligent fire control can help stop them from exploding, but that’s resources that you can’t put into saving people.
|One of the new maps, the mechanic's garage with the basement map added to the side. The basement is a little harder than the attic as the only way to enter it is via the stairs, no ladders for you!|
Fire doors are a welcome change, sometimes in the base game a door blowing out seemed like a blessing, one less action point required to get around. Well fire doors prevent fires, which is great, but half the time they get stuck, which means that it takes time to break through it, they can get stuck multiple times too making it harder and harder to break through, a badly stuck fire door may be so much of a hassle to get through that you might want to chop through a wall instead!
Windows are a way to vary maps a bit, they add the ability to get through walls without chopping the wall down and adding extra damage cubes, they also offer another entrance/exit on upper levels when combined with the ladders. Ladders have to be carried around and deployed by firefighters, they essentially connect the tile below to the tile above, giving you a chance to break through a wall/window and get upstairs in a more convenient/less burny place.
A cosmetic change is the inclusion of themed firefighter miniatures. The set represents every specialised role that you can play in the game and makes the game much more visually pleasing (I’ve yet to convince Fiona to let me paint them, I’m still busy doing the broken meeple’s imperial assault figure anyway). They come with little coloured rubber bases so you can still identify players by colour if you wish to, though hopefully everyone should know which role they are playing as by the card in front of them. The last things in the expansion are the chemical spills and the hydraulic lift for the fire engine. We’ve yet to play with these so we’ll leave them for you to discover.
Flash Point: Fire Rescue – Extreme danger is a solid expansion for Flash Point: Fire Rescue, it adds a lot of variation to the base game as well as additional hazards should you think that saving kittens from infernos is too easy. If I had to pick at it’s flaws the instructions for the new elements are fairly unclear, while they do an adequate job of explaining how they work, several items don’t really have an explained starting place, we’ve taken this to mean that you either roll the dice to place them or simply agree as a group where would be sensible to place them. I’ve already mentioned how the attic can make the game a little less harsh by adding extra spaces and thereby reducing explosion frequency. Overall though I really enjoy it, Extreme Danger takes Flash point: Fire Rescue from being a solid co-op experience to being one of my favourite games.