Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

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Thursday 19 November 2015

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Flash Point:Fire Rescue - Extreme Danger

Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue - Extreme Danger

Manufacturer: Indie Boards and Cards

Designer: Lutz Pietschker

Flash Point: Fire Rescue – Extreme Danger is a big box expansion for Flash Point: Fire Rescue. We picked this one up after just a few games of Flash Point because we really love this thematic co-operative game. This expansion is very modular allowing you to incorporate different new elements to add variety to your fire fighting experience.

The first element is the new maps which allow you to either extend the house from the base game with an attic or a basement or to use the laboratory or the garage which are new maps with different layouts and different types of hazardous material or objects that fit in with the theme. The lab or the garage can also be played with the basement or attic. It’s hard for me to tell which maps are harder than others and there is so much variety that I’m not sure we’ll ever figure this out.

When you’re playing with multiple floors a few new components can be added to the game. Floor damage can occur in an explosion. There are two stages to floor damage, the first explosion causes a crack and the second explosion causes a hole in the floor, making it impassable and meaning that fire can spread through this hole in any subsequent explosions. When you are playing with an attic you include an internal staircase, but to save time you can also set up a ladder outside the building, climb up it and enter the first floor by opening the window. This typically allows you to rescue people who are located on the first floor but quite far away from the staircase.
The laboratory with an attic, which makes a 3-storey building in total. We haven't tried this combination yet, but I think it might be the most difficult.
The expansion also contains fire doors, which block the passage of fire, but also can become jammed if they are involved in an explosion. This makes them a much more significant obstacle than standard doors in the base game. Windows are also useful because they act like weak walls, only taking one damage cube to allow you a direct passage from inside to outside that may be more convenient than the external doors of the building.

The new components
I am in two minds about this expansion. It no doubt adds replayability to Flash Point: Fire Rescue – adding different maps with their own unique rules. However I do find that all of the different rules that add complexity to the set-up sometimes ruin my ability to bring this to the table and start playing without referring back to the rules. Often when I have to bring rules to the table, I sometimes feel that this puts off new players at the table. We’ve also been finding it easier to win when playing with an attic or basement ie. with 12 rows rather than 8. The rulebook states that if you run out of fire/smoke tokens then you don’t place any more because the fire is simply so out of control that you’re going to lose anyway – this hasn’t been the case for us in the Extreme Danger Expansion.

However, I can’t really complain – we still play with the recruit level of set-up, so maybe we just need to increase the challenge to make it harder for us to beat the game. I have also really enjoyed the games we’ve played with the expansion, because it’s still quite close between a win or lose situation and yet we tend to win, which I enjoy! Flash Point: Fire Rescue is still one of our favourites, but I just don’t think that Extreme Danger is essential – I won’t play with it every time, but I will use it to add variety and maybe when I’m in a bad mood and want to win! Overall I do enjoy this one a lot and give it a 7/10, not quite as high as I rate the base game.

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