First, Dr. Who. I downloaded several of them before we headed home from Colorado after Christmas, up to the limit that I could put on my iPad, and found that they weren’t classic audiobooks, they were more like full radio dramas: lots of sound effects and multiple actors. Pretty cool stuff. I should download the rest of them soon and then figure out what devices I can put them on to listen to. So if you were able to take advantage of the audiobook Humble Bundle, you’ve got lots of good stuff ahead of you!
Next, Flash Point! I got the most recent expansion that contains maps for a subway station and an airplane. On the first Saturday of the year I took my car in for some moderately extensive (and expen$ive) work and dropped off my set at my workplace to entertain myself while my car was being mended. (the repair went just fine, then something else broke on my car on my way in to work on Monday to the tune of an additional $300. sigh.)
I set up the airplane and took three roles: Driver/Operator, HazMat, and the Captain. There are two interesting characteristics with the plane. First, the fuselage runs the full width along the bottom of the map. The wing runs the full height, and there’s only the starboard wing, apparently the port wing was torn off in the crash. The wing has two hazmat spots with the engine between them, and you can’t move across the engine: you have to get off the wing then get back on it with a movement penalty. So it takes a fair amount of movement to go between the two points.
There are a couple of new rules for the plane that are interesting. First, if an explosion causes fire beyond the board border, you lose a structure cube permanently. Second, hazmat must be removed beyond the board border, but since I used the hazmat role to neutralize it, no biggie. And foam…. I’ll talk more about that shortly!
The setup is designed to start fires all over the place and with all three initial POIs on the plane. I don’t remember if there was a special starting rule for the additional hazmats.
I started with the fire truck and operator on the bottom right of the board, and they just sat there spraying the plane with foam. Foam is really cool, and the driver/operator (or whoever is operating the fire truck) can choose between foam and water. Foam turns fire to smoke and extinguishes smoke, but deposits foam wherever there wasn’t fire or smoke. And if fire were to advance on to a foam square, it eliminates the foam but doesn’t spread more fire!
This setup worked pretty well. The captain and hazmat entered from in front of the wing tip, took out some fire in the area, then the hazmat went to work on the wing while the captain headed in to the plane while dealing with fire and smoke. By the time he’d gotten in and identified some people needing rescue, the fire was pretty well contained. The driver/operator changed to the rescue dog and started hauling people out. After all of the hazmat had been neutralized, the hazmat guy became the structural engineer and started removing hotspots and repairing damage that could be fixed. Eventually the hotspots were all removed and repairable damage had been repaired, but the fire had gotten a little out of hand in the top right corner of the board, away from the plane, so it looked like a job once again for the driver/operator.
All in all, this was a very effective strategy for dealing with the plane. The rescue dog had to wait a couple of turns for fire to be beaten down to effect a rescue, but overall, the fire never got ahead of me though it came close.
So I rate the airplane as a very good map, and at least this time, no where near as difficult as I’d anticipated. I’m hoping to get to play the subway with my wife next weekend, it has some interesting characteristics.
This is the thing that I love about this game: you never know how a fire will spread. I was lucky in this game by bathing the airplane in foam, it really helped to control the flame and rescue people. But any player of Flash Point has seen maps go from ‘close to winning’ to ‘everybody dies!’ in very little time. And that’s what gives it a great replayability if you’re a fan.