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GeekNights Tuesday - FTL Advanced and Flash Point: Fire Rescue

Tonight on GeekNights, back from Zenkaikon, we briefly review FTL Advanced (which makes FTL definitely worth revisiting) and Flash Point: Fire Rescue, which solves many of the co-op board game problems we have previously discussed. In the news, PAX South, newly announced for San Antonio, is the last new PAX, and it coincides sadly with Magfest 2014. Tell us which one we should attend! Games may well be able to diagnose you with diseases like Alzheimer's (opening a whole ethical, moral, and legal can of worms), and Nintendo is holding a pro Super Smash Brothers Wii U tournament for E3 3014 (in lieu of a press conference).

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  • I was really surprised that Nintendo is going for a Smash tournament. Brawl was popular with kids, but generally laughed at once the novelty of new characters and stages wore off. They're definitely playing with fire by allowing this vocal audience to have some of the earliest solid opinions of the game. I'm really hoping this means they trust it to be competitive on a level w/ Melee! At the same time, I hate the "no items, fox only, final destination, wavedashing all day long" bullshit. We played Melee non-stop through college but "serious mode" for us was cutting the items in half and limiting our stage selection to 5-6 approved ones. At some point you still have to have some fun with the game.

    I see the 3DS game as a token diversion, like portable Mario Party games. The wrench here is that it is coming out SIX MONTHS prior to the Wii U version. Whoahhhhh. I feel like this speaks to Nintendo's continued troubles to put out games in HD (how they were not prepared for this, I will never understand). They've been behind the curve and short on manpower ever since they had to pull their staff off of post-launch games and to make sure they could actually finish their initial releases.

    Really interested to hear your opinions on Flash Point (it's not perfect but it was a keeper for me), and will listen to the rest of this episode later.
  • OK so you pretty much said exactly 100% of my thoughts on Flash Point so I won't bother repeating. I Kickstarted it back in the day. I have a good group for this sort of game, and we played it out back then (haven't cracked into the expansion stuff), but it was a lot of fun while it lasted.

    There were two big rules we got wrong which I will list in case others decide to play: 1) You can't fire the deck gun at a building quadrant if any of your teammates are in that part of the building, 2) Damage cubes are NOT assigned for broken doors. The cubes printed on the board serve as placeholder cubes, not reminders of where to place the cubes when a door breaks.

    As for heavy games that you guys could be checking out, if you want to be more recent than Hansa Teutonica, here is a cheat sheet for the past two and a half years of releases:

    Terra Mystica*
    T'Zolkin: The Mayan Calendar*
    Lewis & Clark
    Glass Road
    Steam Park*
    Francis Drake

    Also a bunch of highly rated two-player-only strategy games have come out:
    Agricola: All Creatures Big & Small
    Le Harve: Inland Port

    *I have actually played these ones and can vouch for them as good.
  • Hansa Teutonica's greatest advantage is its length - less than 60 minutes for a heavy euro (ala Puerto Rico) is fantastic. Suburbia, Keyflower, Fleet, and Glass Road are also all less than an hour. Keyflower is the closest to Hansa Teutonica in brain-feel.

    Terra Mystica, T'Zolkin, and Targi are all high on my to-play list.
  • I'm looking forward to trying out Keyflower. I bought it (plus the expansion) on Sunday of PAX East, since they were doing the 50% for Enforcers sale, and Game Salute is an otherwise strict "no discounts" company.

    I also acquired the Agricola and Le Havre 2-player games but have yet to play them. I spent the past year trading away my mountain of crappy review copies on a 2-to-1 or 3-to-1 basis in order to turn them into good games. Alchemy!
  • I will laud Terra Mystica at any opportunity. It's the most fun anyone can have dropping houses on people.

    Tzolk'in is also a fantastic worker placement game where one can win without ever getting more workers. Lots of people make the mistake of wasting time and resources to feed their workers, though. Focusing Chichen Itza and one monument tends to be the winning strategy in my past games. The most enjoyable part is scouting other players who are relying on first player corn bonus to feed their workers and wasting an action one turn before that.
  • I bought and played flash point this weekend and we just did the baby rules to learn. But the one thing we ended up debating about is whether you could carry two people. Not really saying its a good idea but there was a point where I had a person and someone rolled to refill the poi markers and one landed on me. I was saying that you could because it costs two action points to move with a victim and since you have four you could move one space with two people.

    We got close to winning. House was okay. Then we had like two turns of explosions which took out several wall segments and the house collapsed.
  • The idea of Flash Point is cool, and I got a few good plays out of it before the novelty of the whole co-op genre wore off. My god, that game has led to so many rule fuck-ups though.

    Also, I am laughing at my April 2014 post above about buying Keyflower and looking forward to trying it out. Still sitting in shrinkwrap. Couldn't turn down that 50% Enforcer discount on a hot game! I may have a problem.
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