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Forest Fire

Page history last edited by Carl de Visser 12 years ago


Forest Fire - Iteration 2

A two player game by Carl de Visser.


Earlier Versions





- A board is a line of 11 squares (the path). In the first square is the town. The remaining squares represent forest.

- Many red tokens representing fire. One red token is placed in the eleventh square. The rest start off board.

- 11 black tokens, these represent burnt out areas. These start off board.

- Two fire-engine markers. These start in the town (the first square).

- A number of blue water markers, these start off board, or in a drawn lake next to the first square. Alternatively the fire engines could be dice numbered from 0-5 to indicate water levels.

- A six sided dice (called a d6 here on in)


The game is asymmetric, one player is the fire. They controls a fire which is growing and is threatening to expand down the board to engulf the town. The other player is the fire chief, they has two fire engines used to rush water to the growing fire to put it out.


The fire player goes first. At the beginning of the game he has one red fire marker in the last square of the path. The players alternate turns.


Fire Player's Turn


The Fire turn consists of three parts: destroy fire engines, take an action and burn out.


A. The first thing the player does is check to see if the a firetruck is in the same square as a fire marker. If so, the firetruch is destroyed, it is removed from play.


B. Then the player has a choice of three possible actions:

1. Have wind gusts blow the fire towards the town. Place red markers on the three squares to the left of the leftmost fire marker. Do not place any fire markers on burnt out squares.; or

2. Grow the fire. Place a fire marker on any square that already contain a fire marker; or

3. Intensify the fire. Choose a square with fire markers on it. It becomes burnt out. The take twice as many firemarkers as were on the square. Place them n any squares of your vhoice (not burnet out ones), up to a distance of the number of markers on the square chosen.


C. After your choice,there may be additional burn out at the end of the turn. Any square with 6 or more fire markers becomes burnt out. Replace all the fire markers with a black burn out marker.


Effect of burn out: Fire may not be placed on a burnt out square. Burnt out squares, count towards victory.


Town fire chief's turn


The Fire Chief gets to use each fire engine in the turn. They complete the full action of one fire engine before beginning on the next.


First a fire engine may load with water if it starts the turn in the town square. A fire engine can hold a maximum of five water markers, up to this limit any number can be laoded in one turn.


Then a fire engine may either move or spray:


Move: A fire engine may move up to 5 squares, minus the number water markers it currently holds. A fire engine can be moved in either direction and need not use its full movement. A fire engine may freely move through and into fire.


Spray: You may spray water tokens one at a time until you choose to stop, there is no fire in range, or you run out of water token in the fire truck. For each water token spent, choose a fire token to remove. Then roll to see if you succeed in removing the marker. Your success is base on the range:

In the same square: Automatic

One square away: You need to roll a 3 or more on a d6

Two squares away: You need to roll a 5 or more on a d6


If you miss a fire marker, you may either try again on the same marker or swap targets on future attempts.


Fire engines suffer no consequences moving through or stopping in squares with fire tokens, however they will be destroyed if at the beginning of the fire player's turn they are in a square with fire tokens. Fire engines are safe in burnt out squares.


End of the game


The Fire Player keeps track of their victory points during play. As soon as they have ten victory points the game ends. Otherwise the game ends when no more fire tokens are on the board (and therefore, the fire can grow no more).


The fire player receives victory points as follows:

Each burnt out space: 1VP

Each destroyed fire engine: 5VP

Burning out the town square (the first square): 10VP


A score of 10 or more is a total victory for the fire player.

8-9 a marginal victory

Any other result is a loss.



Comments (6)

Mike Haverty (SiddGames) said

at 3:42 pm on Jul 1, 2009

This seems neat. For such a simple game, though, the fire spreading rules seem a tad... mathy :)

Carl de Visser said

at 5:31 pm on Jul 1, 2009

That is a fair call. In my partial playtest the expanded the options a little, as there was too little to the fire players decisions, I;ve probably gone a little farin the opposite direction. I suspect I have probably not explained them that well, it seemed a little easier in practice than it was to write the rules without them seeming clunky. I might give it another couple of tests and see what I can do with them, unless I get distracted by the next game design challenge. :-)

mike.reddy@... said

at 9:17 am on Jul 2, 2009

Trying to keep the maths in my head of how the fire spread/grows hurt. Might be better to go back to the spirit of fire:
1) Slow early growth in place
2) Progression to near neighbour
3) Petering out in early burn areas due to no fuel
4) Spontaneous fast movement due to sparks when fire burning intensely.

A really REALLY nice idea for showing the dangers of Fire. We, sadly, get regular arson attacks in Wales. Also, true in Australia, etc, so anything that shows the dangers is an excellent concept.

Carl de Visser said

at 5:46 am on Jul 4, 2009

Ok, a couple more playtests and some big changes. I have removed all the randomness out of movement and firegrowth, and have instead put the randomness in the chance to remove fire with water. Makes it play quicker, and seems a little less capricious. People also seemed to hate the fire engine movement being so random (especially the chance not to move).

Future possible developments (aside from balancing):
- adding a shop where the fire chief buys their initial starting kit, fire engines, pumps (for moving wateronto the fire engines, without them water to fire engine is slower), helicopter runs, etc.
- adding a card deck for the fire player. They have a hand of cards, each which changes the fire in some way (blow, 1,2,3,4 grow, burst etc.) Makes it more of a game and less of a puzzle for the fire player.

Carl de Visser said

at 3:16 am on Jul 6, 2009

Just a minor change this iteration - changing burn out rules. Now a square becomes burnt out when it has 6 or more fire markers at the end of a turn. Main effects: this removes a degenerative strategy where the fire player keeps doubling up tokens and building a monster stack of fire which is then used to trap the fire engines. It also makes the burn out rules feel more natural.

Carl de Visser said

at 6:59 pm on Jul 8, 2009

I tried with the burn out at six in a square, and no burn out on "rightmost" square based on total fire, definately too easy for the fire player to keep fire in reserve and then burn out the fire chief. Thinking of changing to somehting like, each square with 6 or more fire markers burns out, and then the rightmost square with fire toekns burns out if there 8 or more fire tokens on the board.

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