Date: 19th March 2004
Game played: Feurio ( Edition Erlkonig ) BGG Id: 8017

I've heard quite a few good things about Feurio, a game by Heinrich Glumpler that was released last year, and at last managed to get the game to the table. John had to leave early so just three of us set out to battle the forest fires. The rules are very simple. The fire is represented by hex tiles on which there is a number between 1 and 6 showing how fierce the fire is burning at that location, and 1 to 3 spaces on which firefighters can be placed. Each player on his turn has to expand the area of the fire by playing a hex tile adjacent to the tile or tiles with the highest number (where the fire is hottest) and then can place up to three firefighters in his colour on one of the tiles already placed. However, after placing the men, there must be at least the same number of free hex edges on the tile as there are men on that tile. Also men have to be linked to the edge of the fire, otherwise they do not score. Providing you are connected to the edge of the fire, you score points at the end of the game equal to the value of the tiles in your chain and divided by the lowest value tile in your chain which is at the edge of the fire (ideally one with a value of 1). Once all the tiles have been placed and everyone does not wish to add any more firefighters, whoever has the highest total from any scoring chains of firefighters they have is the winner.

Being able to draw a value 1 tile early on is quite nice as you can then try to develop points around it. I managed this in our game and was happy to see the fire spreading away from this tile initially. However, the wind obviously changed direction because the fire managed to race back and completely surround this tile. Although I still managed to keep connected to the edge of the fire, I had to settle for a '2' divisor, thus cutting my score considerably. Mark G managed to place men on lots of high value tiles and had just one big chain of 38 points but, like me could only get a '2' tile at the edge. Nige, however, claimed three smaller areas, two of which had '1' tiles at the edge. This enabled him to secure the victory.

I quite enjoyed Feurio and the way in which the tiles develop nicely fits the theme of a fire spreading. There are some interesting choices to be made and you need to watch what others can do as much as what you would like to do. Sometimes it's worth doing something to curb another player's expansion than doing something to maximise your own score. Nige was a bit less keen, probably because the luck in drawing or not drawing the '1' tiles can decide the result. However, it plays quickly (about 30 minutes) and providing you accept that there is a luck element, there is enough decision making and tactics involved to keep you thinking.

Mark G

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