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Posted on May 12, 2021 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Unboxing Kerry Anderson’s “Smokejumpers”

Unboxing Kerry Anderson’s “Smokejumpers”

Ray Garbee

Smokejumpers. Publisher: Microgame Design Group. Designer: Kerry Anderson. Price $ 30.00

A recent addition to the game library was Smokejumpers published by Microgame Design Group and designed by Kerry Anderson. Smokejumpers is a solitaire game which pits the player against the threat of wild fires. It’s not a wargame in the traditional sense, but it feels like one with the player having to maneuver their units, build works and use the terrain to their advantage. We’ll get a full review out soon, but for now, we’ll tease you this short description.

The cover captures the theme of the game.

The bagged edition of the game includes a cover sheet (pictured above) with the key charts for fire growth on the back. In addition there is a player aid sheet and one (1) counter sheet with nicely die cut, double-sided counters.

The game has a relatively compact footprint, though this can be expanded by combining two or more of the four mapsheets together. We’re waiting for someone to call in a fire. Maybe it will be a quiet day…

…or maybe it won’t! A small fire is reported and the rookie team is dispatched with three tanker trucks, three ground teams and a bulldozer. While the head of the fire was rapidly contained, a shift in the wind direction and some poor decisions by the player allowed the fire to spread a bit more to the north. Fortunately, the ground teams were able to contain the fire in their sector, but the back fire spread out of their sector (off the board).

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The fire is as contained as it gets. For the first play through, I made some real rookie mistakes not assessing the terrain appropriately. Plus the fire breaking out on the board edge was a tough break in terms of the victory conditions.

It’s a clean design both in terms of the artwork, the rules and the counters. We’ll have a more detailed review in a bit, but for now, we’ll let you curiosity smolder.

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