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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).

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.