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Clue: The Great Museum Caper» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Pretty hard to beat 4 player setup rss

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Eric Bridge
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Roanoke
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I'll post a photo of this soon. In our earliest games it was so easy for the thief that we quickly adopted the variant that the players can place the locks wherever they'd like. You just have to make sure, in fairness, that the thief knows that you know where the locks are.

I can describe the strategy pretty well, if you think of the double doors entrance as the South side of the board.

OK, you have 9 paintings to place, 6 cameras, 5 locks, and 3 player pieces. Here is the overall theory with starting placement: Unless it cannot be avoided, do not place any two objects within 3 spaces of another. This is so that the thief cannot move from painting to painting, or painting to camera, or camera to camera. Also, unless it can't be avoided, do not place paintings within 3 spaces of a window or door, for the same reason.

Cameras - This sounds boring, but I assure you it will annoy the thief every time - SATURATE THE HALLWAYS by placing 4 of your 6 cameras in the corners. This means that you will have every camera observed by 2 other cameras. Why? This forces the thief to slow down and keep ducking in and out of the corridors, AND makes him realize that snipping the wires to one or two cameras just won't work. It will also keep the thief on "colored" spaces more - maximizing your lucky rolls of the motion sensors. How annoying is it when the thief tells you "I'm on a gray space"? Be prepared for the thief to try two things in response - 1) To destroy both cameras on the north or south side (east and west requires too much movement, 2) To cut the power (more on this later). Your last 2 cameras should go in the white room, which is the most complex and hardest to describe. 1) Starting at the south main entrance door on the right, count north 4 spaces. Place your 5th camera here. Then start at the left door of the front entrance, and count 5 spaces up, placing your 6th camera there. Yes, this breaks the rule of having everything 3 spaces apart (as they are now one space diagonal from each other). But observe what coverage you have achieved with your cameras now - 1) Cameras 1-4 have the hallways saturated, Cameras 5 and 6 have the LONG North/South stretch through the center of the board covered, INCLUDING the two front doors AND the east and west entrances into the white room. You are furthermore going to have BOTH of the white room cameras covering your White room painting.

Paintings - 1) White room - Place your first painting right in center of the room, right next to both cameras so they can both see it. Realize that this will make the white room tempting to the thief with everything so close to each other, but this room is also the easiest for you to get to from anywhere in the museum, AND the thief must END his turn on any space where he either disables a camera or takes a painting, so it would be foolish for him to try to take out all 3 at roughly the same time. 2) Little grey storage room - Painting at SW corner of the room - no brainer on this one. 3) Gold/Orange room - SW corner (more on this later). 4) Purple room - NW corner. 5 and 6) Red Room - NW Corner AND NE Corner (more on this later). 7) Blue Room - SE Corner, 8 and 9) NE Corner AND SE Corner (more on this later).

Locks - OK, you have only 5 "locked locks" out of 11. Here is where I suggest they go. Locks 1 and 2 - BOTH windows of the Orange/Gold room, Locks 3 and 4 - BOTH windows of the Red room, Lock 5 - The single window of the Green room.

Starting spaces for the three players - One player starts in the SE corner of the Gold/Orange room. Second player starts with his back against the north wall of the Red room, in either of the spaces between the two windows. Third player starts in the SW corner of the Green room.

WHY THIS WORKS SO WELL: Basically, you slow down the thief, unless he really wants to take a chance of being spoted by something or someone. 1) Other than the White room, none of your paintings are within 3 spaces of a camera. 2) None of your paintings are within 3 spaces of another painting. 3) Other than the White room, none of your cameras are within 3 spaces of another camera. 4) Because of where you are starting your players, there are only 2 paintings that can be grabbed on the first turn of the thief without the risk of being seen by someone. Seriously consider having your player ask if they can see the thief on their first turn. 5) Because of your two players and a ton of cameras focusing on the south of the board, an early thief run for the power room is EXTREMELY unlikely. 6) The 6 "safe" locks for the thief are in 3 separate sections of the museum, and there are only 3 paintings in those sections. 7) Because it is likely the thief will start with these places where you don't have any players and take those paintings first, and you will be swarming so close to him early on, he will want to take a painting or two "on his way out", and this is where your locks come in. The Orange/Gold room is a tempting escape room because of the two windows and a painting right between them. Too bad for the thief both of these windows are LOCKED. The Red room is also tempting because of two paintings and two windows, but both of those will be LOCKED also. Finally, the Green room with its two paintings (one right by the window) will be tempting, but you have LOCKED that window also. This setup seriously minimizes the cheap "take a 3rd painting on my way out" trick. Tempt him into those rooms, then spring the trap! 8) Other than the White room, your paintings are all in "corners". Why is this important? Because it seriously reduces the number of spaces the thief can move to after he takes a painting. If he's blocked by a wall in two directions, you can so much easier deduce where he might be.

Final suggestion - always try to have someone within 6 or so spaces of the power room. The thief's greatest asset is his ability to kill the power. He probably won't risk it though if someone is "standing guard". The small nature of the power room, and the fact that he has to end his turn in that corner space to kill the power, is also a type of "kill zone" for the thief - he just doesn't have much room to maneuver after he kills the power, and there is a really good chance that he'll have to reveal that the power is out right after he kills it, immediately revealing where he is.

Anyway, hope you find this helpful. If I've left anything important out just let me know. I'm not saying this setup is perfect, but its the best we've come up with yet. It forces the thief to take some serious risks and make bold, unpredicatable moves if he wants to succeed.

Thanks for reading.
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Tim Fiscus
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Nice article. After many (100+) plays of this game, we settled on something pretty similar, except we always do random locks.

I think that having 2 cameras in the hallways, 2 in the white room, 1 in the Red room and 1 in the Orange or Green rooms is reasonable option as well. Being seen by a hallway camera is really not that bad of a thing, as long as it it judiciously used.

I think it is very hard to be a successful thief in this game with experienced players. Great game, though, and MUCH deeper than it seems initially.
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Mr Gumby
Australia
Taree
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Great write up. You have given me lots of ideas.

When I play this, I tend not to disconnect camera's as it increases the chance of players asking if they can see you rather than a camera seeing you. Same with turning the power off which again forces them to ask if they can see you? And once you are seen the chase is on.

It's a great game. Thanks again.
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Eric Bridge
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Roanoke
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Thanks. I'll have a guide for thief strategies soon.
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John W
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This sounds pretty close to what our group evolved to, as well.

Except, we too only play with random locks - it shifts the balance too much to order and the detectives if you can choose where the locks go.

Also - if you always put the locks the same places, the thief would learn the layout pretty quick, and now that becomes a big disadvantage.

I wanted to add that your write-up seems to predicate that the thief does things fast, and the layout stops him from doing that.
In my group (probably a non-standard one), the good thieves are VERY patient. Sometimes, the thief goes for 4 to 5 rounds before pulling anything noticeable.
If the motion camera is not rolled, the thief can be MUCH more patient, and many detective/layout strategies are rendered moot.

Against a good thief who is lucky with the motion camera roll not coming up, it's much more important to have good REACTION tactics, and guess where he's going (or hiding).
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Eric Bridge
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My wife and son prefer random locks too. I only mentioned the locks because of where I would put them if you used that variant.

You are correct that a good thief is very patient and moves slowly, but those silly motion sensors seem to be there to stop this from happening. My son has un uncanny ability to roll the motion sensors, so much so that last time I got caught as the thief 3 times in a row.

What's need about this game is that if you play with the same group of people, you learn each others' favorite tactics, such that strategies that may have worked before don't work anymore. A predictable thief is a dead thief.
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