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Letters from Whitechapel» Forums » Rules

Subject: Doubling Back and Clue Markers rss

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Scott W
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Hi folks,

This question came up last time I was playing Letters from Whitechapel. I, playing as Jack, had previously travelled through number 86. The police had searched there and found a clue marker. A couple of turns later, I doubled back over number 86. Can the police search 86 again and place a second clue marker there? If they search for clues again in 86 after I've travelled through it a second time, do I have to say 'yes' or 'no'?
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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scottmw90 wrote:
Hi folks,

This question came up last time I was playing Letters from Whitechapel. I, playing as Jack, had previously travelled through number 86. The police had searched there and found a clue marker. A couple of turns later, I doubled back over number 86. Can the police search 86 again and place a second clue marker there? If they search for clues again in 86 after I've travelled through it a second time, do I have to say 'yes' or 'no'?

You say yes, but it doesn't give them new information. You'd still say yes even if you had only been there once. In other words, there's really no reason for the investigators to be asking...
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H-B-G
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If they search there again, they only find what they already know, that is that you've been there that night, they have no idea that you've been there more than once. So if they have already got a clue marker on the space, it is a waste of time to search again, although they might still catch you with an arrest, if you are there at that precise moment.
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Michael Tyree
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There would only be the 1 clue. It is a valid Jack tactic to double back like that, the investigators really shouldn't waste time searching a place that has already had a clue placed that night.
 
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Damian Kelleher
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Even more, I would say that doubling back is practically a necessity as Jack, as it increases the possibility of confusing the inspectors.

It is virtually essential to do on the first night, as you as Jack have the most luxury and freedom that night, and it behooves you to confuse the inspectors as much as possible.
 
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Scott W
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By the second night I'd already noticed how fundamentally important it is for Jack to have a good first night with a long scenic route back to his hideout. In the first night I had escaped after 6-7 moves and the police spent the rest of the game cordoning off an area of the map that included my hideout!
 
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Mark Nicosia
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I'm not refuting the responses so far... everyone is correct, a clue marker just tells you Jack was there this night, no matter how many times he was through that space ... but, I have to say, now that it's brought up, I kinda think a second clue marker should be placed in this situation.

Just thematically it makes sense, I think... the police were already there, they presumably searched the spot and "cleaned it up". Now, if Jack goes through again it makes sense he could leave more clues. If the police search the same spot again and find something again they'd go "hey, a bloody footprint... this wasn't here last time we scoured the place.. he must have doubled back since we where here last".

So, as a house rule, I think I really like this idea. Police can search a spot again, and if Jack went through it a second (or third, fourth, etc.) time since the first check, put a second clue marker there.

On the one hand it gives the police a new tool to catch Jack and see what he is up to.. on the other hand it could help Jack if the police use this too much, wasting time checking spots twice. It has the hallmark of being a good mechanic.. it can be good or bad, depending on if you figure out when to use it, in the right spot, when you suspect a double-back. This it can help you. If you use it willy-nilly, then it is hurting you.

Again, I am not saying this is how the rule book has it.. this would be a house rule... but, like it, and am considering adding it. I will definitely playtest this next time I get it to the table, but I can imagine this adding just a touch more tactics to the game without adding much if any complexity.
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Daniel Blumentritt
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Technically speaking, the very first response is correct, but Mark's answer above makes by far more sense, and the game is better when played that way. Otherwise Jack scatters free spaces across the map as he moves and should have a very easy time of it.
 
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Don D.
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zenpunk wrote:
I'm not refuting the responses so far... everyone is correct, a clue marker just tells you Jack was there this night, no matter how many times he was through that space ... but, I have to say, now that it's brought up, I kinda think a second clue marker should be placed in this situation.

Just thematically it makes sense, I think... the police were already there, they presumably searched the spot and "cleaned it up". Now, if Jack goes through again it makes sense he could leave more clues. If the police search the same spot again and find something again they'd go "hey, a bloody footprint... this wasn't here last time we scoured the place.. he must have doubled back since we where here last".

So, as a house rule, I think I really like this idea. Police can search a spot again, and if Jack went through it a second (or third, fourth, etc.) time since the first check, put a second clue marker there.

On the one hand it gives the police a new tool to catch Jack and see what he is up to.. on the other hand it could help Jack if the police use this too much, wasting time checking spots twice. It has the hallmark of being a good mechanic.. it can be good or bad, depending on if you figure out when to use it, in the right spot, when you suspect a double-back. This it can help you. If you use it willy-nilly, then it is hurting you.

Again, I am not saying this is how the rule book has it.. this would be a house rule... but, like it, and am considering adding it. I will definitely playtest this next time I get it to the table, but I can imagine this adding just a touch more tactics to the game without adding much if any complexity.


At this point you've made a different game and are no longer playing letters from whitechapel. It'll be a game that is far less interesting and far less tense IMO.
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Mark Nicosia
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dond80 wrote:
At this point you've made a different game and are no longer playing letters from whitechapel. It'll be a game that is far less interesting and far less tense IMO.

Wow.. okay, a pretty minor tweak (and one that just makes logical sense at that) makes it a completely different game. Hey, maybe they should put the rule in the book and resell it as another game... no one will even notice. shake
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Don D.
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zenpunk wrote:
dond80 wrote:
At this point you've made a different game and are no longer playing letters from whitechapel. It'll be a game that is far less interesting and far less tense IMO.

Wow.. okay, a pretty minor tweak (and one that just makes logical sense at that) makes it a completely different game. Hey, maybe they should put the rule in the book and resell it as another game... no one will even notice. shake


I appreciate sarcasm more than most, but I was being serious. This kind of game is very fragile; a seemingly minor change can drastically alter the game. This would be such a change.
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Dave Neale
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Mark's idea seems to make a lot of sense as it would only come into effect occasionally. can you explain what you think the problem is and why it would have such a huge impact?
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Pas L
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dond80 wrote:
zenpunk wrote:
dond80 wrote:
At this point you've made a different game and are no longer playing letters from whitechapel. It'll be a game that is far less interesting and far less tense IMO.

Wow.. okay, a pretty minor tweak (and one that just makes logical sense at that) makes it a completely different game. Hey, maybe they should put the rule in the book and resell it as another game... no one will even notice. shake


I appreciate sarcasm more than most, but I was being serious. This kind of game is very fragile; a seemingly minor change can drastically alter the game. This would be such a change.


Disagree completely. This is a minor point, more thematic than anything else, which slightly advantages the police in a default game that drastically advantages Jack.
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You can't handle the truth?
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lamaros wrote:
dond80 wrote:
zenpunk wrote:
dond80 wrote:
At this point you've made a different game and are no longer playing letters from whitechapel. It'll be a game that is far less interesting and far less tense IMO.

Wow.. okay, a pretty minor tweak (and one that just makes logical sense at that) makes it a completely different game. Hey, maybe they should put the rule in the book and resell it as another game... no one will even notice. shake


I appreciate sarcasm more than most, but I was being serious. This kind of game is very fragile; a seemingly minor change can drastically alter the game. This would be such a change.


Disagree completely. This is a minor point, more thematic than anything else, which slightly advantages the police in a default game that drastically advantages Jack.

How is it more thematic?

They didn't take Polaroids at all the crime scenes, so if they returned, and found something new, how do they know it's because Jack came back, and not that they just missed it?

Police in the current age return all the time, and if they find some new clue, they don't assume the killer has returned, but that they just screwed up.

That's thematic. devil
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crambaza wrote:
lamaros wrote:
dond80 wrote:
zenpunk wrote:
dond80 wrote:
At this point you've made a different game and are no longer playing letters from whitechapel. It'll be a game that is far less interesting and far less tense IMO.

Wow.. okay, a pretty minor tweak (and one that just makes logical sense at that) makes it a completely different game. Hey, maybe they should put the rule in the book and resell it as another game... no one will even notice. shake


I appreciate sarcasm more than most, but I was being serious. This kind of game is very fragile; a seemingly minor change can drastically alter the game. This would be such a change.


Disagree completely. This is a minor point, more thematic than anything else, which slightly advantages the police in a default game that drastically advantages Jack.

How is it more thematic?

They didn't take Polaroids at all the crime scenes, so if they returned, and found something new, how do they know it's because Jack came back, and not that they just missed it?

Police in the current age return all the time, and if they find some new clue, they don't assume the killer has returned, but that they just screwed up.

That's thematic. devil


Depends when they got the first clue. If there was a new clue since they were last there they'd possibly know: 'Hey Frank, was that large blood stain there when we were here yesterday?'

You're also wondering what the 'clue' is. Perhaps it's a passerby or a local: 'Oh yeah, I saw him about three hours ago, covered in blood. Also he popped back the other way one hour ago too!'
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Mathue Faulkner
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lamaros wrote:
crambaza wrote:
lamaros wrote:
dond80 wrote:
zenpunk wrote:
dond80 wrote:
At this point you've made a different game and are no longer playing letters from whitechapel. It'll be a game that is far less interesting and far less tense IMO.

Wow.. okay, a pretty minor tweak (and one that just makes logical sense at that) makes it a completely different game. Hey, maybe they should put the rule in the book and resell it as another game... no one will even notice. shake


I appreciate sarcasm more than most, but I was being serious. This kind of game is very fragile; a seemingly minor change can drastically alter the game. This would be such a change.


Disagree completely. This is a minor point, more thematic than anything else, which slightly advantages the police in a default game that drastically advantages Jack.

How is it more thematic?

They didn't take Polaroids at all the crime scenes, so if they returned, and found something new, how do they know it's because Jack came back, and not that they just missed it?

Police in the current age return all the time, and if they find some new clue, they don't assume the killer has returned, but that they just screwed up.

That's thematic. devil


Depends when they got the first clue. If there was a new clue since they were last there they'd possibly know: 'Hey Frank, was that large blood stain there when we were here yesterday?'

You're also wondering what the 'clue' is. Perhaps it's a passerby or a local: 'Oh yeah, I saw him about three hours ago, covered in blood. Also he popped back the other way one hour ago too!'
Clues would be separated by hours at the most, not days. Also, we're talking about police searching the likely poorly lit streets of London in the middle of the night while in a hurry to catch a killer...
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Chuck Burgess
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I think the bigger question will come into play is if Jack has passed through the spot twice before the police look for clues. Would you put one? Or would you put two on the first check? So I agree with the idea that regardless the number of times Jack has been through, it's one clue token.

If Jack is winning to readily, just like with other mechanics in the game, you can add the rule that both tokens would be shown in the case of a single or double search on spaces where Jack has been twice. But the default would only be one clue token. IMHO.
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