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Subject: Watson & Holmes vs. T.I.M.E. Stories rss

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Ian
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I have only just heard of this game (thanks to the wonderful Essen videos made by BGG) and it reminds me of what I know about T.I.M.E. Stories.

Here are some observations I have made, although keep in mind that I have not played either game!

Similarities

Both games seem to be excellent for narrative. Players also move around cards as spaces in both games I think, with the cards representing locations and characters that you can read to get more clues when you land on them.

Both of them are about solving the case of the particular scenario. But also, both are said to have very limited replayability, because once you have played a case you will know the solution.

Differences

Obviously, after that, there are differences. TS is co-op where W&H is competitive. TS has a time-travel theme (overall, but also individual themes within each case) whereas W&H is... erm... W&H.

TS is more complex than W&H, with cases being more in-depth, possibly more difficult and taking longer to complete.

W&H is more of a multiplayer solitaire, but has far more cases included in the core game (13 vs 1!). W&H also supports bigger player counts (2-7 instead of 2-4).

Who wins?

So which game is better? Well it probably comes down to personal taste because of how different the games are. But they are also so similar that I don't think a player would feel the need to own both.

For me; I like both themes, and I don't mind whether the game is co-op or competitive, I just want to enjoy some good narrative case solving.
My opinion is that I would prefer to get the cheaper game that comes with 13 cases instead of the more expensive game that comes with 1, so I plan to buy Watson & Holmes.

What do you think?

Did anyone have a chance to play both at/since Essen? Which do you prefer?
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Itai Perez
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I've played both, and I really don't see any similarity between those 2 games. One is a cooperative adventure game, in which the players are going to play through a story, the other a competitive investigation game, in which the players are trying to race for information gathering and clever deductions in order to be the first to tell Holmes the solution and win the game.

Also, Watson & Holmes is not a multiplayer solitaire at all. There are plenty of interaction elements in it (the auction, Police cards, Watson cards...)
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Ian
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Itai wrote:
I've played both, and I really don't see any similarity between those 2 games. One is a cooperative adventure game, in which the players are going to play through a story, the other a competitive investigation game, in which the players are trying to race for information gathering and clever deductions in order to be the first to tell Holmes the solution and win the game.

Also, Watson & Holmes is not a multiplayer solitaire at all. There are plenty of interaction elements in it (the auction, Police cards, Watson cards...)
Hi Itai, thanks for your comment.

It's interesting that you don't feel there is any similarity between the 2 games- I already knew one was co-op and one was not, but it sounds like you consider TS to feel like a story and W&H to feel more like a puzzle-race. Is that right?

Yes, you're right that there are interactive elements in W&H, the auction and police etc. I think I picked up that comment from someone else's review. Yet I can understand why it might feel like MPS to some; the clue reading and deducing is done privately (you wouldn't want to give free clues to your opponents if you can help it!)

Do you prefer one over the other? Or would you feel like a different one depending on who you are playing with etc?
 
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Itai Perez
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defensiveian wrote:


Hi Itai, thanks for your comment.

It's interesting that you don't feel there is any similarity between the 2 games- I already knew one was co-op and one was not, but it sounds like you consider TS to feel like a story and W&H to feel more like a puzzle-race. Is that right?
Yes, this is exactly it. The theme is very present in Watson & Holmes but it doesn't feel like an adventure game at all.

defensiveian wrote:

Yes, you're right that there are interactive elements in W&H, the auction and police etc. I think I picked up that comment from someone else's review. Yet I can understand why it might feel like MPS to some; the clue reading and deducing is done privately (you wouldn't want to give free clues to your opponents if you can help it!)
Multiplayer solitaire implies that people play independently from each other until the final scoring. It is true the deduction part is done in secret, but the racing for clues part is very interactive.

If you just read a clue that you feel is vital to find the solution, you're going to play a police token on it to make it more difficult for others to learn it.
If you see someone accessing a blocked place you are interested in with a lockpick, you will want to play the Watson card on it, making the information available to everyone and making him waste his precious lockpick token.
If someone uses a call off token on a place they want to access, you'll be able to outbid that person to get that clue for yourself and deny it to that person.
Etc...

defensiveian wrote:

Do you prefer one over the other? Or would you feel like a different one depending on who you are playing with etc?
I like them both, but they are completely different games. I don't think they can be compared in any way. If you like competitive deduction buy Watson & Holmes. If you like narrative adventure games, but Time Stories.

Comparing Watson & Holmes with Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, or Time Stories with The 7th continent would be more valid, I think.

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Todd
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Itali,

You mentioned Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective. Have you played? Is Watson & Holmes a light version of that game?

Also, do you feel that you can replay cases in Watson?

Thanks,

Todd
 
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Itai Perez
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Yes I played both. Both share the theme (obviously), and the investigation and deduction mechanic (depending on your decisions you get access to pieces of information, then you have to understand of the pieces fit together, sometimes having to make deduction leaps, and deduce the solution from them.).

Now there are differences too:
- in SHDC, the cases are deeper. There are more a lot more pieces of information potentially available, you have newspapers, a map, a directory. You need to make much deeper deduction leaps (finding information which is not directly indicated in the information you have, but can be deduced from it).
In W&H, the cases are much more streamlined. The entire case fits on 10 to 20 pieces of cardboard. There is still deduction to do, including leap, but it is necessary simpler.

- Though there are in theory, competition rules, SDHC is really a pure investigation game. All your focus must be on solving the case based on your clues. So, in my opinion, it was obvious that it would have to be played cooperatively (and is very enjoyable as such) and I never even wanted to try the competitive rules.

W&H has not only simpler investigation and specific mechanics made for the competition (auctions, tokens which can block. It is not a pure investigation game, but more a game 50% investigation, 50% competitive race). Your brain really has to split. You need to take the time to focus on your clues, see all that can be deduced, in order to not miss some detail which could solve your case, but at the same time, you need to be thinking about the places you want to investigate, how much tokens your are willing to spend to get there, and how to make sure the other players will not have access to the very important clues you found.

So they are at the same time very similar and very different.

Depending on if you'd rather have pure, deep, cooperative investigation, or a simpler investigation but with the thrill of a competitive race for the clues, you can choose one or the other.

As for me, I am very happy to own both.


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Ryszard Hermaszewski
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Could you play the old 221b Baker Street cases using the W&H rules (ditching the roll & move in the 221b)? Just a thought. I seem to recollect there were some 100+ cases made for the old game in various expansion packs.
 
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Michal B
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Re: Watson & Holmes
hermi wrote:
Could you play the old 221b Baker Street cases using the W&H rules (ditching the roll & move in the 221b)? Just a thought. I seem to recollect there were some 100+ cases made for the old game in various expansion packs.
Thanks for reminding. With no offense:
Please - please, anybody who has played W&H: could you confirm the W&H clues are not the "trivia-like" as seen on 221b BS (no spoiler: I literally hated those wanna-be-clues aka The yellow glowing ball in the sky = Sun in the 221b)
 
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Juan Luque
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All of the cards are "story pieces", there is not "trivia-like" clues.
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