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Subject: Number of Culprit combination groups per player pool? rss

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Kevin Maschler
United States
Kansas City
Missouri
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I think I've worked this out, but I am a little unsure about the 4-player version.

During Phase 2 - Revealing the Culprit, Step 1 - Suspect Line-up: groups of psychic cards are arranged into groups.

In a 2-player game (1 psychic & 1 ghost), the psychic player plays as two psychics and two groups are formed, each from the sleeved cards the psychic identified in Phase 1. Another two groups are formed from the psychic cards discarded during Phase 1. Thus a total of four Culprit combination groups are in the middle of the table.

In a 3-player game (2 psychics & 1 ghost), both psychic players each play two psychics and four groups are formed each from the sleeved cards the psychics identified in Phase 1. Again a total of four Culprit combination groups are in the middle of the table.

In a 4-player game (3 psychics & 1 ghost), each psychic player plays a single psychic and three groups are formed each from the sleeved cards the psychics identified in Phase 1. This time a total of three Culprit combination groups are in the middle of the table.

In a 5-player game (4 psychics & 1 ghost), each psychic player plays a single psychic and four groups are formed each from the sleeved cards the psychics identified in Phase 1. And we're back to a total of four Culprit combination groups in the middle of the table.

In a 6-player game (5 psychics & 1 ghost), each psychic player plays a single psychic and five groups are formed each from the sleeved cards the psychics identified in Phase 1. Now there are a total of five Culprit combination groups in the middle of the table.

In a 7-player game (6 psychics & 1 ghost), each psychic player plays a single psychic and six groups are formed each from the sleeved cards the psychics identified in Phase 1. Now there are a maximum of six Culprit combination groups in the middle of the table.

Did I get all that correct? Does it seem odd to anyone that the only time the Culprit combination group total is less than four is in a 4-player game. Or did I miss something in the 4-player setup?

 
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Andrew Rothfuss
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Sounds to me like you understand it perfectly.
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Victor Lesperance
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Admittedly, I've never played this game 2 player before. So your question prompted me to read that special 2 player rule for the first time.

No, you didn't miss anything, and, yes, it seems odd.

Actually, its not 4-player that seems odd, but 2-player. Why the special rule?

The whole premise of the game is that you spend phase 1 tracing the stories of the suspects. So, every player count makes sense except for 2, wherein someone who has already been cleared suddenly pops up as the killer.
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Andrew Rothfuss
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vlesperance wrote:

Actually, its not 4-player that seems odd, but 2-player. Why the special rule?

The whole premise of the game is that you spend phase 1 tracing the stories of the suspects. So, every player count makes sense except for 2, wherein someone who has already been cleared suddenly pops up as the killer.


As someone who has played 2-player many times I can say that the second round gets fairly weak if you don't bring in those extra suspects. With only two suspects its much easier for the ghost to pick dreams that point to one and not the other, especially considering that the psychic will always see all three cards. Bringing in the extra 2 suspects brings the challenge of choosing/interpreting dreams back up to where it should be and makes the 2 player game more comparable to games with higher player counts.

I totally agree that thematically the rule changes feel strange, but it keeps the gameplay from breaking down at low player counts. If the changes for 2 player hadn't been included in the rules, I probably would have ended up making relatively similar house rules.
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Shannen Braden
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Missouri
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Andrew is right in that, when playing 2 player, the endgame can get "too easy" almost by only having two suspects. Thematically, however, my fiancé had trouble getting around it too... "Why did I just take up all that time chasing down these 2 leads, only to have the others come back anyway?" In the rules, it implies that all of the psychics will each follow separate leads "in the interest of time" (hence, each having a different suspect, location, and weapon). So, each has their own trio of clues, but unlike Clue, that doesn't mean that they are dead on laugh. Thematically, I think about it like this... Each psychic investigates a few different leads, but these could still yet be innocent witnesses or bystanders. So when the 2 other suspects are added back in, who's to say that maybe one of them was the killer the whole time, and the psychics just merely proved the "innocence" of the other suspects through their investigations.

Iunno, its a loose idea in my head (for 2 player games anyway). Sorry if it doesn't make much sense whistle
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