farfyy
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Hi

I really would like to love SHCD (as a old fan of make your own adventure books) but i not totally convinced after playing 4 cases.
PS: we usually play 2 players.

Problems:
1- It is hard to judge when you knew enough about a case to go to the questions. The decision to finally face the questions is often accompanied by a feeling of exhaustion or resignation, even when you are pretty confident you had a good handle on the case.

Solution: Do you think to set a time limit (e.g.120mn). So now you have to be as efficient as possible in order to get the more information and try to solve the case.

2- I dont care about beating Holmes, the main gratification being to solve the mystery and possibly side quests but I think the game is sometimes too difficult or let say too vague even when you read almost all clues. The solutions given by Holmes are often very illogical and more intuitive. Sometimes he can explain a lot of things and even solve a mystery from a simple detail (like a hole somewhere, or the orientation of an object) just with pure intuition and no other contextual support. Therefore, I think that some contextual guidance during the adventure would have been welcome especially considering it is a reedition of an old game 1981 and i think the game has been playtested a lot.

Solutions:
You need a game master who known the solutions or at least the question and can guide the players . A reeditorial work to add some paragraphs and add clues in order to have something smoother would be welcome too.

What do you think ? What variants have you tried ?


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Starla Lester
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Las Cruces
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If the game makes you feel exhausted and resigned, and you don't feel it is fun, then (and I mean this in the most respectful way) maybe the game just isn't a good match for you.

We feel energized and excited every time we play this game. Like you, we don't care about beating Sherlock, either, but we love the experience of trying to solve the mystery. If I felt the way you do, I'd honestly be looking for a different game to play.

That said, I suppose a variant you could try would be to read the questions from the end before investigating trying to solve the case. Knowing the questions being asked might clue you in to some of those intuitive leaps.

I would be frustrated with a time limit, but it might work for you.

I hope you can find a way to make it enjoyable.
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Dr. Saari
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I agree with you. Defeating Holmes is out of the question. Oftentimes he solves the case in so few turns that it would be impossible for him to actually answer several questions on the quiz. My goal is to solve the primary case.

Your time limits idea isn't a bad one. A twist on that would be to do a turn limits instead (Visit no more than 10/15/20 locations). We have certainly found that you get to a point of diminishing returns when you go to too many places.

We also tried playing a case cooperatively one time to see if it would improve our ability at solving the case. That's probably the best suggestion I can give if you're looking to make the cases more manageable. If you still want competition, try playing in two teams.

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Donald Johnson
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My ideas:

1) Do not care about beating Sherlock, care about solving the case. If you solve it and end up with positive points, you won. Sherlock is an ideal to strive for (in theory) but never actually achieve.

2) Play all on one team. If you want players to compete, use 2 teams but no more.

3) Treat the bonus questions as ways to get additional points IF you solve the case and took a lot of turns. In other words, there can be dead ends and red herrings, so try not to spend a lot of time on them. But it is possible that what is a red herring in one case will flesh out in another case.

4) The idea of a game master is one that would work but assuming you have someone who already knows the case.

5) Never try to take advantage of something that is not allowed by the rules of the play of the game. For example, really try to avoid glancing at hints that you did not get to in a valid way. There can be bogus hints scattered among the valid hints.
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Keith Scholes
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One advantage of your solution to problem 2 is that it provides a role for someone who has already played the case, and knows the solution. In effect it requires one person to be the Game Master. There might be one problem however, that is that given the game wasn't designed with such a role in mind it would take some skill for such a person to guide the players without making the solution too easy.
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Timothy Adamson
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1) One thing we do is to have a "phase 2' of the game after we read the questions if we really missed a section of the case. Usually this is just a lead or two, but I think in one case we really thought we had the case buttoned up, but there were questions beyond the scope we were considering.

2) I'm not sold on the GM. I'm not sure what he'd do. However, one of the two of us always finds each entry in the book and covers everything else, so the other doesn't see any of the other stuff that might in the case. We play over several days in short chunks, so we have some to ruminate on each clue and pour over the newspapers multiple times, which sometimes leads to a moment of sudden inspiration. That's one of the best parts of the game. I'm afraid any GM-like role would completely prevent that kind of situation.

Also, I can't imagine playing this game competitively. I've only played it cooperatively with two, and we work via consensus.
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farfyy
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Thx everyone

First just to clarify we play too players cooperatively !

I just played case 5 with my friend with a time limit of 1h30. This case is a good example of the complains i have with the game It is too difficult !.
As always we had great fun trying to solve the case ( it is well written and the ambiance is definitely present). The fixed time limit was adequate as we had explored many leads and we were stuck. We then tried to solve the questions. We answered almost all the first batch of questions correctly but let says for partially wrong motives as the main lead on the case was very difficult to find (lets say impossible for a normal human being )

EXAMPLE: How is it possible for a normal guy to :
Spoiler (click to reveal)
1- Be able to use the london map to be able to find the main lead (house number 7) . Villier = where he smoke (Oh i am so stupid) so lets go back to his renting apartment using the approximate indications and street on the paper (which i though was a code).

2- Decode the message. First cesar encrypton ( why not) but after that read the columns every 5 columns , find the Moriarty word and find a meaning to the simplistic message ( related to a bank robbery).

PS: I have the game in french with no typo in the encrypted case

COMPLETELY ABSURD. I agree we had fun reading the case but the solution is so frustrating and convoluted ! Maybe we are just stupid though

It is like watching a very good movie with a completely weird end.


Is there similar kind of game with easier solutions ( maybe the new version with jack ??)


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