Michael Stone
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So the rulebook tells us that we'll answer some questions, get a score, and compare that to Sherlock's score, which is always 100 points.

A little more on this will help you decide when to trigger the end game and turn to the end of the book to answer those questions.

The questions are in two sections:

Section 1: This will be all about the primary mystery. Who is the killer? how did they do it? Was there any thing special about the weapon or circumstances? This is also where you will usually get one question about the "significance of _______________".

This section is worth 100 points. The identity of the killer is worth a lot of points, along with the important details, will be the majority of the 100 points. With a couple of questions worth fewer points to make up the 100.

You can equal, but not beat Sherlock by answering all these questions correctly. Which leads us to . . .

Section 2: There is usually a secondary mystery. You will run into hints of the secondary mystery in the primary story line, but if you don't run them down, you won't get any of the "bonus" points associated with questions in the second section of the scoring section. These questions will be worth less then the questions in Section One, concerning the main mystery. The problem, of course, being that the more leads you follow, the more points you lose. This is the basic Push - Pull mechanic of the game. Good news! You usually gain more then five points per question you can answer in Section two, and you only lose five points per extra lead you follow. So, as long as you don't try to chase every lead down to the last detail, chances are you'll stay ahead of the curve. Just don't over do it.

The stories usually don't try to get TOO clever. They are not modern espionage stories, with red herrings, double agents, etc. You'll be given some clues, you'll have to figure out what they mean, there will be some choices that will be the wrong ones. But, that will be about the limit of any duplicity.

Take Notes! Seriously! When you buy the game, get a couple of notebooks, pencils and a sharpener, and throw them RIGHT IN THE BOX and leave them there as part of the game. For one thing, if you keep the notes as you go through the cases, when your done, you'll have a really fun record of your adventures.

One person should be assigned to just note the Leads you follow, along with their location codes. This will be helpful when you get to the scoring section, or if you want to go back and check a detail in a particular part of a story. You'll be able to find it again a lot faster.

Use the props! The map and the newspapers are really fun and useful sources of information. Pass them around, make sure everyone has a chance to peruse them. Check the travel times between locations. Find out which locations are in close proximity to one another. Make sure more then one person takes a look at any visual clues in the casebook. There will be one person who first reads out each section. But make sure to let other people look at pictures of journals, or what ever else, comes up in the casebook. A little group think in this game is good. Inspiration will strike different people, over different times, for different reasons. Spread it around.

There are good reasons this game has lasted for the decades that it has. It lives up to it's reputation. With these tips in mind, I think you'll find it a lot easier and faster to get into this game.

Enjoy
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Donald Johnson
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Thanks for writing this up.
Typo: TO should be TOO.

One thing that should be obvious: Do not read clues that you did not get to by a legal method in the game! Ideally, every clue would have its own page, but to save space, this method was not used. But to counteract the possibility of getting information (even inadvertently) for clues you should not be reading, the players should know it is POSSIBLE for there to be bogus clues among the real clues. If you happen to glance at a clue that you are not directed to and see something, do not use this information.
 
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James R. Gracen
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Don Johnson wrote:
Thanks for writing this up.

+1 thumbsup

I just wanted to point out a few more useful tips.

MStone wrote:
Take Notes! Seriously! When you buy the game, get a couple of notebooks, pencils and a sharpener, and throw them RIGHT IN THE BOX and leave them there as part of the game. For one thing, if you keep the notes as you go through the cases, when you're done, you'll have a really fun record of your adventures.

You are absolutely right about taking good notes. This is absolutely an *essential* part of the game. For a great Print-and-Play case notebook, click on this:

Case Notes Booklet

MStone wrote:
Use the props! The map and the newspapers are really fun and useful sources of information. Pass them around, make sure everyone has a chance to peruse them.

I have found it useful to scan the Times newspapers and print multiple copies so multiple people can read them at the same time. Speeds up gameplay quite a bit.

MStone wrote:
Check the travel times between locations. Find out which locations are in close proximity to one another.

This helps track travel times across the map easily:

Time Rulers by Manolovila

Hope you find these useful.
 
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