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Letters from Whitechapel» Forums » General

Subject: Am I playing it right? rss

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Brecht Van Boxstael
Belgium
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So a few days ago, I played my first game of Letters from Whitechapel but was kind of disappointed.

My girlfriend was playing the police side and was searching for clues. But the process was so long and kind of boring. 6 agents asking for every adjacent spot if Jack has been there...??? Every 15 turns? Anybody else who thinks the same? Any tips on making this more fun? Or am I making some mistakes?

I thought that maybe the player controlling the police could first state which police pawns will be looking for clues, and then Jack could immediatly inform for which police pawns it would be useless to search for clues, because he hadn't been in any adjacent spot of the polcie pawn. Any thoughts?
 
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Gabriel N
Colombia
Medellín
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There are 5 agents, not 6.

We do not bother asking for clues in spots whwre we know jack has not passed by. Also remember that when an agent is given a clue, that same agent can not ask for any more clues until his next turn.
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Michael Tyree
United States
Dayton
Ohio (OH)
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Well, early on in a night, there are usually some detectives who mathematically can't find clues because there is no way for them to be anywhere near Jack and that night's crime scene. As a point of order, I don't bother asking for those detectives when I'm the police until they get into range, so to speak.

I'm assuming you're talking about after all detectives have been moved? Otherwise, that would be a huge advantage to the police. Again, my experience wouldn't be much of a time saver. If Jack wasn't close to the pawn, the back and forth is pretty quick "23? No. 24? No. 25? No." vs. "Have you been adjacent to this pawn? No." Another issue is that if Jack has crossed more than one searchable spot, the order of asking is very important.

I have seen the game get frustrating if the police are just flailing for clues with no luck, and I do feel for players in that situation. However, if you get on a trail, the tension can ratchet up quickly. Usually, the trick is to be disciplined and have an investigator or two start at the crime scene and work out, while the remaining cast a wide cordon and narrow down the possible hideout areas. You use each night to close in, a marathon vs. sprint idea.
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Alexander Steinbach
Netherlands
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Always play with the optional rule that the police can move a third space instead of searching for clues. This allows far of policemen to catch up a bit and will automatically reduce the amount of searches you get.

Next, the searches should be focused and not random. The police should go to the crime scene and work out from there. Randomly searching for clues at places you just happen to be will not work out.

Lastly, the police should attempt some arrests every now and then. If you believe there is a reasonable chance that jack is present at a certain location, arrest in stead of search. This ramps up the tension and keeps jack honest.

Good luck.
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Brecht Van Boxstael
Belgium
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Thank you both for your answers. I'm gonna give it another go this week. We stopped playing in the second night because we weren't feeling it. But we're both game to give it another go We're definetly going to play a full game this time.
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Nick Storm
United States
Rhode Island
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The game is much better when more people play investigators - the 'chase' tension (multiple players hunting one player) tends to build better. 2 players doesn't quite cut it for our group. It's a very different game with 2 players.
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Angry Augury
Japan
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ppayes wrote:
The game is much better when more people play investigators - the 'chase' tension (multiple players hunting one player) tends to build better. 2 players doesn't quite cut it for our group. It's a very different game with 2 players.


I actually quite like it as a 1 on 1 game. It feels a lot like chess where it wits vs wits. I also think it significantly speeds up the play time. Most of my 1 on 1 games last around an hour.
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Diogo Poupado
Portugal
Ourém
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n107 wrote:
ppayes wrote:
The game is much better when more people play investigators - the 'chase' tension (multiple players hunting one player) tends to build better. 2 players doesn't quite cut it for our group. It's a very different game with 2 players.


I actually quite like it as a 1 on 1 game. It feels a lot like chess where it wits vs wits. I also think it significantly speeds up the play time. Most of my 1 on 1 games last around an hour.
I also prefer at least 2 Investigators. It adds to the tension.
 
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Chris Merritt
United States
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n107 wrote:
ppayes wrote:
The game is much better when more people play investigators - the 'chase' tension (multiple players hunting one player) tends to build better. 2 players doesn't quite cut it for our group. It's a very different game with 2 players.


I actually quite like it as a 1 on 1 game. It feels a lot like chess where it wits vs wits. I also think it significantly speeds up the play time. Most of my 1 on 1 games last around an hour.


I have only played the game twice, the first time with a full complement of players and the other just one-on-one, and I must say I enjoyed the 1-on-1 much more than the large group. I was Jack for the group play and I ended up winning, but I noticed that only a couple of players really seemed at all invested in the game, while another was somewhat half-heartedly contributing, while the other two would make their moves and then sit bored until their next turn. I think they were getting hung up on thinking that they'd moved "their" investigator and so they had nothing to do rather than seeing it all as a group endeavor where everyone can chime in with their thoughts and ideas.

Meanwhile, I played the investigators for the 1-on-1 and also ended up winning (though I later realized I had mistakenly been moving and then searching with each investigator rather than moving them all and then searching, so I possibly should have lost the game), but the game progressed much more quickly since it was all on me and didn't have to get someone's attention that it was their turn. I could see having one more investigator being a good thing, one other person to bounce ideas of off, but any more than that and I feel the game is less enjoyable.
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