I'm very torn between LfW and Whitehall Mystery. I've never played either one, and would like to avoid buying both (for a while at least).
I really like a heavy theme and an epic feel to a game. LfW seems to at least "feel" more epic (from what I've read) than WM.
I would probably be playing with around 2-3 mostly, but I would like the option for a larger group play (holidays and friends/family visiting).
I've read some comments that say people can play this in less than 3 hours, if they streamline some things. Is this correct?
If it's ok, I'll write what I seem to like about LfW and what I'm nervous of ... hopefully you can give me some feedback.
Large, detailed, and thematic board (ex: I had to buy all the expansions to A Touch of Evil to get a giant, epic, sprawling board)
Can play up to 6
More variant options
Seems more epic in scope (a slow burn)
Actual ripper theme instead of whitehall murder (which probably wasn't JtR)
More fiddly in a good way (meaning more options)
Much more game for the price
Length (I keep reading a normal game is 3 hours. Is this correct? This is by large my main concern)
Harder for non-gamers to grasp
More of a "commitment to the game" (ie: c'mon get off your phone already)
Thanks for any feedback!!!!
- Last edited Thu Jan 4, 2018 4:17 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Thu Jan 4, 2018 4:16 pm
Hard to nail down your definition of "epic" (as the norm these days) however I will try to address your points anyways. I have not played Whitehall Mystery so I can't comment or provide a comparison.
-The board is great, very thematic I would say and visually appealing. Some might be put off by the depicted violence.
-Can play with a 'large' group however I like it best with just 2. This eliminates much of the down time and takes away the tendency for one person to dominate the strategy of the police. If you have more than two it can accommodate which is nice.
-You can easily compensate for experience levels by aiding/hindering the sides
-A slow burn is a pro, yet the length is a con. I'm a little confused here
-Length, depends on who is playing. We can easily finish a 2 player game within a hour and a half. Obviously if you add more people, the more time it will take. (Obviously a game can end in 20 minutes also)
-In my experience, this is a very easy game to grasp. Jack moves then the police move. The police either ask for a clue or make an arrest. The mechanics of the game are very simple. The strategy adds the depth and complexity.
-Commitment depends on the people you are playing with. I am not sure the specific game will influence this. I have seen people fixated on their phone walking through a busy street... It is just the way it is.
Summarily, this game is very tense in its entirety. The fact that Jack can dip into his hideout at anytime makes the job of the police nerve-racking that crescendos throughout the game due to the dwindling rounds. From Jack's position, the game is comparably tense. There will be times when you have to hold your breathe as there are several police members within a move away. Will that green policeman inexplicably move down a random alley and foil my great escape? This has a similar crescendo throughout the rounds because the police have been collecting information and narrowing down possibilities. All the negatives I can think of are the results of the people playing rather than the actual game. A negative can be a player dominating the strategy of the police force rendering the other players as mere piece movers. Another would be down time. If Jack is a person who overanalyzes moves then the game can drag for the police. Same in reverse.
Hopefully this helps give you some insight if this is a good game for you.
I own this and have played it several times -- mostly two-player and a couple of times at 3-player. None of our games have lasted anywhere close to 3 hours. Even with more people, I think the game can easily be considerably less than that. (90 to 120 mins?)
- Last edited Thu Jan 4, 2018 7:00 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Thu Jan 4, 2018 7:00 pm
"The game is afoot!"
I own both games. Whitehall Mystery is great, but certainly feels less epic than LfW. I think the main reason is that it's more of a chase than a slow burning hunt for a killer's lair.
In Whitehall, Jack reveals himself each time he reaches one of his target locations, so the chase sort of restarts at that point. It feels like a series of short, desperate runs.
By contrast, in LfW, the whole game is about the police trying to work out where Jack's hideout is, and then to trap him. It feels like a slow, methodical and dark game of cat and mouse, which ebbs and flows.
Regarding length, Whitehall seems to take around 1 to 2 hours.
Almost all of my games of LfW (and I have played at least 20 times) have taken between 2.5 and 5 hours. BUT, I think the length is, to a large extent, determined by your group. My games take so long because the police spend a long time discussing the clues and where Jack could be. Both Jack and the police do a lot of thinking and analysis. If your police players take a lighter approach, then you could play a full game in 2 hours or less. The length also varies a lot depending on if/when Jack is arrested (I did play one game that lasted 10 minutes, because Jack was arrested on the third turn).
One more point to note is that Whitehall is kinder on new players. Because Jack is revealed each time he reaches a target, if the police are struggling they just need to wait for Jack to appear and then they have something to work with. LfW on the other hand is not forgiving on the police if they fail to track Jack effectively.