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Subject: Can Stealthy escape from the f3 hex? rss

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Pseudo Pserious
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Hullo,

I'm playing a game of Mr. Jack at mrjack.biludi.de, and my next move will depend on the answer to this question...

If Stealthy (Mr. Jack) is unwitnessed in the bottom hex of the 6th column from the left (f3 in mrjack.biludi.de's coordinate scheme), can she escape through the SW exit?

The path in question would be: f3-e2(building)-d2(building)-c1(building)-SW exit.

Thanks,
PP
 
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Pseudo Pserious
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I dislike the Canadiens. (The hockey team, that is, not people from Canada in general.)
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I created a couple of dummy accounts at mrjack in order to answer the question.

As it turns out, no, Stealthy can't escape from f3.

Cheers,
PP
 
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Justin Moore
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I thought it was widely known that Ms. Stealthy was basically a fools mate on turn 2. If she is not in the light and a blockade is not moved on turn 1, yes she can escape. Is this wrong? I see nothing in the rules that prevents this.
 
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Richard Pardoe
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Stealthy's quick escape is out the SE (not SW) corner or perhaps the NE (if the barricade is moved and the sewers are open).

The move the SW is a new option that the OP is considering. If you look at the map closes, you will see that the buildings are not part of the play map as they are not encased in hexes. The SE corner buildings are in hexes (you will see the hex outlines between the buildings) thus allowing Stealthy to escape throught the buildings in that direction.
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Martin G
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However, it appears Stealthy can escape from e9. I think this is a little badly designed, as the building on j5 clearly has a hex round it, and can be considered 'in play', while the d8 one does not and looks as if it is just part of the 'edge' of the board. It would be very easy for someone who didn't know this to lose a game by allowing Gull to swap with Stealthy on turn 1.

EDIT: I see http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/219484 addresses this question, but I still think that the design is ambiguous. The board does not have perfect symmetry (the manholes break it), so there's no reason to assume d8 is 'in play' on that basis.
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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I just follow this rule of thumb - you can only escape from the single space that's next to the exit. You can go through buildings to reach the escape space, but you can't escape from a space that's covered by a building.

This seems sensible to me (you associate the escape with the space and the entire edge of the board) and it appears to be the way it is implemented on the site. Her i4 escape is valid because she steps on the l6 space, and her e9 escape is valid because she steps on the b7 space. She can't escape at f3 or h10 (among other places) because it would take her 4 moves to reach b1 or l12 and she would need one more move to escape. She can't escape by going "around" the exit.
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Jess Newman
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I had this exact dilemma. I just bought the game and on my first game, Miss Stealthy was Jack. On the second turn, when it came up on whether or not to move her, I noticed that I would be able to move her to safety if a move through the building was legal.
I searched the rules with a fine-toothed comb to see if this was legal because it seemed unfair.
The contradiction I found was that in her ability, it states that if she chooses to use her ability (it's optional, rather than mandatory) she must finish her move on a street hex. I of course couldn't ask my opponent's opinion on the ruling, but I assumed that the exit did NOT count as a street hex, and I assume for game balance reasons that the designers would agree. In any case, that's the way I want to play it, because I don't think a game in which someone can win on the first turn in a pretty fail-safe manner is any fun. I would, however, love to hear other opinions. Does anyone know if this is addressed in an FAQ or errata on the designer's website? It's not in the rulebook FAQ, but if it's somewhere else, I would love to hear the official ruling.
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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zarajess wrote:
In any case, that's the way I want to play it, because I don't think a game in which someone can win on the first turn in a pretty fail-safe manner is any fun.


She can only exit that way if her opponent blunders badly (thus the reference to "Fool's Mate" above). BTW, I'm assuming from your initial statement that you meant second turn here, not first.

zarajess wrote:
Does anyone know if this is addressed in an FAQ or errata on the designer's website?


It's been discussed here on several occasions - take a look and you'll find more than one thread on the subject.

The bottom line is, if Miss Stealthy's card is not turned up on turn 1, the police player needs to make sure she can't exit at the start of turn two. This can be guaranteed in numerous ways:

- have Jonathon Smith place a lamp next to her
- have Dr. Watson shine his light on her
- move another character adjacent to her
- have Lestrade place a barricade in the SE corner
- have Sgt. Goodley move her farther from the corner

I'm probably leaving out something, but you get the point. If the police player understands the risk, he can always prevent her from exiting on turn two.
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Cameron McKenzie
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Yes... there are dozens of ways to prevent it. No matter how the characters are dealt in the first two rounds, the investigator can always assure that Stealthy is unable to escape. If he fails to do so, it's his own fault.

This kind of highlights what is an important issue for the investigator for the whole game. You don't leave suspects in the dark if they are in reach of an exit. This can cause sudden losing at any time in the game. Stealthy just happens to be the only character who starts in such a position, but it is certainly not the only time that such escapes are possible.

I can't think of a more appropriate analogy than Fool's Mate. Pretty much everyone has been beaten by a Fool's Mate at one point, and yet Chess is certainly not broken because such a strategy is not dominant against any opponent that is familiar at all with the game.
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