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Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases» Forums » Rules

Subject: How do you play .... rss

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Wot!
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This is probably stupid ... but despite briefly looking at the various documents (although ignoring the quiz and solutions), and reading the brief 2/3 paragraph of rules I still do not understand how to actually play this.

For example, how does the map / travel time calculations come into it. Does a player simply choose any map number to see if there is a clue for that map number? If I am travelling across all of London (so taking up more time), do I still get to look up a clue at each game turn, even if other players only travelled a short distance?

All this comes from not wanting to 'waste' Case 1 by reading and trying out things (ie there are no real examples of play to learn by)

many thanks
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Travel time within the city is below the scale of play in the game, so yes, you can visit locations in any order you choose without regard to proximity.

A subsequent game, Gumshoe, was similar but more complex, and took place in the San Franciso of Sam Spade. In that one, you actually did deal with travel time, not to mention sub-plots and other elaborations.
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amerynth

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All that matters for scoring purposes (seeing how you did against Sherlock Holmes) is the number of clues you look up (plus your score on the quiz.) You can traipse back and forth all over the map and it doesn't cost you anything.

I spent my first game merrily looking up clue after clue even after I had the mystery solved because I was having so much fun. I ended up with a bad score, not realizing that each extra clue was costing me points. I started looking at all the extra clues after the game was over after that.
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Hugo L
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Travel time does not affect YOUR gameplay. You could travel back and forth with no in-game penalty.

But travel time DID affect characters during the events that took place. For instance, if Mr Doe has been seen at the park at 19h15, he was not at his house at 19h30, because the park is 30 minutes far away of his house.

As the investigator the only limitations you are facing are: finding the truth with as few clues as possible.

Sure, you could visit every places of London, and you will eventually know the truth. But every one should be able to figure out the solution by reading the whole case entirely anyway.

Are you able to find out who is the murder as quick as Sherlock Holmes ? This is the challenge!
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Michal B
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dwrigley wrote:
... I still do not understand how to actually play this...
All this comes from not wanting to 'waste' Case 1 by reading and trying out things

Do not be afraid to read the Case 1 Introduction page just now. This will not harm your later gameplay, but it gives you very sharp idea how do you choose which location to visit.
Or - if you really wish not to open the Casebook - just imagine you would read (fictional example follows, no spoiler):

Mr. Brown was found dead in front of his own jewelry store. It's up to you if you go visit the crimescene (sure, you can find the exact address from the known facts: Brown's jewelry) or you guess the mortuary expert could tell stg important etc.
Do not expect the complete explanation aka The gardener is guilty and he murdered the witness to cover the espionage affair randomly hidden at one illogical location (or clue). You will reveal the whole story step-by-step.
Good luck!
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Wot!
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Many thanks everyone.
I think I get it now!

Because I can only visit one clue point on my turn, if I waste turns by going to too many, or the wrong places, then my opponents may solve in fewer turns.
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Franco
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I haven't ever played it against people -- we've only ever played it cooperatively, with lots of discussion and one person reading the newspaper articles.
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Wot!
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loquitur wrote:
I haven't ever played it against people -- we've only ever played it cooperatively, with lots of discussion and one person reading the newspaper articles.


oops ... maybe I did miss something else !
 
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Franco
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It can be played both ways, but I always thought it made for a better time to work together.
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B C Z
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Re: 'wasting case one' - it's meant as an introductory case and it's not really a waste because it's a great story.

One thing to stress: Read the entire newspaper for that day before you even read the case. Note anything odd or strange of places you might want to visit. Imagine that Holmes has finished reading the paper when the ring comes at the door. If it's a later case, check past stories in previous newspapers too. That's all public information and may help to form your hypotheses.

I enjoy this collaboratively, playing competitively is more like playing it solo and comparing scores after the game is over.

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B C Z
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Oh, and don't forget Holmes' lecture. In some editions this isn't a separate book but is buried in the larger casebook. I photocopied it out into a few separate booklets for when we do group play.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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loquitur wrote:
It can be played both ways, but I always thought it made for a better time to work together.


Agreed. And yes, read the newspaper with great attention to detail before embarking on each case.
 
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Tom Chappelear
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dwrigley wrote:
loquitur wrote:
I haven't ever played it against people -- we've only ever played it cooperatively, with lots of discussion and one person reading the newspaper articles.


oops ... maybe I did miss something else !


I love this game. In my experience, the best way to play it is in teams. The game really shines when:

1. The choice of where to go next is difficult. If another team is racing you to solve the mystery, a dead end really hurts. You wind up thinking harder about the clues, and have more fun. It's still a fun coop or solo game, but it loses a lot a tension this way.

2. You have someone to talk through ideas with. It makes the game more social and somehow "realistic."

Have fun...
 
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Darrell Pavitt
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A further note on newspapers - don't forget on later cases, that you might find something of interest in an earlier issue of the paper - read all the papers up to today's date!
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Jon W
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dwrigley wrote:
This is probably stupid ...

Well, if it is, I feel stupid too, because my wife and I sat down to play this tonight and were befuddled. One annoying thing is that "important" locations (those Holmes talks about in his lecture) aren't all denoted in orange on the map (though most are). Seemed needlessly arbitrary and confusing.

Question: if you opt to head for a place that doesn't have an entry in the clue book, does that count as a turn? Or do you just try again? (This is just theoretical; we didn't actually begin playing but just read the lecture and fussed a bit with the directory and newspaper before I headed off to the computer.)
 
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B C Z
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I would say that going to a location without an entry counts as a turn - you've wasted valuable time following up a non-existent lead. That said, all of the 'lecture' locations always have someone to talk to, even if its just to tell you you've wasted your time.

As to the orange/not orange, not all of Holmes' sources are... 'official', which is what the orange represents.
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Bookwormral Bookwormral
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This is incorrect. The rules say

“ if the lead doesn’t exist in the booklet the lead investigator simply chooses another lead to follow”
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