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Chris Norwood
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Letters from Whitechapel


Designer: Gabriele Mari & Gianluca Santopietro (2011)
Publisher: Nexus (previously) and Sir Chester Cobblepot (upcoming)
# of Players: 2-6
Play Time: 90-180 min
BGG Rank/Rating: #184/7.07
Category: Gamer's Game

This review originally appeared on GamerChris.com

Letters from Whitechapel is a hidden-movement/deduction chase game about the hunt for Jack the Ripper through the streets of London in 1888. The theme is relatively interesting but somewhat controversial, but in reality, the brilliance of the game comes from the elegance of the movement and search mechanics. I've played around a dozen games of Letters from Whitechapel so far, and it's even been the Game of the Month! for my game group, so I finally feel comfortable giving my final judgement on it...

Game Basics (click here for complete game rules)

One person is going to play the role of Jack, who will be tracking his movement on a pad of paper, hidden from the eyes of the other players. Everyone else will be controlling the 5 Police pawns, who are moved around the board itself on each turn, trying to find clues and eventually arrest Jack.

At the start of the game, Jack selects one of the numbered circles on the board to be his Hideout location and writes it at the top of his pad. On each of the 4 nights in the game, he will choose a victim (2 victims on the 3rd night) somewhere on the board and then try to move back to his Hideout before the Police close in on him.

Setup

At the beginning of each night, there's a little bit of a shell game that goes on between Jack and the Police before a new victim is actually killed. It's a little confusing, but I'll try to give the basics of what happens:

1) Jack places tokens marking potential locations for victims for that night, which also includes 3 blank decoys.
2) Based on these possibilities, the Head of Investigation (a randomly-selected Police player) places tokens for the starting locations of the 5 Investigators, as well as 2 decoys of their own.
3) Jack reveals removes his decoys and replaces the other markers with the wooden "Wretched" pawns
4) Jack can then either go ahead and make a kill, or he can pull some shenanigans where he gets to reveal one of the Investigator tokens (which will either be a blank decoy or reveal the actual location of an Investigator), but also lets the Investigators move all the Wretched pawns one space. This little game can be repeated 4 more times, but eventually, Jack will make a kill.
5) The crime scene (Jack's starting location) is marked with a red tiddly wink, Jack writes that location into the first spot on his log, and the Jack pawn is placed on the crime scene spot of the time track. The Investigator decoys are removes and the rest of the markers are replaced with their Investigator pawns.


The Hunt

The actual movement and search mechanics for the game are incredibly simple.

Jack begins on the Crime Scene location and will move using the numbered circles on the board. So on each turn, Jack simply writes the number of a connected location into the next box on his log sheet to move there. He also then advances the Jack pawn on the time track, so that the Police players can track how many moves he has made.

Jack's movement is limited some in that he can not walk through a Police pawn using a normal move. However, Jack does have a few other little tricks up his sleeve through using a limited number of special moves each night. A Coach lets him move 2 spots in one turn, both of which get written on his log sheet and will give clues if investigated, but which also allow him to move through an Investigator's location. The other special move is to take an Alley, which lets Jack move through one "block" on the board into any other numbered location on the edge of that same "block". The special moves are really powerful when used at the right time, but Jack must always walk into his home space, so it's always possible for the Police to completely block off his home location if they can figure out where it is.


The time track: with Coach and Alley markers, as well as the Jack pawn itself

On the lines between numbered circles, there are also a series of black boxes. Police actually move between these boxes rather than on the numbered locations themselves. So after Jack moves, each Police player gets to move their pawn up to 2 boxes away. Then, each of these players chooses to either ask for Clues or make an Arrest:

• When asking for Clues, they begin calling out the numbered spots directly adjacent to their current location. If the number is anywhere on Jack's trail for that night, a clear Clue Token is placed on the board at that spot. If not, they can continue to ask about other adjacent locations.
• If the Investigator thinks that they're next to Jack's current location, they can instead make an Arrest in that spot. If they're right, the Investigators win the game!

Resolution and Game End

Each night lasts until either Jack gets to his Hideout, he is Arrested by the police, or he runs out of time (15 turns on most nights). If he gets home, you move on to the next night and repeat the process, but if he's arrested or runs out of time, the Police win. Jack wins if he's able to make it home safely on all 4 nights.


The game board (image by DaveD)

What I Think...

After my first game of Letters from Whitechapel with my game group, I called the experience one of my top 10 game experiences, ever. I've been a hobby gamer for 27 years now, so that's a freaking lot of gaming to consider, but this game was so crazy good that it made me want to slap my Momma!*

But sometimes, a game experience stems more from the people you're playing with and a number of other circumstances, which might make the game itself seem a lot better than it really is. In this case, however, I've come to believe that it really was the game, as this game experience was repeated to one extent or another through most all of my plays up to this point.

Game Experience

First and foremost, the thing that Letters from Whitechapel consistently delivers to me and the rest of my group is the tension and excitement of the chase. I think that the simplicity of the actual movement mechanics in the game are instrumental to creating this atmosphere, because after just a move or two, they just totally get out of the way and let you focus on the real game; the cat-and-mouse chase of evasion and decuction, hard facts and intuition, bluffing and tells, escape or arrest.

In my first play as Jack, I literally had to get up and walk around the room because the tension was so incredible that I felt like I was having palpitations or something. The Police were so freaking close, and I was afraid of giving something away by my reaction to them. Having to listen to them discuss their ideas out in the open, knowing all the time where you really are but still having to keep a straight face when they lay out the exact route that you took or look concerned even when they are way off; that's the thrill of playing Jack. Even the process of asking for clues becomes this exercise in bluffing as Jack has to try and give as little away as he can regardless of how close or far the Police are from his actual location. It is, without question, the most effective game I've ever played at creating dramatic irony and the suspense it breeds.


As the Police, the experience is a little different, but no less entertaining. There's still a lot of tension related to feeling like Jack is just one step ahead the whole time, but the coolest thing to me is actually the cooperative element of working with the other police players. To some extent, there is a relatively obvious need to cover possible paths for Jack and search for clues spreading out from there. But the network is complex enough that there are often numerous possible ways to go about this, and Jack can move fast enough that starting at the beginning and working your way out is often too slow to be fully effective. So to have a realistic chance to win, the Police usually need to go a little further, take a few risks here and there, and rely just enough on intuition and maybe reading Jack's reaction to their moves in formulating their plan.

Ideal Number of Players and Team Synergy

Time and time again, my experience on both sides of the table has definitely been that the collective effort of all the Police players is far superior to any individual effort from any one of them. There's just so much synergy when they're all working together to develop the strategy, both for the logical/analytical and the intuitive/psychological factors of the chase. Whether it's one Police player remembering an important clue from a previous night, another having a "hunch" to check out a particular location where Jack had been, or the whole group working together to hash out the best overall strategy, the game just seems to work better and be more balanced with more players involved on the Police side.

On BoardGameGeek, however, there are some strong opinions that Letters from Whitechapel is best as a 2-player game. They cite the downtime for Jack as the biggest issue, which I will hesitantly agree with on a purely technical (as in, time between turns) level. But my real feelings are that they're just playing it wrong! Sure, Jack's actual moves take only a few seconds and then he has to sit around, but the real freaking excitement for him is listening to the Police anyway! I've played a couple of games 2-player, and they were fine (and certainly a lot quicker), but they were also no where near as tense or exciting as my 4- to 6-player games have been! If the allure of the game for you is just about the analytical deduction part of it, then maybe 2-player is the way to go. But if you're interested in the thrill of the chase, then you've got to try it with more Police.


Downtime

But while we're talking about downtime, I'd be turning a blind eye to a potential blemish of the game if I didn't mention the potential for analysis paralysis present in the game. With the Police acting so much in the dark most of the time, you could absolutely pick the game to death if you tried to exhaustively analyze and address every possible route and decision that Jack could have made. Thankfully, I'm blessed with a very quick-playing group, so this hasn't been a big issue for us. We're still pretty analytical and thoughtful about strategy, but we also tend to make a choice and go with it as much from intuition as anything else.

I've even seen on the 'Geek how some people have used colored cubes to mark all of the potential moves that Jack could have made, or even used laminated player boards to mark paths and clues. Technically, this isn't prohibited by the rules or anything, but it sure feels like cheating to me. And it certainly adds time to the game, which many people complain about, so why make the game worse by adding things like this into it?

Game Balance and Player Skill

There's also a lot of discussion floating around about game balance between Jack and the Police. Our statistical experience has been that the Police have a slight edge in pure winning percentage. But the more I've played, the more I think that Jack actually does have a notable advantage. However, the biggest factor in these numbers is the experience and skill of the players in each role. Since more people get to play Police, they tend to advance quicker along the Police learning curve, which is probably a little easier to do anyway. But once a player has a few games as Jack under his belt and learns some of the more advanced tricks that he can pull off, it gets much harder for the Police to catch him.

And while the core of the game is still the intuitive chase mechanics that anyone could walk up and understand, I also like the fact that there is still some significant room for developing skill with the game itself. Whether it's familiarity with the map and its quirks and connections, learning the best order to ask for clues, figuring out how and when to throw in special moves, or just knowing when is the right time to make an arrest, there are lots of real and specific skills and techniques that I can think of which must be learned and developed. And for a game with so much replayability (since every chase will be different), it's very rewarding to feel like you're actually getting better at it over time.


Variants

Another cool thing about the game is that they added in a number of variants that you can use either to tilt the game balance to favor either side (depending on who your group thinks has an advantage) or just to spice the game up a little bit. So far, we haven't had the chance to try these out, but I like the idea of the designer and publisher providing those variants in the game.

What About the Theme?

I've talked some before about the theme and its implications for what could otherwise be a family game. First of all, the actual gameplay is really rather abstract, being more about the chase itself rather than the reason for the chase. So I've never once felt uncomfortable about the theme while playing the game. But the graphic design, descriptions, and labels/titles in the game definitely convey and reinforce the murderous theme, and I've felt some discomfort while trying to write about the game thematically.

Given all of this, I don't think that it's something I'm going to pull out with my little girls anytime soon. My gut feeling is that it's probably fine for teenage audiences, but any younger than that might be a little inappropriate.


An actual map of Whitechapel from the period, including the sites of 7 of the Whitechapel murders. See how closely it matches the game board above.

What About Fury of Dracula?

If you've followed [url=htt[://gamerchris.com]my blog[/url] for a while, you're probably aware that I also really like Fury of Dracula, which is a similar hidden-movement game of one vs. many. Fury of Dracula used to be in my top 10, in fact, but Letters from Whitechapel has definitely risen past it and better fills many of the gaming needs that it used to fill. I still like Fury, though, and am glad to have it in my collection, but here are a few points of comparison between the two.

Fury of Dracula clearly has a stronger theme and tells a more coherent story. If you read some of my past play reports from games of Fury, the strength of the narrative is fairly obvious. That alone is enough for me to hold onto it. And despite being about a blood-drinking undead monster, the theme is probably more acceptable to many people because it it wholly fictional.

Unfortunately, the biggest logistical knock against Fury of Dracula is that it takes so much longer to play. On average, it's at least double (and maybe more like 3 times) the length of Letters from Whitchapel, sitting more in the 3-4 hour range. And while that's still not that long in the grand scheme of things, it's much harder to fit into a weekday game night than a 120-150 minute game.

But the worst flaw of Fury of Dracula is that, despite being a hidden-movement/deduction game at its heart, so much of the play is dictated by the randomness of the event cards. Whether they're giving more clues about Dracula's location or helping him escape scott free, the work that the players are doing in the chase mechanics there is often undercut by some whim of the cards. There's still a lot of room to mitigate that randomness if you know what you're doing, but it both prolongs the game and sometimes becomes frustrating on both sides of the table.

Again, I like Fury of Dracula quite a bit, but Letters from Whitechapel is clearly the superior game if the chase experience is what you're really looking for.

But It's Out of Print!

That's the worst thing about Letters from Whitechapel right now. Maybe your FLGS has it in stock, but otherwise, prices are going up for it. However, there is a light on the horizon, because Italian publisher Sir Chester Cobblepot secured the rights to republish it a few months ago, and they're working on making plans and even adding some enhancements to the game right now. I just volunteered to playtest some of what they're adding, so I'll be very excited to see how they're going to take this nearly-perfect game and make it even better and more user-friendly!


The Verdict!
Letters from Whitechapel is a truly brilliant and elegant game. If deduction, secret moves and diligent chases sound interesting to you, you really need to find an opportunity to experience it for yourself!

Rules: Very simple to understand, but still have a lot of depth in strategy
• Downtime: Can be significant for Jack, if you don't get into the spirit of the game
• Length: Our games have lasted 105 minutes on average, with full games (all 4 nights) usually running between 120 and 150 minutes
• Player Interaction: Tons! (Cooperation between Police, chasing and hiding and taunting between Jack and the rest of the players)
• Weight: Medium
GamerChris' Rating: 10 (on the BGG 10-point scale)


* Note that no slapping of my Momma actually occurred, nor does GamerChris.com endore the slapping of any Mommas, anywhere, regardless of how freaking awesome any game may be.

For more reviews, reports, and discussion about modern boardgames, check out my blog at GamerChris.com
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What an outstanding review!! I would quite possibly own the game already if the theme wasn't so uncomfortably well-integrated. (And yet Mr. Jack is one of my favourite games of all time, so perhaps I'm simply a rather confused hypocrite!)


kilroy_locke wrote:


But the worst flaw of Fury of Dracula is that, despite being a hidden-movement/deduction game at its heart, so much of the play is dictated by the randomness of the event cards. Whether they're giving more clues about Dracula's location or helping him escape scott free, the work that the players are doing in the chase mechanics there is often undercut by some whim of the cards. There's still a lot of room to mitigate that randomness if you know what you're doing, but it both prolongs the game and sometimes becomes frustrating on both sides of the table.



I wholeheartedly agree with your comments regarding Fury of Dracula (second edition), which is why I've gone to great lengths to tweak that game:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/72393/squashs-fury-of-...
 
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Great review overall. I agree with most of what was said. I think you were fairly accurate in your assessment of balance in that once jack starts to get the slightest bit clever, the investigators chances start to drop. I'd say that you maybe understated that aspect of it. I really liked the comparison of the actual map compared to game board- very cool.

I am, however, in total disagreement with this:

"I've even seen on the 'Geek how some people have used colored cubes to mark all of the potential moves that Jack could have made, or even used laminated player boards to mark paths and clues. Technically, this isn't prohibited by the rules or anything, but it sure feels like cheating to me. And it certainly adds time to the game, which many people complain about, so why make the game worse by adding things like this into it?"

A) I'm not really sure why you think that feels like cheating? I was perplexed by this comment.
B) you ask why make the game worse by adding things like this...it really depends on how one defines "worse". Tools like you described in that quote are, in my view, indispensable tools to help the drastic balance problems the game has. I can't imagine playing as the investigators without such tools, and to me that makes the game "better" rather than "worse".

Great review overall.
 
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Great review and what your verdict certainly chimes with what my main game group feels about the game and others I have played it with.

It's definitely better when there is more than one detective. The discussion between the detectives and the combination of minds certainly ups the tension, and difficulty, for the person playing Jack. On the other hand I doubt we would ever play with more than 3 detectives, due to the likelihood of one of the detective players getting marginalised.

- We are still finding the game favours the detectives - but that's fine, it should feel like an achievement for the Jack player to win. I still don't understand the comments from those who say it is too easy as Jack - I can only think they are playing 2-player and that the detective player is playing without sufficient detecting, i.e. treating it as a chase game.

An excellent game.
 
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domus_ludorum wrote:
Great review and what your verdict certainly chimes with what my main game group feels about the game and others I have played it with.

It's definitely better when there is more than one detective. The discussion between the detectives and the combination of minds certainly ups the tension, and difficulty, for the person playing Jack. On the other hand I doubt we would ever play with more than 3 detectives, due to the likelihood of one of the detective players getting marginalised.

- We are still finding the game favours the detectives - but that's fine, it should feel like an achievement for the Jack player to win. I still don't understand the comments from those who say it is too easy as Jack - I can only think they are playing 2-player and that the detective player is playing without sufficient detecting, i.e. treating it as a chase game.

An excellent game.


I agree with the comment about numbers of players, I've played with three detectives and find that anything after that is almost certainly diminishing returns.

And while some who feel its easy for jack to win because they aren't using adequate detecting or are playing 2p and the investigator isn't detail oriented enough to go it alone; those people aren't playing properly. The accurate source of those sentiments about it being too easy for jack say so because of the near impossible task of the investigators methodically tracking every clue and possibility as well as accounting for jack backtracking- all within the confines of the as-written out of the box rules sans any variant or house rule to aid the cause.
 
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This is one of my favorite games, your review is well said, and I also was worried about Jack being overpowered, but I haven't found that the case in any of our plays. A smart detective can keep up with Jack, it all comes down to player skill, it takes an extremely clever detective to catch Jack but it only takes a clever individual to get away as Jack. Its all based on what challenge you like in your games.


This game is also a 10/10 for me.

Also if anyone is interested in a copy, I have a friend selling one that was opened once and is mint.
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Zaid wrote:
This is one of my favorite games, your review is well said, and I also was worried about Jack being overpowered, but I haven't found that the case in any of our plays. A smart detective can keep up with Jack, it all comes down to player skill, it takes an extremely clever detective to catch Jack but it only takes a clever individual to get away as Jack. Its all based on what challenge you like in your games.


This game is also a 10/10 for me.

Also if anyone is interested in a copy, I have a friend selling one that was opened once and is mint.


What variants do you use?
 
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Awesome review Chris!
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dond80 wrote:
I am, however, in total disagreement with this:

"I've even seen on the 'Geek how some people have used colored cubes to mark all of the potential moves that Jack could have made, or even used laminated player boards to mark paths and clues. Technically, this isn't prohibited by the rules or anything, but it sure feels like cheating to me. And it certainly adds time to the game, which many people complain about, so why make the game worse by adding things like this into it?"

A) I'm not really sure why you think that feels like cheating? I was perplexed by this comment.
B) you ask why make the game worse by adding things like this...it really depends on how one defines "worse". Tools like you described in that quote are, in my view, indispensable tools to help the drastic balance problems the game has. I can't imagine playing as the investigators without such tools, and to me that makes the game "better" rather than "worse".

As I said, using tools like this are absolutely not cheating, because there's no prohibition against them anywhere in the rules.

To me (and my group, for the most part), they feel like cheating because they bring so much more to the game (components wise) that was not there originally and was presumably not intended to play the game. And since these extra, added tools give a significant advantage to the Police players, they appear to us to be against the spirit and intention of the game.

But if your group likes them and thinks they make the game better, then more power to ya! I look at it more as a "house rule", and it's totally up to your group to determine how you want to play any game for that matter.

Quote:
Great review overall.

Thanks!
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dond80 wrote:
domus_ludorum wrote:
It's definitely better when there is more than one detective. The discussion between the detectives and the combination of minds certainly ups the tension, and difficulty, for the person playing Jack. On the other hand I doubt we would ever play with more than 3 detectives, due to the likelihood of one of the detective players getting marginalised.


I agree with the comment about numbers of players, I've played with three detectives and find that anything after that is almost certainly diminishing returns.

We're a very cooperative-friendly group, and for the most part we do a good job of involving all the players on a team in the decision-making, so it's probably a little less of a risk with us to have a player becoming marginalized during play.
 
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kilroy_locke wrote:
dond80 wrote:
domus_ludorum wrote:
It's definitely better when there is more than one detective. The discussion between the detectives and the combination of minds certainly ups the tension, and difficulty, for the person playing Jack. On the other hand I doubt we would ever play with more than 3 detectives, due to the likelihood of one of the detective players getting marginalised.


I agree with the comment about numbers of players, I've played with three detectives and find that anything after that is almost certainly diminishing returns.

We're a very cooperative-friendly group, and for the most part we do a good job of involving all the players on a team in the decision-making, so it's probably a little less of a risk with us to have a player becoming marginalized during play.


My problems with more than 3 weren't as much about marginalizing a player as much about reducing the likelihood of effective play by the police, who really need a consistent and coordinated effort to stand a chance. The "too many chiefs not enough Indians" problem.


And I suppose I see where you're coming from on the extra maps and taking notes and such. It's just that in my group those aren't viewed as giving the investigators an unfair advantage they are viewed as necessary to give the investigators any real shot at winning. To me It would be like playing code 777 on instinct without any notation. I certainly agree with your view that it is a house rule though, not every group will think its a good enough game or experience to allow the extra downtime created by that stuff.
 
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Excellent review. I, too, fell in love with this game early this year. It was one of those that I would play in the evening, then have trouble falling asleep because my brain was re-processing the whole thing. Then I'd dream about it. I played it a lot early in the year, then didn't play for about six months before bringing it to the table again last week. My wife and I still love it; it has real staying power. I agree with you that adding even one brain to the detectives' side makes it much tougher for Jack. But I disagree that the two-player game is not filled with tension. The games my wife and I pay are real nail-biters.

I think the game, overall, is well balanced. Part of what makes it feel imbalanced is the tension you describe. When you are playing Jack, it always seems like the police are hot on your trail and it is difficult to figure out how to completely lose them. When you are the cops, it sometimes feels like you can never get a clue and it is frustrating when you get close and then Jack uses a coach or alley (or both on consecutive turns) to really make your job maddeningly difficult. It always seems like the game is weighted in favor of the other side! I have played probably 40 times and I think the win/loss ratio is pretty close to even, maybe slightly favoring Jack in the two-player games.

We have settled on two variants in our home that seem to make the game play better. First, Jack is not allowed to go home before Turn 5 on the turn sheet. This prevents Jack form picking a lair that is easy to access from multiple kill spots (particularly in the northwest quadrant of the board), and then just racing home in one or two moves on Nights 3 and 4. Second, we allow the police the option of moving three spaces and asking no questions. This lets the cops get a pawn from one end of the board to the other more quickly (though it does not always favor the police--one has to be careful sometimes about moving three and not asking versus moving two and asking).
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dond80 wrote:
And I suppose I see where you're coming from on the extra maps and taking notes and such. It's just that in my group those aren't viewed as giving the investigators an unfair advantage they are viewed as necessary to give the investigators any real shot at winning. To me It would be like playing code 777 on instinct without any notation.

Not to beat a dead horse here, but the difference is that in Code 777, the notation tools are provided and therefore clearly intended by the game designer. In LfW, it's an advantage that you introduce into the game from outside. Again, I'm not trying to tell you you're "wrong" or anything for using them, but that's just the way that I view it.

Equalitytime wrote:
We have settled on two variants in our home that seem to make the game play better. First, Jack is not allowed to go home before Turn 5 on the turn sheet. This prevents Jack form picking a lair that is easy to access from multiple kill spots (particularly in the northwest quadrant of the board), and then just racing home in one or two moves on Nights 3 and 4. Second, we allow the police the option of moving three spaces and asking no questions. This lets the cops get a pawn from one end of the board to the other more quickly (though it does not always favor the police--one has to be careful sometimes about moving three and not asking versus moving two and asking).
I almost mentioned some "homebrew" variants that we've considered, but then decided to leave it "as written" for the review.

That being said, if we continue to see a growing advantage for Jack in our games, the "run" variant (move 3 without asking anything) for the Police will probably the first thing we'll introduce.

The other one I've considered is just that Jack can't kill the same victim twice, even if he delayed a turn and technically killed the Wretched off her home location.
 
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kilroy_locke wrote:
dond80 wrote:
And I suppose I see where you're coming from on the extra maps and taking notes and such. It's just that in my group those aren't viewed as giving the investigators an unfair advantage they are viewed as necessary to give the investigators any real shot at winning. To me It would be like playing code 777 on instinct without any notation.

Not to beat a dead horse here, but the difference is that in Code 777, the notation tools are provided and therefore clearly intended by the game designer. In LfW, it's an advantage that you introduce into the game from outside. Again, I'm not trying to tell you you're "wrong" or anything for using them, but that's just the way that I view it.


I think it's worth noting here that the Detective Notes maps were provided by the publishers on their website for use in the game, so I would regard them also as clearly intended and therefore legitimate.
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Don D.
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kilroy_locke wrote:
dond80 wrote:
And I suppose I see where you're coming from on the extra maps and taking notes and such. It's just that in my group those aren't viewed as giving the investigators an unfair advantage they are viewed as necessary to give the investigators any real shot at winning. To me It would be like playing code 777 on instinct without any notation.

Not to beat a dead horse here, but the difference is that in Code 777, the notation tools are provided and therefore clearly intended by the game designer. In LfW, it's an advantage that you introduce into the game from outside. Again, I'm not trying to tell you you're "wrong" or anything for using them, but that's just the way that I view it.

Equalitytime wrote:
We have settled on two variants in our home that seem to make the game play better. First, Jack is not allowed to go home before Turn 5 on the turn sheet. This prevents Jack form picking a lair that is easy to access from multiple kill spots (particularly in the northwest quadrant of the board), and then just racing home in one or two moves on Nights 3 and 4. Second, we allow the police the option of moving three spaces and asking no questions. This lets the cops get a pawn from one end of the board to the other more quickly (though it does not always favor the police--one has to be careful sometimes about moving three and not asking versus moving two and asking).
I almost mentioned some "homebrew" variants that we've considered, but then decided to leave it "as written" for the review.

That being said, if we continue to see a growing advantage for Jack in our games, the "run" variant (move 3 without asking anything) for the Police will probably the first thing we'll introduce.

The other one I've considered is just that Jack can't kill the same victim twice, even if he delayed a turn and technically killed the Wretched off her home location.


There are lot of variants out there, you could probably get a whole separate review just reviewing all the variants! That would be pretty cool actually

Be careful with the no double kill variant though, it actually breaks the game in favor of the investigators as it makes it incredibly easy for the investigators to ditch typical strategy and simply play to arrest jack at the start of turn 3. I've posted on this in other threads, pm me if you want to know a little more.
 
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Hunter Birckhead
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My Thirteen and 12 year old nephews love this game. It comes out of the box everytime they come by for a visit. And I mean EVERY time. Great game, hope it doesn't stay out of print long.
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