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Subject: Clue: Red Herring, a solitaire variant rss

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Karl Miller McKimpson
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Vancouver
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In the solitaire variant “Red Herring,” you are Mr. Boddy’s killer. A dark theme but then, this is Clue, after all.

As the game opens, Mr. Boddy has just been discovered dead in his car with obvious signs that his was killed elsewhere. The police have cordoned the mansion and its guests.

Your goal is to lay false clues all about the mansion that point in every direction but where the murder really took place, the actual weapon used, and your identity.

Materials:
Standard Clue (All suspect, weapon, and room cards, 2d6, six weapon tokens, six player tokens, and a deduction sheet with two columns free).

Setup:
1. Separate the Clue deck into three piles (Suspects, Weapons, and Rooms) per the normal rules. Take one card off the top of each and lay them out in front of you.
2. Combine the remaining cards into one deck and shuffle.
3. Identify what suspect, weapon, and room are revealed. For the purposes of this example, we will assume the cards revealed that Professor Plum killed Mr. Boddy in the Dining Room with the knife. Place the corresponding pawn or figurine with the revealed weapon in the appropriate room. In our example, I would place the purple pawn representing Professor Plum in the Dining room with the knife.
4. Randomly layout the remaining suspect pawns (or figurines) in each of the Study, Hall, Lounge, Kitchen, Ballroom, and Conservatory until you run out of pawns. If the room chosen in Step #3 is in one of these six rooms, skip that room when laying out suspects.
5. Repeat #4 with the weapons, laying one weapon in each of the Study, Hall, Lounge, Kitchen, Ballroom, and Conservatory. Again, the weapon from #3 is in one of these six rooms, skip that room when laying out weapons.
6. When you finish, the Study, Hall, Lounge, Kitchen, Ballroom, and Conservatory should each have one colored pawn (or figurine) and one weapon.
7. Designate one column on the deduction sheet to represent the police and one to represent you, the murderer.
8. Add a dot in the murderer column next to the murderer, murder weapon, and murder room. The dots indicate that you have already created possible alibis for these. Now that you've laid false clues for these, time to see if you can bury these falsehoods so deep the police do not know where the fake clues end and the real clues begin.

Gameplay:
Each turn the police will uncover clues around the mansion while you, the suspect chosen in Setup #3 try to move around through the mansion as quickly as possible laying false clues so they keep coming to the wrong conclusions time and time again.

Police Uncover Clues
1. Add the discard pile to the Clue deck and shuffle. Ignore this step on the first turn.
2. Draw and reveal the three top cards from the clue deck. These represent the clues that the police uncover. As cards are revealed, place each card on the corresponding space on the board. For instance, if you draw “Rope,” “Mrs. White,” and “Ballroom,” you would place the “Rope” card in the room with the rope token, the “Mrs. White” card on the room with the white token, and the “Ballroom” card in the “Ballroom” room. If a card is revealed that is already marked off on the sheet with an X, discard that card next to the Clue deck and move to the next card; the first was a false clue that has successfully misled the police into making an incorrect guess.

Try to Lay False Clues!
3. Roll the 2d6 and move the murderer pawn (it starts in the murder room) that many spaces orthogonally. Moving into or out of a room counts as one space.
4. If, as you enter a room, there are cards present, mark those cards on your deduction column with a dot then add them to the Clue discard pile. This is a free action. You have successfully added fake clues that will now mislead the police! The chance that they will uncover useless clues has increased!
5. Check to see if you have won (see Win conditions below).

Police Narrow down their Search!
6. Add an “x” to the police deduction column for each card added to the board this turn that has not been discarded to generate false clues (in other words, mark off any card added to the board this turn that is still on the board by this step).
7. Check to see if the police have managed to narrow down a single suspect, weapon, or room. If so, mark that spot on their deduction column with a circle. This set of (suspects, for instance) is no longer valid as a win option. If the police have narrowed down the suspect, weapon, and room, before you reach a win condition, they win (and you lose).

8. End of turn. Return to Gameplay step #1.



Winning and Losing
Win: To win this game, you must successfully get ahead of the police by creating enough fake clues to pin the murder on a different suspect, weapon, or room. This occurs in the game when you have successfully marked with a dot for every instance in a set but one of the suspects, weapons, or rooms (remember the murder suspect, weapon, and room start off with a dot). Only one of the three sets is needed to win. For instance (to use the Plum example above), if I have a dot next to the “Rope,” “Candlestick,” “Lead Pipe,” and “Revolver” because I have returned those cards to the Clue deck, I win! After all, what self-respecting murderer can’t lay clues that eliminate his murder weapon (knife) when every other weapon but the wrench keeps coming up as suspect?

*But!: If the police have correctly deduced a suspect, weapon, or room on their column, then that set of cards can no longer count for victory. So act fast to cover your tracks!


Lose: The murder is caught if the police ever successfully identify the suspect, weapon, and room of the murder.


Need Something Harder?
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Phil Martin
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Has anyone ever tried this? Does it work?
It sounds interesting, but I just can't seem to figure out how it works.

I don't have Clue, but I think I would still know, if this did work or not. I am only interested in Clue if I can play it solo.

As this post was made over 3 years ago, without any replies, I do suspect that maybe it doesn't work. Or maybe it is all just to complex looking for most folk to even attempt to fathom it out.
 
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I Played it. it was fun. :3modest
 
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Karen Robinson

Colorado
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I enjoyed it, mostly for the fun of playing with the game. It doesn't have the logic component of the original, but it has some of the flavor.

Instead of using up the scorepads, I made a set of larger sheets I can reuse with glass markers. (It wouldn't work for group play, but it's fine for solo.)

The designer's description confused me on a couple of points, but I think I've figured them out. This may not be what he intended, but it works for me, and makes a balanced game that I win and lose about equally often:

The only time you put cards into the discard pile is when you (the murderer) reach the room before the police. If they're still on the board when the police arrive, leave them there. Also, if both you and the police have marked the same item on your scoresheet, that card is completely removed from play, not added to the discard pile to be re-used later. The actual murderer, weapon and room cards are also removed from play after being marked on the murderer's sheet.

The designer put a lot of thought into a new narrative that makes sense for solo play, since the deduction narrative wouldn't work very well. I like this a lot, now that I've figured out those details that were stumping me.
 
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Karen Robinson

Colorado
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For my own use, I edited the rules to make them easier for me to follow. My editing takes out the fun flavor of the story in the designer's original post, but it does make it easier for me to remember how to play the game if it's been a while. Here's my summary version:

Clue Red Herring by Karl Miller McKimpson

Rules summary edited by Karen Robinson

Materials:
Standard Clue (All suspect, weapon, and room cards, 2d6, six weapon tokens, six player tokens, and a deduction sheet with two columns free). You can make a larger reusable sheet with two columns in each category and use glass markers instead of the scoresheets if you like.

Setup:
1. Separate the Clue deck into three piles (Suspects, Weapons, and Rooms). Take one card off the top of each. Place the corresponding suspect pawn and weapon in the appropriate room. Remove the three cards from the game.
2. Combine the remaining cards into one deck and shuffle.
3. Randomly lay out the remaining suspect pawns and weapons in each of the Study, Hall, Lounge, Kitchen, Ballroom, and Conservatory until you run out of pawns and weapons. If the room chosen in Step #1 is in one of these six rooms, skip that room when laying out suspects and weapons. (These are the top three and bottom three rooms.)
4. Designate one column on the deduction sheet to represent the police and one to represent you, the murderer.
5. Add a dot in the murderer column next to the murderer, murder weapon, and murder room.

Gameplay:

1. Add the discard pile to the Clue deck and shuffle. Ignore this step on the first turn.
2. Draw and reveal the three top cards from the clue deck. Place each card on the corresponding space on the board.
3. Roll the 2d6 and move the murderer pawn (it starts in the murder room) that many spaces orthogonally. Moving into or out of a room counts as one space.
4. If, as you enter a room, there are cards present, mark those cards on the murderer column with a dot then add them to the Clue discard pile. However, if there is an "x" in the police column for that item as well as a dot in the murder column, remove that card from the game.
5. Check to see if you have won (see Win conditions below).
6. Add an “x” to the police deduction column for each card added to the board this turn that is still on the board. Do not remove them from the board.
7. Check to see if the police have managed to narrow down a single suspect, weapon, or room. If so, mark that spot on their deduction column with a circle. This set (suspects, weapons or rooms) is no longer valid as a win option. If the police have narrowed down all three: the suspect, weapon, and room, before you reach a win condition, they win (and you lose).
8. End of turn. Return to Gameplay step #1.

Winning and Losing
Win: To win this game, you must have successfully marked with a dot all but one of the suspects, weapons, or rooms. Only one of the three sets is needed to win. But if the police have correctly deduced a suspect, weapon, or room on their column, then that set of dots can no longer count for victory.

Lose: The murder is caught if the police ever successfully identify the suspect, weapon, and room of the murder. (That is, they have crossed off all but one of each.)
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Karen Robinson

Colorado
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Here's a very brief summary for those who already know the rules and just need a reference sheet:

Clue Red Herring
by Karl Miller McKimpson

Very brief summary by Karen Robinson

Setup:

Draw three cards, place tokens. Mark on murderer’s column as actual murderer. Remove cards from game.

Place other tokens and weapons randomly in the top three and bottom three rooms.

Gameplay:

Draw three cards, place on board to match the tokens and weapons and rooms. If draw pile is empty, reshuffle discard pile and make it the draw pile.

Roll two dice. Murderer’s token moves. Entering a room counts as one step.

If you enter a room where there are cards, mark them on murderer’s column.

If they are also marked in the police column, remove cards from game. Otherwise, put cards in discard pile. Check for win or loss.

After completing the move, mark any cards still on the board in the police column. Turn them face down but leave them on the board.

Check for win or loss. If neither, repeat gameplay.

Win or Loss

If one of the murderer’s columns has all spaces marked except one, you have successfully fooled the police and won. Exception: if a police column has all spaces marked except one, you cannot use that category as a win because they’ve correctly figured out that category.

If all the police columns have all spaces marked except the correct suspect, room and weapon, they have caught you and you lose.
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