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Subject: Is Jack disadvantaged? rss

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Luca Iennaco
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My only problem with the game is: Jack seems to have HARD times trying to escape. It's very difficult to leave more than one piece in a position "ready to escape" AND in the darkness and the end of a turn (between the four, or five at most, that your opponent doesn't mark as innocents after the first turn).
It seems a far safer choice to leave several characters in the LIGHT; you should be able to have at least three pieces always enlightened for at least half of the game, and two pieces until the end (because moving any piece closer to another one does "enlighten" both, so you can effectively "bring the light" around the board whichever character you draft in any given turn, while you cannot always "put someone in the darkness").
The problem is, apart from Sherlock Holmes solving the case (if Scotland Yard, i.e. Jack's opponent, draws exactly the "Alibi" card of the other character you're keeping in the light and thus suspected), Scotland Yard at the last turn will ALWAYS trying to guess randomly between the two suspects left, since she'd lose in any case. This effectively means a random outcome that is higly unsatisfactory for both players (being a "coin flip").
We've thought to consider it "a draw", but it seems a bit too easy at that point (for Scotland Yard) to "force the draw" if she so desires.
Another possible "house rule" to fix the problem that was proposed is: Scotland Yard can only accuse if only one suspect is left (i.e. no random guess). However it becomes too easy for Jack to force a "two suspects always enlightened" strategy rather than escaping.
This is my only (but not so small) problem with this nice game.
Any ideas?

(P.S. it may be lack of experience, but so far Scotland Yard seems far more easy to play than Jack! Besides, Jack never escaped; after 7 games Jack has only won with the "two suspects always enlightened" strategy AND Holmes not drawing the right card AND Scotland Yard guessing wrong... and we've swapped roles, having a total of three persons trying to be Jack!)
 
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bruno cathala
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Hello Luke

My experience of the game is that i have as many victories with jack, that with the police (i don't know if it's a real 50-50 or something like 60-40, but no more)

It's true that it seems more difficult to play jack, just because, when making a "mistake", you'll lose very very fast.
When playing the police, making a mistake will lead to a defeat... but in most time at the end of the 8th turn

Playing JCK, i would say that about 75% of my victories come at the end of the 8th turn, without escaping the board. But in these case, i allways manage that the police can't catch me, just because the last characters my opponent can activate are too far from jack.

And in about 25%, i can leave the board.. but you allways remember these victories !!!
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Richard Green
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The two characters enlighted ending is what keeps happening to us as well and for me it is making the game feel a bit dissapointing as ALL of my 50/50 chance accusations have gone the wrong way whereas all my opponents go the right way (or they actually draw the one useful alibi card with Holmes, which has also never happened to me).

I think this problem stems from the fact that because of the 'adjacent characters see each other rule' it is actually much easier to force charcters into the light than into the dark. This also makes Jack actually escaping a MUCH less viable strategy as by the end of turn 7 at the latest, you will have had to make a concerted effort to get jack into the dark so he can escape next turn and they will spot what you are doing and accuse you (and in all the games we have played there has always been a way of getting a charcter onto Jack). I primarily use the escape as a bluff, sending a different character into the dark so Scotland Yard (hopefully) accuses him.her.

Jack escaping is also made much harder by the fact that it means that after making an effort to get into the dark AND getting into a viable position to escape next turn you are completely reliant on Jack's card coming up next turn (generally on a turn Jacks going first)as this is the only way of moving off the board.
 
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Luke Morris
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utahraptor wrote:
The two characters enlighted ending is what keeps happening to us as well and for me it is making the game feel a bit dissapointing as ALL of my 50/50 chance accusations have gone the wrong way whereas all my opponents go the right way (or they actually draw the one useful alibi card with Holmes, which has also never happened to me).

I think this problem stems from the fact that because of the 'adjacent characters see each other rule' it is actually much easier to force charcters into the light than into the dark. This also makes Jack actually escaping a MUCH less viable strategy as by the end of turn 7 at the latest, you will have had to make a concerted effort to get jack into the dark so he can escape next turn and they will spot what you are doing and accuse you (and in all the games we have played there has always been a way of getting a charcter onto Jack). I primarily use the escape as a bluff, sending a different character into the dark so Scotland Yard (hopefully) accuses him.her.

Jack escaping is also made much harder by the fact that it means that after making an effort to get into the dark AND getting into a viable position to escape next turn you are completely reliant on Jack's card coming up next turn (generally on a turn Jacks going first)as this is the only way of moving off the board.


This is where it's important to state that I've played Richard twice, escaped TWICE as Jack and won TWICE as the detective.
I rock so hard! OH YES!
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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utahraptor wrote:
Jack escaping is also made much harder by the fact that it means that after making an effort to get into the dark AND getting into a viable position to escape next turn you are completely reliant on Jack's card coming up next turn (generally on a turn Jacks going first)as this is the only way of moving off the board.


You make it sound as if this were luck dependent, but in fact the cards that will come up are always known on the turns when Jack moves first.
 
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James Ridgway
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Yes. Statistics from 14,000+ online games show that Jack only wins 41% of the time.

http://mrjack.biludi.de/forum_01.php?sid=RHHQSTGIOOGEHHKOKNI...

However, I think that Jack is the more interesting side to play. So I don't mind the imbalance.

I expect the expansions will make the game more balanced and I can't wait until we have some numbers on that.

FYI--All of the characters are fairly balanced as Jack, except Ms. Stealthy, who has a better than even chance of winning due to the ease with which her movement advantage allows her to escape from almost anywhere on the board.
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Mark McEvoy
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Vetinari wrote:
Yes. Statistics from 14,000+ online games show that Jack only wins 41% of the time.

http://mrjack.biludi.de/forum_01.php?sid=RHHQSTGIOOGEHHKOKNI...

However, I think that Jack is the more interesting side to play. So I don't mind the imbalance.

I expect the expansions will make the game more balanced and I can't wait until we have some numbers on that.

FYI--All of the characters are fairly balanced as Jack, except Ms. Stealthy, who has a better than even chance of winning due to the ease with which her movement advantage allows her to escape from almost anywhere on the board.


I wonder how much of that statistical skew is from inexperience/newbies who don't make it a priority to use Turn 1 to ensure Stealthy is in sight at the start of Turn 2.

I'd love to see the 'experienced player v experienced player' numbers on Stealthy - I imagine she's still one of the more advantageous Jacks, but not by as wide a margin as the complete numbers to-date suggest.
 
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Randy Cox
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I agree. Jack can't win. Well, not without extreme luck.

I read about 14,000 on-line games, but I wonder how many on-line gamers have played this game only 2 or 3 times. After all, it's an infrequent filler game that might come out a couple of times each year. I'm not wondering about how Jack does with dedicated players, I wonder how he does with people who, collectively, won't have played the game more than half a dozen times. In that situation, I can't see Jack winning.

Now, if I played it 100 times with someone else who wanted to do likewise, I'm sure we would "see strategies", but I don't want to play ANY game that much to find its strengths--I want the strengths to be evident from the get-go, and sadly, that hasn't been the case with this game.

Mind you, I like it just fine--the way I like Tutanchauman or Empire Builder. Great fun once in a blue moon, but not something to dedicate my gaming life (or even a small portion of it) to.
 
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