Friday, December 25, 2015

Board Game: Letters from Whitechapel

I forgot to do this write-up after it happened, so here we go!

The Game: Letters from Whitechapel
The Publisher: Fantasy Flight
Time: A couple of hours, or much less, depending
Players: Me, +Michelle+Travis, Jerry, +Amanda, Rachel


Game Play: Letters from Whitechapel is very similar to Fury of Dracula; one player takes the role of Jack the Ripper, while the others are the police folks trying to catch him. I, of course, was Saucy Jack.

The game has four nights. Jack kills one woman on nights one and two, two on night three (the "double event") and one on night four. After killing, he flees back to his hideout, but he only has so many moves in which to make it. If he gets blocked in, arrested, or runs out of moves, he loses. If he escapes on all four nights, he wins.

So the first part of the game is putting out women tokens, some of which are potential victims and some of which are decoys. The head of the investigation (which passes night by night) gets to choose where policemen are; this can also be decoy'd. Then the women are revealed, and the coppers get to move them. Jack can stall for a few rounds, letting the women move while he reveals where the cops are, but then he has to kill.

At that point, the cops know where he is, and can search streets in London for clues. Jack, meanwhile, tries to get home, and has a limited number of carriages (which can take him past cops) and alleys (which can move him through areas with no streets) to get there.

The 'unt is on!
So, obviously part of the strategy here is positioning one's hideout so that it's easy to get to, but not too easy to surround. Part of it, from the cop's perspective, is figuring out where the hideout is so that they can surround it (they were off by one street for me). And then there's choosing a victim's location; it depends on where the cops are in relation to the hideout.

We drank a bunch of wine during this game.
Opinions: I like this game, but then I like games where I get to try and outfox people (I haven't played as not-Jack yet). We did screw up one bit; the cops stay in the same position at the end of each night, meaning that they're (probably) always close to the hideout, and that would have made things harder for ol' Jackie. So next time we'll, like, play it right, and maybe I won't get away?


Keep? Oh, yes.