Thursday, 30 April 2015

The Serial Killer I Always Wanted To Be

Finally, at the sixth time of asking, Jack the Ripper managed to get away with it.

Tonight Ian and I convened at my kitchen table with a pre-agreed Letters from Whitechapel already set up. Ian, Andrew and I have all had a shot at being Jack and all failed, either on the second night or - in Ian's case - the third. Tonight as Jack I managed to pull off the remarkable - not to say remarkably lucky - feat of murder most foul followed by dash to the hideout most frantic.

I chose an unusual hideout - rather than being the rats nest of central Whitechapel, I went for the bottom of the map - somewhat isolated, but quickly accessible via carriages. And I must admit I rode my luck in the first round when Ian twice looked for clues in the location I was standing: this action tells him I've been there, but not when. If he had employed Andrew's wave of arrests strategy, he might have got me. But he lost my trail just in time for me to make it home.

Courtesy BGG

The second round followed a similar path - although Ian was never in arresting distance I managed to sneak past him and get home, still not giving away even the neighbourhood of my hideout.

Now was the third round - the double murder. In this round Jack strikes twice, and the police don't know which murder came later - i.e. they don't know Jack's starting position, but know it's one of two possibilities. I set off on a kind of L-shaped course for home, but mid-journey had to pause for thought. I paused for so long, and became so immersed in what I was doing, that as I wrote my supposedly secret location down I announced "I'm moving to eighty".  Whilst this supreme idiocy caused much mirth between us, I consoled myself with the fact that A. Ian couldn't reach me where I was (-he let me retake it in any case) and B. I'm clearly not cut out to be a murderer. Not the type that writes down a series of clues behind a screen, anyway.

Despite my gaffe I made it back, albeit with another close call as Ian searched for clues in my actual location. The last round was a gimme, as I was a simple carriage ride from the crime scene to the hideout! I celebrated wildly before realising, like Lady Macbeth, the horror of what I had done.

Never mind, Ian was about to take his revenge in proper dish-served-cold style. Or maybe hot, actually, as he won the next game. It was two-player 7 Wonders, with Dirk taking the ghostly third-player role. If 7 Wonders was one of those games with intermediate scoring rounds Dirk might have taken it, as halfway through he was looking good for the win. But Ian's blue buildings were rising up like a cheap loaf in Greggs, and he amassed a whopping 33 points for them. I wasn't feeling optimistic, but my spread of military, science, and a little bit of other stuff was enough to tie me on points!

Bloody science

So in the end I lost because Ian had money in the bank, and I - just like life - didn't.

Ian 50 (wins on tie-breaker)
Sam 50
Dirk 44

We were going to call it a night, but I had picked up Pickomino (my copy is called Heck Meck) from Area 51 on my way home and I thought it'd be nice to give it a run-out. I've played it more recently, but the time that sticks in my mind with Pickomino is at Stabcon when Joe, Andrew, Adam and I played for the first time and Hammy kept telling everyone what to do, like a solitaire game for someone with a multiple personality disorder.

That's not going to fill anyone up

It's a game of pushing your luck - a simple dice-rolling Knizia - where you're trying to collect as many worms as possible without going bust - but I pushed my luck too far and went bust too many times. Ian won his inaugural Pickomino adventure 10-5, then followed it with a 12-8 victory. Since my Letters victory I'd had my ass handed to me on a trio of plates, and we called it a night with blood on both of our hands.


  1. Haha - "rising up like a cheap loaf in Greggs"

    Great stuff. I really like the 2 player version of 7 Wonders. Makes it a slightly different game whereby you can stitch up your opponent better. The RBGS universally sneer at the idea!

  2. Yes, I'm a fan of it too. Andrew and I have played it quite a few times.

  3. Congrats on the escape, Jack/Sam. Nice to see it can be done.