Hey all! Playtesting for Baker Street Heists went beautifully on Wednesday. Not only did the victims playtesters really love Brutus’s new ability, it added much more dynamic play. Having to manage the one time resource made the game more exciting. They also managed to find some bugs/omissions in the rules (detailed below).

  • In my head, Adler would win in the case of ties, even if Sherlock is revealed. Well that’s not how I wrote it before the test: Adler would lose if Sherlock is discovered, regardless of Moriarty’s status. The good news is, that’s even better than how I envisioned it! Why? Suppose the rules were as intended and not as written. Well we ran into a corner case where Robbers were ahead on points, Moriarty was about to be accused by Lestrade, and Redbeard was playing Adler. In this case Adler can’t lose, and the Cops are about to win! Then Moriarty outs himself and singles out Sherlock. This changes the game for everyone except Adler. Since she can’t lose, she has no incentive to protect Sherlock. This means that if one side’s leader is about to be accused and is ahead on points, he will be highly motivated to eliminate the mystery. This is a bit of an issue for all Roles, but especially for Adler. Going to fix that and make it clear, but I’m also contemplating changing it so that each side can’t kill their own leader. That should give more incentive to mix things up a little. There might need to be additonal tweaks. Gears turning…
  • One problem that arose was stalling if neither accuser wants to end the game. The situation was that the team combinations were such that there was no way to not have a Cop on it, and the Robbers were ahead by 1 point. However, Jack had not revealed himself to end the game and Lestrade had no incentive to reveal (because he wanted to gain the point advantage). There was no way for the other Robbers to force Jack to reveal. This will be fixed (somehow). Suggestions welcome. :)
  • One very interesting bug found was that on games with 6, 7, or 10 players, the 1 point granted by the first Heist would never be the difference between winning and losing. This is because there are an odd number of 2 point Heists (due to the minimum point value rule for ending the game). At first it was feared that this meant the first Heist was a total waste of time for everyone involved. However, after much brainstorming it was revealed that the first Heist had a very strategic consequence: it eliminates one team possibility (which in turn eliminates others). While the Cops have no incentive to sabotage it, they do have an incentive to keep Cops off it. On the other hand, the Crooks want to _put_ Cops on it. Only certain Roles are in a position to arrange this, and how they vote reveals information. In conclusion, it eliminates one round of direct information, and adds more indirect information. This needs playtesting!

So nothing major needs fixing, and the core rules are pretty close to done (but not quite there yet). It needs art, manufacturing design, tons of polish on the wording, and most importantly: you. A player base that wants the game in their hands is needed to get this game actually made. Do you want it?