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Subject: English copy of the Ystari reprint secured! rss

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I legally own hundreds of polyhedral assault dice!
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I finally picked up the new Ystari English edition of the Consulting Detective reprint. I'm scheduled to give the game a play this Friday, but thought I'd share my initial impression that I've saved to my capsule review of the game:

I have the Sleuth Publications original Consulting Detective and the first expansion, The Mansion Murders. I remember distinctly playing with one of the authors at a game convention in Chicago in 1982 or '83. On the strength of that one tough play, I bought the game and the first expansion—but could never convince anyone at home to play. Slaying goblins in D&D or sinking third-rates in WS&IM was the order of the day with my group most of the time.

I've been eyeing the Ystari/Asmodee reprint for some time and have finally secured a copy in English. I look forward to giving this unique game a second chance with a new cotorie of players. I'm sure, with games like Tales of the Arabian Nights and Star Trek: the Adventure Game already having traction, I can find someone else to give it a spin. I would play solo, but that just doesn't seem like much fun to me. But I will certainly do that with the new game, if necessary.

The production in this new edition is top-notch, though the syntax for the English edition could have stood another pass with a native speaker. The one clear advantage of the original game over the new: the original made lavish use of the old Sydney Paget Strand magazine illustrations and I quite miss them in the new game, though a new generation of gamers is really not missing anything. Just a touch that gave the original some welcome period feeling. I'll be happy to report on this one again when I have some cases under my belt.

Edit: I should hasten to add that the new edition does have a lot of modern illustrations that evoke the image of Victorian London. These are all smartly done, as you can see in the galleries. If there were copyright or licensing hurdles that kept the Paget drawings out, these new illustrations are welcome alternatives. I appreciate that Ystari/Asmodee made the effort to commission them.
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Franco
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I may have missed it somewhere, but are the cases the same as the original version?
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BT Carpenter
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Same question - if you have the old Sleuth and new Ystari... are the cases the same or is it new material?
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The cases all have the same names as in the original edition, but their sequencing appears to be a little different—as are the dates on some of the issues of The Times.

I think there was an effort to make the cases sequential in time when they may not have been in the original game.

Remember, despite owning the original for nearly 30 years, I've hardly looked at in that time and have never really played it. If there are any changes to the cases themselves, I wouldn't know.
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BT Carpenter
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Sounds like I don't need the reprint though, as I have and treasure the originals.
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I envy you that. I spent the summer watching a LOT of Sherlock Holmes video adaptations: the superb Granada series with Jeremy Brett. The Russian films with Vasiliy Livanov. The old syndicated American series with Ronald Howard. And a clutch of the Basil Rathbone and Arthur Wotner movies. So I'm really looking forward to getting into this one with a group of like-minded players.

I guess it depends on how Ystari will do any expansions. Will they simply reprint the series of older cases? Or will they immediately go into developing their own? It seems natural to reprint the old material first before going into new cases, but if enough folks who have the original have no desire to get the new (because it would be more of the same) then it may be that going into new cases right off might be the way for them to go.

Can anyone tell us if the new Ystari "La Rancon du Diable" case for this game is original? Or was it culled from one of the other expansions?
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The case "La Rançon du Diable" was written by Thomas Cauet, a french author. So it's an original case.

"La Rançon du Diable" isn't included in the box, but sold separately as the first expansion of the game (11th case). It costs about 5 €.
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Pete Henninger
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Good report, thanks.

Awaiting this version here in Katy, TX.
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BradyLS wrote:
the syntax for the English edition could have stood another pass with a native speaker.


If the cases are the same as in the original game, why would the language be different? Couldn't they just re-use the old English text? Did Ystari not have permission to do that? Sounds like they've re-written the cases in French then translated them into English, which, if they're the same cases as before, seems like a lot of effort.
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I really wasn't aware of any until I read Holmes' lecture to the Irregulars at the end of the rule book. The sentence that caught me was one that ended with "...will be useful in die future." I'm sure it was supposed to be "the future." If the text were optically scanned from the original books (to avoid a translation snafu), I can see how the reader might make the transposition. A spell-check wouldn't catch that.

But the book is clearly written, easily understood, and those sorts of glitches are few. Maybe three such in the whole book and all the ones I caught were in the lecture. I don't know if there are any such in the cases.

I'm glad to hear that the "La Rancon du Diable" is an original adventure. I hope an English version is available soon.

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As far as I know, the french Ystari edition is based upon the french edition published in 1985, and then translated in english.

But Ystari made a lot of work. Here is excerpts from a french magazine, White Flag n°11 - http://www.whiteflag.fr/download/WF111.pdf (sorry for my poor translation):

Cyril Demaegd (Ystari boss):
"Actually, rewriting vary greatly from one case to another. The goal was to change the solutions (in extreme cases - without playing on words), or the least credible details. I think that the public has become much more aware of police investigations. We are assaulted by detective stories on TV that dissect in detail crimes and modus operandi. People wouldn't massively buy stories written 20 years ago, so we made rewrites when we've had doubts about the scenaristic credibility of certain things."

Yannick Mescam (lead designer of the french remake):
"Cyril knew that the cases should be reworked and improved. I proposed myself for this work. There were many things to do : correct bugs, missing or unnecessary tracks, translation errors, avoid at best the clues giving infos that we were not supposed to get on a yet unknown character. Correct inconsistencies in the cases: absurd behaviors from the characters, absurd motives for a crime, give a a more important part to the deduction of the player.
Many textual passages have been replaced by graphic elements that players need to get to dissect the solution. Thanks to many playtesters, each case was played and replayed in order to achieve a valid and complete scenario. For example, the first case needed a lot of time and corrections. Ideas abounded, there had six or seven different versions. Fortunately, this wasn't systematic for each case."
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Pete Henninger
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Wow. Very nice. Arrived here in Texas today, just in time for a weekend play through.
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Juan F T
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Now a more interesting question:

Will the french version of cases 11 and 12 and the new expansion work with the new English version?

I think the Expansion stands on its own ( you do not need the base game to play the expansion), but I am not sure.
Case 11 and 12 do need the base game.

I think if 1 person can translate for everyone else, the game can still work with the base game in English and the new cases in French, right?
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Pete Henninger
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Great looking game.

You know I just sort of stumbled on this by accident here recently. In trying to find something for my wife I ordered 221b Baker Street, was disappointed with the graphics, found SHCD, and was floored by pictures of the new version. Ordered it quickly and jeez, I think I'll sure be hanging around for the expansions.

In looking at the author's website he mentions a March expansion called the Devils Ransom as well as Mansion Murders coming soon.

You're right, the game company website doesn't really say what requires what.

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Some friends and I finished the Murder of the Munitions Magnate case this evening. We managed to earn 65 point cooperatively and had a great time. Anyone who likes mysteries and puzzles won't be disappointed. Looking forward to whatever English expansions will come our way.
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BT Carpenter
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BradyLS wrote:
Some friends and I finished the Murder of the Munitions Magnate case this evening. We managed to earn 65 point cooperatively and had a great time. Anyone who likes mysteries and puzzles won't be disappointed. Looking forward to whatever English expansions will come our way.


That sounds like the same TITLE as the original first case at least.
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Yes, it is! I think these 10 are the same as the originals. But their order as a series is a little different and the dates on some of the issues of The Times have been tweaked. I'd have to go back now and play with my copy of the original to see if there are any differences.

One thing to note in the English set: On the List of Allies at the back of the book, the postal districts follow a different notation than that given in the remainder of the set. It didn't stymie us, since the addresses in the lecture itself and in the directory are consistent. This is just for the List of Allies on the back of the English rules:

CE = EC (East Central)
CO = WC (West Central)
NO = NW (North West)
SO = SW (South West)

There are no Allies in the SE (South East) Postal District of London.

I'm thinking of either tipping a card into the box or just pencilling in the correction to the back of the book itself. (Or, if played enough, it becomes second-nature.)

During our game, as an aid in reminding us of the locations and people we visited, one of us started putting meeples and markers on the map. I've since dug out ten chits, each in a different color, and will use them to mark such things as the crime scene, the residence of the client, etc. I'm also thinking about marking the map to note the locations of the Allies.


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Steve Duff
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BradyLS wrote:

CE = EC (East Central)
CO = WC (West Central)
NO = NW (North West)
SO = SW (South West)


Looks like someone didn't fully translate. West = Ouest in French, so they forgot to change the O back to W.
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John Steinbach
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Just picked up my own copy today. I'm only a few leads into the first case, but I'm already blown away. All of the components are terrific: nice, glossy paper for the case books, a handy map of the city, and a collection of awesome newspapers. I almost just want to read through all of the Times articles, although I know that would spoil some of the fun.

One thing I've really enjoyed so far has been the graphical presentation of documents. I'm not sure whether or not the old edition had a similar mechanic, but this game occasionally includes an image of a letter or a journal page. Instead of a narrative passage describing the contents of a document, you just get to see the evidence and make your own observations. Instead of the game telling you which elements of the document are important, you have to figure that out yourself. Really neat stuff, and completely unlike any other game I've played.
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Matt H
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Did they fix the typo on the front of the box? The original box art had "Consulting Detectvive", as seen here...





Edit: figures I would misspell 'typo'
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H-B-G
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cyalume wrote:
Did they fix the typo on the front of the box? The original box art had "Consulting Detectvive", as seen here...





Edit: figures I would misspell 'typo'


Yes, this is fixed.
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Matt H
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Good news, thanks for the reply. I'm going to purchase it regardless, but was just curious.
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As someone who stumbled upon knowledge of this game about six months ago--through a thread on the Geek--I'm stoked. I just received this game in the mail today and am really hoping to get to it soon. Maybe after the Christmas rush.

This game will be perfect for my non-gamng daughter. She loves puzzling through things.

I'll be sure to write a review or session report (w/o spoilers, if possible) because this seems like an old-fashioned game which really engages the imagination as well as critical thinking skills.

So glad they brought it back.


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BradyLS wrote:
I think there was an effort to make the cases sequential in time when they may not have been in the original game.

The cases were sequential in the original game - this was important because (spoiler)
Spoiler (click to reveal)
in some cases previous newspaper articles had important information, not just the current edition dated to match the case.
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