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FAQ for Mr. Jack

Various clarifications consolidated into a wiki page so that people can more easily find all the info in one place and update it.
List of game FAQs

Why Beginners Think The Detective Always Wins

There are endless forum threads from new players complaining that they always lose as Jack and that the game must be horribly unbalanced and broken. Yet statistics from online play between experienced players show the game is pretty balanced, with the Detective winning somewhat more often, but like 60/40 rather than 90/10 or 100/0 as many newbies have insisted. The mistaken perception comes from the fact that strategies for the Detective seem to be more obvious for new players. E.g. new players as Jack often make the mistake of trying to make the killer escape as soon as possible instead of making the killer be part of a large number of suspects with the same visibility status. If you would like to read more about strategy, there are some excellent strategy threads:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/261489/random-musings-on-strategy-for-inspector-and-jack
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/424006/strategies-for-winning-as-jack

Basic Gameplay

  • Gaslamps and buildings are obstacles; manhole covers are not.
  • Manhole covers may be place or removed under any character.
  • There is only one hex for each exit. The 2nd edition clarifies this.

Characters

Each character is required to move at least one hex and cannot end a move on the hex he/she started on.

John H Watson

Reposition his lamp light EVERY time he moves.

Characters do NOT block Watson's lamp light. Gaslamps and buildings do block the lamp's light.

Miss Stealthy

May NOT exit during the first round of the game because all characters are witnessed.

Sergeant Goodley

Cannot use his whistle to move a character onto another for an accusation. (But of course he can use his whistle to move a suspect or accuser closer to the other, so that the accusing character can then move during their regular movement onto the suspect for an accusation.) (source)

Uses his whistle to move characters by normal routes. This does not include sewers or character special powers.

Whistle grants 3 movement points that all must be used. This results in the following possibilities:

  • Move one character three spaces.
  • Move one character two spaces, and another character one space.
  • Move three characters one space each.

Bruno Cathala defined a legal whistle move very carefully here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/5832823#5832823
To summarize it:
1. The distance from the character's start hex to Goodley must be greater than the distance from the character's end hex to Goodley.
2. The number of steps must be the minimum needed (you can't intentionally move the end hex by a less efficient than possible path).
3. This distance must be less than or equal to 3.
4. The path cannot enter or cross Goodley's hex.
5. No "special" movement (sewers or special character ability like Stealthy)

Sherlock Holmes

When playing as Mr. Jack, use Holmes's ability to remove alibi cards and prevent the detective from seeing these cards.

Characters eliminated by Holmes's ability are NOT turned over. This creates a degree of uncertainty for both players.

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