Tabletop Talk: Sherlock Cluedo

Back in my younger days, I enjoyed a bit of computer gaming. It was a good way to let off steam and have a bit of lighthearted fun. I was never serious, probably half a step above the ranking of “casual gamer”, but it was fun. I mostly played MMOs (massive multiplayer online, with people from all over the world playing) like World of Warcraft, Star Wars (which I still actually enjoy) and things like Age of Empires and Sims (of course. Who of our generation didn’t play Sims?)

But now that I’m old and boring, I’m finding that tabletop games are more my speed. It all started with Wil Wheaton’s show Tabletop on Geek & Sundry. Captain and I got very quickly hooked, introduced a few friends to it and soon we were all drooling over the games.

We bought Munchkin (so did most of our friends after we played it with them), and it snowballed from there. Munchkin was our gateway game, and also gave us the nickname we use for our daughter. Yep, we nicknamed our kid after our favourite game. That’s not sad at all!

The most recent addition to our tabletop/board game arsenal is the Sherlock edition of Cluedo, and we got to play it for the first time over the weekend.

Cluedo isn’t a new game, but C and I hadn’t ever played it before! How dreadful is that? It was definitely a learning experience.

We had another couple of game lovers around, and played games from 3pm on Saturday to 1am Sunday. It was so great, especially now that Munchkin (the toddler, not the game) sleeps through the night and will even let us sleep in a bit from time to time. We struck the lottery with this kid, I’m almost afraid to have another because I’m sure that they will be the complete opposite and destroy any delusions we had of being halfway decent parents.

Getting back to the point: Sherlock Cluedo!

Sherlock is the perfect companion to Cluedo, not just because of the crime-solving element of the show (and the books, the movies, etc), but because Cluedo really does involve a lot of deduction and strategic playing to get to the result. Plus, the box is really pretty and it makes use of the mobile phone-theme that was especially prevalent in the first season of Sherlock – they seem to have backed off from that a bit now, although I guess it could have become a bit tiresome if it was too heavily used.

We played three games of Cluedo, while I was preparing and cooking dinner. I still managed to win two of the games, so I was pretty happy with that!

While the others seemed to take more extensive notes, and had systems involving colour coding, I found it worked better when I kept my notes really simple. I only marked something down when I knew someone had it (whether by seeing it myself or deducing from other things I knew) or thought it needed further investigation. The one time I tried to come up with a more comprehensive system was the time I failed dismally.

One thing that was interesting was that this edition calls for the cards to be dealt out until they’re all gone, even if it leaves people with uneven numbers of cards. With four players, two of us had four cards and two had five. In the second and third round, we put the extra cards on the board so everyone had the same amount of information. Apparently that’s what was done in the original Cluedo, so I’m not sure why that changed for this edition, but we found doing it the old way worked better.

I’m really glad that I decided to get Sherlock Cluedo for C’s Christmas present, because we will definitely get plenty of use out of it!

What are your favourite tabletop/board games? Anyone have feedback on the Firefly game? That’s one that we’re seriously considering, because, y’know, Firefly!

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