3rd March 2021: Being An Absolute Dick
At some point during summer last year, I watched someone on Youtube play a board game where you play as a detective, and have to go around a map of Los Angeles and solve a murder. I was very intrigued, but when I looked into it I found the game was Kickstarter only, and was seemingly not coming to retail in the UK at all. So I pretty much forgot about it.
Cut to early this year, and it popped into my brain again for some reason. Of course, I had forgotten what it was called, and all my searches brought up other detective games. Then as luck would have it, I was watching the Dice Tower's Top 100 games a little while back, and this game got mentioned. After another search for info, I found not only had the developers of the game gone back on their original decision not to release the game at retail, but that it was already available, though at quite some cost. Nevertheless, I quickly decided to put in an order before I regretted not taking the chance.
A few days later, the game arrived and my journey commenced. A journey I have now completed.
This game is called Detective: City Of Angels.
And now that I'm all done with my play through of the base game and its expansion, Bullets Over Hollywood, using the "sleuth" solo mode, I thought I'd share some thoughts about it, as well as reveal how well (or how badly) I performed as a 1940s dick.
- Blood On The Pier
- First up was the intro case. It took a little while to get into it, and I ran out of time, going all the way to the final guess marker. I was sure of two of the three solution "elements", but had to do a 50/50 guess between two suspects I could not choose between. Luckily I got it all right. It felt like a good start.
- Murder At Sunset
- In this one, I was onto the murderer right from the get go, and it was all about learning more information just to make sure I wasn't barking up the wrong tree. I'd got the wrong motive in my head for most of the game, until I learned something else with two days left, after which I quickly solved the case correctly.
- Heist To Nowhere
- This one was a bit different as you were looking for stolen money rather than a murderer. I somehow found the cash with 3 days left, though I felt I was stabbing in the dark with little idea of what had really happened other than vague assumptions.
- Bloody Christmas
- This was the first of the 3 medium cases in the core box, and the first one that I ran out of time and made an incorrect guess. I got it right with my second guess during the first overtime period, but never felt like I had all the facts.
- The Last Embrace
- I ran this one down to the final guess marker again, but this time had just about managed to piece enough info together to get it right with my first guess. Looking back, this was one of my favourite cases, as it at least gave some solid info to go on rather than leaving you to make wild assumptions.
- Murder On All Hallows' Eve
- I loved the reveals in this one, but it was the first case where I did not gain a single stress marker, and solved it quite easily with three days to go.
- El Fantasma
- In the first hard case, there was no need to find a weapon, but rather the location where the next crime would take place. It was hard to get any info at first, and it had me moving all over the board trying to uncover things. When my time ran out I only knew the location, but had no idea of suspect or motive. I literally guessed at the suspect based on what car I thought they would drive, and randomly guessed the motive. Somehow all three things ended up being right.
- The Final Strikeout
- My, how different this was from the first hard one, as this really wasn't hard at all. It just seemed very obvious who had done it and why, and I played just to convince myself I was right. I solved with 5 days left, and got it right. I mean, the suspect straight up admits what they did when you question them. Where was the "investigation" here?
- The Black King
- Now this was more like the difficulty I was expecting for hard. I started out great with all the new puzzles, but getting info out of the characters was like trying to get blood from a rock. This was the first one I failed to solve, even after using all 3 allowed guesses. I was disappointed (and a bit annoyed at myself) when I found out the answer, as on my first guess I'd only got the motive wrong, but being incorrect had turned me in other directions for my other guesses. Oh well.
- Crimson Obsession
- Unfortunately, I could not complete the first case of the expansion, because as soon as I started to play it, it seemed very familiar. Then I remembered this was the case I watched being played on Youtube months ago, and when I realised that I immediately remembered the solution. Oh well.
- Christmas In July
- I was assuming the correct answer for a large chunk of this game, but before I made my guess I checked how blank bullets work on the internet. That info turned me away from the solution, as blanks don't really work the way this case makes them out to. With my final guess in 2nd overtime, I went with my original assumption and it was right. I sighed hard with diappointment. Probably the shoddiest writing of all of them in this one.
- The Masterpiece Of Madrid
- I really liked the addition of the puzzles in this one, and I quickly had strong suspicions that turned out to be true. However, I first had to solve all the puzzles and gather all the clues, and just made it by the time I hit the final guess marker.
- Requiem For A Gangster
- I managed to scrounge enough info to make an educated guess at the first final guess marker, and managed to get it right. After this, I really wished I could have played as a detective in the full game mode.
Man, I loved the look and feel of this game, and think it's got some great ideas. However, the enjoyment I got out of it really did depend on the writing on a case to case basis. Some of them were really interesting, and made you feel like you were actually being a detective. Some of them were just downright janky.
I also think my experience was hampered a bit by playing it alone, and I'm hoping people I play it with in the future will enjoy it more with me playing as the Chisel.
My Detective adventure was not my only recent dabble into board gaming, as I've also found time to make and print my own version of Dead Last, which like the full version of Detective now awaits the time when lockdown is over.
We've also had a crack at some other "escape room" style games. First up was The Chair by Evadere. This was much like Clue Kingdom, being just a series of puzzles one after another, and not being very interesting. So after that, we returned to ClueHQ to play their Warp Core game, which again was much, much better. We were hampered a little during the play by Discord being an arse, and we failed by 3 minutes. Bum.
Still, I felt a lot more useful this time compared to when we did the train one.
My Epic Eldar army is now complete after I finally found an Avatar that didn't cost an arm and a leg. I had forgotten how much smaller the
model was compared to the Chaos Greater Daemons, so I raised it up a little on its base using some card. To smooth the weird stepped look, I
used some of the milliput I bought a couple of years ago. I didn't know this stuff had a shelf life, and the one stick had gone brown with all
bits in it. Luckily, there was still usable stuff inside when I broke it open.
I guess I'll have to find some use for the rest of it before it's all completely useless. As luck would have it...
My new Epic rules ideas are continuing to form, and seem like they will allow us to play some really fun and simple games. Well, that's the way is feels to me, at least.
But in order to play some new games of Epic, I think I really need to get my 6mm terrain in order. I have long known this day would come, so have been stashing things in boxes in the loft for years. And the time has come to prepare some new battlefields for the little guys and gribblies.
There's so much stuff here, and so many ideas in my brain, that most of them will probably never get done. Not only will it be hard to find the time to build all this, but I also lack the space needed to store it all.
But I will definitely have a good go at making some new Epic terrain, as the vast majority of my terrain is geared for 28mm. And that doesn't seem fair to me.
In amongst all my bits boxes, I recently found the Warhound Titan my bro started to scratch build 12 years ago. He passed it on to me back then and the idea was that I would finish it. Maybe it's about time I got around to this enormous task...