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redPEPPER
Senior Member

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April 2005
First game: disappointment... Sat, 13 August 2005 14:10
Hi everyone!

I played my first (and last?) game of Mystery of the Abbey a week ago, and I have to say the game didn't meet my expectations. Here's my experience.

Before reading the rules precisely, I expected a game in the like of Clue, with additional mechanisms that would bring some variety. We often play Clue in an advanced manner, with lots of notes.

This game was a 5 player game.

The first contact with Mystery was the rule complexity. It took a while to read everything in details and for everybody to understand everything. Fortunately the game mechanic is simpler and more fluid than the rule complexity may suggest, but the evening was getting old even before we started playing.

A rule aspect that confused us was the mass. We began the game with the Matins, believing that the mass is done before the 1 on the card. It's only after a more careful reading of the rules that we understood the mass is done after the 4 on the card (and before the 1 on the next card). We thus did the Matins again at the end of the card.

Questions: we quickly realized asking the right questions is an art. As we were beginners and getting tired, our questions were very basic, and everybody learned about the same thing at the same time. I think we did not use the vow of silence often enough (I was the only one to use it). But all this is probably improved with experience and could be an interesting aspect of the game.

Another positive aspect are all the elements that bring variety: events during mass, books and manuscripts, crypt cards... It seems pleasant, even if we could not really try them much (5 books in all, 3 events).

The main problem we encounter was: what to write down? If we do as for Clue, we write everything: who asks what, who answers what. Given the return questions, this quickly becomes a burden. And unlike Clue, you don't learn things that way too often, so it's tedious but not rewarding. Besides, the information becomes quickly obsolete when cards move from hand to hand! We figure that, in order to improve playability, we shouldn't note everything and trust our memories... but this means we deprive ourselves of part of the available information! I won that game thanks to my notes (I filled a letter sheet in less than three masses). How do you solve this dilemma?

I think I'll go read tactical guides to find a possible solution.

Revelations: another problem for us. It seems deductions go very fast and at the end of the game. We don't have time to go to the Capitulum several times (we actually never went there, save for the final accusation). I was resolved to do a couple of revelations taking risks, but my deductions were still too weak. And when statistics led me in one direction (on 8 to 10 remaining suspects, I only had one templars left, and a couple of fathers) the culprit was actually the improbable templar father!

Nobody had time to make enlightened revelations. I have a hard time imagining someone may win without accusing the culprit (it would take at least three exact revelations)

After this game with long and tedious turns, we unanimously left the game alone to play other things for the rest of the week... Where did we go wrong?
      
rhysling
Junior Member

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January 2005
Re:First game: disappointment... Sat, 03 September 2005 01:09
It sounds like too much thought is involved playing it your way. At most I make a note of who asks who what and the response, with a column for each item: "Alice Bob Bearded Brothers 3"

Eventually questions get down to more specific things: "Alice Bob Brother Guy Yes"

Alternatively, I also will just write a letter on each suspect on the sheet to know how I got the information on them - D for being dealt the card, S for having seen it, H for having heard someone say they had seen him, and G for guesses based on the kinds of things other people might let slip.

We enjoy it, so often we will send others to penance if they miss the bell (happens way too often sometimes) or forget to ask a question. And man, I love it when I get that chanting card.

We have only one player who uses he vow of silence frequently, so I always head straight for her room to steal cards. I don't think my group (4 of us usually) has ever gotten the answer in less then 5 or 6 masses, so we have time for plenty of events.
      
Ryan43
Member

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March 2004
Ideas MoH Fri, 23 September 2005 01:42
Actually, we mandate that someone actually seeing the card, MUST mark it as with "S". We have had too many games where someone thought they had actually had seen a card, but in fact "deduced" it instead and forgot they did so. Problem was, their "deduction" was wrong... and then they wind up telling everyone that they have "seen" the card, when they have not.

Messes up everything.

We also play with a few "house rules" now to bring out a more deductive flavor into the game. You may have to do the same. The game can be tweaked to meet your needs and as such, can be a great game experience.

[Aktualisiert am: Sun, 25 September 2005 08:56]

      
    
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