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Sherlock Hemlock
Posted on Sunday 28 April 2013 at 5:21 pm

We all know I'm going to give in and buy it...

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There is a Neil Gaiman short story called A Study in Emerald. It is a mix of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and of the H. P. Lovecraft Cthulhu mythology. For anyone interested but unfamiliar with the story, you can get a free pdf of it from Gaiman's website (currently the third one listed).

I don't need to tell anyone around here just how very much I love either Neil Gaiman or Sherlock Holmes. I'm not really into Cthulhu all that much. I'm aware of the modern pop culture stuff surrounding it, I kind of like the idea, and I am very slowly working my way through the complete works of Lovecraft in publication order. I haven't really made it to any of the Cthulhu stories yet, but so far I'm not all that impressed with Lovecraft's other writings.

I am also very into strategy card and board games. I have dozens of games, many with tons of expansions to make them even more complex, and am constantly pestering people to play with me.

Why am I telling you all this? Because there is a kickstarter for a game based on Gaiman's story. And I want it so very badly! I wants the precious! (Might as well throw in one more geek reference, right?) However, it is £50 so just over $75 at current exchange rates. That's a lot of money. I'm a frequently unemployed grad student who mooches off family to cover basic bills so that's a lot of money from where I'm sitting.

But it is Neil Gaiman! And Sherlock Holmes! In a cool sounding strategy game!

I'd buy it in a heartbeat if I knew I could get people to play it with me often enough to be worth the money. My fear is I will drool over all the pieces, get my friends to play once or twice, and then it will sit in my closet. I had some friends (at least two of whom are into Cthulhu stuff) coming over once every week or two for regular gaming for a while and everyone was really into it, but we just got really busy and haven't met up in a month or so. Maybe it is just end of semester madness and we'll be able to do it again in the fall semester... and this game is supposed to ship around October... maybe they'll play.


Unsentimental Fool
unsentimentalf at 10:16 pm on 28 April 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Looks like the rules and components (except plain counters) are all available online, so at a pinch you can print out the free version and see if you like it...

I have to admit that I don't like about 75% of Martin Wallace's games. Something about his types of rules systems just don't produce games that I enjoy. It's a pity because I bump into his playtesters a lot and they all love them. I played the Ankh Morpork one recently and couldn't see the game play in it at all, and his recent Doctor Who one was the same- pretty cards but no game to get your teeth into. Railroad Tycoon's one of the few ones I'll happily play. So I'll wait for someone else to buy it (which they will eventually- loads of Gaiman and Wallace fans among my gamer friends)!
bratty_jedi at 10:35 pm on 28 April 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I've been looking at the page for it at Board Game Geek and it has a reasonable rating from the few who've played and rated it. The limited discussions of it in the forum is a little less positive but seems mostly to be either rule kinks that will hopefully get worked out or speculation from people who haven't even tried the print and play.

As someone pointed out there, though, given that the kickstarter claims they won't be releasing this widely until 2015 if at all, you can probably play once then sell for more than you paid if you don't like it. I don't really like doing that kind of thing, though, so if I buy it, even if I don't like it, I'll most likely keep it.

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