From the Diaries of Dr. John H. Watson
Announcing Watson & Holmes
‘I ought to know by this time that when a fact appears to be opposed to a long train of deductions it invariably proves to be capable of bearing some other interpretation.’
–Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet
Asmodee is proud to announce Watson & Holmes from Space Cowboys, adapted from the limited release by Ludonova last fall. Watson & Holmes is a competitive deduction game set in Sherlock Holmes’ London, inspired by the great works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Fueled and informed by the comprehensive journals of Holmes’ brilliant partner, Doctor John H. Watson, the game challenges two to seven detectives to solve the dynamic duo’s most infamous cases more quickly than your opponents. By sabotaging the other investigators and utilizing the skills of your clever allies, each player has various opportunities to hurry ahead and get all the answers they’re looking for. This revised edition of the game features brand-new graphics and a revision of all cases, developing an immersive environment in which to solve the unsavory crimes therein.
Before you begin your investigation of each case, you must first learn the basic details. Dr. Watson was an avid record-keeper, and it is with his detailed journals that you will obtain the specifics of your chosen case. The investigation will take place across a number of cards, the placement of which is illustrated on the front of the case file. Once you have set the cards in their designated layout, you may read Watson's case notes. The back page of each case booklet will provide a thorough account of the case's beginnings, posing a number of questions that need answering in order to fully solve the case. Should you desire, you can even use a mobile phone or tablet to scan the QR code which will lead you to an audio recording of the case and its questions.
Your Carriage Awaits
The gameplay of Watson & Holmes alternates between two distinct phases, allowing players to pursue leads and gather new information. The first of these is the Visiting Phase, during which each player must choose a location to visit in search of clues. Because you cannot visit the same location as your opponents, this proceeds in a sort of bidding process. You may choose an empty location for free, but if the location is otherwise occupied, you must outbid the player already there using carriage tokens. While choosing your destination, you must also watch out for police, which may have been called by an opponent in a previous round. Should you find yourself in need of carriage tokens or unable to travel to your ideal destination, you may also choose to increase your bidding power on future turns by visiting the carriage stop and gaining three carriage tokens.
When all players have claimed a location for the round, you may proceed with the Investigation Phase, where you may learn either answers to the questions posed at the beginning of the investigation or clues indicating where you might consider traveling next. During each stop, you are encouraged to take notes on the details pertinent to your case, as you may need to refer back to them later on. Should you misconstrue the hints given to you, though, you may find yourself off track, and be forced to backtrack on a later turn.
Friends in High Places
Thankfully, you have not only Watson's notes to guide you through each case, but you also have access to many of his and Holmes' contemporaries. At the beginning of the game, you will be secretly dealt a character card, the abilities of which only you will know until such time as you decide to utilize them. These brilliant associates can help you sabotage your opponents, travel more efficiently, gain extra tokens, and more. You can call upon these allies only once, though, so time their appearance carefully!
Another character who may be able to help you is Watson himself, though it will cost you. For four carriage tokens, you can claim Watson's card and then force one other player to share the text on their location card from that round, gaining valuable information without having to travel there later. Don't forget, though, that every other player will then gain the same information as you have, and bidding during the following round will be fierce.
221B Baker Street
Once you believe you have successfully identified the answers to the case questions, you must travel to Holmes' place on Baker street and present your findings to him. To prepare for your presentation of the facts, you must first write them down, and then consult with the great detective and the doctor. If your details satisfy the pair, you will claim victory, ending the investigation for the remaining detectives. Should your answers be incomplete or incorrect, however, the game will proceed, and you will be in charge of relaying the truth should another detective be so bold as to approach the famous address with their conclusion.
Theft, murder, and more await you in Watson & Holmes. If you are so brave as to approach these sharp-witted intellectuals, you may test your skills of deduction and discovery across thirteen unique cases in a race to the truth, and a desperate attempt to stop any further crimes from taking place. Holmes accepts nothing less than the most intriguing mysteries, though, so be prepared to take on some of London's most twisted and complex affairs.
Search your store shelves for Watson & Holmes in early 2017.