Saturday, 27 April 2013

A Study in Emerald - Kickstarter Campaign begins

A Study in Emerald is a short story by Neil Gaiman, one of my favorite authors. So when I learnt at Boardgames by the Bay that a game based on the premiss of A Study in Emerald was being made I was excited. A Study in Emerald is an adaptation of the classic Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet, by adding in aspects from H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulu mythos. Kinda makes me think of Empire of the Dead. Anyhow you can read it for free, just google it.

Box art, Sherlock and Watson
(or Greson, or Lestrade I can't recall which)
inspecting the murdered Old One
The Kickstarter campaign for this started just a few days ago here. It is already funded and on its way to the stretch goals which include a few more cards and posters. I must admit the stretch goals don't seem that exciting but after the Empire of the Dead Requiem campaign with amazing stretch goals including 12 free models its hard to compete. I have put my name down for this through my FLGS Seriously Board (well less local as its a website as there isn't a FLGS in Wellington that sells a good rage of BG).

The game is designed by Martin Wallace, I haven't played many of his games but my FLGS recommends him. I have read the rules (which you can get from the official website) and it seems like it will be allot of fun. It's core mechanic is deck building but with a twist. You are either on the side of the resistance or the government, who in this case are a bunch of Old Ones from the Cthulu mythos who have taken over the world, oh no. However your alignment is hidden until you choose to reveal it so you can try to trick others into believing you are on their side. You win by getting the most victory points however if your alignment looses from bad play of a team mate, despite having the most victory points you will lose. So team play will help. 

One thing I am curious about is when you have an odd number of players there will be one side which has more players. That side seems like it would have the advantage and I wonder how the game overcomes this. As I haven't played I don't know yet. However deck building, secret identities, Sherlock Holmes and Cthulu mythos, how could this be bad? Plus it seems to be well rated from those who have played the prototype on BGG

The art work seems pretty good and appropriate for the theme, though it could be a tad more interesting. Maybe they will add colour to the cards? 

I am looking forward to seeing what the world map will look like as the prototype isn't that interesting yet.

The cool thing about the kick-starter campaign is they give a link to the games official website. Well thats not that amazing, but the website has all the stuff you need to print the prototype game! Sweet. So I might just do that to play it before the official game comes out sometime in October or thereabouts. Nice. 

Check out the official page here complete with a downloadable prototype. Boargamegeek link here.


  1. That looks very cool. The story is great and the concept exciting for a boardgame. Need to work ou whether to support now or buy later.

    1. It does. If you want you can pledge through Seriously Board as they are getting the pledge with 6 copies so you just have to claim one. I think they also want to pledge again. We can try out the prototype at games club if you want to see how it plays first.

    2. Oh and the advantage of that is I don't think you would have to pay till October.

    3. Yes let's do the prototype some time soon then work out what is the best thing to do.

  2. Is that the Neil Gaiman who did Sandman?

  3. Yeah that's the one! Awesome author.


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