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[To be clear, this is about the distinct two-player edition called Mr. Jack Pocket. This is not about the full-size board game Mr. Jack.]

I really like Mr. Jack Pocket , but I wonder if it's not entirely balanced. It seems to me that it is much easier to win as the Inspector than as Jack. Or perhaps I'm missing some key strategic element to equalize the odds. Does anyone have a deeper analysis of this game?

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Why does it seem that way? So far we aren't really analyzing anything... –  The Chaz 2.0 Jan 8 at 20:47
    
I don't have a chart of results, but over the many games I've played with my wife, we both find it easier to win as the Inspector. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I just wonder if the game really is balanced and we simply haven't figured out how to play well as Jack. –  Clumsy Jan 8 at 21:22

1 Answer 1

Short answer: No, 55% winning chance for the Inspector.

Here is a quote from the designer Bruno Cathala on balance in the game.

It is taken from a reply on Boardgamegeek

concerning balance of the game, i just want to give you some statistics. The final balance has been made with testors belonging to the top of the mr jack players on internet (http://mrjack.hurricangames.com)

And, moreover, an artificial intelligence has been developped to help us.

I will speak here only about games played exactly with the final set rules.

If i consider games played by human player against an other human player:

196 games have been played 108(55%) won by inspector (96 by primal goal, and 12 after hunting jack because he got 6 hourglasses at the same time he was identified) 88 (45%) won by jack (53 by primal goal, 33 staying invisible after being hunted, and 2 by "dawn")

now let's see what happens when the computer plays against himself: 340 games have been played 187(55%) won by inspector (140 by primal goal, and 47 after hunting jack because he got 6 hourglasses at the same time he was identified) 153 (45%) won by jack (97 by primal goal, 55 staying invisible after being hunted, and 1 by "dawn")

So.. that's the reason why i know that the balance is slightly in favor of inspector, but not enough to really create a problem. (Experience and/or tactic competence is much more important to win ;-))

Hoping these results will interest you.. all the best bruno

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