Sleuth Admin
Tale Spinner

Jun172004 17:10
Actually, I ran a statistical model to determine whether it is always better to ask motive first, and my results were a little hazy. There seem to be some situations, in the midtolate portion of solving a case, where you may be better off asking the alibi question first, since your chances of only getting repeat motives goes up with the number of revealed suspects.
There is one other thing to take into account, the time it takes to solve a case. If the amount of time spent working on a case is a factor to you (like you're trying to get through as many cases you can in 10 minutes) is important to you, it may make sense to ask the alibi question first in some cases.

Fat Chuck

Jun182004 07:14
Well, since we're on the subject, I'll share how I typically go about it, even though no one asked. It isn't hard and fast, more of a gut feel. I ask motive first, then alibi if I have only one unvisited person left (pretty much at any time). If it is early in the investigation (like I have about 46 or less out of 11 so far) and there are two unvisited, I will ask motive first, then alibi. If I have 3 or more unvisited and I'm now about in the middle of my suspect list, I ask alibi first, then motive. If I drop back to two, I go back to motive first. If I have two unvisited and 9 or 10 of 11 listed, I will usually ask alibi first, then motive. One thing I think is important to your strategy here is whether or not you have lockpicking. The more unvisited suspects you have on your list, the more likely you will hit one not home. So if I have several unvisted suspects, maybe 5 or more, I won't ask motive at all, anticipating that I will pick a lock somewhere. If I pick a lock in this situation and get alibi, I then ask that person motive (since I have to visit them anyway to see what they look like).
I always ask the city hall suspect for motives as soon as I know who it is (provided I haven't already ided everyone by the time I find them.)
If you count fake/real, once you know one side of that equation, there is no point in asking for further alibis, so obvioulsy everyone gets asked only motive.
If I am able to eliminate based on physical evidence characteristics, (i.e. left handed women with curly hair couldn't possibly have done it) I won't ask thier alibi either usually, and just ask motive. There is an exception to this. If I know one shopkeeper is getting overloaded, I may ask alibis anyway of those I know couldn't have been there. This is to try to use the fake/real numbers to avoid having to check all 6 people at the butcher that day.
I hope these pointers are really pretty self evident and that I am not giving anything away by summarizing them.

Hard Boiled

Jun302004 09:01
Warning! Fat Chuck's strategy doesn't always work. I got a favor case where 1 pointed to 2, 3 and 4, so using this strategy I asked 2 alibi, then motive and he clammed. No problem, I still have 3 and 4 to see. 3 pointed only to 4 and 4 pointed only to 3. Dead end. (Since each suspect seems to be known by at least two others, I thought at first it was a bug, a closed loop.)
