Well we finally got to play Mansion of Madness after several Thursdays of false starts and it was as good as I had hoped and more. The Mansions of Madness is a very nice model/map game set in the HP Lovecraft universe. 1920’s, unspeakable horrors from beyond, maniacs, tommy guns, hats. It’s got it all. The game itself in essence is a dungeon romp in the tradition of heroquest and it’s ilk but it’s very clever and the setting is magnificent.
Unlike say the excellent role playing game, this is competitive with the GM trying to kill/drive insane the investigators whilst the investigators are trying to solve the mystery against the clock. The game contains a lot of clever ideas and unlike some others games like this none of these are superfluous or counter productive. Despite being story driven the game has a fantastic replay value. Each of the six scenarios that come with the games have multiple branches so it’s quite possible to play the same scenario over and play a very different game.
A lot of thought has gone into this game and it’s obvious from the start. Like all FF games the quality is superb. like all FF games there are a LOT components, in the case of MOM there are a L O T of components and separating them out is a chore. Once bagged and tagged there is NO air in the game box.
The rules are excellent, straightforward and fast. The one thing against it is the setup time. It took us a LONG time to setup however if we all shut up talking shite (we could hardly do that) and got on with it I’d say we’d be up and going in under a half hour. what IS nice in setup is the invetigators have to setup the map whilst the GM sets up the pieces within.
SO how did it go?
The investigators stumbled in the house of lynch learning the rules as they went (which turned out simpler than we thought) and immediately did the thing demanded of all horror movies/games. Split up and go separate ways (possibly with candles and night dresses). Within a very short time axe weilding manics, zombies and other assorted bad stuff was all over them like a Brian. In fact one luckless investigator was like a maniac magnet, you couldn’t leave him alone in a room for five minutes to search but an axe wielding maniac would splinter the door and come for him. Despite the best efforts by the GM (me) to drive them mad, hack them to death I was unsuccessful but more importantly so were they and the time ran out for them and in the case of the scenario I picked that was all she wrote for the hapless investigators. Queue Thunder and Lightning and manic laughter.
Overall this is a fantastic game, definitely one of the better games I’ve played in a long time. We seem to be having quite the run of good games lately with Spartacus, Waterdeep and this.
More of this sort of thing I say
and now that I’ve learned the rules (mostly)
It’s going to be hitting the table again soon
Hail Cthulhu !