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Mansions of Madness» Forums » General

Subject: mansions of madness vs arkham horror rss

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jim grah
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I want to introduce my game group to mansions of madness and arkham horror, im not sure which game to play first. i haven't played them yet myself and dont want to overload them right away with a really hard to learn heavy game. so which game should introduce them to first, i want it to be fun and not scare then away with the rules
 
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Matt Kaercher
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While I can't speak for AH, if you decide on Mansions make sure you start your group off with the Fall of House Lynch scenario.

It introduces most of the games mechanics in small doses, all of the objectives are balanced and is an all-round fun scenario.
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Chris Franka
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If you decide on Arkham Horror, do it without any expansions. The base game is really good--you don't need any expansions to "fix" it. And you'll be spending enough time looking stuff up in the rule book and getting the basics of turn order and various mechanics down that you won't need an extra board to mess with at the same time.
 
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Mr. Monkey
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Personally, it would depend a lot on the group I would be typing to introduce the game to.

I wrote my opinions comparing the two here and how I have had players reactions to the games. In general, I find that if the group is not much of a 'gamer group' then Mansions of Madness will go over better because you can layer on the theme extremely thickly and the rules are a lot easier to learn for the adventurers. Just be sure to set up the game before they get there...seriously, they will get scared if they see how much effort it can take, and it is great for the ambiance if they walk in and see a mysterious Mansion menacing them from the beginning. If however you have a more gamerish group, and several hours with a very large table, then Arkham Horror can be great. Just take care of most of the fiddly bits yourself, look up the house rules, and have fun. I would say that to play only the base game, but I really love the Injury and Madness cards that the Dunwich Horror expansion adds to the game.

Cheers!
 
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Heiko Günther
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If you ask me, I would not have them play Arkham Horror at all. Each time I played this, I hated it afterwards. I find it a real drag, incredulously boring, irrelevant and unthematic. Especially the 'boss-fight', the supposed climax, is anything but. To me at least. Mansions of Madness on the other hand is a game I greatly enjoy. I find it especially simple for new players as well, if the keeper is prepared.
 
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Chick Lewis
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Mansions of Madness is at least THREE TIMES the raw FUN of AH.

And I like both games.
 
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Terry Thompson
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I'm with the Heiko. I love MoM, but not a fan of AH despite sharing the lovecraft theme. I was very eager to get AH, and paid more for it than I did MoM. But the game is flat, and game sessions take forever. I wanted so very much to like AH.

Whenever we do game day, my first concerns are "optimal # of players" and "Time it takes to play". If we are playing AH, I'm not expecting us to get to another game that day (BGG estimates 4 hrs. avg play. I'd say that's optimistic).

MoM has a lot going for it; good looking miniatures and very ornate scenic tiles. Thematic storylines which are very truely suspenseful for the investigators. And there is true cooperative play, where players help each other by forming fireteams, or trading items or ganging-up on monsters.

Both have long set-up times. But AH can accomodate more players. I much more partial to MoM.
-Terry
 
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Roberta Yang
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Mansions of Madness has better flavor, while Arkham Horror has better flavor text.
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Gamer D

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Mansions is shorter and slightly less complicated than Arkham so it's probably better for new players. Elder Signs isn't bad either. The theme isn't as strong in Elder Signs but it's very simple to learn and takes only about an hour to play.

And don't forget that Eldritch Horror is coming out soon. You may want to wait until that comes out and see what you think of that game, if it's really good you might want that one instead of the others.
 
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Roberta Yang
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The theme in Elder Sign is really weak, which is a big problem considering that theme is the only thing that keeps any of these games even remotely playable.
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Guillaume Zork
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salty53 wrote:
The theme in Elder Sign is really weak, which is a big problem considering that theme is the only thing that keeps any of these games even remotely playable.


I second this. I played this games a couple of times. The total lack of immersion felt as a major handicap (to be hjonnest I found it hyper-boring).

The two other games are neat but different, as explained above.
 
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Gamer D

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salty53 wrote:
The theme in Elder Sign is really weak, which is a big problem considering that theme is the only thing that keeps any of these games even remotely playable.


I think Elder Sign is a decent coop dice game mechanically but to each his own.
 
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Joanna G
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Mansions is easier to teach to new players because you only need to teach them the investigator rules. Arkham's rules are way more complex and overwhelming. I love both games for different reasons. Mansions feels scarier and more intimate while Arkham feels more epic and adventurous (but also scary, just in a different way.)

Like MrMonkey said, it really depends on the group. In my experience, Mansions plays better with one of my groups and Arkham plays better with another, but because the group dynamics are different. With my first group, they get bored if turns take too long (which is less of a problem in Mansions), they get into the roleplaying more, and we work well as a team, so Mansions just works better. With my other group, we are a little less coordinated as a team and we end up spreading out in Arkham, focuses on different things (like some will fight monsters most of the game and others will focus on closing gates.) Mansions is fun with my second group too, but we all want to be Keeper, so it makes it a little tricky deciding who will be it.

Another thing to consider, Arkham is cheaper than Mansions, so if you don't own either game, the cost risk is less with Arkham. Or you should check out the WatchItPlayed video tutorial/review on Mansions of Madness, that will help you get a feel for the game and is worth checking out before buying.

What games have you played in the past - what are some of your group's favorites? Might help us steer you in the right direction with more information.

Anyway, hope this helped!
 
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Brian Lucid
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Mountains of Madness rocks and is pretty straightforward to GM.

AH is a little more work to figure out and would be a drag for new guys if you're not comfotable with the rules. It isn't as fun but MoM doesn't have the replayability that AH has so...start out with MoM then move into AH.
 
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jim grah
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We play alot of different games from zombicide to ticket to ride we just havent tried a complicated game yet
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jim grah
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Thanks for the advice
 
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Gary Bradley
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If you are going to be the Keeper and do all the 'hard work', MOM is a very easy game to introduce to new players. You more or less have to spend 30 seconds telling them the basics (Movement, Actions, a few of the card decks, that's it) and they will just pick everything else up as the game progresses. It is a very very easy game for non-Keeper new players to get into. Unusually clean and tidy rules for FFG.

AH is just the opposite, it is hard hard work for everyone to begin with. Tons of rules, many of them rather odd. Lots of little quirks that are easily forgotten. If I go even just a few months without playing AH, I have to read more or less the entire rule book again before I can go back to it.

AH is also not everyone's cup of tea. It's almost what video gamers call "sandbox" which some people can find pointless. Many will hate it (I like it btw in case it comes over that I do not). Also, AH can go on for hours and hours and quite often stops being fun long before it ends. Important to consider your expected playtime in this regard. On the other hand, I really cannot see anyone playing the Investigator side disliking MoM, unless that person just dislikes story-telling or horror in general.

Ok here's another angle....

Are your players familiar with Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos in general? If they are not familiar, AH can come over as rather odd and somehow pointless or abstract. What are these gates? These weird monsters, this GOO thingy? MoM on the other hand can be enhanced by ignorance of Lovecraft, as it can tell a good horror story regardless of what that slimy tentacled thing actually is. On the other hand, if your players do know Lovecraft, and especially if they are fans of his work, another odd effect can occur...they can HATE it because they LOVE Lovecraft.

To explain...AH is about the least Lovecraftian game I can think of. Outside of 'The Thing on the Doorstep' I cannot think of a single HPL story where a firearm is brandished, never mind fired in anger. Investigators running around entering combat with Mythos monster, wielding Elder Signs like crucifixes is NOT Lovecraft or even close to his work. This fault can be traced back to the Call of Cthulhu RPG, also ridiculously non-Lovecraftian. It is basically D&D transposed to the 1920s and with Orcs replaced by Shoggoths. Ridiculous!! HPL would turn in his grave. Yes MoM suffers a little from this obsession with combat and equipment, but it remains far more in the spirit of the creeping dread horror story that HPL often wrote so well. I have 2 friends who are HPL-obsessives (even more than me, and I am pretty extreme) and none of them will touch AH because they find it almost sacrilegious to his memory. They like MoM though.

I'd pick MoM.
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Joanna G
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jim72 wrote:
We play alot of different games from zombicide to ticket to ride we just havent tried a complicated game yet


I would say try Mansions of Madness first then. Just read the rules a couple times, so you have them down and just explain the investigator rules to your friends, so they aren't overwhelmed with every rule in the game. What I usually do is explain the basics of what their turn choices are, briefly say I could play cards on them if certain things happen, and then if something else comes up in game, I'll explain what happens then. I also stress the importance of them following the clues, so that they find the objective since it's the only way they can win. House of Lynch is the first scenario and best for new players, so start with that.
 
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Chris
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GaryB wrote:
On the other hand, I really cannot see anyone playing the Investigator side disliking MoM, unless that person just dislikes story-telling or horror in general.

I can. In the three MoM games I've played (the first three scenarios) the investigators have never one. Scenario 1 was at least somewhat close, but 2 & 3 were complete blowouts for the keeper. I'll never know about the other scenarios because nobody in my group wants to play the game again.

Beyond that, players complain that the game is tedious. Investigators move from Point A to Point B to Point C -- nothing interesting happens to break up the tedium until they find the final clue and have something different to do. The keeper spends his time whittling the investigators down, but not killing them (that just makes them stronger) and not hampering them too much because in some (many?) scenarios if the investigators don't get to the final clue and reveal the objective before the clock runs out "everybody loses".

What you like about MoM, that the investigators are weak and need to run from everything, is exactly what my group dislikes about it. AH may be completely against Lovecraft's stories, but it is quite satisfying as a player to progressively get stronger throughout the game and eventually get to the point where you can take on the monsters you were running away from at the beginning of the game. That doesn't happen in MoM. You start out the strongest you will ever be (short of maybe finding a weapon) and it is all downhill from there.

Anyway, MoM is a much easier game to learn but I think AH is more fun and rewarding to play once you understand the rules (which is challenging). My advice to the OP is to get whichever games appeals to you more and try it. If your group doesn't like it, try the other game. They are different enough that disliking one doesn't necessarily mean you will dislike the other.
 
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