Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
20 Posts

Betrayal at House on the Hill» Forums » General

Subject: This game or Mansions of Madness? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Chase Toffee
Finland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I´ve been thinking on getting this game or Mansions of Madness....
Recommendations?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Βραδύπους Ένα
Greece
Athens
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Masterchief1 wrote:
I´ve been thinking on getting this game or Mansions of Madness....
Recommendations?


betrayal +1
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Arthur Peterson
United States
Cane Ridge
TN
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Betrayal is a terribly broken game. Definitely avoid.

Mansions is a stellar game, especially once you pick up Call of the Wild.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris
United States
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/03/28
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Betrayal. Simpler, quicker, infinitely more fun.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lars Wagner Hansen
Denmark
Sorø
flag msg tools
designer
Any time, any place!
badge
Fingers off, that's my car!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
zpeteman wrote:
Betrayal is a terribly broken game.
thumbsup

But Betrayal is not about winning, it's about the experience.

I can only recomend it to much.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Reil
United States
Barre
Vermont
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I own both and I like them both quite a bit.

Having said that, while they are similar on the surface (horror themes and exploring a building) they are completely different game styles and experiences, so which one you pick should be based on exactly what you are looking for.

Here's a brief summary of each.

Betrayal is fairly fast - typically 60-90 minutes and is VERY random.

Everyone starts in one area together and are nominally working together at the beginning of the game. You're going to develop the mansion randomly by drawing new cards as you explore. Some of these rooms have special effects (bonuses and penalties) and many of them allow you to draw a card (Item, Event or Omen).

Omen cards are the trigger for the real meat of the game. Every time one of them is resolved it triggers a "haunt check", which gets progressively more likely to fail every time a new Omen is drawn.

Once the haunt check fails, the game's win condition and teams will be determined based on exactly what Omen card triggered the haunt and what room it happened in. Most often, there is one "traitor" who will now win on their own and the rest of the players are trying to stop them and win as a team (sometimes there are multiple traitors and sometimes there are none).

This, along with the card draws and the random nature of building the play area is where things can get kind of random. Once the haunt starts each team will learn their win conditions and will also learn (or can infer) some (but not all) of what the other team is up to. Often this requires specific items or taking actions in specific rooms, so how hard it is for either team can be strongly dependent on what cards have been drawn or what tiles have been played.

Advantages: Fast and fun, fairly easy and accessible for non-gamers.

Disadvantages: Some of the haunts are kind of fiddly and it's often not very balanced (I find it's usually fun enough to overcome that, but if you have folks who are very much into the winning and losing of a game this might be a problem).

Both: Strong theme but the Events, etc., are the same every game and can detract from the theme a bit as they will rarely have anything to do with the specific haunt you are playing and if you play a lot you'll see the same ones over and over.

Mansions is a bit heavier. Including set-up this is typically a 2-3 hour game and the base rules are a bit fiddly and sometimes confusing, so it will not be as accessible to beginners.

In Mansions all "Investigator" players are on the same team, playing against the "Keeper" player. This is scenario based and the Mansion or play area is set-up completely ahead of time with cards placed in every room (some are predefined by the scenario and some are randomly added). These cards are often items that will help the Investigators, sometimes they represent locked doors or other obstacles to be overcome.

The players will work their way through the Mansion gathering Clues (a particular type of card) as they go. The game is set up in a somewhat linear fashion so that the Clues always follow one another. The second one will NOT be accessible until the first one is found. EDIT: I think this might be less true of scenarios in the newest set, which I haven't played much of yet.

Generally the final clue will reveal the Objective for the game that tells the Investigators how to win (information that the Keeper already has).

Advantages: A little bit meatier and much stronger thematically. More tension right from the beginning as the Investigators are very much racing the clock (time nearly always favors the Keeper).

Disadvantages: Some scenarios are poorly balanced or designed (if you know what they are or do some research you can easily avoid these and they have been consistently improving since the game was released). Some of the rules are a bit fiddly and set-up and tear down can be time consuming.
23 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Glenn Darrin
United States
Orlando
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
RedShark92 wrote:
I own both and I like them both quite a bit.

Having said that, while they are similar on the surface (horror themes and exploring a building) they are completely different game styles and experiences, so which one you pick should be based on exactly what you are looking for.

Here's a brief summary of each.

Betrayal is fairly fast - typically 60-90 minutes and is VERY random.

Everyone starts in one area together and are nominally working together at the beginning of the game. You're going to develop the mansion randomly by drawing new cards as you explore. Some of these rooms have special effects (bonuses and penalties) and many of them allow you to draw a card (Item, Event or Omen).

Omen cards are the trigger for the real meat of the game. Every time one of them is resolved it triggers a "haunt check", which gets progressively more likely to fail every time a new Omen is drawn.

Once the haunt check fails, the game's win condition and teams will be determined based on exactly what Omen card triggered the haunt and what room it happened in. Most often, there is one "traitor" who will now win on their own and the rest of the players are trying to stop them and win as a team (sometimes there are multiple traitors and sometimes there are none).

This, along with the card draws and the random nature of building the play area is where things can get kind of random. Once the haunt starts each team will learn their win conditions and will also learn (or can infer) some (but not all) of what the other team is up to. Often this requires specific items or taking actions in specific rooms, so how hard it is for either team can be strongly dependent on what cards have been drawn or what tiles have been played.

Advantages: Fast and fun, fairly easy and accessible for non-gamers.

Disadvantages: Some of the haunts are kind of fiddly and it's often not very balanced (I find it's usually fun enough to overcome that, but if you have folks who are very much into the winning and losing of a game this might be a problem).

Both: Strong theme but the Events, etc., are the same every game and can detract from the theme a bit as they will rarely have anything to do with the specific haunt you are playing and if you play a lot you'll see the same ones over and over.

Mansions is a bit heavier. Including set-up this is typically a 2-3 hour game and the base rules are a bit fiddly and sometimes confusing, so it will not be as accessible to beginners.

In Mansions all "Investigator" players are on the same team, playing against the "Keeper" player. This is scenario based and the Mansion or play area is set-up completely ahead of time with cards placed in every room (some are predefined by the scenario and some are randomly added). These cards are often items that will help the Investigators, sometimes they represent locked doors or other obstacles to be overcome.

The players will work their way through the Mansion gathering Clues (a particular type of card) as they go. The game is set up in a somewhat linear fashion so that the Clues always follow one another. The second one will NOT be accessible until the first one is found. EDIT: I think this might be less true of scenarios in the newest set, which I haven't played much of yet.

Generally the final clue will reveal the Objective for the game that tells the Investigators how to win (information that the Keeper already has).

Advantages: A little bit meatier and much stronger thematically. More tension right from the beginning as the Investigators are very much racing the clock (time nearly always favors the Keeper).

Disadvantages: Some scenarios are poorly balanced or designed (if you know what they are or do some research you can easily avoid these and they have been consistently improving since the game was released). Some of the rules are a bit fiddly and set-up and tear down can be time consuming.


This.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bryce K. Nielsen
United States
Elk Ridge
Utah
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Depends on you and your group. What I love about Betrayal is how quickly it plays, and how relatively simple the game is. You can get a game done in under an hour and have had a load of fun. Can't say that about Mansions.

MoM is a "fiddly" game. There are lots of parts, lots of things to consider, lots of rules and items and bad guys and board elements and yadda yadda. *I* like the game, but it takes a certain type of gamer to appreciate and enjoy the game. Plus it's a rather long game (many hours), which tends to turn off a lot of people.

So, if your group is more casual, go for Betrayal. If your group loves details, go for MoM.

-shnar
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gamer D

Monroeville
Pennsylvania
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I with the posters above, it depends on how much tolerance your group has for set up time and game length. Mansions is the better game mechanically, Betrayal is a pretty mediocre game if you ignore the theme in it. Really the main thing that makes Betrayal fun is waiting to find out what the scenario is going to be. But mechanically you end up exploring the house for half the game basically drawing random events and then the second half of the game starts which has very little to do with the first half. And the scenarios are very swingy; I've seen the traitor win on his first turn through sheer luck of the placement of house tiles.


Mansions is a better balanced and more interesting game, and has solid stories in its own right. But it's main flaw is the amount of time it takes to set everything up, put it away when you're done, and the amount of caution the keeper must take when setting up and playing out the game to make sure he doesn't make an error that will screw up the scenario. Also it has fewer scenarios than Betrayal and placement isn't quite as randomized so doesn't have quite the same variety for replayability.

So if your group likes heavier games and doesn't mind set up times and fiddliness then go with Mansions. If not Betrayal might be a better bet.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chase Toffee
Finland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the replies!

Our group plays a lot of "heavy/medium" games so I don´t think that Mansions of Madness will be a problem to handle (setup, game time etc.)
Though I am trying to find a medium/quick played game at the moment, so you guys really made clear all the main things that I had in mind (like betrayal being the lighter game though I was afraid it might be too lucky/random experience.
So I think I´ll go with MoM (already ordered Call of the Wild)in the RPG horror game category I´m trying to fill in my collection atm. Though I did like the idea of 50 scenarios, 6 players and the modular map.....(maybe it will someday get into my collection anyway : D )

Now I´ll have to find the lighter game : D in some other theme then... Race for the Galaxy a light game? : D'

Tyvm, for your replies
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bryce K. Nielsen
United States
Elk Ridge
Utah
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
While Betrayal is random, it still has a really good theme. It's one of those games that tends to create 'magic' moments. Moments that are hard to come by in other games (even MoM, which feels rather scripted. Fun, but still scripted). It's the type of moments you'll talk about for months even years after the game. "Remember when you turned into this murderer who had people stacked like corkboard? Oh, that was AWESOME!"

-shnar
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris
United States
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/03/28
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Masterchief1 wrote:
(like betrayal being the lighter game though I was afraid it might be too lucky/random experience.
So I think I´ll go with MoM

You're making a mistake, but I hope you enjoy Mansions!

Betrayal is a simple haunted house romp that usually results in fun / memorable experiences but sometimes is a blowout for one side. Mansions is exactly the same way but it takes 2-3 times as long to finish and has a bunch of added complexity that adds little to the experience.

Make sure you read through the Mansions forum threads that discuss scenario balance. There are several scenario choices that are broken or heavily lopsided towards the keeper. Avoid playing those!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gamer D

Monroeville
Pennsylvania
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Masterchief1 wrote:
Thanks for the replies!

Our group plays a lot of "heavy/medium" games so I don´t think that Mansions of Madness will be a problem to handle (setup, game time etc.)
Though I am trying to find a medium/quick played game at the moment, so you guys really made clear all the main things that I had in mind (like betrayal being the lighter game though I was afraid it might be too lucky/random experience.
So I think I´ll go with MoM (already ordered Call of the Wild)in the RPG horror game category I´m trying to fill in my collection atm. Though I did like the idea of 50 scenarios, 6 players and the modular map.....(maybe it will someday get into my collection anyway : D )

Now I´ll have to find the lighter game : D in some other theme then... Race for the Galaxy a light game? : D'

Tyvm, for your replies


Quick follow-up - you might want to consider Elder Sign too. It's a relatively light, quick game but has the same basic theme as Mansions of Madness (it uses the same characters and stats even). It's not as deep thematically but it's a pretty fun game and MUCH easier to set up and quicker to play. And honestly it's probably a better game mechanically than Betrayal.

Just a suggestion.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gamer D

Monroeville
Pennsylvania
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
shnar wrote:
While Betrayal is random, it still has a really good theme. It's one of those games that tends to create 'magic' moments. Moments that are hard to come by in other games (even MoM, which feels rather scripted. Fun, but still scripted). It's the type of moments you'll talk about for months even years after the game. "Remember when you turned into this murderer who had people stacked like corkboard? Oh, that was AWESOME!"

-shnar


To be fair we've had some of those "magic" moments in Mansions in my groups. Nothing says "memorable" like the players trying to barricade a door from two shoggoths or escaping the mansion on the last possible turn.

And also to be fair we've had some bad memories in Betrayal, like the time the traitor came out on the very first Omen roll (yes, we rolled a zero on the check) or the time I won as the traitor on my first turn because all I needed to do was escape and the way out was one move away. shake

I do think Betrayal has one thing going to for it, though: variety in the scenarios. The huge mix of possible scenarios is great, I think I've only seen the same scenario come up twice a handful of times, and since the house is completely random it doesn't really matter that much that it was the same scenario.

Just my opinion, though. I totally get why people love Betrayal; I like it but not as much as some of my other games.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Reil
United States
Barre
Vermont
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
cbrua wrote:
Betrayal is a simple haunted house romp that usually results in fun / memorable experiences but sometimes is a blowout for one side. Mansions is exactly the same way but it takes 2-3 times as long to finish and has a bunch of added complexity that adds little to the experience.


This may be where YMMV comes in. I will agree there is a bit too much chrome in Mansions (constant horror checks, for instance, wear thin after a while), but a lot of the added complexity does add to the game, IMO. Then again, I'm interested in and fired up by strong theme in a game and mechanics that add to that are a big plus in my book as long as they don't add too much fiddliness or are too clunky.

MoM sometimes approaches that line, but it doesn't really cross it for me.

Quote:
Make sure you read through the Mansions forum threads that discuss scenario balance. There are several scenario choices that are broken or heavily lopsided towards the keeper. Avoid playing those!


+1 on this.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Reil
United States
Barre
Vermont
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dugman wrote:
And also to be fair we've had some bad memories in Betrayal, like the time the traitor came out on the very first Omen roll (yes, we rolled a zero on the check) or the time I won as the traitor on my first turn because all I needed to do was escape and the way out was one move away. shake


I've had a few of these, too. They are, thankfully, in the minority.

Quote:
I do think Betrayal has one thing going to for it, though: variety in the scenarios. The huge mix of possible scenarios is great, I think I've only seen the same scenario come up twice a handful of times, and since the house is completely random it doesn't really matter that much that it was the same scenario.


This is true, and it ties into one of the main problems I have with Betrayal which I touched on in my long post. Yes, there is a ton of variety in the scenarios and they all have coolly thematic ways to win for each side - but the fairly "generic" Event cards work against this, for me.

Many of them represent fairly basic horror movie/ghost story scenarios, which is fine, but you see the same ones over and over regardless of whether your traitor is a Mad Scientist creating killer plants or a Thousand-year old Lich trying to find a new body to take over (I just pulled both of these out of my head - they may or may not correspond to real scenarios in the game).

Quote:
Just my opinion, though. I totally get why people love Betrayal; I like it but not as much as some of my other games.


I like it (as I said in my long post - I'm a fan of both games), but it does have some flaws and I find it's most effective playing once every few months. If played too often the Event card thing I mentioned gets more obvious and starts to bug me.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gamer D

Monroeville
Pennsylvania
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
RedShark92 wrote:
[q="dugman"]

I like (Betrayal) (as I said in my long post - I'm a fan of both games), but it does have some flaws and I find it's most effective playing once every few months. If played too often the Event card thing I mentioned gets more obvious and starts to bug me.


I hadn't really thought about the cards but you're right, it would be nice if different scenarios used different cards or changed the cards somehow. I think always using the same cards also is a factor in why it feels like the first half of the game is kind of irrelevant. I'd probably rather have the game start out with a traitor at the outset and then have the investigators explore the house while the traitor tracks them down. As it stands I feel like the first thirty or forty minutes of the game don't really matter to the scenario you play afterward (aside from random damage and items found).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lexingtonian
United States
Unspecified
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dugman wrote:
shnar wrote:
While Betrayal is random, it still has a really good theme. It's one of those games that tends to create 'magic' moments. Moments that are hard to come by in other games (even MoM, which feels rather scripted. Fun, but still scripted). It's the type of moments you'll talk about for months even years after the game. "Remember when you turned into this murderer who had people stacked like corkboard? Oh, that was AWESOME!"

-shnar


To be fair we've had some of those "magic" moments in Mansions in my groups. Nothing says "memorable" like the players trying to barricade a door from two shoggoths or escaping the mansion on the last possible turn.

And also to be fair we've had some bad memories in Betrayal, like the time the traitor came out on the very first Omen roll (yes, we rolled a zero on the check) or the time I won as the traitor on my first turn because all I needed to do was escape and the way out was one move away. shake

Just my opinion, though. I totally get why people love Betrayal; I like it but not as much as some of my other games.


I love the extreme games. When I get the artifact that lets you choose a die roll, I choose "zero" to trigger the haunt at the next opportunity.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gamer D

Monroeville
Pennsylvania
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Curtis Anderson wrote:
...

I love the extreme games. When I get the artifact that lets you choose a die roll, I choose "zero" to trigger the haunt at the next opportunity.


Lol, that's the first time I ever heard of someone doing that, I have to remember that. Funny stuff.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Grant
msg tools
dugman wrote:


And also to be fair we've had some bad memories in Betrayal, like the time the traitor came out on the very first Omen roll (yes, we rolled a zero on the check) or the time I won as the traitor on my first turn because all I needed to do was escape and the way out was one move away. shake


In the interest of a fun "finale" it seems like it would be good to have a house rule that allows for some adjustment as the haunt begins if this unfortunate event happens? For example Move the traitor to a more suitable location?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.