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Mansions of Madness: Second Edition» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Fight monsters or not? rss

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Keith Scholes
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I was wondering about the strategy of fighting the 'normal' monsters in this game. There seems to be no direct benefit from fighting monsters (e.g. experience points), and even if successful it is pretty time consuming. So as far as I can see, and I am open to correction on this, the only real benefit is to prevent them from biting you in the bum later (literally in some cases). So what do people see as the optimal strategy for dealing with monsters, fight as many as possible to keep them down, run away as much as possible or a combination of both? If the latter is there a sweet spot in dealing with them? Just interested in people's opinions.
 
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Alexander Steinbach
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In my opinion it is better to deal with them quickly. In some scenarios their numbers eventually increase to very large amounts if left unchecked.

I can advise to dedicate 1 or 2 investigators who are good at fighting and have a weapon to killing monsters while the other investigators search the mansion.
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mortego
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The last two times I played the investigators won and both were because they ran away instead of fighting the monsters.
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Chris Rindfleisch
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Depends on the situation and characters involved. Some investigators are more built for fighting while others aren't. Some monsters are easy to kill and would be an annoyance to be left alive (cultists usually), while others are more dangerous and easier to simply outrun.

Whether you choose to fight or run away, both methods could potentially lead to success or failure, so really it is up to you how you want to handle the situation. There is no one right answer.
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Scott Cantor
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killerjoe1962 wrote:
The last two times I played the investigators won and both were because they ran away instead of fighting the monsters.


I haven't played many times yet, but so far running away hasn't seemed very feasible, the monsters seem to move as fast or faster. Doesn't seem like a workable strategy to keep taking hits and having to risk evade checks.
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mortego
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More Mellotron wrote:
killerjoe1962 wrote:
The last two times I played the investigators won and both were because they ran away instead of fighting the monsters.


I haven't played many times yet, but so far running away hasn't seemed very feasible, the monsters seem to move as fast or faster. Doesn't seem like a workable strategy to keep taking hits and having to risk evade checks.


Yeah, I was kind of vague in my reply, here's what happened last night; my wife & I each played a single investigator, we had solved the mystery and just had to make it out of the house with what we needed, several turns before solving the mystery we were ignoring the monsters and using out actions to solve the mystery and when we did we planned it so that only one of us would run away while the other kept attracting the monsters during the Mythos phase.

I gave her the stuff we needed to win, she had to evade several monsters but had several items that helped her with rolls & rerolls and several clues. She got past two monsters via evade and I stayed behind to battle them.

The Mythos phase had those monsters attack me and she had a Star Spawn to deal with but passed the attack test unharmed.

Our next turn she evaded the Star Spawn successfully and made it to the entrance, I stayed behind attacking the monsters.

We won the next turn but thematically, I stayed behind to die fighting, another turn of attacks should surely have killed me.
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There's a shape called "The Golden Rectangle". Have you heard of it?
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It refers to a rectangle that's approximately contstructed in the ratio of 9 to 16. The golden rectangle has several characteristics. Let's say I create a square within this shape. Then, this smaller rectangle that I just created will also be a
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golden rectangle. I make another square within that and the leftover is another golden rectangle. And I make a few more, and when I connect all the central points of these shapes it creates a spiral that continues forever. This is the "Golden Spin".
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Well, yeah, but that's different than running from them all game as was implied.
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Steve R Bullock
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In the beginning, it is best to fight the monsters with your strongest investigators (hopefully armed with a heavy weapon)- toward the end of the game, I tend to fight them less and concentrate on winning the game.

Sometimes, if cornered, you really have no choice but to fight.
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Scott Cantor
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killerjoe1962 wrote:

We won the next turn but thematically, I stayed behind to die fighting, another turn of attacks should surely have killed me.


Ok, that's pretty much exactly what I did. As somebody else just said, I think you have to do some fighting early to avoid getting mauled too much, but once the endgame is visible, somebody is probably bait while everybody else runs like hell.
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Daniel Beeson

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Running may work, but I wouldn't recommend it. In most cases, if an investigator spends both actions on movement they can move a maximum of four spaces. Monsters usually move two spaces each turn. You would need to spend one action per turn moving just to maintain the same distance from a monster, and both actions if you want to pull away from the monster. This limits the actions you can perform on investigating. Plus you have to deal with horror checks, forfeiting actions trying to evade, random mythos effects causing you to be stunned or restrained.

Most weak monsters, can be defeated in a single turn assuming the investigator has a decent weapon or spell and the dice fairy is kind. Afterwards you can allocate all of your efforts to solving the mystery.

I won't say you should never run from monsters, but in my opinion its best to take care of them quickly when you can.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Depends on the monster health too. If it doesn't seem like can be taken out in 2 attacks, we tend to just run. Plus, we split up a lot (there's just not enough time for the group to stay together) so that hurts combat, a lot.

-shnar
 
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Enon Sci
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More Mellotron wrote:
killerjoe1962 wrote:
The last two times I played the investigators won and both were because they ran away instead of fighting the monsters.


I haven't played many times yet, but so far running away hasn't seemed very feasible, the monsters seem to move as fast or faster. Doesn't seem like a workable strategy to keep taking hits and having to risk evade checks.


Investigators can move up to 6 spaces in one turn (double move + explore). Granted, one is guaranteed only 4, status effects notwithstanding, but most monsters seemed to move 2~3 at most.

As to strategy, I think this is an entirely situational concern. Fighting is a time sink, and time is normally the biggest enemy of an investigation. It does feel odd evading a monster only to "sit at a desk and read through a grimoire," or whatever the search text might read, but we always make up a good rationale around the table.

 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Anarchosyn wrote:
Investigators can move up to 6 spaces in one turn (double move + explore).

How are they moving twice and exploring? Isn't that 3 actions?

-shnar
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Scott Cantor
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Anarchosyn wrote:

Investigators can move up to 6 spaces in one turn (double move + explore). Granted, one is guaranteed only 4, status effects notwithstanding, but most monsters seemed to move 2~3 at most.


I think 6 would be unusual, and from what I saw, most monsters were easily moving 3 and attacking at range anyway.

Just did not seem at all practical to run most of the time unless it was something I could barricade in, or bleed with some fire.

You're right that it's wasted action, but every failed evade check is also a wasted action.

Not saying of course that it's not situational, but early game I think you really have to take them out or they'll bleed you dead.
 
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R.P. Kraul
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It seems to me that the monsters in Mansions are much easier to deal with than the versions in AH, which tend to have more lethal attacks and sometimes resistance or immunity against my attacks. In AH, I generally try to avoid monsters, but in Mansions, I find myself more compelled to attack them.
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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I run when killing it seems impossible, usually because one investigator isn't good at fighting.

I also think clues are best saved for attacking monsters. In most cases, knocking out a monster sooner will not only save you later actions, but also probably multiple points of damage or horror. That's a great value from clues, much better than saving an action on an explore or puzzle, or evading just one point of damage.

Of course if you have a whole pile of clues and monsters aren't giving you trouble, go ahead and use them on other actions.
 
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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Anarchosyn wrote:

Investigators can move up to 6 spaces in one turn (double move + explore). Granted, one is guaranteed only 4, status effects notwithstanding, but most monsters seemed to move 2~3 at most.


This is not possible as far as I know. Only two actions means if you do a double move you can't explore. So it is single move and explore or double move. Plus, if you explore you only get to move one space into the room you have explored so even if you did have some magical ability to do a double move for a single action (which again, I don't think exists) it would still only be a 5 space move.

Can you describe how you pull this off because I think you are playing incorrectly.
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Cameron McKenzie
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One big difference from first edition is that, in first edition, the keeper would have to spend threat to activate monsters. Even if you killed the monsters, the keeper would just spend his threat to do something else. So ignoring the monsters could be a viable strategy, since the keeper loses momentum on his other actions if he wants to use the monsters.

In MoM2 I'm not sure there's any "cost" for the app to activate monsters. Are the mythos effects and game pace any less brutal when monsters are around vs when no monsters are around? If it's the same, then there is more incentive to kill the monster since they are "free" for the app to attack with unlike first edition monsters.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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More Mellotron wrote:
from what I saw, most monsters were easily moving 3 and attacking at range anyway.

We haven't seen that yet. So far, every monster has been 2 spaces, with the rare occasional "move 2 more" after the first move. And so long as you get a door between you and the monster, attacking at range is blocked. Also, don't forget to use your barricades. Especially against the human like monsters, that can pay off handsomely. And lastly, judicial use of fire will help out a lot (making the monsters move through fire, burning to death is always fun).

-shnar
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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shnar wrote:
And lastly, judicial use of fire will help out a lot (making the monsters move through fire, burning to death is always fun).

-shnar


When I finally won the first scenario (after 5 tries) it was through this tactic! When I finally fled the entire mansion was on fire. There was a great moment where I trapped a deep one in a burning room behind a barricade. Lots of fun!
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Guy H
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In the Call of Cthulhu RPG, you gain Sanity back for killing monsters.

Horror cards are fairly chucked around in Mansions so I'm surprised that they didn't have the same rule in principle. So you could ditch a number of Face Down Horror cards to the value of the defeated creature's Horror rating, but split between the investigators that took part in the fight - after all, 5 investigators battering a half-naked witch to death aren't necessarily going to feel as suddenly brave as the investigator that kills a Hunting Horror single-handedly.

I've tried both the Flee & Barricade and the Killing Everything approaches and I have to say I think it's worth controlling the numbers of enemies. You don't get cut any slack in a two investigator game and can often find yourself facing a Deep One, a couple of Cultists and a Hunting Horror all at once. A couple of bad dice rolls and it can be curtains.

Having said that, sometimes it's best to just leg it. And that's how Cthulhu gaming should be. This isn't (or shouldn't be) a simple Dungeon Crawl.

I still think there should be some sort of reward for defeating a monster though - if nothing else than to make them at least worth fighting. Reclaimed Horror works best for me - and is keepin' it real with the original RPG.

Olde Skool innit? ;)
 
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quantum collider
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I've played the game three times now (first scenario twice) and it happened regularly that monsters moved twice in one phase, up to a total of 4 spaces.

I think the App grants monsters that are not in attack range a second move. So I've seen cultists spawn, move two spaces, unable to attack my investigators (which I select on the app), move two more spaces and attempt to attack again.

One one hand it makes sense for the app to direct monsters towards the investigators, so that they can be part of the action, but it also means you can easily be overtaken by several monsters even though you were reasonably safe a turn beforehand.

It also means if you don't deal with a monster immediately, you'll get mobbed by several monsters soon after.

So running seems to be no option. Especially if much of the board is still unexplored.

It also does not help that evading seems less reliable than attacking.Evade checks can be just as hard as attack checks: in both cases the skill you test unknown beforehand, so I've had my high-agility low-strength investigator perform a strength check to evade.

On the upside, not every failed evade check costs you your move action.

And the combination of mythos effect and monster movement can be really hurtful. A bad mythos effect can cost you damage or horror, then a monster moves towards you, attacks you, and then you must make a horror check. One turn of bad luck and you are done for.

I'm playing with the idea for some house rules: the monster does not move the turn it spawns, and some mechanic that allows a player to spend skillpoints to 'misdirect' a monster.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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quantumcollider wrote:
I think the App grants monsters that are not in attack range a second move. So I've seen cultists spawn, move two spaces, unable to attack my investigators (which I select on the app), move two more spaces and attempt to attack again.

Is it possible you're misreading the app? I've seen some monsters move 2 spaces, then if no investigators are in the space, move again. I've never seen a monster move 2 spaces, then if not investigators move another 2 spaces, then attack (and we've played all scenarios multiple times). And moving twice is pretty rare. More often than not, the app says something like move two spaces, then the option is "No Investigators would be in range/space.", so the follow up is "Move 2 spaces". In that case, the creature is only moving 2 spaces due to the wording "would be".

-shnar
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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I think there is an activation that says "Move 2 spaces toward an investigator in range" or something, and if you tap "no investigators in range" then it says "Move 2 spaces toward the closest investigator".

That wouldn't result in a double move though, because the first part of the activation doesn't move the monster at all if there isn't an investigator in range.
 
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quantum collider
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MasterDinadan wrote:
I think there is an activation that says "Move 2 spaces toward an investigator in range" or something, and if you tap "no investigators in range" then it says "Move 2 spaces toward the closest investigator".

That wouldn't result in a double move though, because the first part of the activation doesn't move the monster at all if there isn't an investigator in range.


Hmmm, that is a good point. Perhaps I did misread the initial activation message... Let met get back in this...
 
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