Jeremiah Dixon
United States
Georgia
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Intro

About a year and a half ago my friends and I were searching for a new game to try out. We all spotted Mansions of Madness the first edition. We all loved to play betrayal at house on the hill and this game looked so similar to it, however, the complexity of the games(back then anyway) just seemed a little too much. Plus, we didn't like the idea of one person having to be the bad guys. So we pushed that one aside and said, "Maybe one day we can try it out."
Well, ladies and gentlemen, that day has finally came.

Brief overview

Mansions of Madness: Second Edition is a game where the players take on the roles of a team of investigators trying to solve a case or scenario. The game plays 1-5 investigators. Along your way trying to solve this case you go through a mansion and encounter random and strange events. You will encounter monsters and npcs that will attack or help you. You will also explore new areas while searching for clues to help you solve your case. The only way you win is by making it all the way to the end and solving the case, however if you take to long to complete your task then you may lose. If during your investigation you take too much physical damage then you will die and if you take too much horror then you are swallowed by your own insanity.

The app/ mechanics

The most controversial part of this game, and mainly the reason some people will refuse to buy or play this game, is the requirement of an app to even think about playing it. Which means yes you must have a tablet or laptop that you can download the app onto. Can you use an IPhone you ask? Yes, you could use a smartphone however I will warn you that using a smartphone for the app isn't a good idea. A smartphone is far too small of a screen to try and play this on.
Now, having said that, the app is great. I have not discovered any technical issues or bugs thus far but I am sure that there are some. The app has taken the entire reason that I did not play the first edition and completely eliminated it. The app does all the book keeping, it also randomizes the events and items plus the layout of the mansion. So you no longer have to keep track of the monsters or what they do. The app even has a voice actor to read the intro of the scenario to the player while playing ambient music in the back ground during game play. The game Is extremely immersive and with the addition of the app the game is significantly less complicated. Plus, the app allows you to still physically role your own dice and move your miniatures on the board and everything. I definitely think that people need to be less worried about app integration and more worried about playing fun games with friends and family and if an app adds to the fun and enjoyment of a game then I welcome it.
Aside from the app, the mechanics of the game are pretty simple to understand. One of my favorite mechanics of the game comes from the cards. If you go insane then you randomly choose an insane card and the back has a new condition of how you win the game that you cannot show or tell the other players. The spell cards are all different as well, you use the front of the spell card to activate the spells ability without looking at the back and then after using it you then flip the card over and do whatever it says, making the game more random and immersive. The physical and mental damage cards are the same way, X-Wing style damage cards.

My Thoughts

This one is an easy one. For me, getting this game is a no brainer. I think that the app is an amazing integration with the board game. Of course it goes without saying that if you hate Lovecraft theming then this may not be your kind of game. The scenarios so far have been really fun, the best part is uncovering the mystery. After having played all the scenarios will it be as entertaining since you know what happens in the story? I think so since the mansion and events are randomized, giving it a different feel every time you play. The mechanics are awesome, and you really do feel like you are all working together to solve a case. The components of the game are top notch. The miniatures are awesome, the cards are nice, mansion tiles are nice and thick, the dice are amazing. The only slight problem I have at all with this game is that the miniatures have a small peg on the bottom of them to fit into there bases and some of them easily fall out of the base, but that's no biggie for me. I can try and super glue them or something. Also, for some people the price point might be a little to high but its really relative. Aside from that this game is amazing. I love nearly everything about it and have added it to my collection. I highly recommend this one! I give it 10/10 with two thumbs up.
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Michael Pittman
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I bought MoM2e this week and have had one learning game with it.

So far, so very good. The more familiar I become with the mechanics of the game, the more the flavour comes to the fore and the more immersive the game feels. Towards the end of the first game, I was very into it.

I will say that I feel the miniatures are not the best quality and their bases are basically a hindrance, as they cover too much of the best components of the game - the stunning room/location tiles.

Whatsmore, it kind of feels like the game could have been much less expensive without the minis (using standees instead) - maybe more on par with the cost of Eldritch Horror.

Anyway, great review. Thanks for sharing it.
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Jeremiah Dixon
United States
Georgia
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I agree that the bases for the mini's really do suck, and most don't fit into the peg holes, also the pieces to mark the same mini's differently do not fit into the bases well at all. I'm still not a hundred percent sure as to why they decided to make these awesome square monster tiles just to cover them all up with giant black bases that cover the entire board spaces. The minis themselves I think are nice though. However that's literally the only complaint I can really give this game, it works well with all number of players including the solo play which I forgot to mention in my review. I intend on doing the long scenario as a solo campaign one day.
Thanks you the for the feedback though!
Glad you liked the review, considering it's my first I'm excited someone ha actually read it!
Hope you enjoy the rest of the game as you uncover all the secrets!
Cheers!
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oldschoolgamr
United States
Michigan
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Jmiahddixon wrote:
I agree that the bases for the mini's really do suck, and most don't fit into the peg holes, also the pieces to mark the same mini's differently do not fit into the bases well at all. I'm still not a hundred percent sure as to why they decided to make these awesome square monster tiles just to cover them all up with giant black bases that cover the entire board spaces. The minis themselves I think are nice though. However that's literally the only complaint I can really give this game, it works well with all number of players including the solo play which I forgot to mention in my review. I intend on doing the long scenario as a solo campaign one day.
Thanks you the for the feedback though!
Glad you liked the review, considering it's my first I'm excited someone ha actually read it!
Hope you enjoy the rest of the game as you uncover all the secrets!
Cheers!

In the first edition, the monster tokens for one model were different. So when the keeper spawned a Hunting Horror - for example - he/she could choose which tile to slide into the base. Thus, pretty tiles and big ugly bases to accept them.

When they moved to next edition, they took the tile variety amount a set of monsters away - all in a set are now identical. But instead of redesigning the bases and how the monster info is communicated, they just kept the same time system to avoid developing something new.

It's a bit easier to understand knowing that, but it would have been interesting to see how the info could have been conveyed with a more contemporary streamlined approach if they had brainstormed on it...
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Dave Bednar
United States
South Kent
Connecticut
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Hi,
Thanks for the great review! I am thinking of picking this up and I do still have the figures from the first edition. With the integration of the APP are the monster tiles still necessary? Also, from what has been posted above, if i am correct, all of the same type of creatures all have the same stats now?
If so, could the creatures be mounted on different bases and the cardboard counter be kept on the side of the board or better yet, a chart made of the monster types and all of their stats for references?
Let me know how this would work. It may make a difference whether I pick it up or not.
Thanks!!
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Dillon Flaherty
United States
Severna Park
Maryland
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Great review, and I agree for the most part! The minis are pretty disappointing, as you said, in how difficult placing them could be in some cases! Ugh!
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oldschoolgamr
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Michigan
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Marvell wrote:
Hi,
Thanks for the great review! I am thinking of picking this up and I do still have the figures from the first edition. With the integration of the APP are the monster tiles still necessary? Also, from what has been posted above, if i am correct, all of the same type of creatures all have the same stats now?
If so, could the creatures be mounted on different bases and the cardboard counter be kept on the side of the board or better yet, a chart made of the monster types and all of their stats for references?
Let me know how this would work. It may make a difference whether I pick it up or not.
Thanks!!

Yes - this will work and there are many threads discussion how to do just that. The info on the monster tiles is still needed - as the "break thru a barrier" strength number is not anywhere in the app.

But you can just keep the tiles to the side and rebase onto clear plastic bases - there are photos of just that in the gallery here.

OSG
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