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Mansions of Madness: Second Edition» Forums » General

Subject: Two player is DEFINATELY more dfficult rss

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Danny Frahm
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Just finished playing my fourth loss of Escape for Innsmouth with 2 players. It’s become apparent that more players = easier game. I’m not upset about this. I even think this might be a cool thing. I just want to kind of make a PSA for frustrated people attempting it and see whether other people have had similar results.

So, basically with 2 investigators for this we just don’t have enough actions to win without a clear foreknowledge of all the events and key event markers, or for anyone claiming to get it first time with two players, tremendous luck. Too many actions are consumed by just moving and backtracking. We’ll probably win the fifth game but only because we understand which search markers need to be skipped, how key spawning works, the mob movement, and critical paths for the story.

After a lot of analysis we can see now how one extra player would make a tremendous difference. 50% extra actions, an extra figure to reduce backtracking, more starting clues/opportunity for finding clues and another special ability would take off a lot of pressure. With 2 players you are just spread too thin. The game is going to beat you a few ways. Player health/sanity or time limit. If time is the only concern more investigators will make for an easier time.

What’s everyone else’s experience?

[edit] interesting tidbit from the statistics being collected. Looks like 2 out of 33 escape from innsmouth games with 2 investigator have resulted in a win.
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Renjie Zhou
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Just played it once with 4 people. We came close. Always wanted to do it agian solo. Now i read your post. I think il wait tell i find 4 people again
 
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Michael Pittman
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I concur.

I think I lost it about seven times playing solo with two investigators.

Won it the next time with another player, controlling two investigators each. It was a close game, but extra investigators (and importantly the extra actions) made a genuine game of it. As an aside, I withheld as much fore-knowledge of the scenario as I could and let the other player make most of the overall strategic decisions.

If you really want to play this scenario solo, I strongly recommend playing with four investigators. But really, this one is best saved for a session with multiple players.
 
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Andrew Walmsley
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This is all very concerning to hear. I'm planning on playing this two player using one investigator each (like we do with Eldritch Horror). We refuse to play two investigators each as we don't like the extra play and turn time. Is it really that bad two player? Sounds like we may have to house rule some extra advantages if this is the case.
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Danny Frahm
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Saigetsu wrote:
Just played it once with 4 people. We came close. Always wanted to do it agian solo. Now i read your post. I think il wait tell i find 4 people again


I'd be interested in knowing what you think close was. Because we felt that a couple of times only to find our goal shifted.
 
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Chris Rogalski
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Someone suggested giving each investigator 3 actions. I finally won with 2 investigators this way. I don't want to spoil anything but I did notice something about how a non riot monster will spawn which made it seem to me that it might be winnable with 2 investigators with the 2 actions each. It's a tough scenario for sure.
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Danny Frahm
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rman wrote:
Someone suggested giving each investigator 3 actions. I finally won with 2 investigators this way. I don't want to spoil anything but I did notice something about how a non riot monster will spawn which made it seem to me that it might be winnable with 2 investigators with the 2 actions each. It's a tough scenario for sure.


I like your idea. I think people having trouble should definitely do this.

I think its completely winnable with normal rules, but you have to be a real gamer. You can't waste too many actions walking around or backtracking. We have a plan for next game and we are confident we can win. The last was lost because we didn't anticipate a key spawn location change. Too many spaces to walk and we lost. Now we know the possibilities we can fan out correctly.
 
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Owen Sullivan
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I played it solo with 3 characters. That is the sweet spot for most scenarios. This one included.
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Dean L
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Has anyone actually looked at what the time limits are? I presumed that you'd basically get twice as many rounds with 2 investigators as 4. So the same number of actions. You still have to potentially cover more ground though.
 
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Danny Frahm
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Deano2099 wrote:
Has anyone actually looked at what the time limits are? I presumed that you'd basically get twice as many rounds with 2 investigators as 4. So the same number of actions. You still have to potentially cover more ground though.


I haven't tested it. But based on how the game plays out I think its the same number of rounds, regardless of investigator. There is a certain thing happening in this scenario that is unlikely to be easily made shorter ...

Even if the actions were reduced there is an issue of fewer investigators. With a larger group you can fan out and complete the multiple objectives required. With 2 people its all on your shoulders to be at the right place at the right time. This is where moving around and backtracking soak up actions more.
 
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Nicola Zee
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lordevilthefirst wrote:
I played it solo with 3 characters. That is the sweet spot for most scenarios. This one included.

We've played Escape from Innsmouth twice. Once with 5 and it took so long it outstayed its welcome - only 2 of the players out of the 5 enjoyed it. The second time we played with 3 and won. It was much quicker and all the players had a great time.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
When playing Innsmouth, having Rita the athlete in the party is almost essential. There's a lot of ground to cover.
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Scott Cantor
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tigerwalms wrote:
This is all very concerning to hear. I'm planning on playing this two player using one investigator each (like we do with Eldritch Horror). We refuse to play two investigators each as we don't like the extra play and turn time. Is it really that bad two player? Sounds like we may have to house rule some extra advantages if this is the case.


Nerfing the game makes it a bit *too* easy IMHO, and if you like Eldritch with two, I really can't imagine you'd find this game too difficult.

But FWIW, I think the sweet spot is to not quite add a third action, but add a third optional one-space move you can take at any point before, between, or after the standard actions. That really eliminates a lot of wasted move actions without totally throwing the game off.

You can get more complex with it by house ruling the impact of things like Wounded conditions, but that's the basic idea.
 
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Andrew Walmsley
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More Mellotron wrote:

Nerfing the game makes it a bit *too* easy IMHO, and if you like Eldritch with two, I really can't imagine you'd find this game too difficult.

Hopefully this is the case. Would be good to hear from others who play 2 player and how they found it, or those who play solo with two investigators, same thing.

More Mellotron wrote:

But FWIW, I think the sweet spot is to not quite add a third action, but add a third optional one-space move you can take at any point before, between, or after the standard actions. That really eliminates a lot of wasted move actions without totally throwing the game off.

So you can move three spaces but still only two actions. Thoughts anybody.

More Mellotron wrote:

You can get more complex with it by house ruling the impact of things like Wounded conditions, but that's the basic idea.

Ultimately I don't mind the game being hard, but if I've got no chance without playing through it at least once before to find out what to ignore etc then I find that artificial difficulty and 'cheap', sounding a bit like Time Stories? That is unless playing them again is still as fun in which case no problem.
 
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Danny Frahm
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Quote:
Ultimately I don't mind the game being hard, but if I've got no chance without playing through it at least once before to find out what to ignore etc then I find that artificial difficulty and 'cheap', sounding a bit like Time Stories? That is unless playing them again is still as fun in which case no problem.


[edited]
It's going to be hard. I think with three actions each you'll still fail on first attempt. With only two people to explore it's just going to be hard to know what to do. There are two parts this game has - the learning phase "what do we do?", then the doing phase "lets get there!". I can't imagine getting through the first phase fast enough to have enough time to do the second.

The only suggestion I'd have is try three actions each, but one type of action can only be preformed twice per turn. Being able to move 6 squares or attack 3 times seems a bit much to me. Let us know how you go.
 
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Scott Cantor
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tigerwalms wrote:
Ultimately I don't mind the game being hard, but if I've got no chance without playing through it at least once before to find out what to ignore etc then I find that artificial difficulty and 'cheap', sounding a bit like Time Stories? That is unless playing them again is still as fun in which case no problem.


Well, I beat the Dunwich Horror "remake" on the first try with pretty much no trouble at all using the extra 1 space move rule. That's when I concluded it was fun but probably a bit too easy to keep using that rule. OTOH, given that the game is really about the story, it doesn't bother me that much. I'd rather get beaten with a larger play group I can laugh with than brutalize myself in a solo game.

I think the sweet spot with the extra move is probably the 4 difficulty cases. 3 is too easy with this rule, and 5 is still pretty tough.
 
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Michael Pittman
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tigerwalms wrote:
Ultimately I don't mind the game being hard, but if I've got no chance without playing through it at least once before to find out what to ignore etc then I find that artificial difficulty and 'cheap', sounding a bit like Time Stories? That is unless playing them again is still as fun in which case no problem.


I have definitely enjoyed replaying scenarios in MoM.

The first play through is very narrative driven and immersive ... and there's a very good chance you'll lose.

Rising Tide is the only scenario I have won on my first attempt.

However, subsequent plays are still challenging and fun ... they just become more puzzley and less immersive.

Escape from Innsmouth was the scenario I had the most difficulty with and I truly believe the main contributor to that was trying to play it with only two investigators. Even during replays, bad rolls, persistent injuries like Broken Arm and similar developments could just ruin you.
 
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Danny Frahm
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I played again. We won. Finally, but it was close, too close. I can't imagine how someone can win this game with 2 investigators perfect knowledge and/or amazing luck. In our game one investigator was targeted with a lot of sanity loss. They had 7 max sanity and healed it 4 times and it still came down to a single sanity.
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John K
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After a request from zaki850 I've added a 'success by team size' report to the 'Submit your plays' thread.

Based on plays submitted so far, the tendency does seem that fewer players makes for a harder game.
 
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