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Mansions of Madness: Second Edition» Forums » General

Subject: Mansions of Madness 2E : The Polarization rss

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CROVAX
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So I have a giant question mark over a game that people rave about. As the title indicates, I have a few questions about Mansions of Madness 2E.

This has been on my short list for quite some time, but with the reprint still on the way... and I believe it's starting to take the Wii affect on me. The Wii effect being that no stock was available, and after wanting to buy one so badly, after being able to play one and read reviews... I lost interest all together.

Recently I saw a video from ActuaLOL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sci-MctxWJc, who poked giant holes in the game I am starting to wonder if I even want this game. I know other reviewers like SUSD also are not huge fans of this game. Yes, the components are beautiful, I like the Mythos well enough, I've heard nothing but great things about the app integration... but I'm worried about the following:

1. Price - once this comes back in stock, I can get it from my FLGS for $70, so it's not like it's crazy expensive. But for $70 there are many many other options out there.

2. What's in the box - With only 4 scenarios in the box and with not much replay-ability with the 4... I'm wondering if it's worth the price. That said, I have justified the money I've spent on TIME stories.

3. Payoff - I'm afraid of the feeling that after I invest quite a bit of time, and money into MoM2E that I'm going to be left feeling unsatisfied with my purchase... when money could've gone elsewhere.

I am a huge theme guy who values the thematics of a board game, I am good with a game that is high in theme and immersion but maybe it's slightly mechanically flawed. One of my requirements for co-op games, is that it be challenging especially if the replay-ability is not there. Plenty of people hate on this game, plenty of people love this game. What is it for you that justified the price tag + future content of this game?
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mortego
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I am a fan of the first MoM and was interested in playing MoM in solo-mode. 2E provided this. It was worth the price for me.
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Eric Stevenson

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Ryan, my group has had a great time with this game. It is a great for a special event. Every 2 months I get the same people together, at least 5 of us. I use the STEAM version of the app, put it on a large monitor at the end of the table with speakers and all. It really helps with the immersion. Everybody really gets into it.

Each scenario is a lot of fun. The stories arent perfect, but the theme and mechanics really make up for it.

There are only 4 scenarios on the base box. But, after the intro scenario, you will likely lose each one at least once as they can be tough. So it lends itself to at least 8 plays or so. Its really easy to teach too. As long as one person knows the rules, you can get the other players playing rather quickly. I THINK they will eventually start releasing cheap DLC too.

The price is high, because of the minis and all the cardboard. I will say, I was disappointed in the quality of the monster minis. Very poor quality. The character miniatures are a bit better. It is a good trade-off considering the quality of the cardboard and app integration.

It is a lot of money, but based on my plays and the reaction of my group, it has been more than worth it.

I think you should buy it and give it a try. I think this game would be easy to unload if you end up not liking it.

Good luck!
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James Williams
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I think if you like Time Stories, you'll like Mansions 2...uh, too.

For me, I own a lot of these story telling games..Consulting Detective, Arabian Nights, Agents of Smersh, Eldritch Horror, etc. They are less games and more a story experience, choose your own adventure book, but with a more grandiose presentation. I find they are all great for a evening with your partner.
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CROVAX
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I'm glad you said that, because that's probably where I'll get the most use out of it, is playing with the SO. Many many other options for 4p... but I think I would get a lot of play time with my SO 2p (if we can ever put down AH:LCG)
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Bucho Bucho
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Fortinero wrote:
Yes, the components are beautiful


No, the monster mini's are terrible.
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T McC
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If you've played and enjoy the 1st Edition, this is a no-brainer. In my opinion, it completely replaces it, and I loved that game. If you haven't played 1st Edition, I still heartily recommend it.

Regarding the YouTube video, I agree with one of the commenters on there that you shouldn't be expecting this to be a mystery/deduction game like Sherlock Holmes, it really is more similar to a Lovecraftian dungeon crawler with some fun added character interaction and puzzle solving. I also disagree with the video's assertion that every scenario is the same. Do all the scenarios involve fighting monsters to some degree? Of course. It would be lame if you didn't have to deal with any monsters whatsoever. But different scenarios add some very different dynamics to how those monsters behave (Shattered Bonds, Escape from Innsmouth), and I think you'll see more and more innovations in gameplay as more expansions are released (haven't played Beyond the Threshold yet, but looks like it adds some cool new elements).

As far as the story aspect to it, the stories are somewhat light/simple, but that's mainly because the game provides a story framework for you to play in, and the real "story" is the one that gets told from the choices that you make and the things that happen to your characters. Months after we've played, we still fondly reminisce about Bob Jenkins the Brass Knuckle Salesman, The Incredibly Grim End of Carson Sinclair, and The Night Sister Mary Took Drugs and Was Seduced By a Goat Woman. And all of those different stories came from multiple plays of the same scenario.

Anyway, you said you're big into theme, so I don't think you'll be disappointed (especially since it sounds like you love AH:LCG), but go with your gut or watch some gameplay videos to see if it's right for you. For what it's worth, we've introduced this game to at least a dozen different friends, gamers and non-gamers alike, and everyone has loved it.
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Bucho Bucho
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Fortinero wrote:

2. What's in the box - With only 4 scenarios in the box and with not much replay-ability with the 4... I'm wondering if it's worth the price. That said, I have justified the money I've spent on TIME stories.


The people who think it's worth the price typically consider the scenarios very replayable. Those of us who don't find them replayable don't have a great opinion as to the value.

Now maybe with the addition of digital content over time the value will change but at least right now, if you don't consider the scenarios replayable I'd say don't buy the game.
 
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T McC
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Fortinero wrote:
I'm glad you said that, because that's probably where I'll get the most use out of it, is playing with the SO. Many many other options for 4p... but I think I would get a lot of play time with my SO 2p (if we can ever put down AH:LCG)


Oh, and you're spot on about this. This game is great with SO. It's my wife's favorite (though currently on the back burner due to AH:LCG...).
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Rafael Ramus
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Fortinero wrote:
I know other reviewers like SUSD also are not huge fans of this game.


I couldn't find their review, where can I find it?

EDIT: I'm in the same spot as the OP. Can't decide if I should buy it or not (I'm not that much of a fan of apps also, so there's also that).
 
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Kurt Bieberbach
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Bucho22 wrote:
Fortinero wrote:
Yes, the components are beautiful


No, the monster mini's are terrible.


I don't think they're terrible, especially after rebasing. They're not great but not terrible either.
 
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t vl
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Fortinero wrote:
So I have a giant question mark over a game that people rave about. As the title indicates, I have a few questions about Mansions of Madness 2E.

This has been on my short list for quite some time, but with the reprint still on the way... and I believe it's starting to take the Wii affect on me. The Wii effect being that no stock was available, and after wanting to buy one so badly, after being able to play one and read reviews... I lost interest all together.

Recently I saw a video from ActuaLOL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sci-MctxWJc, who poked giant holes in the game I am starting to wonder if I even want this game. I know other reviewers like SUSD also are not huge fans of this game. Yes, the components are beautiful, I like the Mythos well enough, I've heard nothing but great things about the app integration... but I'm worried about the following:

1. Price - once this comes back in stock, I can get it from my FLGS for $70, so it's not like it's crazy expensive. But for $70 there are many many other options out there.

2. What's in the box - With only 4 scenarios in the box and with not much replay-ability with the 4... I'm wondering if it's worth the price. That said, I have justified the money I've spent on TIME stories.

3. Payoff - I'm afraid of the feeling that after I invest quite a bit of time, and money into MoM2E that I'm going to be left feeling unsatisfied with my purchase... when money could've gone elsewhere.

I am a huge theme guy who values the thematics of a board game, I am good with a game that is high in theme and immersion but maybe it's slightly mechanically flawed. One of my requirements for co-op games, is that it be challenging especially if the replay-ability is not there. Plenty of people hate on this game, plenty of people love this game. What is it for you that justified the price tag + future content of this game?


Watched the ActuaLOL video and although the guy certainly has a few good points, it's clear that his disappointment mainly comes from having had different expectations. MoM is basically a dungeon crawl with narrative elements, so the comparison with Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is a strange one to say the least. MoM is somewhat comparable to Time Stories, but whereas solving the mystery is the driving force behind that game, this aspect is - though always present - less prominent in MoM. However, the fantastic world MoM creates (the flavor text that comes with every action, the board you see unfolding before you, the strange events occurring during the mythos phase, ...) makes up for that and guarantees an equally immersive experience, at least for me it does.

1.+2. Price and replayability
$70 sounds very reasonable. I paid $90 here in Europe, and that bought me 24 hours of play so far. We played each of the 4 scenarios once (with 2 or 4 players), but I would gladly play all of them again, as it seemed like there was more to discover in each scenario and also because we've only won 2 out of 4. So double that to 48 hours of play, which makes about 2 bucks an hour. Not bad at all as far as I'm concerned. It sure beats Time Stories, which can really only be played once, as the clues and locations don't vary like they do in MoM. Moreover, another scenario is already available online for just a fiver.

3. Payoff
I don't see why you'd be left unsatisfied if you describe yourself as "a huge theme guy". If MoM excels at one thing, it's offering a very thematic and immersive experience. The game definitely offers a challenge as well. No way you're going to win every scenario in a single go. And while a good deal of luck is involved as is always the case with games that include dice, there's enough strategy to keep combats and exploring interesting.

As for people hating the game, there aren't that many. The score and ranking on this website says enough in that respect.
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Chris Franka
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Fortinero wrote:
I am a huge theme guy who values the thematics of a board game, I am good with a game that is high in theme and immersion but maybe it's slightly mechanically flawed. One of my requirements for co-op games, is that it be challenging especially if the replay-ability is not there.


I agree with some of the prior posters that this game perfectly supports the above requirements. The theme is very well done. The gameplay is just ok mechanically. My one-phrase summary after playing a few times is "Lovecraftian Choose Your Own Adventure."

In short, the story for each scenario is very engaging as it plays out IF you like the theme to begin with. However, mechanically, I've found that there is often one optimal path to victory, and on at least two occasions, I played to a loss that was basically "I went right a couple of times when the path to victory was left." I wasn't given enough information beforehand to know "left" was the path to victory in these choices but it became apparent near the end of the scenario (when it was too late to change the outcome). The story was still very engrossing, and I didn't particularly mind that my investigators lost because the story along the way was enjoyable and immersive.

The next time I play, the items and investigators and maybe monsters might be different but I know now that there are certain choices I *have* to make to have a chance at the victory outcome, and future plays would involve trying to get that victory using that information. In other words, the first play is engaging story for the story's sake, and future plays would be more about trying to achieve victory with the cost being less surprises in the story arc. It is replayable, but just with a different goal and a different feel.

And it is challenging, but mostly because there's a time limit on many scenarios, so you have to be efficient. Some people enjoy that challenge of figuring out how to be efficient, but others don't find it enjoyable, especially in this type of "strategy lite" game.


Now, I know most of my friends are strategy fans first, not story fans first. I think they would be disappointed with gameplay where they felt like they lost because the game didn't provide them with enough information to know ahead of time that choice A was wrong and choice B was right, and thus they didn't have control over the outcome. Sure, if you were LUCKY enough to make the right dialog choices or right priority choices (where your investigators move or whether those investigators spend time on a monster combat or retrying a failed skill check) then you might feel like you had "control." But having a choice with limited information and then getting unlucky or lucky is not the kind of "control" my friends enjoy, and they don't enjoy the theme nearly as much as I do, so I know not to bring this to the table when they are around.

Hopefully when you look at my experience, you can figure for yourself: Are you in the group that likes Choose Your Own Adventure stories even if your team loses? I think you'll really like the game. Are you in the group that's going to be bitter that you wasted your time playing a game to a loss when you didn't have enough information to see the path to victory until after the fact? It's probably a pass.

I haven't touched on the financial aspect of this game because that's so dependent on individual circumstances and priorities that I can't meaningfully comment on how it would impact another person's buying decision.
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CROVAX
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Rafael Ramus wrote:
Fortinero wrote:
I know other reviewers like SUSD also are not huge fans of this game.


I couldn't find their review, where can I find it?

EDIT: I'm in the same spot as the OP. Can't decide if I should buy it or not (I'm not that much of a fan of apps also, so there's also that).


While they haven't ever done a written or video review, on their podcast they have expressed that they weren't crazy about the game. Also, on their AH:LCG video, they did say that it was the first Lovecraftian game they've ever been able to recommend.


ALSO... thank you everyone for your great replies. I think I'm going to try to pick the game up once it comes back into print.
 
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I'll try to address what worries you

1) $70 for a game with the components is has doesn't seem out of line compared to other games with lesser components or a lesser game behind them to me but your mileage may vary.

2) Four scenarios that are replayable, where some have dramatically different events occur, might seem pricey. There is already an inexpensive official digital scenario and fan based modules are starting to fill that void.

3) Games can be resold and this is no exception. I can't speak to your future satisfaction or dissatisfaction but but I would perceive the resale value of this game to be quite high, this would further reduce your cost per play.
 
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David Tolin
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Fortinero wrote:

1. Price - once this comes back in stock, I can get it from my FLGS for $70, so it's not like it's crazy expensive. But for $70 there are many many other options out there.


Look for Barnes & Noble coupons and buy it for $50 or less.
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