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Review and Showcase: Mansions of Madness – First Edition

With the Second Edition of Mansions of Madness due out this Thursday (August 4, 2016), I wanted to get out a review and showcase of the First Edition. The First Edition was quite fun and I took the time to fully paint my copy. The Second Edition looks quite interesting and it alleviates one of the complaints that I have about the system, but we will get into that later. For now, let’s look at the First Edition and with what it came.

Box Art of Mansions of Madness – First Edition.
Back of the Box. This game comes with 24 Monster Miniatures and 8 Investigators.
The box itself is jam-packed with stuff. I do have one clam shell expansion set in this box, but those expansions are fairly small and don’t contribute too much to the fullness of this box.

The game itself is very good with and has many mechanics that my players enjoy. One of the main mechanics that they enjoy is solving puzzles. These puzzles are essentially mini-games within the game that allow the player to unlock doors or access treasure. Sometimes, I think I need to add a timer because some people like to take their time planning moves, but I tend to let that go as people are enjoying themselves. Combat is very simple and is both card and dice driven. Some players get upset as the card dictates what stat to roll against and when they have a strong (but slow) character having to roll dexterity (instead of strength) to hit a monster, they get upset. To me, I think that aspect adds a bit of charm to the game. My gripe with the game is that it needs an “Overlord” to run the monsters. Since I own the game, that Overlord is always me. Sometimes I would rather play instead. 2nd Edition will solve this problem as the Overlord is actually played by an IPad App. I am mixed on how I feel about a computer running a boardgame for a group, but it would give me a chance to actually play as an investigator. Now let’s get on to the minis in the box!

Two Mi-Gos. These are my favourites of the monsters. They each hold a human skull and are pulling out the brains for dinner. Scary stuff.  🙂
Two Shoggoths.
Four Zombies come in the box.
Two Hounds of Tindalos.
Two Maniacs
Two Chthonians.
I can see this Chthonian working out great for use in Frostgrave as a Worm.
Six Cultists.
Two Cult Leaders.
There are two Witches in the box.

The enemy models are okay, but the investigators are better. One thing that was disappointing is that the Creatures do not glue well onto the provided bases. I tried both Plastic Cement and Crazy Glue and in every instance, the minis popped off the base. Fortunately, the figures all have pegs that fit into the base. This issue with the glue will likely be present in Second Edition too because it has been stated that Fantasy Flight will be using the same bases as what was used in First Edition.

One can see here how the Super Glue and Plastic Cement did not hold the mini to the base.

Now on to the Investigators…

This is the group of armed investigators. The dog on the far right is actually a Mantic figure that I added in to represent the position of the dog. I believe it is a token in the game. The rest of the minis come in the box for the game.
These are the thinking characters from the Base set box.
This guy painted up very well. Great details in the face and legs.
The scientist.
That is a typewriter on her hip.
This lady is neat in that she is lighting a candle.
This guy is one of my favourite Characters. He can play a song to lure monsters, smash a monster with his guitar or have a dog help him on the map.
This is a Mantic Figure that I added to the game.
This guy painted up the best of the batch. I like him a lot.
If you are facing monster, it is best to go in armed.  🙂
This guy is running in with guns blazing!
This guy reminds me a little bit of the Phantom.

The game itself is about being driven to madness. Players that want to win, do not appreciate this style of game. You are never better than you start off. Perhaps you find a better weapon or learn a new spell, but you are constantly losing your sanity and taking wounds. This style of game makes for a great story that can be retold on later dates when reminiscing with friends. So long as everyone that joins is okay with telling a story where their characters descend into madness, then I highly recommend this game. It is great. If you have a group that wants to win no matter the cost, carry-on. This game is not for them.

It will be interesting to see what the Second Edition will bring to the table. I am pleased to see that Fantasy Flight Games is publishing a conversion kit to make all of the characters and monsters from the First Edition usable in Second Edition.

I hope that my readers enjoyed this post. I figured the review is somewhat timely because the Second Edition comes out this week and the components from First Edition will be usable in Second. For those that are lucky, they might even find the First Edition on clearance with a good price break. Typically I have good luck with Fantasy Flight Games and I can tell my readers with certainty that Mansions of Madness (First Edition) is an enjoyable game and I expect the same of the Second Edition.   🙂

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    will you be posting the rules at anytime. The game has good backbone, I guessing the board is as exciting as the gameplay.

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