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Tips & Strategies (34)

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5
Viscount / Viscountess
Novice Reviewer
Junior
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
24 of 24 gamers found this helpful
“Start setting up early!”

If you know that you’re going to be playing mansions, start setting up as soon as possible. Do a little side game with the investigators while the keeper does the set up. or if you’re teaching people to play for the first time, have a partner that can explain the game while you set up. Even keeping everything well organized, you should put aside at least 30 minutes for set up.

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10
Critic - Level 5
Professional Advisor
Expert Reviewer
Marquis / Marchioness
40 of 41 gamers found this helpful
“Beware of abusing Uncontrollable Urges as Keeper ”

As noted previously, the Uncontrollable Urges card was deemed too powerful, and changed to only be used once PER INVESTIGATOR per turn.

I’ve found that even with this change, the Keeper may want to be careful of how often they use the card, for the sake of the enjoyment of the players. I’ve seen a few games where, even using Uncontrollable Urges once per investigator per turn, the game lost its fun for the players.

This is especially true when an investigator has to bring an item to a certain room. Even when running (moving three spaces per turn), a Keeper using Uncontrollable Urges to push them back a space can make this take unbearably long. If a key is needed to open a door before any other player can do anything useful, the game grinds down, limiting everyone’s enjoyment.

As a Keeper, you may increase your chances of winning by grinding out the players with Uncontrollable Urges, but I recommend paying attention to the group dynamic. As a Keeper, I would much rather lose to a group of players that enjoyed the experience, than win against players that wish they hadn’t played in the first place.

Mansions of Madness is a game where the experience is a major part of the game. Use Uncontrollable Urges to your advantage while playing the Keeper, but not to the detriment of the game.

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4
Gamer - Level 3
Amateur Advisor
Noble
21 of 21 gamers found this helpful
“Don't play to win, play for story”

If you are the Keeper for the game, it takes some of the fun out if every move you make holds back the players. Play it out as if it were a horror story. Monsters charge blindly at the investigators, they don’t step in an out of the room repeatedly to make them take sanity checks! Most games that I have played tended to strongly favor the keeper if he played purely to win, and that isn’t really where the fun in the game is.

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3
Rated 10 Games
Intermediate Grader
Tinkerer
19 of 19 gamers found this helpful
“Grave Secrets”

Create a cover to put on top of the pile of room cards so players don’t know if there are clues, locks, obstacles or just items in a room. It makes the game more fun, as players won’t rush to rooms with locks in them.

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8
Canada
El Dorado
Professional Advisor
Senior
16 of 16 gamers found this helpful
“Setup is key”

Since an error during setup can broke the game and the immersive experience I reccomend that the keeper (most of the time the one owning the game) prepare the game before getting people around the table. So the 30-45min set up time wont be addd to the gaming time and the keeper will reduce setup error.

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5
Plaid Hat Games fan
Miniature Painter
I play red
13 of 13 gamers found this helpful
“Investigators Swapping Items”

It can be confusing waiting until the keeper phase to swap items, or spend such valued actions to drop items for others. I’ve found that so long as two players share a space at any point, they are allowed to give or swap ONE item.

It just seems more realistic– if I’m passing my buddy in a spooky mansion and I want to toss her an ax, I’ll toss her an ax. We’re not going to fumble through our pockets and reorganize our belongings, but a quick coordinated swap makes sense– these people can multitask and talk, actions are reserved for more important events.

Of course, to prevent game breaking, if you’re giving the item that turn, you can’t have used it that turn.

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3
I'm a Real Player!
21 of 22 gamers found this helpful
“Simultaneous Actions”

I don’t know if this was specifically stated in the rules or not, but as Keeper I instructed the investigators to, if they wanted, take their turns simultaneously.

Obviously, they may not always want to. But when it comes to movement and combat, especially if they split up, sometimes they did just to move things along quickly. It worked well.

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5
Smash Up: Zombie Faction Fan
Miniature Painter
Plaid Hat Games fan
21 of 22 gamers found this helpful
“Keeper Strategy: Chip away”

Killing investigators too soon is usually a serious mistake on the keepers part. Beat them down and load them up with as many nasty status’s as you can – but don’t finish the job until the plot is revealed – otherwise they just respawn at full health.

Of course, don’t grief them too much, or they’ll never want to play again. I try to point out the humor/narrative of the conditions to help them identify more with the story that’s unfolding.

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3
Rated 10 Games
Intermediate Grader
Tinkerer
20 of 21 gamers found this helpful
“Random Ressurection”

If a player dies before the objective is revealed, they get a new character, but it must be selected randomly.

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5
Smash Up: Zombie Faction Fan
Miniature Painter
Plaid Hat Games fan
28 of 30 gamers found this helpful
“Investigators: Listen Carefully”

As an investigator, time is not on your side, the longer you spend bumbling around, the more time the Keeper has to break you down. In order to move quickly listen carefully to the clues and the initial set up story – they usually give some sort of indication what room you need to check out next – “The corpse has spaghetti sauce stains all over his shirt” – better check out the kitchen.

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9
USA
Platinum Supporter
Petroglyph
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
46 of 50 gamers found this helpful
“You go that way. I'll go this way.”

This is a strategy we have recently tried with great luck. Normally, everyone has a habit of sticking together. You build your team in a way to support each other and sticking together seems like the thing to do. Well, it is, but spreading out right at the beginning can be extremely rewarding… and add even more tension than usual.

Why would you do this? Well, it allows you to cover more ground (obvious) and find more clues faster (obvious too) while you are in your healthiest state and probably won’t die (aughhhh yes!). You are also doing this before events start. If someone gets attacked and has to fall back, fine, you’ve flushed out a creature.

Depending on what we’ve found, we’ll regroup at a location where we are most needed and usually stick together from there on out.

I’m sure our GM will adjust to this strategy, so we will have to adjust ourselves. I do believe you should give this a try if you haven’t already. It seems like a Scooby and Shaggy move… but it works, for now.

Happy Gaming!

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4
Gamer - Level 3
Amateur Advisor
Noble
19 of 20 gamers found this helpful
“Organize, organize, organize!”

This game really should come with some better storage compartments.

When starting a game, some pieces are set up by the investigators, and some are set up by the keeper. If you have your pieces split between the two, it saves time. While the investigators lay out the board, the Keeper can make his decisions and seek out the cards he needs. While he’s placing the cards on the board, the investigators can talk to each other and pick out their characters and maybe decide on a rough exploration strategy.

Organize your pieces, organize your tasks, make sure you have lots of space to play, and it won’t feel like such a chore to set the game up every time.

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8
Professional Reviewer
Canada
I play black
Silver Supporter
16 of 17 gamers found this helpful
“Keeper - Bring the story alive”

As a Keeper it is entirely up to you that the game is a frightening and unsettling experience as opposed to a droll sequence of moves and rolls.

Have a good idea of what awaits the players. Tell them about the creaking boards and the howling of the wind (or is it?). Describe how the witches break apart the floor planks and emerge a twisted monstrosity as opposed to just plopping the mini down on the board. Tell the players of a childhood nightmare that revisits them as their sanity drops.

Speak for the NPCs – make their insults and threats specific to the characters.

Put in the extra effort and it will be an experience instead of a playthrough.

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10
Critic - Level 5
Professional Advisor
Expert Reviewer
Marquis / Marchioness
29 of 32 gamers found this helpful
“Incorporate officially errated cards into your adventures”

There are a number of cards which have received offical errata since the first printing, by the designers of Mansions of Madness. The address below takes you to a .pdf of the updates (it also includes errata that appeared in the first edition).

Summary of cards with changes:

Uncontrollable Urges (Keeper) – may only be used once per investigator per turn

Eldrich (Combat Card) – Abomination stikes, using tentacle as a whip: Swap the pass and fail effect; passing should have no effect.

Story 1 – Objective Card 1A – When revealed, discard all lock cards, and remove Maniac Attacks Keeper Action

Story 1 – Objective Card 1C – Keeper wins by killing TWO investigators instead of ONE

Story 5 – Map has a few mistakes, see link below for corrections.

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/mansions-of-madness/support/mansions-faq-v-2.pdf

Gamer Avatar
10
Critic - Level 5
Professional Advisor
Expert Reviewer
Marquis / Marchioness
28 of 31 gamers found this helpful
“For Story 5 - Be Clear About Special Rules”

There are special rules that the players are given before Story 5 starts (these are in the rulebook, along with the “Story So Far”). I wouldn’t consider this a spoiler (as all players get these instructions), but in case you haven’t looked at the story yet and don’t want to know about the special rules, I’ll leave a space and you can stop reading now!

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I’d recommend stressing to the players to pay attention to these special rules before the game. We had a run through of the scenario where they were read, but no one paid much attention to them, focusing on other things. This came back to put at least a slight damper on the gaming experience.

The special rules state that players can attack each other, and there could be a card played that will turn one investigator against the rest. I suggest showing the players the different play facedown Mythos cards before the game, so they fully understand the implications of the keeper handing out facedown Mythos cards

Even having read the rules, I (as the keeper) played a couple of the play facedown Mythos cards, and the players didn’t understand what was going on, and ignored them. Finally, near the end of the game when one investigator started attacking, they were blindsided and didn’t know what was going on.

I should have done a better job at the beginning to “set the tone” and make sure everyone knew what was possible using these special rules and play facedown Mythos cards. Don’t make the same mistake, be sure to stress that these special rules are a vital part of the story!

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8
Professional Reviewer
Canada
I play black
Silver Supporter
15 of 16 gamers found this helpful
“Prepare puzzles in advance”

Puzzles have a tendency to break up the flow of the game when these enter play – you need to fish out the pieces, assemble them etc.

Take care of that pre-game – the Keeper will know which puzzles might be a part of the game – have everything laid out and ready to go so that you spend minimum time on set-up and maximum time driving your friends insane.

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3
Brazil
5 of 5 gamers found this helpful
“Don't waste time... Focus on objective!”

With 2 movements and one action, at the beginning of the game there are many rooms to explore. A lot of people decide to explore everywhere its possible, but… this means spend time too.
Every time you spend a action to make a search, you waste 50% of your advance. Multiply this each round and you will see that you could reach some clues much more fast!
If you focus to reach the room with clues and follow them fast to reach the next one, you will gain a lot of time to win the game.
Leave the search for the ones who is not follow the clues at the moment. In general not everybody goes to the same room at the same time.

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8
Intermediate Reviewer
Copper Supporter
Viscount / Viscountess
5 of 5 gamers found this helpful
“Don't be an evil Keeper”

If you are playing with novice players, do not throw everything and the kitchen sink at them. Try to make the story a pleasure and a challenge, it will increase the chance that they will want to play again.

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5
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Professional Grader
I Love Playin' Games
18 of 20 gamers found this helpful
“Painting adds to the expierance. ”

If you have the will to paint the figures it adds so much to the game. If you don’t feel like painting them try and get a friend who would be willing to do it. Well worth it it if you can manage it.

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3
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
18 of 20 gamers found this helpful
“Blitzing is best”

I’ve tried this game a couple of times now, every time as a player, and what’s worked best for me is to get to the clues as quickly as possible. It’s difficult to heal yourself with only one action per turn and it’s not worth getting sidetracked with potentially good looking gear.

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