So our merry band of adventurers decided to break out Mansions of Madness for the first time this evening. I must say I rather enjoyed it. I'm on a hiatus from RPGs at the moment, so it was scratched a nice storytelling itch I'd been having.
The game really takes a play through before everything starts to fall into place. Setup is a little rigorous, but the tasks are divided up nicely. The group picks the overall scenario, of which there are 5 in the main book. I usually fall into the DM role in our roleplaying games, so while the players set up the map, and pick their characters, I made decisions about what's going on, and where the secrets are kept. This keeps someone who's read through the game from immediately knowing what to do. Based on the choices the Keeper makes, he then adds the challenges to the board.
My victims tonight were Jeff, Thomas, and Kent, though Thomas gave his spot up to Sarah about halfway through the game. Our first play through was a little slow, and several mistakes were made in early turns (one of which make it a little easy for them to win in the long run), but I really feel like the game will play through much more smoothly the next time we break it out (Which I hope I can do within the next week or so)
The components of the game are wonderful, with beautifully done double-sided tiles, giving you a bunch of combinations to work with, should you wish to create your own scenarios, which I think are fairly doable. Also, there are fairly cool puzzles that the players will need to solve throughout the game, And of course, the miniatures. Who can argue with plastic representations of most of the characters and fiendish creatures from Arkham Horror?
All in all, it was a little slow getting started, but once we got into the groove of it, I think a great time was had by all.