Brief Recap: Mansions close win, Doomtown first test game

Last week I played two games: a Thursday-night run out of Doomtown with Jim and Sean, long awaited; and the Gates of Silverwood Manor scenario for Mansions of Madness with the Tallens on Sunday night.

Starting with Mansions of Madness, Ben, Noe and I managed to pull off a win (just). Already pretty nutty Gloria Goldberg was mad, quite mad, as was taciturn-Groundskeeper Wilson Richards. Akachi Onyele managed to keep her sanity. However, we were all wounded by the end of the game and some of us advanced along the road to being plain old dead, so we solved it really in the nick of time, before our brains and blood leaked out entirely.

I found this image when searching for an image of Officer Tetsuo Mori, Arkham’s first and only policeman of Japanese descent. In true Lovecraftian style, he did not fare as well as the white people in this story.
Anyway, what an image, right? I’m imagining one eager soul bustling down to the news-stand “Is this month’s edition of American Police in yet? There it is… what a beauty!”

Fortunately, if you can ever use such a term in relation to a Mansions outcome, our insanities were not victory condition changing derangements. Gloria, for example, just couldn’t ever disagree with Wilson, which is no big deal because Ben wasn’t suggesting crazy strategies. The group survived the unusual geography of the Silverwood Manor and also survived the Princess-is-not-in-this-castle twist. Another well written adventure that was fun to play. It’s relatively spoiler free to say that by the end of the game the monsters (which had started off as easily dispatched nuisances) had become truly terrifyingly tough.


The time ran a little long: the upper limit was stated as three hours. It took us almost exactly 3 hours of only play time (after setup and character selection) and that was with only three players. I’d have to think that 5 players would be even longer. 4 of the 6¬†scenarios we have not yet played are shorter than this though and I hope they continue to release scenarios at <3 hours.

Still a game I look forward to playing, I really have to get these monsters painted.

We finally managed to get Doomtown: Reloaded out for a spin. I gave Jim and Sean a rough overview of how the game worked and then we played two open-hand rounds of the game, so that hopefully the workings would make themselves clear.

I learned to love the town drunk, Prescott Utter: Magnificent Bastard.

Once we were playing, the terminology that made reading about the game unwieldy made a little more sense and fades into the flow of the game. We played the open hand game fairly aggressively, just to show how shootouts and the like worked. Sean selected the Morgan Cattle Company, maybe the least aggressive of the decks and went full bore… and was wiped out.

We played a closed hand, regular game next… but Sean pretty much repeated his suicidal run. He was unlucky with his cards, sure, but it helped illustrate that audacity is a risky approach. Jim and I maneuvered around a little before getting into a series of engagements that – I think – illustrate how the game is actually won: careful positioning. Being lucky in a shootout or having the cards to back you up in a shootout is all well and good, but picking your fights strategically (especially in such a way that a loss still achieves a goal) looks like the way to get good at the game.

I enjoyed it and thought that play made sense – once you can get the order of operations memorized – which is good because the rulebook is still a terrible place to try to find rulings. Three player games are maybe always going to be bloody, but it would be good to find Sean a deck that better suits his more aggressive style.

“Frank, I’m callin’ bullshit on sittin’ on a bar stool while we sit in chairs.”

Hopefully we’ll get a few more games in, with more people, because I think it can only be more fun, the faster and slicker it is. I’m not as nervous to try to explain how it works now either, I think the open-hand round is probably enough to get going. ¬†It’s going to take a while for anyone to get legitimately good at the game, so there’s plenty of incentive for rookies to jump on in.