Mansions of Madness, Streets of Arkham

momSoA2nd Edition of Mansions of Madness has a potential. In fact, there has been quite few surprising, and enjoyable scenarios. Most recent addition to the collection was Streets of Arkham. Rather on the pricey side, it has few updates, such as puzzle (could have been easily done digitally without tying it to hardware product), claim that content becomes more flexible (also not dependent on the hardware product), and then three scenarios – which incidentally also are not dependent on boxed product. All else included are fluff. New tiles (given the amount amassed so far from various sources, there is significant lag finding the needed tiles), items cards, and then again – new investigators. – The ones published in previous expansion were anything but such a rubbish. In my opinion, the best suite of investigators were the originals from 1st ed remade to fit for 2nd ed. In fact, because each was different, and required different play style.

My real incentive to buy in was because of the promise of flexibility and potentially greater chance to replay the existing scenarios. Nothing else. That promise is yet to be seen. What the game system really needs, is more content. Yes, digital content. Apparently the hardest kind to produce.

Streets of Arkham was published with three scenarios (which appear nice) and more everything else. Interesting considering that pretty much everyone voiced the opinion that scenarios are needed over anything else. More everything else may be the doom of the game system. More “stuff” does not make the game better. It makes the game worse.

For example, there are quite few things which can be used to improve character stats – eg. make everyone equal. I’m a bit afraid that this is the X-Wing way where it all started fine, but then really weird upgrades and ships started to appear which reduced the gap between quantity vs. quality model. For Mansions of Madness, more characters, character “updates” etc actually makes the characters more similar to each other. At the end, because everyone is a superhero, monsters need to be upgraded accordingly. A pity.

In fact, the new characters that are included in Streets of Arkham are, well, not so much uninteresting as factually much too “good”. High stats on the most commonly used things, special abilities that grant free actions and in fact, one associated firearm. And so on. Why?

Why it is so hard to do the right thing, and just build good scenarios on the existing material. The potential is not even half used. Anyone would pay quite decent money from a pack of, say 10 scenarios which have few different layout versions depending on the group size and maybe few different goals.

I don’t personally care about map tiles or the “stuff”. I don’t care about including more and more stat-increasing cards and spells. I don’t care about pointless characters (superheroes). I care about proper content. Good content. Scenarios. Please save the game system before it goes too far into MoM 1ed, or X-wing road. Please. Anyone?

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