Regular readers of this blog will know how much Mansions of Madness has dominated my play time. The game in its base form is fantastic, offering people an insight into the world of Lovecraft while at the same time offering a challenging but rewarding game to immerse themselves into. However, this experience can be taken a step further by the inclusion of the expansions offered by Fantasy Flight Games (FFG), and then you have a game that really comes into its own and one that really stands out from the crowd.
When I heard that another expansion was set for release at the end of this year, I was buzzing with excitement, but when details were released about the scenarios that were going to be offered, well, it’s safe to say a pre-order was placed faster than a dice drops through a dice tower!
Mansions of Madness: Horrific Journeys is set to transport investigators up to the skies, across open seas and hurtling along the country by train, as the three new scenarios take new heights and fling investigators into new environments.
Horrific Journeys - What We Know
The first scenario in Horrific Journeys takes place upon a train, hurtling through the New England countryside. Aboard the 10:50 to Arkham, you and your fellow investigators are joined by a fellow colleague named Harriet. Aboard a train filled with you enemies, Harriet goes missing. How and why is unknown but you must find her before it’s too late, all while trying to avoid your enemies aboard the train!
The second scenario sees you high above the clouds aboard an airship, the Stargazer Majestic. As a storm stirs up and batters the airship, a fellow passenger is brutally murdered. Along with the storm, it becomes clear that dark forces are at work and it is up to you to work who committed the Murder on the Stargazer Majestic.
The final scenario offered up by the Horrific Journeys will lead investigators to sea aboard the RMS Morgana. You and your fellow investigators have been hired to investigate the strange happenings that have been plaguing the ship. It all sounds like another day at the office but of course, nothing is that simple. New to Mansions of Madness, this scenario introduces “agendas”, an allegiance held by the player that is kept secret from the group. Are you a human, simply trying to help everyone get to the bottom of the mystery, or are you in fact a Deep One Hybrid, masked in plain sight and read to drag other down to Hidden Depths and to their demise?
These three new scenarios sound absolutely fantastic. It’s great to see FFG taking the game to new environments and trying to keep it evolving and exciting for both new and existing players.
Perhaps most exciting of all though is the introduction of a new mechanic and adding “traitors” to the scenario Hidden Depths. This new mechanic will see you playing as either a human, desperately trying to escape the evils upon the ship by lifeboat, or as Deep One Hybrid, disguised within the crowds of people, desperate to keep your secrets safe from the world. The system works similar to when a player goes “insane”, with cards being dealt to players, each with an “agenda” and an instruction on how to win the game.
These are kept secret, like the “insane” cards and only when the game is complete do you reveal your allegiance and see who was successful with their “agenda”. This traitor mechanic is going to add more depth to the game and it definitely seems to me that it will work well. You will need three or more players in order to use this mechanic but it is something I am really looking forward to.
Alongside the new scenarios, you will also find four new investigators joining your roster, Trish Scarborough; the Spy, Silas Marsh; the Sailor, Agnes Baker; the Waitress and Jim Culver; the Musician. Each with a new unique ability to aid in your investigations, they aim to give players more choice and change the dynamic of both new and existing scenarios. Unfortunately, the only ability we can see from images is that of Agnes Baker, who will be able to start the game with her own, unique spell, Storm of the Spirits spell. We only know the name thus far but it definitely sounds powerful. These new investigators will of course come with the miniature counterparts as well as the cards which will detail their skill set.
From images released by FFG, it would appear that there will also be four new monsters in Horrific Journeys, three standard sized and one large monster, similar to the Streets of Arkham Expansion. Unfortunately, we have not been given details on “who’s who” but they certainly look like an interesting mix of fantasy and human villains who will be tasked with making your investigation that little bit more difficult.
Alongside all of this extra content, you will receive the regular map tiles and the extra items, spells, damage and horror cards which can be used in the new and existing scenarios.
All in all, this Horrific Journeys sounds like it is going to add a fantastic new spin onto an already great game. While these expansions can be pricey, I think the amount of content you receive is more than worth it! Not only do you get the new scenarios but the new elements can be used in existing scenarios like in past expansions but of course this all depends on FFG implementing them into the current stories.
As mentioned, my pre-order has already been placed and I cannot wait to get my hands on this new expansion to see how it plays with the existing expansions available. If you are a fan of Mansions or want something to revitalise it and get it back on your table, then this may just be the answer!