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How to Play Mansions of Madness with Two Players

  • How To

When we first got our copy of the game we didn’t do much research because we didn’t want to spoil anything assumed since it was app-based that playing the standard way with one investigator each would be the best way.  

How to Play Mansions of Madness with Two Players

All we can say is that was not the case, we quickly learned the app mostly doesn’t adjust the scenarios or scale the game for different player counts.  By our second attempt at the first scenario, we were tearing our hair out and swearing as a mob of ghosts, cultists and deep ones had us trapped in a room as we failed to evade and attack over and over again.  It took pure grit to play through the disaster that we found ourselves in.

After that game, we were questioning our sanity in the real world and wondering why anyone in their right mind would play this game with two players.  It took seconds to realize that most people make some adjustments to play at this player count.

Below are some of the best house rules and variants you can use when playing Mansions of Madness with two players that will make the game more enjoyable and work better.

Playing with Two Investigators Each

Mansions of Madness with Two Players playing double handed

This is probably the most recommended way to play Mansions of Madness with two players.  To play this way players will each control two investigators and play as normal.  There’s not much to it but it can be quite a lot to keep track and manage, especially if you aren’t the most familiar with the game or playing two handed.

Giving Each Player Additional Actions

If you don’t want to play doublehanded you can opt to try and give additional actions or movement to make up for the fewer investigators, but it can be hard to gauge how much help you need for each scenario.  You’ll likely have to experiment with each and determine your preferred choice.

3 or 4 Total Actions

If you want a lot of extra help you can give players an entire extra action that can be used for movement or anything else.  If you need to make the game even easier you could even give each investigator four actions which may sound like a lot, but if you think about it, it would make the game comparable to a four-player game in terms of what you could accomplish during the investigator phase.

One Extra Movement Action

If you decide you don’t need that much extra assistance, you can just grant an extra movement action to allow players to navigate the board a little easier which can be quite helpful at the lower player count and move the game along at a better pace.

This may be all that’s needed for some groups because the unchanging map size is what has the greatest effect on lower player counts. It doesn’t matter whether you play with 5 or 2 investigators, the map stays the same number of tiles for each scenario, so navigation and exploring are tougher with fewer players.

Ignore Insane Win Conditions

In a two player game, the insane conditions can be even more difficult to accomplish or sour the game for some, especially if you also decide to use two investigators each.  You could either ignore these win conditions entirely or remove some of the ones you don’t like from the game.

Ignore the Loss Condition of an Eliminated Investigator

Normally when an investigator is eliminated players only have one additional investigation phase to try and win the game.

This is a very important rule to the overall gameplay in order to increase cooperation and difficulty and ensure no player has to sit out a very long game.  In a two player game though it becomes a little less important, especially if playing two investigators each, as one investigator being eliminated doesn’t necessarily mean one player has to sit out the rest of the game.

Ignoring this rule will make the game easier as surviving investigators will be able to continue towards the end of the investigation.  This can sometimes end up a little more thematic depending upon the scenario, but for some, this may make the game lose too much of its tension.

Overall this is a game that is probably best enjoyed with more, but with a few minor adjustments, it can work a little better for just two players.  Experiment with a few of these and see what works best for you, and let us know if there are any other house rules you use when playing Mansions of Madness with two players.

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