Number of Players: 3-6
Time: 60 minutes
Introduction to Betrayal at House on the Hill
Betrayal at House on the Hill is a horror themed board game by Avalon Hill. It is both a cooperative game and a competitive game which pits the players against the traitor who reveals themselves half way through the game. The board changes every time you play and each scenario has a different betrayer with unique abilities and goals. This is a fantastic game for adults who like a game that is a little more complicated and has insane replay value with 52 different haunt scenarios! If you are looking for a game to play this Halloween look no further than Betrayal at House on the Hill.
How to Play Betrayal at House on the Hill
Betrayal at House on the Hill is a little more complicated to play due to variety of haunts that it offers. I highly recommend watching a lets play of the game to get a better idea of the game and its rules.
Each character has 4 traits; speed, might, sanity, and knowledge. They traits are used throughout the game to complete certain tasks. For example, you may need to do and knowledge roll of 6 to open a vault. A character with a knowledge of 4 rolls 4 of the game’s dice and if the sum of those rolled dice is 6 or greater they open the vault. They are also how to measure damage taken. Damage comes in two forms, mental and physical. If you take physical damage, you move your marker down on might or speed. Likewise if you lose mental damage, you lose sanity or knowledge. After haunt, if any of these values falls to the skull, that character is dead and out of the game.
At the start of each game players start in the entrance hall and explore. They can move up to their speed value (so if their speed is 3 they can move 3 rooms) and keep exploring until they discover a room with an event, omen, or item symbol. They then stop and draw the related card to the symbol. If it’s an omen card, they must also make a haunt roll where they take 6 of the games dice and roll them. If the value of the dice is below the number of omens held by characters (as marked by the haunt tracker) the haunt begins. Players then consult the rule book by checking which omen was found and what room it was found in to see who the betrayer for that game is as well was what scenario they will be completing.
The betrayer must go to a separate room with their betrayers hand book and learn what their new abilities are, what monsters they controls, and what their goal is to win. The players have the survival book which they read to learn what they need to do in order to escape or kill the betrayer (and his monsters). The betrayer and the survivors don’t know what the other party needs in order to succeed, but you can always make an educated guess.
If the betrayer is using monsters, they have separate rules which they use. For example, a monster cannot explore rooms and when moving. Instead of moving the speed value (eg 4), the betrayer rolls that number of dice and the added number of the dice result is the monsters movement for that round.
Important note: When the haunt happens and the traitor (as a monster) is trapped in the basement, the stairs to the foyer automatically reveal themselves since monsters cannot explore rooms to find the stairs themselves. I have found that this rule is often missed by new players and could lead to bad experiences for the person who is playing the traitor.
Notes on Betrayal at House on the Hill
Betrayal at House on the Hill is one of the first board games that I absolutely fell in love with. Each game brings a new story, new board, and new experiences. I must have played this at minimum 30 times between the time that I bought it 6 years ago to today. I also own the expansion, the Dungeons and Dragons version, and the Legacy addition that was released in 2018. Any adult looking for a fun board game that they can play with their friends over and over, look no further than this beast of a game.