Everything You Need to Know About The Mansky Caper!
As we finish up Spooky Month aka October, it’s time to spotlight the game with (in my professional opinion) some of the most fun cosplay potential! Get in, get the loot, and get out, it’s time to learn how to play The Mansky Caper!
How to describe The Mansky Caper? That’s always a fun question for me. It’s a press-your-luck, semi-cooperative game where a group of friends-turned-family try to run a heist… am I accidentally describing the Fast and the Furious movies? Again?
But that’s what it is! You play as a colorful cast of would-be mobsters trying to take down the kingpin Big Al Mansky by breaking into his mansion and stealing his loot. The problem is, Big Al has a series of booby traps set up to deter trespassers, and he’s not afraid to blow up his own mansion to keep you from getting the goods! And of course, what would a good team be without special abilities that set them apart?
How to Play
Quick Start Guide
Place 5 room cards facedown on the table with an empty safe on top. Place the Getaway Car nearby. Everyone chooses what character they want to play and places them on the Getaway Car (each character has a different ability known as a Favor that other players can call upon). The youngest player selects one room to unlock (flip over). When you unlock a room you’ll fill the safe with the loot shown at the bottom of the card. Other rooms will be unlocked as you find keys.
On your turn you will do 1 of 3 actions: Open the safe in your room; move to another room and open the safe; Stash your loot at the getaway car.
If you open a safe, you shake up the safe in the room you’re in, take out a token, and do what it says. Key tokens give you a key to unlock other rooms. Gasp tokens trigger Gasp cards which can have a positive or negative effect. Danger Danger tokens require you to roll the Danger Danger Die, which can do anything from blowing up your loot, blowing up the room, or even making Big Al come home! If you ever pull 3 Danger Danger tokens in the same room, the room is destroyed and turned over. You can’t pull any more loot from that room.
Loot tokens give you loot that must be divided evenly amongst the players in the room, who then place the loot on top of their loot bag. Any loot that doesn’t divide evenly is left in the room until the number of players in the room changes (usually someone leaves, and the person left behind gets the stash!)
If you decide to go back to the Getaway Car, you can stash your loot, which means moving it from on top of your stash bag to inside your bag. Once loot is inside your bag, you’re no longer at risk of losing it from Danger Danger Die rolls. Of course, you could still get Hey Buddy’d (more on that in a second).
Each character has their own ability that other characters can utilize by “calling in a favor”. For example, Java Joey lets you draw 2 tokens from the safe instead of 1, and Nine-Lives Nicky lets you put a Danger Danger token back into the safe and draw a different token. A player can never use their own character’s ability, instead you’ll use your Favor token and give it to another player in exchange for their ability. They can then use that same favor token to call in a different favor from someone else.
If two characters are ever at the Getaway Car at the same time, one can call in a “Hey Buddy!”. Both players will empty their stash bags and divide them evenly, so this is a great tactic for a player without much loot. A Favor token used for a Hey Buddy is removed from play.
The game ends when all the rooms are destroyed, or all the players are at the Getaway Car and collectively decide to walk away. You’ll then count up your loot: gems are worth 5 points, coins are worth 1, and any unused keys are worth 3. The player with the most points wins!
Frequently Asked Questions
Where did you get the name Al Mansky?
Designer Ken Franklin took famous mobsters from the 1920’s: Al Capone + Bugsy Malone + Meyer Lansky got mushed together to make Al Mansky. And it’s pronounced Man’s – key (like in a lock), not Man – sky (like the atmosphere)
Can I give myself a favor to use my own power?
Absolutely not, though you can pay another player coins or gems to entice them to pay you a favor. Also remember that you can negotiate to buy and sell keys and favors…
Can I just stay at the getaway car for my turn?
Nope. When you’re at the car, your only choices are to re-enter the mansion or to use the “Hey Buddy” rule to split loot with someone else that happens to be at the car.
Can I look in my loot bag?
Nope. You can pat the outside of your bag to estimate your loot, but you can’t look in it unless you are splitting loot with someone using the “Hey Buddy” rule. You also may not touch or look into anyone else’s bag. This is happening at night, and Big Al might return home at any time! You can count your loot once the caper’s over!
If I get loot while I’m at the Getaway Car, what happens to it?
You get to stash it in your loot bag immediately!