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Dropped the difficulty down and we managed to do the first scenario! We had one character get knocked out, but seeing as it was my son after he ran into room 3 having not cleared room 2 that's down to stupidity.


It certainly wasn't easy and still required a good bit of coordination between us, but we are getting there now.


Onwards and upwards to scenario 2.


Also, I ripped the cards up as per the instructions! Which made me sad, but I also love it and don't see me selling it. With 95 scenarios to complete, I expect we'll be playing this until the boy leaves home. 

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My copy has been returned to sender. DHL/UKMail are the most useless pile of wankers I've ever had to deal with. Impossible to contact by phone, only an automated system which relies on you having a code from your "sorry we missed you" card. Guess what? They never left the card. Tried their online help portal, facebook and twitter, all to no effect. Never had a problem with any other courier.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Enjoying it a lot so far. Just played the second scenario this evening.


Took a while for us to get our heads round everything and there was some backtracking on a couple of occasions when we realised we’d played something incorrectly, but now we’ve found our feet it’s playing a lot faster and we’re really enjoying it.


The set up and break down is probably my biggest criticism, and I’ve got the organiser! Not that it’s too much of a problem, just a bit finicky.



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It's definitely a game you can learn to get better at, and when it clicks your party can cleave through dungeons like a well-oiled machine, like a good World of Warcraft group or something. It's so much better than other dungeon crawlers that rely on the RNG of dice to create drama, and I've never felt with those games that you can actually demonstrate any significant level of player skill other than positioning and good equipment and hoping you get good rolls. In this you really have to think hard about when to use different cards and effects and how to synergise with the other players at the right time. It's a lot like a tactical RPG like Ogre Battle or something.

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Spectacular example of reverse psychology in action:


*orders recharge pack for Charterstone  *


next day


* receives email suggesting Gloomhaven should ship at the end of the week (having been pre-ordered in the autumn)*


To say I'm excited for this one is a bit of an understatement.  

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Playing this tonight, we're about 3/4 through the campaign... do really enjoy it




I wish there was more branching in the campaign for failure/success.  We've got to the point where we don't replay a mission if we fail, we just don't take the loot and extra XP.

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Having made good use of snizzly Sunday, I think I'm almost ready to rock 'n' roll on the first scenario using a party comprised of Brute, Tinker, Spellweaver and Ratboy classes.  I've managed to appropriate redundant games boxes and spare baggies for the components without having to construct any organisers or raid the Tupperware.  I would like to paint the miniatures but they are so small and detailed I feel this would not be a project for a beginner. 


I'm not implementing the instruction for solo players to ratchet up enemy levels and trap damage because of access to perfect information.  I think that is an unreasonable demand when you are still learning the language and flow of the game - maybe later on.  It's also not true to say the SP has perfect information given the enemy actions and order are unknown at the point of planning your party's first actions. Not to mention the general observation based on personal experience that keeping multiple strategies / data-sets in ones head is actually a drawback at times, compared to a single-minded focus on one.  



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I played through the first scenario solo the other day. I wanted to play it with my daughter helping me but it took too long to look up the rules every time I wanted to do anything so gave up and played another day on my own. Played with Brute and Mindthief. Wasn't blown away, but feel like I've learned the ropes so hopefully things will improve from here. I just completed it, with my final attack of the game, managing to fulfil both battle goals but without picking up the treasure chest. I had to back up a couple of times - I thought the Brute was exhausted twice, which would have ended the game, but realised I hadn't used a shield on one occasion and that the enemy shouldn't have moved on the other occasion (my playing area was so chaotic I pulled an extra attack card for the enemy). I did my best not to lose my cards but found myself burning through them anyway. Looking forward to getting stuck in again, but not sure when I will have the time!


EDIT, oh and I played it on the lowest difficulty level, adjusted for solo play.

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This feels very much like Baldur's Gate the Board Game doesn't it?  


So much better than the D&D games which I found rather tedious combat wise. My party went down to a fairly honourable defeat in Black Burrow just after opening the room to the third room.  Spell weaver was exhausted from card shortage (a real noob mistake on my part given there is a specific action which enables one to recover all lost cards), the other three were KO.  I'm sure I'll do better next time with maybe a few of the advanced cards mixed in to the decks, plus a deeper appreciation of the individual character roles.  I also had unused benefits from items.


It was tense and demanding throughout, but not so much from a rules point of view, more trying to make a good selection of actions (and in particular when to use the more powerful one-use ones, which I know I'm going to struggle with since I'm a desperate hoarder of more powerful items / actions in RPGs).  The variation in enemy actions is a really good feature - for example at the end of the game the archers in the third room had no move action and no line of sight on Ratboy, the sole survivor (he survived only because he had been skulking around long-resting in the rear and mopping up coin when he should have been further forward).  Anyway he managed to kill a skellie by pushing it onto a trap, did some damage via a rat swarm, and although he couldn't hold on, you could see how with a bit of back up we could have prevailed because that bottle neck should be fairly straightforward to deal with.  


As is is, everyone got a little gold and some XP on the start of their journey and, after a night out under the stars, will be back for a second attempt tomorrow.



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Later, or "Ill met in Gloomhaven part 1" [spoilered for length / possible irrelevance to thread]




“Now listen up yer good for nothin's”, Jutson got to his feet just as the party were raising the roasted squirrel kebabs to their lips.  “Wotcha call that shitstorm that went down in yonder barrow?  You” pointing at Harry “seemed more interested in coin, and you” turning toward Demetria, “what went down with you?  Ain’t you supposed to be a spell weaver?.  Then, weave some fricking spells.  Let me put it plain, there ain’t no I in team” *scratches head* “at least I fink not.  None of youse should be thinkin’ you got easy dosh getting on this job.  I could bring in a big fat Cragheart for tuppence and likely a Scoundrel for less than that; heck two of ‘em would likely kill each other for a penny piece dropped in the gutter.  No, I don’t need you, but you bloody bags of pulp sure need ME.  Get this inter yer lug ’oles, we ain’t going NOWHERE until we cleared out that dive and killed the biggest monster of the lot, coz that’s me job, that’s wot I do - its wot me old man did and ‘is old man and ’is old man before ‘im like as not - and wot you lot signed up for.” at this point, Finch sighed deeply, unnoticed by the big Inox  “No, no whorehouse or fancy dan shoppin’ for the likes of you until we’re done ‘ere”  


With that he sat down and an uneasy peace descended over the camp; strangely though they found the fire wouldn’t heat their coffee up that evening, and those who periodically woke from a shallow and troubled sleep perceived an overwhelming stench of sewer-rat wafting around too and fro in the night air.”


later the next day……


“Yer all see now how it should be done?  Pullin’ together, working to your strengths that’s all it takes.  Nice work Finch, me old mucker with that ink bomb wipin’ out the scum in droves, an’ even grabbin’ that treasure chest, even if I had to lend you a ‘and carrin’ it outta that dump, hrr hrr.  An’ ‘arry, you ’n’ I may never be mates but I sure appreciate the shift yer put in today, wore yerself right out, yer did, an’ them baby rats you carry about in yer cloak earned their corn too, nice work son.  An’ Demiter, Demitry, wotever yer call yer self” “Demi will suffice sweetie if you can’t get your cro-magnon brain around a simple tetra-syllable name” “even YOU showed some staying power this time around, hrr hrr - now, wotcha all reckon - we go back to town and ‘ave a knees up, or press on down them steps?”


to be continued…..


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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/16/2017 at 12:42, Benny said:

Some SUASD reviews have been a bit off the mark for me personally of late, but Matt Lees absolutely nails this Gloomhaven review:




Agreed. I've only watched two of these, the other being Kingdom Death Tits 'n' Death.  The presenter in this feels much like I do (he doesn't open any of the sealed boxes if anyone is wondering); I suspect he likes the game more than some other members of his group.


Anyway, some 10 or so scenarios completed, and with the aid of player organisers constructed from LP mailers of all things, this is wot I think;




Character development - the game totally nails it with role specialisation within the team possible via the player's card deck and then ongoing refinement / re-inforcement via the customised attack modifier deck.  


Monster behaviour - everything behaves just as you imagine it should (or have experienced numerous times before in video games) - spitting drakes just stay in their corners flapping their wings and shielding up, hounds come at you fast and with bite (bleed).


Underlying simplicity - the rule book is lengthy but the game mechanics and rule set are straightforward - there being no strange oddities or exceptions to general rules.  You can add a few house rules for pragmatism* if you like (e.g particularly onerous effects from road events may be removed by rest, summons can't summon) but the core is rock solid.


Enemy and world level scaling - the bane of video games as a rule, but here it works well, as well as you get better at customising your team members and more familiar with enemy behaviours.  Increasing prosperity too is an excellent idea bringing in interesting new goods.


Investment decisions - buy a bit of expensive kit for use now or invest in a card upgrade for future versions of you?


Different paths to tread - I reached the first point of either / or  in the "main quest" and backtracked a bit to get enchantment achievement and then water breathing (that was by far the toughest scenario to date) because a random scenario I had unlocked requires them (I've done a bit of delving in the scenario book to see how things link together and which are key nodes offering lots of unlocks or power ups, but you may be playing blind).  So it hasn't all been crypts for me by any means.


Personal quests - what a great little addition!  They also ensure that characters will retire at different points in the adventure e.g Demi, the Spellweaver, has a long path ahead of her since she won't achieve hers before prosperity level 4 is reached, whereas Harry the rat only needs to kill a few lurkers before the ultimate poison will be his and he leaves the group (hence the investment dilemma above). I got lucky with some initial draws but another house rule I think I will implement for new characters will be to have a PQ which is at least loosely related to the character class, and on a different unlock path.


Dislike - nothing major other than preferring a different (plain?) background to the attack modifier decks to distinguish the two sides better if the cards get muddled. I also taped up the bottom of the character tuck boxes to stop cards falling out.  You may need some tokens or other markers now and again to record individual kills etc.


I think at the beginning I was planning to swap different characters into and out of the party but it's a bit fiddly once individual attack decks get customised, and I feel the game was meant to be played with players 1-X in each party so that succession is clear (inherited perks!) - the logical successor to Harry will be a scoundrel for example unless his retirement unlock is unmissable (mind flayer perhaps given the symbol  ?????? - now that would be interesting).


*  for time saving reasons - the only real downside to playing this solo is that each scenario necessarily takes longer.





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