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7 hours ago, watusi said:

Do I need this? I feel I want it but have hardly played the other games I have - doom, imperial assault. 

 

Is there barrier to playing? Would an 8 year old cope with it? 

 

I'm not a parent but I think it would be quite tough for an 8 year old unless they had already played some D&D or similar games.  It's mechanically  dry for one thing with a 2-card selection mechanic at the heart of it; and without much in the way of huge swings of luck / unpredictability to potentially add excitement during a game.  It's all about forming a party of adventurers and working out distinct roles for them within the party, and then implementing a sensible strategy for approaching scenarios, particularly those which are not just "kill everything" (of which there are a fair number). There is a loose story (but it's easy to lose sight of since there is a bit of a main quest / side quest feel at times) and as you go along the City of Gloomhaven develops economically around you, there is more for you to buy, you find out more about the history of it, and can use the cash you've earned to further develop the classes for current and later party members (this is a great feature). Each member of your party is only along for the ride for as long as it suits them - once they have completed their personal quest they are off and it's time to unlock a new class or create a new character from an already unlocked class. 

The game in it's entirety is a huge time commitment given that each scenario (out of 95 in total, albeit some of those are gated during any one campaign run unless you choose to run through them in casual mode / house rules) probably takes at least 2.5 hours (including set up), and you may want to return to ones already completed to grind cash or XP.

 

If you've played the heck out of either P&P RPGs or, particularly the likes of party based CRPGS such as  Baldurs Gate / Pillars of Eternity / Dragon Age, * then I reckon you will absolutely love it - it's a perfect representation of those games in table top form without requiring a DM (and is excellent for SP multi hand play since hidden information is minimal). In it's core combat card playing mechanic it's very simple, with an unambiguous and clearly set out rule book, but within that basic framework you can portray complex and characteristic actions (like electric bolt spell, a boulder throwing rampaging barbarian, a back stabbing thief, all sorts).  Everything even vaguely similar I've played since getting it (principally Sword & Sorcery, DragonFire, The City of Kings) has suffered in comparison either through inconsistency, very high unpredictability, or more of a puzzle than a game feeling (Rise of Queensdale being exempt from criticism at this point in time, and actually something I think might appeal to kids playing with parents because it's more varied from game to game, and much more tactile with lots of stickers etc).

 

* Divinity OS also, given that the combat in this is strictly turn based like for those games

Edited by Cosmic_Guru
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Cheers both, I am still tempted but think I'll resist. 

 

Was partly thinking of buying it to put away till the lad is older. But we struggle to fund time to get through a mission on doom at the mo. Sounds like this one is too much of a time commitment.

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Games using the gloomhaven system will only get better... the system is brilliant, the campaign lets it down. Future releases will probably make the campaigns more interesting.

 

I bought Doom in the Tesco sale and played it with a couple of friends... it’s great fun.

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I missed a trick with my organisers

 

£40 will get you 4 of these

 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/696931192/gloomhaven-player-mats?ref=category_newest&ref=discovery

 

OR, some coloured card, steel rule and paper glue bought from WHS (and some handy left over record mailers and the foam inset from the Gloomhaven packaging itself)...

 

These are admittedly little amateurish in places but they do the job of keeping all the active components in place as you lift the tray up and down and side to side from it's resting position (enabling the game to be played on the 1/2 table basically but also you don't need to put everything back into tuck boxes between scenarios).  If I had my time again I would alter the top right quadrant since it's easier to keep the active effect cards on the main table, and you could more usefully distinguish one use and refreshable item discards (passive benefit items get attached to the class card in centre).

 

2 months and counting now since I've played this :(.  

 

2018-01-28_17_25_17.jpg

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After a two month hiatus because LIFE, our group got back in the groove this Thursday with a semi-epic 3 hour session. No spoilers, but a main-story leading villain was put to the sword, and it felt goooood. Every room in the dungeon was crawling with Cultists, who did their unpleasant "spawn an Living Bones" ability, at least half the time. We are wise to them a little now, and immediately prioritised them above the rest of the mobs. One of our party is pretty super powerful at this point, and was giving out much of the hurt having nearly reached Level 8. Apparently just by sods law but his retirement requirements just haven't come around yet.

 

Towards the end of the missions I expertly (or riskily, depending on who you listened to :lol:) left my three fellow heroes to finish the rapidly dwindling boss off, popping my flying ability and YOLO'd into an adjacent room to smash and grab the sweet sweet chest therein. Last turn chest swag! Love that you can go off and do stuff like this. I got an excellent cursed axe for my troubles, which probably doesn't fit with my playstyle tbh (again, no spoilers, but my character is insect-borne), so I might flog it when I'm back in town and upgrade a card with a +1 instead.

 

Such a great game, never known a co-op game like this 'grab' you so much as this one does.

 

It was calculated that our party, who started back in November, and usually play every week/fortnight, have now completed 18 scenarios. We estimated we're only about a 1/4 of the way through (taking into account quests that get left behind due to choices). Crazy amounts of gameplay, even with the price tag! And that's without mentioning the incoming expansion...

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On 08/07/2018 at 22:39, watusi said:

Founders of gloomhaven arrived yesterday. anyone played it yet? I’m tempted to just still it in trading as I expect its too heavy for me. 

 

 We’ve played it a couple of times now in our group and a few times solo. It’s heavy but quite satisfying to build the city up. The first game at 4 took ages but subsequent plays and realising a few small rule mistakes have brought that down to 2 1/2 hours or so. 

 The scoring system is excellent - realising that you’ve handed more points to an opponent by building a structure is really annoying (in a good way) but so far every game has ended up really close. 

 It’s as far removed from Gloomhaven as you could get (apart from the card action selection mechanic) but I really like it and think it’s one that will improve with plays. 

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Big finale for us this Tuesday. Still lots we could do but we just want to see it done. Great mechanics but the campaign is just too long and not that interesting as a story... still, we’ve been playing most weeks for over a year, so that’s value for money!

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I’d like to see more RPGing going on. The mechanics are great for combat, but all the scenarios basically boil down to ‘kill all the things’... less missions but more variety and choices 

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... anddddd....

 

with that, Gloomhaven goes to the Great Kallax in the Sky (or at least my pals loft).  Not much more to say.  Cracking value.  Lots more potential.  The final scenario was fun, if not particularly difficult.. but then, I prefer boss battles to be like that.  Something a bit different and fun to play, but not punishingly and crushingly hard... it's got to feel achievable.  And with 5 level 8/9 characters -  we did hit pretty damn hard.

 

Good times.

 

On to weekly DnD sessions next week.

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My One Year anniversary of getting this, and exactly 8 months since last playing, I got it out again yesterday afternoon after spending a little time going back and summarising story progress to date (not the game's strong point as others have noted, and it's easy to loose track entirely when you zigzag around doing supplemental quests or maybe grinding Lost Island a few times, so it's worthwhile doing).

 

Gameplay wise, I forgot that in this your tank has to advance with shields up ready (rather than relying on armour or defence dice rolls) and got absolutely walloped for about 14 damage  by a rending drake in turn 1, but after that all was good, each character achieved their individual battle objective for once, and since it was a puzzle based map I could safely let my tank exhaust herself to notch another one up on her personal mission card (stupid objective to have for that class but hey ho).  In general though it was easy to get back into the swing after so long away and I'm now plotting the pathways for the retirements of the next couple of characters.  

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It's definitely not for everyone. I think it's a kind of Red Dead Redemption 2 situation, where those that love it really love it, and those that don't really do bounce off hard. Whoops, bringing videogame chat into physical game chat - slap my wrists and call me an Inox.

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I've decided the way forward for me is a Gloomhaven weekend each month, when the footie team are playing away.  Should get 2 or 3 scenarios done at a time that way and keep things ticking along without getting tired of it.  

 

I think I've posted earlier about how ideal this is for a single player who likes dungeon crawling (Icewind Dale style - all fight and not much story) - its much less messy than S&S (great fun though that game is) and you can mastermind the party's rate of change and development without the inconvenience of other players having different ideas.  The unlockable characters take a bit of time to learn and exploit and it's handy to be able to plot a way forward so that the team can stay evolving but still balanced.  There is one class I'm rolling with (the pink/red labelled chap below) who is a little awkward to play but potentially, in combination with another advanced magic user, could be deadly.  Here's the current team encountering the proverbial nest of vipers, with Buffy leading the way (she's the one who needs the exhausts to retire).

 

 

2019-01-22_15_53_58.jpg

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I pre-ordered the latest reprint from Chaos Cards last year and it arrived a couple of weeks ago.  This was a bit silly as I don't think I'll ever get round to playing!  If anyone wants it, I'll sell at cost £125 plus P&P.  It's not even been opened.  Thought I'd offer it here before the trading folder/ebay.

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With a last weary heave of her hammer, Buffy the Brilliant, Buffy who had stood and held the line so often, who had endured for a ball busting (so to speak in her case) 28 missions, who also healed her team mates, helped them recover their powers and made the sun shine a little brighter in the deepest dark caverns; smote the final demonic alter for 4 damage, destroying the power of the protective field over the artifact.  Exhausted, she fell to the ground, tore off her armour and staggered outside.  "That's it team, I'm all in.  See you in the tavern for a final drink and I'll be on my way". At which point Watson, supreme conjurer of elemental matter, tossed aside his staff and leapt alongside her - "that makes two of us mate, I've just got 10 gold to pay off and I'll be on my way too, just not in the same direction, no offence".

 

Romero and Tallis looked at each other and shrugged.   "One for the road then and we must be off on our travels again, for a long way we both have  to go ...."

Edited by Cosmic_Guru
better names identified for the 2 continuing chars
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One of the few criticisms of this is that it lacks those real "Punch the air" moments of satisfaction that stay with you - like finding the one treasure card in 40 ideal for your character (S&S) or pursuing a rumour which leads to all your Tarot cards being cancelled (this being Folklore and saving a huge 400 gold in the early game).  However, with some of the advanced classes and their unique powers you can come pretty close.  

 

Last weekend we had a contrasting trio of scenarios with the group which currently comprises 

Spoiler

berserker who gets much more powerful at low health, a straightforward summoner, a fresh bard who basically buffs the group to earn a point a round, debuffs enemies very well, but doesn't do much slaying herself and a fresh beast master who has a bear at her command and who also has some most ingenious moves in her own right.. 

 

The first was just a warmup in Treasure Island to get a sense for what the new characters in the group might need to purchase.

The second, to achieve my final "ancient technology" stripe required 2 pressure plates being occupied at opposite ends of the map, but not the elimination of all enemies - with an added twist that I decided to do it in 7 rounds or less to give one of my characters two ticks.

The third, to help a character who has to do lots of stuff in Dagger Forest, required mass slaughter and keeping an NPC alive.

 

I realised that there was a super strategy for the second which played to the strengths and weaknesses of my group (some being distinctly vertically challenged with commensurately low HP). 

 

Spoiler

the berserker would go one way, to the nearer plate, and use her rocket boots to fly across the lava.  She could hold off the fire demons and the golem and stay near the plate until the other group were ready.  The other 3 summoned to get rid of the flying gnats, ignored or debuffed the walking dead  and used their cloaks of invisibility to good effect to stay safe, but the way was fairly clogged with enemies.  The summoner eventually managed to move ahead and opened up the doors to the room with the second plate.  Then the killer move provided by the Beast master - "swap the position of any two figures".  Switch the bard and the golem guarding the plate and Bob's yer proverbial uncle. So sweet.

 

Mind you I'm a bit :sherlock: when it comes to understanding the content of the envelope I just opened as a result of this scenario (don't tell me if you know!)

 

I just have one character class to play before accomplishing the first of my self imposed  "completion" objectives.  I'm thinking that afterwards I will just create some fun teams and not worry about PQs after all the random scenarios have been unlocked (not bothered about the random items).  I can't wait to try some of the characters together.    Doing a few scenarios a month and knowing which to do in the next batch before you pack it away is the way forward for me on this.

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