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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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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

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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  • 4 weeks later...

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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... 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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  • 4 months later...

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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  • 2 weeks later...

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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  • 1 month later...

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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  • 8 months later...

Was up at my mate’s in Bristol this weekend and finally got to play Gloomhaven. There were five of us so first try we had two sharing a character, but second attempt the extra guy offered to operate the enemies which worked well. I was initially a little underwhelmed by my character choice, but as I got a feel for his strengths and weaknesses I soon warmed to him. I’m playing as a rat that can use mind control and is all about scampering around collecting up coins. We all died on the first go with the last of our party collapse just as they opened the door to the third room, which while comical was a tad disheartening. We all agreed to tweak the difficulty down a notch to Easy and give it another go, 3 and a half hours later we were victorious. I had an epic moment where I jumped a trap to open the last door, had to take the full force of attacks from the newly revealed enemies until I could short rest in the hope of getting the card back in my hand that could let me jump back across the traps and scurry off to safety. I was on 1 health so if the card came up to be lost I’d not be able to save it and if the guards turn came before mine I’d be screwed.


3AEA1CB8-8CED-429F-8AE9-36AFCB6540AF.thumb.jpeg.5c5e2313694936ed358d05ef505599dd.jpeg

 

Was great fun and can’t wait for next year’s session...I imagine having the chance to play weekly would be incredible.

 

 

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I played this yesterday as well. Our group of four have been meeting up at a minimum of once a month, usually twice, to play this for two years now. Just over 30 scenarios in, no real idea what#s going on story wise (I think we've completed all but the last main story path), and about 2 retirements each. Love the different playstyles you get with each characters, all three of mine have played extremely differently, but don't like that the best items suimply outclass everything else. Stamina potions and eagle eye goggles > everything else.

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On 01/12/2019 at 19:48, therearerules said:

Stamina potions and eagle eye goggles > everything else.

I reckon the humble cloak of invisibility takes the nod as the single most useful item in the game.   It's certainly been used often enough by various party members, particularly when opening doors.   I would also nominate the rings of power and speed.  Lots of tasty one off treasure items too which have their uses depending on context .

 

Been rereading this thread in anticipation of meeting the final boss tomorrow.   My thoughts on this haven't fundamentally changed from earlier much longer posts - in comparison with other dungeon crawlers it is a role model of  clarity and gameplay simplicity, and almost all the characters are interesting to play with their powers coming to life vividly via their card decks.  The scenarios numbered 52 onward are worth doing because they are more puzzle orientated and all the better for that.  The main weakness is definitely the story and lack of consequences to anything you did or didn't do along the way, and hopefully that will be addressed in Frost haven. 

 

Anyway, final thoughts and stats tomorrow. 

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Lost our first mission yesterday! 72- Oozing Grove, one from the town records:

 



With no doors and loads of enemies we were just overrun from the word go. Imps and vipers were just regularly targeting 2, with poison, as were the elite oozes. 2 of us ran into the side, whilst the others stayed and died. With lucky card draw that mission could be easy, but as it is I'm struggling to see how we could manage it. Unless the oozes split themselves to death and the imps choose not to attack there's just too much too soon. Never mind the fact in the midst of all this we had to do 72 damage to trees.

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Ooze are a pain.  Unfortunately you can't just ignore them in that scenario.

 

Well, I'm done and dusted for a good long while (I do have the expansion which I will treat like an entirely new game, maybe in the summer if we have a really hot spell - for now its been packed away into the main box).  

 

My stats:

76 unique scenarios completed (80%)

7 scenarios blocked via story progression

4 scenarios blocked via event cards or reputation

5 scenarios playable in casual mode

3 scenarios playable but not attempted

total 95

 

56/74 treasures obtained

23/24 characters retired

9/13 bosses fought.

 

Goodness knows how many hours spent - this last manic session has seen average scenario time reduce since everything has been left ready to pick up (coffee table is the right size for the map and all the enemy cards, with the tiles and shop inventory underneath (cheers Jamie for the Charterhouse index box which houses all the small card sets), main table just right for the scenario, and player mats on chairs.  Weirdly, I often dream about this game!

 

The L3 final boss fight was fine but I made life easy by selecting a special team for the run in and the final fight, having done everything I wanted to do with careers beforehand.  The brute, sun keeper, scoundrel and medic are probably the easiest characters to play in any damage dealing scenario mind.  One of the sub-bosses was much more intriguing to fight than the final one since you had to bait him to move to a certain spot and then hope you could get in early enough in initiative order to land a hit before he did (because he then vanished).  As it happened, they all contributed to damaging the G--- and only the medic was exhausted.

 

Just a wonderful experience - working through the specialist class unlocks, figuring out the puzzle scenarios, working out house rules for the party (wish I had included a rest / ambush one for working off adverse road card conditions), upgrading cards, creating an efficient way to complete careers.  The only weakness is the story and I've long forgotten how I came to end up with a set of rather dull global achievements.

 

Favourite (non starter) classes, items, career and cards:

 

Spoiler

Classes - sunkeeper, bard, beast tyrant, beserker, elemetalist

Items - rings of speed and brutality (extra bottom or top action), footwear and weapons increasing default use, cloak of invisibility

Cards - the bard's buff whereby all party attacks include wound, the beast tyrant's ability to switch any two figures, the doomstalkers mark of 3 round extinction, the elementalist's forked lightening spell

Career - the staff of Xorn - the 3 scenarios to complete this are all completely different and the last one leaves one a little sad :(

 

 

I found one of the stamina based classes rather a dull dog but that was the only one, not bad going really.  Would like more variation in colour of cards, plain backs for combat cards and some shield tokens included (but can nab some from S&S), but that's about all.

 

Next up I suppose will be the Frosthaven campaign and details of content which will carry over.

 

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Nice one, sounds like an epic push through to the end! I've finally finished painting the starting 6 minis so looking forward to giving this a go soon, been sitting on my shelf for a long time. Few questions:

 

- How long would you say an average scenario takes (obviously longer at first)?

- Will probably play solo but I understand that I can add players easily, do you just level them up a bit and give them a few items?

- How much of a pain is setup? Can probably leave it set up on the other side of my desk in the study, does it take a lot of space (will probably use the app if that helps)?

- Is this a read and digest all the rules/watch videos type or can I start to play and pick it up as I go?

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5 hours ago, Kzo said:

Nice one, sounds like an epic push through to the end! I've finally finished painting the starting 6 minis so looking forward to giving this a go soon, been sitting on my shelf for a long time. Few questions:

 

- How long would you say an average scenario takes (obviously longer at first)?

- Will probably play solo but I understand that I can add players easily, do you just level them up a bit and give them a few items?

- How much of a pain is setup? Can probably leave it set up on the other side of my desk in the study, does it take a lot of space (will probably use the app if that helps)?

- Is this a read and digest all the rules/watch videos type or can I start to play and pick it up as I go?

 

Some random thoughts (apologies if already known)

 

There are two types of scenario - those which require you to kill every monster and those which have specific objectives.  Most if not all of the early ones are kill everything and these tend to take longer (in my experience).  I would say allow 3 hours for one of these including set up and take down (assuming some basic prior organisation of components) because as a soloist you need to work through each move.  The later ones might take much less time.

 

You are probably running a single party of mercs ("the Gloomy Gooners" in my case) all through the game, but the composition of the party will change a lot. You may swap characters in or out of this party whenever in town between scenarios,  so you can get friends to join (they won't really have missed much story wise). If playing solo that's a bit fiddly because of swapping out combat decks and equipment - it's better to stick with the same ones as they pursue a specific unique career objective, unless you really can't abide them. The career objective might be doing scenarios in a certain location, killing a number of specified enemies, collecting gold or equipment etc - once these have been completed that character formally retires and you may open a tuck box containing a new character type, or start a character of that class or of an already open class.  As a soloist (or game owner for MP) you need to assign a number to each character position i.e. 1,2,3 and 4 for a 4 character party (the effect of this will become clear in due course) - I used colour coding to remember this - red, yellow, mauve and green (I don't have the skill to paint so just used some post it tabs to cover the base of the figures).    The level of your characters is related to the prosperity of the city of Gloomhaven - initially you may only start new ones at level 1, but as the city prospers that level increases in tandem (you don't have to create higher level characters and in fact I preferred not to for most of the time since you need to get a feel for how to play some of the more specialist characters before knowing which higher level cards would be better).  You get a certain amount of cash when you start a new character for spending on items (the number and variety of available items also increase as the town prospers).  The level of the scenario is then related to the average character level divided by 2 rounded up - so you stay at level 1 until someone reaches L3.

Set up time is going to be influenced by degree of organisation of the components and also gets quicker with more familiarity.  I've got a bunch of nestable food containers from Morrisons and used those to separate enemy standees into broad categories and also to hold the dungeon tile overlays, enemy stands and tokens / coins.  I also repurposed the main Charterstone box and Charterstone Index box to hold the dungeon tiles and small card decks (inventory, battle cards etc) respectively.  You could take this further and separate everything in more detail using an appropriate container if you wanted but it's not really necessary.  The fiddliest things are the enemy AI cards, 8 for each type, which tend to get mixed up if they slip out of order and that's a real pain - eventually I left them laid out around the map for my marathon session and that was ideal.

I think you need to read or at least scan carefully the rules before starting out since they take you through what you need to know to play a scenario and to understand the Campaign / Casual differential (there is however lots of stuff at the back you can ignore for the moment).  This is because there isn't really a tutorial mission.  I think they made the first scenario fairly tricky just to get people properly awake (a bit like dying to a wolf or to the mage ambush in Baldur's gate).  I know I failed it simply by burning through the more powerful one-use cards too quickly and/or getting too exposed to enemies.  The best experience to carry over into this may well be from CRPGs where you encounter the same sorts of situations and the same tricks may be used. In this the enemy AI always takes them toward the nearest character, so use this to your advantage, also use the environment as best you can.  There aren't any fiddly rules about damage type, line of sight, movement, inconsistent statuses etc, all of which helps a great deal (even though at times it's illogical - this is probably the only game in which you may kill a flame demon using a fireball spell) The same team roles as for CRPGs are evident here - tank, damage dealer both melee and ranged, healer, buffer and de-buffer (although not all are available initially).  

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Thanks for the info mate, that's really helpful! Hopefully will be able to get started soon :D I think I have a book of solo scenarios from the Kickstarter, do you think those would be good to start with? Maybe they are aimed at more advanced players.

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