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Gloomhaven


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Just thought I'd try this on my £200 argos laptop after upgrading the ram for £20, and it works! Can't believe it. Everything on lowest possible setting, but I just want it for trying stupid gloomhaven stuff without annoying the rest of my group anyway. Just did the first 2 missions and boss, victories every time, which means I've learn well from the game. Had a 25 turn boss battle though. Brute, Cragheart and Tinker- we just put down a rock path and traps in the first room, took out the archers from behind the rocks, then waited for all the rooms to open and the corpses to kill themselves. Messed it up loads at the start, yet still came through.

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  • 7 months later...
  • 2 months later...

I've picked up Gloomhaven digital at last, and am looking for advice on where to start. I'm a new player to the game and want to play solo. However I also have a few friends I would like to play with sometimes. 

 

First of all for solo play, where's best to begin after the tutorial, as I've read mixed things online. The DLC campaign? The main campaign? Guildmaster mode? And what difficulty/number of characters do you recommend, bearing in mind I'm experienced with turn based RPGs/tactics games.

 

Secondly for getting in friends, will it be a bit crap if I start a new campaign with them if I've already seen it in solo - or is it varied enough that that doesn't matter? Is there any kind of hop in/hop out mechanism in the campaigns?

 

Looking forward to getting my teeth into this, I've wanted to play it for years! Cheers.

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2 hours ago, Alan Stock said:

I've picked up Gloomhaven digital at last, and am looking for advice on where to start. I'm a new player to the game and want to play solo. However I also have a few friends I would like to play with sometimes. 

 

First of all for solo play, where's best to begin after the tutorial, as I've read mixed things online. The DLC campaign? The main campaign? Guildmaster mode? And what difficulty/number of characters do you recommend, bearing in mind I'm experienced with turn based RPGs/tactics games.

 

Secondly for getting in friends, will it be a bit crap if I start a new campaign with them if I've already seen it in solo - or is it varied enough that that doesn't matter? Is there any kind of hop in/hop out mechanism in the campaigns?

 

Looking forward to getting my teeth into this, I've wanted to play it for years! Cheers.

 

I would ignore Guildmaster mode and start with the main campaign. I've not even played the DLC campaign yet but it's probably better to get into the main campaign a bit first as it might assume you are already familiar with some concepts.

 

Also, when playing single player I would advise playing with two characters: it can be unwieldy trying to juggle more than that and time consuming, and it scales nicely with them, and you'll spread out the unlocks over a more balanced time I think.

 

Playing with friends will be a very different experience, and there are also different routes through the story quests so you might see different scenarios. Playing different characters can also make the game feel completely different. So I wouldn't worry about doing the same scenarios again, as different team composition will require entirely different strategies.

 

There is also a hop in and hop out ability for any save file: you can have people freely join or leave with 2, 3 or 4 total players at any time and the game will scale the difficulty automatically based on number of players and their character's levels. So you can easily have someone drop out if they can't make it, and have them drop right back in on another scenario and it works perfectly. It's very much like recruiting mercenaries who can come and go at will.

 

The only "persistent" thing on any one save is the unlocked scenarios, map unlocks and shops etc. In other words overall campaign progress is tracked, and characters and players can freely drop in and out of that whenever they want.

 

Individual characters have their own stats saved for a campaign, so if they drop back in after a break they return where they left off and the enemy levels scale based on the overall character level. You don't have to worry about a player being left behind on lower levels because of this, as a character is always viable at any time, you just get cooler stuff as you level up and can buy new things for them. (Which does makes things easier to be fair)

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Awesome, thanks Benny. Sounds like they have done a really good job integrating the multiplayer. I've just finished the tutorials which are very dry, but I understand its a necessary evil considering how complex the game is. I'll have a go on campaign then with 2 mercenaries. Can you change difficulty mid-campaign as well, I assume?

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1 hour ago, Alan Stock said:

Awesome, thanks Benny. Sounds like they have done a really good job integrating the multiplayer. I've just finished the tutorials which are very dry, but I understand its a necessary evil considering how complex the game is. I'll have a go on campaign then with 2 mercenaries. Can you change difficulty mid-campaign as well, I assume?

 

Yeah you can change difficulty at any time. Be warned "normal" is still quite tough, so you might want to pick a level below to start off, and bump it up if you want a bit more challenge. Or try on Normal and see how you get on and decide if you don't mind a few retries (probably okay solo, but will be very time consuming in multiplayer).

 

There are a lot of nice "house rule" options as well: I advise keeping those on default settings. For example if you really wanted you could turn off critical hits and critical misses, but I think they add a lot to the intended drama of the game.

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So I've been playing some solo digital over the past week and having fun. As advised I've been running two mercs, and I went for a Brute and a Mindthief, on Normal difficulty Campaign. I squeaked my way through the first few scenarios, clearing out the catacombs of bandits and skellys and I beat the first boss second try. Then I did a forest quest for the lady in town to murder a load of locals, and then following a warning from the city guard I went to the lady's manor and fought off her undead army. By this point I'd started to get a grip on the strategies, card synergies and how to conserve cards. I should note that I missed the first few chests in the scenarios, due to either finishing the level before looting, or having to focus on not running out of cards, and I've also missed a ton of gold (I only have 1 loot card for the Brute, and the Mindthief has a 1 loot card and a burnable 2 loot card which I can never afford to use). 

 

So I'm up to my 5th scenario and my guys were level 2. Tonight I tried a couple of scenarios with 4 available to me, 3 main quests and a side quest. The first attempt was the mountain temple chasing clues on lady's whereabouts. It was going ok until the last room which has an elite bear, 2 dragon things and 3 spirits, and by this point I was nearly out of cards too. All of those mobs just wreck, it seems almost impossible, I guess I will have to level up a bit to stand a chance there. Is there any indication of scenario difficulty in the digital or board version, or do you just have to head in and hope for the best?

 

2nd attempt, after levelling my guys up to level 3, was on the continuation of the undead tombs, the third in the chain. I cleared out some rooms of skellys and bandits but ran out of cards again as I entered the last room which had a bunch of spirits and a demon thing. This seems more do-able but card exhaustion is becoming a massive problem now in all scenarios. It's always been on the brink, and I've been learning from my mistakes and holding off on burning cards, I never burn to avoid damage.

 

The worst is my Mindthief, he only gets 10 cards and so I am always in danger of running out. In two of my missions he died of card exhaustion in the final turns and the Brute had to get the victory, which also means missing out on loot. Even adapting my playstyle to not burn cards with Mindthief (Now I only burn for a summon and hold a card for augmenting), he runs out of cards too fast. I've looked for some 'help I'm running out of cards' threads online and it seems like I might need to be more agressive, not that I waste time not moving between rooms etc. Maybe I need to be inflicting more damage with him, I've certainly got more agressive lately but you have to be careful with his 7HP, I've been using stuff like stun and stacking debuffs to use the attacks which scale on debuff numbers. But sometimes I need to run him away to survive, or go invisible if I have the card.

 

The rat summons (I have two now, but only take one on missions because of burn cost) were good in the first scenarios but now are practically useless. The poison rat only moves 1 space and so struggles to get into the fray, and the giant rat has only 4HP and keeps dying almost immediately. Maybe I should be saving them until the last room so I can keep the card in play until the end, and only summon if I'm adjacent to a tough enemy so they can draw aggro? I also almost never use Mindthiefs other burn abilities of which there are many because I can never afford losing those cards. Am I playing this class wrong?

 

Although the Brute rarely runs out of cards I do feel maybe I am using too many of his burn buffs, I have 3 in his deck and usually proc them early, especially the retalition one and the 'add extra target to ranged attack'. Maybe I should just focus on melee or ranged for him. Again like the Mindthief I hardly ever use his other burn abilities because whenever I do I come too close to running out of cards. This last scenario I started using the obstacles synergies where you can summon obstacles and then teleport them around or smash enemies into them, that seems promising.

 

As for kit and upgrades: I've got armour, helmet etc for my team, a poison knife for the Mindthief and each has potions, a healing one for Mindthief and an attack one for Brute. I accidentally bought 2 potions (the other was healing) for the Brute without realising I only had one item slot to play with. Doh! As for perks I first honed in on adding debuffs or mana boost, but the mana boost choices were probably a bit premature as I only have a few cards which require mana at the moment. Now I've started going for combat modifier improvements.

 

Anyway, I've been finding it hard and tough to learn, but its a good game. Do you think I should respec or get a new Merc combination, or just keep on learning and trying different scenarios? As far as I can tell, dying doesn't reset your progress so you can essentially grind, which seems a bit OP. Any advice on what scenarios to tackle next - is the third underground tomb probably the best bet? Other options are the scary mountain temple, doing the diamond quest for the evil woman, or a side quest out in the sea going after a ship or something.

 

Skimming through the thread I can't believe how mad this game must be in board game form. There's so much to track, so many pieces. It must take forever to set up and learn, and just do stuff like enemy turns. I do appreciate that the digital form makes things a lot smoother even if you miss out on the physical element.

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8 hours ago, Alan Stock said:

So I've been playing some solo digital over the past week and having fun. As advised I've been running two mercs, and I went for a Brute and a Mindthief, on Normal difficulty Campaign. I squeaked my way through the first few scenarios, clearing out the catacombs of bandits and skellys and I beat the first boss second try. Then I did a forest quest for the lady in town to murder a load of locals, and then following a warning from the city guard I went to the lady's manor and fought off her undead army. By this point I'd started to get a grip on the strategies, card synergies and how to conserve cards. I should note that I missed the first few chests in the scenarios, due to either finishing the level before looting, or having to focus on not running out of cards, and I've also missed a ton of gold (I only have 1 loot card for the Brute, and the Mindthief has a 1 loot card and a burnable 2 loot card which I can never afford to use). 

 

So I'm up to my 5th scenario and my guys were level 2. Tonight I tried a couple of scenarios with 4 available to me, 3 main quests and a side quest. The first attempt was the mountain temple chasing clues on lady's whereabouts. It was going ok until the last room which has an elite bear, 2 dragon things and 3 spirits, and by this point I was nearly out of cards too. All of those mobs just wreck, it seems almost impossible, I guess I will have to level up a bit to stand a chance there. Is there any indication of scenario difficulty in the digital or board version, or do you just have to head in and hope for the best?

 

2nd attempt, after levelling my guys up to level 3, was on the continuation of the undead tombs, the third in the chain. I cleared out some rooms of skellys and bandits but ran out of cards again as I entered the last room which had a bunch of spirits and a demon thing. This seems more do-able but card exhaustion is becoming a massive problem now in all scenarios. It's always been on the brink, and I've been learning from my mistakes and holding off on burning cards, I never burn to avoid damage.

 

The worst is my Mindthief, he only gets 10 cards and so I am always in danger of running out. In two of my missions he died of card exhaustion in the final turns and the Brute had to get the victory, which also means missing out on loot. Even adapting my playstyle to not burn cards with Mindthief (Now I only burn for a summon and hold a card for augmenting), he runs out of cards too fast. I've looked for some 'help I'm running out of cards' threads online and it seems like I might need to be more agressive, not that I waste time not moving between rooms etc. Maybe I need to be inflicting more damage with him, I've certainly got more agressive lately but you have to be careful with his 7HP, I've been using stuff like stun and stacking debuffs to use the attacks which scale on debuff numbers. But sometimes I need to run him away to survive, or go invisible if I have the card.

 

The rat summons (I have two now, but only take one on missions because of burn cost) were good in the first scenarios but now are practically useless. The poison rat only moves 1 space and so struggles to get into the fray, and the giant rat has only 4HP and keeps dying almost immediately. Maybe I should be saving them until the last room so I can keep the card in play until the end, and only summon if I'm adjacent to a tough enemy so they can draw aggro? I also almost never use Mindthiefs other burn abilities of which there are many because I can never afford losing those cards. Am I playing this class wrong?

 

Although the Brute rarely runs out of cards I do feel maybe I am using too many of his burn buffs, I have 3 in his deck and usually proc them early, especially the retalition one and the 'add extra target to ranged attack'. Maybe I should just focus on melee or ranged for him. Again like the Mindthief I hardly ever use his other burn abilities because whenever I do I come too close to running out of cards. This last scenario I started using the obstacles synergies where you can summon obstacles and then teleport them around or smash enemies into them, that seems promising.

 

As for kit and upgrades: I've got armour, helmet etc for my team, a poison knife for the Mindthief and each has potions, a healing one for Mindthief and an attack one for Brute. I accidentally bought 2 potions (the other was healing) for the Brute without realising I only had one item slot to play with. Doh! As for perks I first honed in on adding debuffs or mana boost, but the mana boost choices were probably a bit premature as I only have a few cards which require mana at the moment. Now I've started going for combat modifier improvements.

 

Anyway, I've been finding it hard and tough to learn, but its a good game. Do you think I should respec or get a new Merc combination, or just keep on learning and trying different scenarios? As far as I can tell, dying doesn't reset your progress so you can essentially grind, which seems a bit OP. Any advice on what scenarios to tackle next - is the third underground tomb probably the best bet? Other options are the scary mountain temple, doing the diamond quest for the evil woman, or a side quest out in the sea going after a ship or something.

 

Skimming through the thread I can't believe how mad this game must be in board game form. There's so much to track, so many pieces. It must take forever to set up and learn, and just do stuff like enemy turns. I do appreciate that the digital form makes things a lot smoother even if you miss out on the physical element.

 

You'll probably be unsurprised to learn that, yes, in terms of setup and teardown the physical board game is an absolute beast, and that's before you even get to having to work out what the AI is supposed to be doing on each turn. It's one of the only board games where I now don't think I could ever go back to the physical version, despite having it on my shelf in all its ridiculous glory.

 

If you find you are not enjoying the challenge on Normal don't be afraid to turn the difficulty down a notch. It should probably be called "hard" rather than "normal" as that's a more accurate difficulty description for what it requires of you in every scenario. It very different to typical dungeon crawling games, as there is little room for error. It's probably more accurate to call it a puzzle game sometimes, like Into the Breach or something. There is room for player expression but it's very much reliant on how well you can optimise a turn to win some scenarios.

 

Don't worry if you miss a lot of gold and chests - it's kind of expected to not be able to get everything, and you can replay any scenario to get the missed chests, which after collected still counts even if you die, just like gold, so you can easily do suicide runs for them.

 

As you level up enemies will level with you, so the main advantage exp gives you is in having more tactical options with the cards, and the slots for buying small items which do give you a significant edge. With perks I would generally always go for ones that reduce minuses from your damage deck first, as they can be crippling on early levels, as a -2 makes up a much higher percentage of the total damage you may need to do to a monster, so every point is crucial.

 

When trying to tackle rooms it's nearly always best to focus down one enemy at a time to remove them from the board rather than spreading damage, as it reduces incoming damage sources for which mitigation in this game is very slight compared to damage dealing. You can sometimes burn a card rather than say, take a massive attack that nearly one shots one of your characters, if you think of it as using a "burn this for 6 hp" style free action. I nearly always take the damage if I can though, but you definitely don't want to end up on 1hp if you can help it as it reduces your choices of redraw if you have to short rest.

 

For the brute, you don't want to be burning any cards until the last couple of rooms - he needs to stay alive and mitigate damage or get in the way of enemies, and as you found: the nastier stuff is often at the end, so you'll need those big hits for then. Brute feels like you can burn early because of the extra cards, but that will almost always cause issues later.

 

The Mindthief is all about debuffs and controlling what enemies will do or where they'll end up and how much damage they will take - I don't like the summons much, but with the Brute you'll need to be creating situations where enemies go for him instead, so Brute will always generally want to be lower(value) in the initiative order. The invisibility cloak if you can afford it is one of the very best armours for the Mindthief, as it can give you nearly 2 whole rounds of damage free grace if you time it right, and lets you block melee enemies in doorways.

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Thanks for the tips. I am still enjoying the challenge on Normal but just wanted to check I wasn't getting some of the fundamentals wrong, rather than restarting with different mercs or build. As invisibility is already a card for Mindthief I didn't think about getting the cloak, but will look to do so. Brute usually always goes after Mindthief because of Mindtheifs many low initiative cards, but I'll try manually forcing Mindthief to take his higher initiative card out of the two.

 

Your point about perks is sound, sometimes that -1 or -2 modifier really hurts my rounds especially as so many enemies have armour. I often do chip damage or no damage as a result. I'll have to live with it for now but if I carry on struggling I can always restart and spec differently.

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When playing single player trying to go for battle goal perks is a lot easier as you can specifically engineer the situations you need more easily with your characters - You'll want to go for those as often as you can early on. Some of them are just easy wins: the loot no gold or chests one for two perk points is one of the best for example as it's not difficult to achieve and not totally crippling. For single point ones ideally you want to pick the ones that mean you'll be benefitting when trying to achieve it anyway, like getting a certain amount of XP.

 

But yes, at early levels removing minuses is probably better than any other perks, with the exception of the one that prevents minuses from armour with the Brute, as that's the best first one in the list for him.

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Ah yeah good point about the armour perk, I'll get that one next. The last perk I spent on him was to get rid of a bunch of 0's, so if I can reduce the -1's a bunch too he'll be hitting quite a bit harder.

 

I've been a bit guilty of forgetting about the missions, I usually complete one per scenario but never got them for both characters yet. The opening a door one is my favourite, a complete freebee!

 

One thing I really wish this game had, and I don't understand why its not implemented, is an undo button. Yes, disable it if you start causing damage etc, but if you've not taken your turn yet, or just movement then just let the player replay. I can see why they've not done it because revealing enemy intent etc is part of the game, but I have seen threads moaning about this online as well. Because of course in the board game you can roll back if you want to under gentlemen's agreements. The problem is it's easy to make silly mistakes. Its cost me dearly making misclicks on tiles or forgetting to proc abilities. But most common is it really hurts me because I'll accidentally pair two cards where I want both top effects or both bottom effects, and got mixed up in my head about which effects were top and bottom. I don't realise until my turn rolls around that I am screwed, and even worse it means you'll be discarding one of those cards with a powerful effect. Just let me undo!

 

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23 minutes ago, Alan Stock said:

Ah yeah good point about the armour perk, I'll get that one next. The last perk I spent on him was to get rid of a bunch of 0's, so if I can reduce the -1's a bunch too he'll be hitting quite a bit harder.

 

This is the kind of choice where, if you're a sucker for probabilistic thinking (like I am), you can start to see where the choices in the game might benefit or hinder you:

 

So when you think of your damage deck, you have a set number of +0s +1s +2s -1s -2s etc. The one that removes a bunch of 0s is technically quite a bad one to pick as one of your first perk upgrades, at least for the Brute: when you draw a card now, because you have reduced the total pool of attack deck cards, you are actually more likely to draw a -1 or -2, because there are more of them now relatively compared to the total number in the deck. You are also more likely to draw +1 etc as well of course, but similarly you also increase the chances that you can draw a critical miss because of the smaller deck pool.

 

So TLDR, this has the effect of making your Brute deck much more "swingy" and you'll find you get more situations where you really need something to kill and the deck fails you. Characters vary in how much this effects them, but with the Brute I think consistency helps most.

 

So a good thing to aim for at early levels, is first reduce minuses, so that you have lower chance of drawing "bad" cards relatively in the deck, then start adding plusses, so that the total pool is more stacked with good cards, then finally you can pick to remove 0s, as then you can streamline the deck and make plusses more likely to be drawn from the total pool.

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Yeah, I did know it would make him more swingy, that's what I was aiming for. Admittedly I didn't really think it through properly, it was late last night. I should have held off like you suggest and got rid of some more minuses first but honestly I just thought it would be more exciting, and got a bit carried away :P .

 

Last night I also learned the power of Stun. Amazing for tying up tough enemies and Mindthief has quite a few stun cards, including that amazing one that is on the bottom half and has 1 range. Elites are suddenly more survivable if they can't do anything! I also just found out that Push is more powerful than I thought, I didn't realise its direction was so flexible, which opens up more options for me to shove enemies into traps or do the obstacle bashing moves with Brute. Mindthief has a Push 3 attack which I am definitely going to utilise more. Some traps do 4 damage and at this stage in the game combined with the initial attack that's an instadeath for most normal mobs. Nice!

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Yeah if you wanted it to be more swingy anyway it makes sense to pick. I'm quite big on making stuff more controllable and predictable for my personal kind of play styles in these sorts of games

 

It's certainly not the "wrong" choice to make - I think the game is full of little decisions like that that can drastically effect the game experience without it being obvious why at first though - I think a lot of people will bounce off Gloomhaven just because its systems are so precisely tuned that those tiny things cause potentially bigger negative effects.

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Ah, I just found there is actually an undo. In the Pause menu you can restart the round. Awesome.

 

Yeah I've had my eyes on that hammer for a while but haven't managed to save up for it yet, armour was more important to me. Just got my ass kicked again twice on the tomb, I got quite unlucky with the Cultists continually summoning skellies before I can stop them - this last attempt they managed to get to 6 skellies in the corridor, with 2 bandit archers and 2 cultists it was quite the mess! The first attempt was close though, I was in the final room and only a turn or two from winning before I got exhausted. Going to head off for one of the side missions next and see how they are.

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Having great trouble doing Crypt of the Damned on Normal, main scenario 4 I believe. I've failed about 5 or 6 times and always run out of cards. The cultists often slow me down in the main corridor with their summoned skeletons, that's the main bottleneck. One of them is right at the back of the corridor and almost impossible to reach without opening yourself up to 6 enemies at once. There's also a room with an elite golem thing, and a room at the back with a few shielded wraiths and another cultists. Also, I realised I don't have the Brute, I have the Cragheart - they looked so similar from the tutorial I didn't even realise :P

 

Is this a case where I should try some other side missions? I managed to scrape through a shipwreck side mission in a break from the crypt and there are a few other side missions to attempt. The only other main quest missions are working for the lady which I don't want to do, or the very hard mountain temple. Or maybe its just time to restart. I'm already up to level 4 from continually dying which feels a bit lame in terms of me just grinding XP and money from failing missions repeatedly. I feel like Normal is right for me and perhaps I can restart with better perks and knowledge and be in a better position for this quest in a second runthrough. Did anyone else struggle with Crypt of the Damned?

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Oh man, Cragheart is an entirely different playstyle to Brute - I'd argue it's one of the more difficult to use starting characters just because it's so reliant on positioning, obstacles and manipulating the AI.

 

You'll definitely find the early levels difficult, partly because of the lack of mitigation equipment provided before you can afford it, but I'm not sure side-missions are necessarily easier than main ones. In some cases the side missions can be some of the most difficult in the game.

 

I'd honestly recommend just popping the difficulty down a notch: you'll probably find progression a lot more enjoyable to be gaining levels while completing missions. And it's still by no means easy.

 

I only played on Normal the first time I played the digital version because I'd already played the normal difficulty in the board game for hundreds of hours so knew what I was getting into. When first playing the board game on normal the experience was exactly like yours and all the even experienced board game players in the games struggled a lot at first with many many failures.

 

Other than that it's difficult to advise as so much comes down to choice on picked cards on each turn and how you're choosing to approach the missions.

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No worries, thanks. Yeah I have been getting a much better grip on Cragheart, learning to use those obstacles wisely, making the most of AOEs, finding good combos and learning when its best to hang on to the heal cards or go for broke.

 

I think I'll try a restart if I still can't make progress, and if that turns out the same I'll drop the difficulty. I'm quite on the cusp of being able to do these harder ones but not quite there yet. I do like the challenge!

 

I watched that video review of the board game version linked earlier in the thread and I do think the board game has some really cool features in its physicality, like the hidden character unlocks. I do think though that the takeover of the admin by the videogame takes out a lot of the downsides. What is a shame though, aside from missing out on the social all in a room aspect of the board version, is no fun emulated phsyical dice in the videogame or card pulling for modifiers etc. Its always way more satifying to pull out an actual card than just seeing a number pop up on the screen. 

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