Boardgaming in 2017!


I think the difficulty scaling works great. The game itself is not a smooth difficulty curve but that would be a nearly impossible design task - after the first couple of scenarios you can tackle dozens of others in nearly any configuration (there are quest chains, but no guarantee of the order you will approach them), with between two and four characters that can be a subset of seventeen or so completely different classes at anywhere from level 1 to level 9. There are simply too many variables to guarantee a perfect fit. But between the placement/spawn scaling based on party size and the scenario level adjustment based on average party level, it works out reasonably close a lot of the time and a quick bump up or down allows tuning to your individual group’s needs. We have typically been running at plus a level lately, and it’s pretty solid.


We managed the first mission with four characters (Brute, Spellweaver, Cragheart, Scoundrel) , but it was close. Due to positioning and such we avoided damage from some of the guards in the first room. We also made good use of the traps in the second room. The Cragheart has a good card that gives many enemies Disadvantage that was useful, IIRC. I think a key point is to not use the loss effects on the cards before late in the scenario.


This may be a silly question, but is Gloomhaven worth playing if you do it solo? I doubt I would be able to convince anyone to play it with me.


Tales of the lengthy setup time made me uninterested in solo.


So, might I suggest that you don’t boost the monsters? After a dozen missions, the first one is the only one we’ve failed. It’s hard enough as is.


Got my copy of Gloomhaven. I’m a bit disappointed as the box is NOT as big as I thought it would be. I’ve had larger.

I thought receiving this would cure me of buying more games for a bit…nope…just ordered The Gaia Project and might order Dragonfire.



Played our first game of Heroes Wanted tonight, with all the expansion content because why not. Heroes Wanted is a game of goofy supers assembled by joining an A half (which gives the superpower and the hero type for hero characters) and a B half (which gives some sort of passive bonus). You are B-list supers competing for a spot on Zeta City’s illustrious Champions superteam by taking on some sort of ridiculous super threat (in our case, Loitering, Littering and Jaywalking). It is by default a competitive game where you do want to take out the villain (not least because it gets you points) but mostly you’re grubbing for fame. And you may well want to throw a few punches the way of other heroes while you’re at it. There are two Champions and Masterminds mini-expansions that allow you to play the Champions taking on big-league villains in full coop, but that’s a big shift we didn’t want to take on right away.

Our team of the Vegetarian Lemur, the Voodoo Blonde, and Professor Helmet tried (and failed) to stop the nefarious Left-Handed Genius (one of the less amusing villain combos possible - personally I prefer stuff like the very possible “Crime Death”) from his littering ways, but at least we threw some of the litter away while we were going. The Lemur pretty much ran away with things as Vegetarian let him rack up points for down turns and the Lemur power and the special actions he got as a Gadgeteer hero allowed some fairly disgusting combos and kill-sniping. It’s entirely possible that Professor Helmet could have done significantly better in other hands - the player in question has some learning issues and takes a while to really get into the swing of games, but still achieved plenty. A Mythic hero, Helmet gets bonuses with the powerful blocking Costume action (including a second one, and even a third after a couple of headlines) and so was just too durable for my sadly pretty PvP-intensive Voodoo Blonde. (Who can as a Mutant use a second, mutant superpower, in this case the ability to hit all other heroes within range 3 for 2 damage - not much but enough to force discarding a blocking card - and set up a free use of the strong ranged attack that is the primary superpower of the Blonde. And Voodoo makes nearby heroes roll on the Curse table when your superpower is used. So even not able to take out the Professor, I was quite annoying for him.) And the Lemur steered well clear. So I lagged behind. Alas.

Pretty fun game, though. Very silly. Not perhaps entirely balanced but I don’t think that is necessarily the point and you do get a small selection of A and B sides to choose from each time. (From well over a hundred once you’ve added all the expansions.)


Weeee, so my insert for Gloomhaven finally arrived (it’s this one, the only one EU based and thus reasonably priced for me).

And the game still feels cumbersome to set up (made an attempt to check I was sorting things up in the most efficient manner). And this is without having yet to keep track of the character’s decks, equipment and other stuff.

Still probably I have reduced setup time by 50% and now I can be set in 20 minutes or so, which is probably still too long for my group, but still doable to try one play with them… I’m going to try a solo playthrough of the first mission and then try to get them interested, but it’s looking like I might have to play it solo.


We’ve decided to decide which scenario to play beforehand, so I can set it up before the others arrive.


I want that organizer. So jealous.


In for 2 double stacks:


Opened my Gloomhaven last night, punched, sorted, counted…all good.

Set up the 1st scenario and then looked at the ability cards and everything in the box and all the time this would take away from the other dozens of games I have and packed everything back up, put it up for sale, and made a little money!

Will probably regret this but omg, just too much time and effort for me. Will play a bit of Spirit Island and Galaxy Defenders, and Fallout this weekend. No time to play long video games anymore, not sure why I thought I’d have time for this!


Boo! Boo, I say!


Turns out I wishlisted but did not buy Gloomhaven…ugh.

And now it’s Christmas.

The upside is that means when i do buy it I’ll have the newer edition I believe.


You would have anyway. The first print run was barely big enough for a few copies to hit retail. This one is vastly larger and specifically trying to meet previously unanticipated levels of retail demand.


I enjoyed this article describing a game of the Infection at Outpost 31 game by The A.V. Club so I figured I’d share. I passed up on the chance to kickstart since my wife is getting pretty suspicious about my growing boardgame collection, but now I’m thinking I may need a copy of this.


I’m still a novice in the world of tabletop games, but I got the impression the A.V. Club team have even less exposure to them. They were excitedly describing game mechanics that could mostly be ascribed to Dead of Winter, or no doubt a host of other games. So I like their enthusiasm, but it’s hard to get a feel for how The Thing stacks up against other hidden traitor games.


Certainly it’s not a deep dive into the mechanics or a comparison with other similar games. I think I like the article because their approach to board games is similar to my own, i.e. relatively casual.

I like watching YouTube reviews of board games and I appreciate the thought and care that often goes into them, but honestly I often find my attention drifting as they dig deep into the nuts and bolts and I find myself wondering “yeah, but did you have a good time?” I guess I occupy a weird space, on the hardcore end of the casual game spectrum, or maybe the casual end of the hardcore spectrum.


I think of myself in that same weird space, Gloomhaven sounds like work, none of my local friends will play anything more complicated than Sheriff of Nottingham (an exaggeration in both directions, but still).

I guess I really just was thinking specifically “Okay, but have you guys played Dead of Winter?” and I kept hoping someone else would mention it. This quote for example:

Because each round involves not only trying to figure out who is infected but also taking the steps required to getting off the arctic station, there’s a whole other level of game stacked on top of the “who is it?” baseline. Of course, whoever is it can disrupt the rest of the group putting out a fire or fighting an infected creature. It’s a brilliant way to give purpose to each round, each turn, each little action, all the while feeding into the paranoia at the heart of Carpenter’s movie.

Right, that’s Dead of Winter too. Each round involves not only trying to figure out who is the betrayer, but also taking steps required to survive the current crisis and work toward the primary mission, so there’s a whole other level of game stacked on top of the “who is it?” baseline. Of course, whoever it is can disrupt the rest of the group dealing with the crisis or defending from zombies. It’s a brilliant way to blah blah blah. I read their description and I think “So would I love this because I love Dead of Winter, or would I be unimpressed by this because I already love Dead of Winter?”

They mentioned the group wasn’t all experienced gamers, but I was hoping someone was at least in the same casual hardcore/hardcore casual space as us so they could compare it to something a little more relevant than Werewolf.


But that’s fairly common of the whole “traitor in our midst” thing, right? Battlestar Galactica, King of Camelot, etc where the traitor has to play a careful balancing act of seeming to advance the group’s goals while actually undermining them? I haven’t played Dead of Winter though, so I ask.

Infection at Outpost 31 has been on my radar, partly because of theme, I’m much more interested in the hidden alien than the hidden cylon or traitorous knight. Hopefully it’s got more to distinguish it, but I haven’t seen a lot of attention thrown it’s way yet. Actually now that I think about it, there was a more detailed step-through of the rules in the Geek and Sundry video on YouTube. I’d link but I’m on my phone and it always goofs up.