Gloomhaven - Tactical Combat in a persistent world!

I mostly play solo, but did have some fun playing Jaws of the Lion with a friend over the summer.

The rules say you aren’t really supposed to coordinate at that level of detail. The intention is to cut down on analysis paralysis. So the conversations should be something like ‘I’m going to try to move to the next room’ not ‘I have a card with initiative 35 that is going to let me move to the next room and then I’m going to range attack for +3 and muddle 2 targets’

I never followed that rule

How is the multi-player implementation of the steam version? I’m guessing each player needs to have his own copy of the game.

You’re not allowed to say a number out loud or use language that can give a number away or name the card you’re going to play or stuff like that. “My initiative is half my age” is right out. But you can say something like “I’m gonna stun that elite scout” or “I’m planning to go fast this turn” or “please don’t block the doorway” and that kind of communication and planning naturally takes much longer with multiple players.

I bought it, largely due to my poor impulse control. Another question! Is there a story? Or is this mostly a tactical battle game?

There is a story and a definitive end mission of the campaign, but there’s also quite a lot of side missions.

To be honest, playing through the board game one mission a week, along with all the branches in the story, made it pretty hard to follow. It might be easier in the digital version, but I have my doubts.

I found a bug that reliably hangs the game when I load my save, and I think there bug reporting page is broken. So I think I’m done with this for now.

What’s the difference between the campaign and the guildmaster mode? Game says I should try guildmaster mode first. Any thoughts on that?

So far I’ve played through the first half dozen or so tutorials. Its a great looking game. It seems like it has some really deep and satisfying systems. What does character progression look like? Do you get more cards or do your abilities get stronger? What role does gear play?

Yes. And no. Leveling up gives you a choice between two new cards. You then make room for the new shiny in your deck (hand size always stays the same) and re-assess how best to pair up and play your cards. This takes about 300 hours.

As far as the battles go, they are much shorter (and therefore easier) in guildmaster for the most part, but otherwise unchanged.
For the metagame, guildmaster has pooling of money, random quests and some campaign mechanics removed or altered. Overall it’s a fair bit simpler.

I would say guildmaster is a reasonable way to get used to the mechanics of the game, but the shorter scenarios could teach you some bad habits that will hinder in campaign mode. I’m not convinced about it as a standard way to play unless you find campaign mode overly difficult or you hate the exhaustion mechanics like Tom.

You get XP by playing cards that produce it and by completing scenarios. You get gold by looting it, primarily. You get perk points by completing battle goals (in campaign) or missions (in guildmaster).

Your XP causes occasional levelling up, which unlocks two new cards. These cards will generally be a bit better than what you have; some of the high level ones are extremely powerful. You add one of the unlocked cards to your available card pool, from which you select the cards to take with you for each scenario. As mentioned, your starting hand size never gets any bigger so you’ll have to drop one of your weaker cards to make room.

Levelling up also gives you a new perk, which (mostly) improves your attack modifier deck. You can also get a new perk by collecting 3 perk points.

Average party level affects the difficulty of scenarios, so the game scales with you.

You spend your gold on gear, which is another major source of getting stronger. It provides all manner of benefits, including boosting your defence, attack and staying power. You can also spend gold on temporarily adding bless modifiers to your deck or on enhancing your cards.

Very exciting!

I finished the tutorial and decided to start guild master mode. I chose normal difficulty - let’s see how hard it really is. Then it gave me the option to skip the tutorial. Which I did, since I already went through the tutorial. Only to find myself later in the tutorial.

Looking forward to actually playing the game.

Very soon I think!

Guild master is pretty good, but has extremely unfun scenarios (endless spawning hounds? No thanks)

I just hit Inox encampment, and my 2 mercs face 5 enemies, with additional enemies spawning, and I’m just noping out. Maybe Cragheart and Mindthief is a bad combo for this one.

I’m sure there are tools (go round the guards? Maybe summons are actually good here?) but I don’t yet have the intuition about the game to tell if I’m screwing up strategy or implementation or what.

A tough one. But keep in mind that you do not have to kill everything, only a certain number – I think it’s five times the number in your party. So 10 for you.

General strategy advice:


The Inox guards are not very tough, and they will make up the bulk of your kills. Once you get rid of the shaman and archer, gaurds can be outmanuevered and killed off pretty easily. But archers cause a lot of ranged damage, but if you do not get the shaman first, he’ll just heal any partial damage you do.

Specific spoiler:

With two mercs, a new guard spawns every other turn in the far back. You can turn the spawner off by entering the room right behind the spawner – but that is not necessarily to your advantage, because you then you will have another shaman and archer to deal with. Also, you do not need to go into any side rooms – those also contain more difficult opponents, but you do not have to kill them to win the scenario.

Ugh. I’m having a hanging problem when I try to use the Cragheart’s infused Blunt force on the scenario with all the walls you have to break. Akso, I am now too dumb to find save files.

Eight missions complete now, most of them quite intense. No losses, but only once or twice did I feel I had it in the bag before the very end. In fact, the scenario I finished last night, if my merc had not hit for the full expected damage on the final round, I would have lost.

While I have been winning, I have been less successful at piling up gold and perk points – which seem to be the main ways to “get ahead.” But I have not gotten skillful enough to be able to detour to prioritize those things and still succeed on the main mission.

All three mercs are now level 3. Whereas the Brute seemed to be the most important at the start of the game, his levelups have seemed rather meh, and now I value the Scoundrel and Mindthief more, as I find their levelup cards much more useful.

I’m expecting my first retirement quite soon, the Scoundrel, and quite looking forward to unlocking a new class. (I may even create another character or two and move them in and out of the party, especially if the digital game allow going back and replaying completed scenarios, a mechanism I have not yet tried out.)

I am really liking this game, but I can also see why people with no experience with tabletop find it more daunting. It’s not so much the basic game mechanics – they are initially complicated, but once you have the basic idea, all your questions can be easily googled. Rather, it is that in tabletop you have to learn and follow the rules for moving the enemy units. And doing that teaches what to expect them to do. In the digital, AI moves just happen, and it is less clear why. So it is a longer process to know the enemy. Since I have some but not a lot of TT experience, I am kind of in the middle on this.

Regardless, Gloomhaven has achieved the unimaginable, it has allowed me to achieve remission of my Caster of Magic for Windows addiction, and that is quite an achievement.

Which difficulty level are you playing on? Eight wins with no losses is very good!

I ran repeatedly up against this and only completed it when I changed my character mix. I was trying it with Brute/Scoundrel and needed a support character to get the requisite kills. I also had one situation where I cleared the room but didn’t have enough kills because not enough monstars had spawned.

Yes it is, I kept repeating in my head as I read the post (I hope it’s easy, otherwise I suck).

Sorry, I was not meaning to overstate my success. This is just easy level difficulty. Since most of my playthroughs have been nailbiters at this level, I am definitely not ready to move beyond that. My current plan is to go through some retirements and learn new classes on easy, then try moving up to normal. Maybe in Guildmaster mode first.

For another thing, I am playing with three mercs, which I believe is really the sweet spot.