Gloomhaven - Tactical Combat in a persistent world!

Yup. I agree it’s pretty weird and frustrating at first, but once you get used to it, it becomes another (fun, imo) part of the game.

Four scenarios in, this is finally all clicking with me, and I’m all in.

The fourth scenario I played, #5, was a nail-biter, with my Brute delivering the final killing blow with just one health point and near exhaustion, and my scoundrel hiding in a neighboring, cleared room in order to refresh. We then cleared two treasure chests and high-tailed it back to Gloomhaven to buy more items. The Brute also leveled up for the first time, so I got to tweak his ability deck and gain a perk. The Scoundrel bought a shiny poison dagger. Good stuff.

I’m finally at a point where most of rules are in my head, but I keep the rulebook nearby to double check things. I’ve started writing out everything I do at the strategic level (purchases, events, perks, leveling, etc.) on a legal pad as a sort of journal, mainly to help reduce possible mistakes in record keeping (that may sound tedious, but to me it is part of the fun). I’m also using full-page party- and character-sheets found on BGG, and have everything in a spiral notebook that I keep nearby. Also printed out, and very helpful, are a couple of flowchart aids that ensure I don’t forget things at both the campaign and scenario levels.

Also, I’m using the GloomsterR app for scenario set-up rather than the book, because it hides rooms within a scenario until you reach them. More importantly, I’m using the awesome Gloomhaven Helper app to handle stat tracking during a scenario and monster health/attacks, etc. I have both on my iPad mini.

Finally, I’m done fretting about mistakes I’ve made so far. For example, in the last two scenarios, I completely forgot to set battle goals – so no check-marks accumulated! I also forgot about the modifier chart – so I wasn’t multiplying gold found, but I also was setting the damage value of traps at 2 rather than 3. The anal side of me sees these mistakes and thinks, “I should just start over and do it right!” But I’m ignoring that voice and reminding myself that the mistakes were minor, and probably balance out for good and bad to some degree.

So, in short, I’m moving ahead and glad to be (mostly) over the learning hump.

Glad you’re liking it! Those nail-biters are a ton of fun.

I don’t remember the specifics of that scenario but in general scenarios end as soon as you kill the last monster, so you gotta get the loot beforehand. It’s weird and counterintuitive, but them’s the rules. Though personally I think the money accumulation is so slow at the beginning that I’d vote to change that rule.

Ouch, you’re right. I’m returning an item I purchased with that second chest to fix that. Thanks!

Really, don’t! It’s so much more fun to have money than to not have money in this game.

Yeah, I was going to ask if you were using this. I’d think it’d be key for playing solo, just in terms of streamlining. Setting up and tearing down takes forever with my group, but they like all the physical bits. I bet we could have gone from one scenario per session to two with the app, though.

We also started using a scenario flowchart about halfway through the campaign, and I wish we’d done it earlier. One of the things I think GH could have done better—though I’m not sure how—is narrative coherence. There are a lot of interesting plot threads, but, despite all the envelopes and global achievement stickers and party whatsits, it doesn’t always remain clear what event lead to which scenario.

Nah, I’d rather fix my mistakes that are easily fixable.

Yeah, it really is a great app once you get used to it.

So – my two-character party got wiped in scenario 14. If I understand this correctly, they get to keep the XP and gold they’d accumulated before they were both exhausted?

And if so, can they go back to Gloomhaven before trying again? My scoundrel now has enough XP to get to level 2, so I’d rather do that then just dive back in to that scenario.

Yes and yes. But if you do go back to Gloomhaven you’ll have to draw another road event when you retry the scenario unless it’s linked to Gloomhaven itself.

Second time was the charm for scenario 14 (helped by having my scoundrel get to level 2 before the second try).

Now that I’m five or so scenarios in, I want to make sure I’m not screwing up monster movement. If a monster (after combining its basic stats with a modifier card) has Move 2, Attack 2, and if the movement will not get them close enough to attack any character, do they move anyway or stay put? I have been moving them anyway, but suddenly I wonder if I’m doing that right.

As long as their card gives them a movement action, they move as close as they can to optimal range for attacking their focused character, regardless of whether they can actually get there that turn. So you’ve been doing it right.

Excellent, thanks for the speedy reply!

Additionally, if they don’t have an attack that turn (i.e. not on the card you drew for them), they still move to the nearest character as if they had a melee attack.

Thanks.

By completing 14, I received the achievement that allows you to upgrade ability cards. How does this use of gold compare to say, buying items? or donating to the sanctuary? Best use? About the same?

I just wanted to say that the Gloomhaven community is the best about spoilers I’ve ever seen. Good on all of you.

So I have a super-weird question. :)

I’ve had the pc version of Gloomhaven sitting in my Steam library for a month or so. I think I got it during a holiday sale or something.

Anyway, one of the reasons that put me off Gloomhaven after a couple of tries where I’d played 5 or 6 scenarios each is that I never felt comfortable about all the tactical combat rules. Was I moving this enemy correctly? At the right focused target? Was I remembering to use this ability or card correctly?

All that stuff.

So…I think it’ll be months if not another year before Gloomhaven the video game is done-ish with a campaign mode. But…could playing the tactical battles stuff that are functional in the early access game help me to feel more comfortable and grok the game systems of the tabletop game?

I’m hoping so, but my digital copy is still unplayed as well.

It really is impressive, yeah.

That said, I don’t consider enhancement a spoiler, since the mechanics are laid out in the manual. :)

Re: @tylertoo’s question

IMO enhancement is roughly equal effectiveness to items. It’s a bit more expensive but it doesn’t take up an item spot (and I’ve never been closet to running out of enhancement slots). I think donating is less effective than either but I try to do it anyway to get that envelope open.

There are killer enhancements and items, both, for some classes or builds, so prioritize those. After that I find it’s typically easier to find marginal improvements with enhancements.

This is one of my bigger disappointments with Gloomhaven. If I recall correctly, there is no meaningful penalty for losing a scenario, nor is there really a way to lose the game in general. You basically just keep trying the dungeon until you win it, then move on.

I would have liked for there to be more of an overall game state that you could win or lose, depending on how well you do in the scenarios and overarching map.

It’s already a huge time sink to even play this game. Every loss of a scenario is 1.5-3 hours you’re never getting back, not including setup time. That’s a pretty decent penalty by itself.

Anyway, it’s a board game. You’re free to add any penalty you think is appropriate, no programming knowledge required.