Yeah, if you can get the Broken Token organizer locally probably that’s better at the same price. I didn’t find a local store that carried it at the time, and the cheapest I found it was at 90€ + shipping, which was 30€ more than the Laserox + shipping and, honestly, that’s quite a lot for an insert already. It would have put it as more expensive that the game!
The Laserox insert is good (all inserts have issues with the box becoming VERY tight, though) and it’s specially good for the small tokens and such, which makes playing faster.
During setup it has the problem of storing the monster AI cards separate from the monster standees (I think the Broken Token one has boxes for all the monster components, which sounds fantastic for setup) so I printed dividers for the monster cards to find them fast and it worked like a charm, so now I can set up as fast as the game allows (which is not too fast but okish enough :P ).
Other advantage of Laserox is that all boxes have lids, so there’s absolutely no chance of a component spill even if you store the box upside down. But this is very situational.
So, Broken Token is better for setup and this one is better for play and cleanup, imho. I would personally go with the Broken Token insert if it’s really the same price for you.
I think it’s a real pity that the game has so horrible built-in storage. When playing solo set-up time and game turnaround is really important for me, and bad storage messes with it. It basically increases the cost of the game by 60% easy if you really want an storage solution.
There’s a lot to love in Gloomhaven, but I really can’t stand how each character’s deck is a game clock. In any given scenario, you get weaker and weaker while the enemies get stronger and stronger. Ugh.
These are pretty cool, with the caveat that you’re playing Gloomhaven. I recently tried a game called Swords and Sorcery because I was looking for an alternative to Gloomhaven’s exhaustion mechanic.
Unfortunately, while I prefer the basic tactical gameplay in Swords and Sorcery, it only has five missions with only about six enemy types, and that’s pretty much it. No way to just play random scenarios. Those random dungeons Scott mentions give Gloomhaven pretty much unlimited gameplay.
Ah, this must be why people are getting organizers! I had no problem getting everything back in the box without any kinds of inserts, but I imagine there are ways to store everything that minimize setup time.
I have no idea what the thinking is with the game’s default difficulty levels, because even with perfect information, as Bradley points out, you can’t really optimize what you’re doing. Did they even test this as a solitaire game? It doesn’t look like it based on the first few scenarios. Maybe it evens out later, but what a dumb way to introduce the game to solitaire player. Or “players”, as I like to call them.
Yeah, the difficulty progression seems to go like this for me:
Step 1. Play once with the default difficulty and whatever calamity the Road Event introduces. Fail.
Step 2. Play a second time at the default difficulty and now minus the Road Event. Fail.
Step 3. Play a third time at the default difficulty minus one. Barely win by the skin of my teeth, think “fuck this game, life is too short”, box it up, play something else for a while.
Step 4. Repeat Step 1 a few weeks later because you jokers are so fired up about it and I figure I must be missing something.
Yes! I love this bit. I don’t feel so bad for my decision to just jump to Step 3 from now on!
Yeah, it’s pressure, without being time pressure. It’s more efficiency pressure, which I like.
The one place I feel it is vacuously stupid is with regard to looting mechanics. Unless you are specifically under duress in a scenario (e.g. fleeing a poison gas cloud) looting should just happen and not be a mechanic, IMO. I may just play it that way. I’ve seen people on BGG forums talk about replaying a scenario for the sole purpose of getting a chest they missed the first time. That, to me, is failing to have respect for your own time spent playing (unless, of course, replaying scenarios is something you would consider to be fun)
It’s your game, so if that’s not working for you, fair enough. But to me it adds an important tension between moving in ways that optimize your takehome cash (and getting those chests, of course), and avoiding danger or getting into optimal position for other moves. It means those Loot actions are a huge help to getting treasure, but may not be as helpful otherwise. It means taking risks for the potential goodies in that chest. It means careful planning to distribute loot in a somewhat fair way or people going out of their way to hog things. It means sometimes steering clear of tiles with coins on them, for reasons. It’s characterful and driving of gameplay. And of course, there are scenarios where that’s the objective.
It’s kind of hidden in the rules, but characters automatically loot the square they’re on at the end of their turn. The Loot 1, Loot 2, etc cards are for area-of-effect looting. You may already know this, but I originally thought the loot cards were the only way to loot at all, and that soured me quite a bit.
For the moment, I’m house-ruling that anything you pick up in the scenario is yours, and everything left at the end is split among the party. I’ll adjust that as we go, I’m sure.
I think it’s because I started playing tabletop rpgs over 40 years ago. I know this isn’t an rpg in that way, but I can’t wrap my head around what kind of self-respecting adventurer would leave an unopened chest sitting there or a shiny gold piece left lying on the floor in plain view. It’s not a flaw in the mechanics, per se, so much as a product of my gaming baggage, if that makes sense.
I have to add to the sentiment above - the time pressure introduced (by way of your characters getting tired the more they fight) makes sense to me thematically and feels right. Without it, the game would be way, way too easy and you’d just dump the best 2 of your four cards every turn. This way you are forced to make do with what you have, which makes victory all the sweeter. Also, there are some really great cards to be played and I wouldn’t have realized it if I hadn’t been sort of forced into using them by the end of a hand.
To clarify my position, I never play games solitaire style, I’d rather play a video game in that case, but Gloomhaven has proven this false a few times. I did have a LOT more fun playing with my son, and in fact (and this may be an important point) I actually found it much easier with him playing. Something about having him to bounce ideas off of once the cards were revealed, even though we could announce specifics of what we were planning, was actually a lot easier than trying to come up with the perfect solution knowing exactly what cards all the heroes would play. Some of it was the relief of not having to have all the answers myself. Sometimes he would come in with a well placed spell that would take a few enemies out and at the same time move into a position to help me the most, a better move than I’d have seen for sure.
I definitively agree that playing solo isn’t worth bumping the difficulty up by one. Maybe if I was better at the game or just more well versed in how it played and how the skills all interacted with each other. But early days like I am? No way. I should have been playing on level 0 but I have been adhering to that rule and I think I’ll ignore that rule going forward, should I solo any more. Which I might. I’m trying out different classes to see whom I may want to play as for the campaign.
@tomchick - I do highly recommend (if nothing else, the above reason alone) you try to get someone to play with you. Even just a random scenario, see how different it feels. I think it makes a huge difference from what I’ve experienced. When we do our campaign (here at the end of the month) I’ll report back on how 3 actual players who are pretty good at this sort of thing (if I do say so myself) fare playing through.
I agree with this. I really want to to let folks have the gold that is left and split it among the party myself, but my concern is the game isn’t geared towards that, which means the game is geared towards extra gold being a boon if you can swing it. Which in turn means everyone having around the max possible gold for their level may be super unbalancing. I think it’s critical someone try to grab any chests on a map if they can, and not worry about coins from fallen enemies.
Also, for replaying missions to get chests, do remember that as you keep XP and coins/gold you earn even if you fail a scenario, it’s not only worth your time to replay missions for chests you missed, but once you get said chest you can technically just… stop playing the scenario then and there, I guess. Right? Can’t you just announce “okay, I’m done, scenario over” for those scenarios you already beat once? So in that case playing up to that point is just a way to blow through some of your best XP giving cards and ensuring you pick up coins, knowing you aren’t slogging through the entire thing, maybe.
Sure, but if you are going to, say, just run past enemies and fling doors open (for instance) to get the chest without playing the scenario fully, why not just say you got it and be done with it? But by all means, if someone wants to replay the same scenario, there’s nothing stopping them. One house rule I’ve seen people use is that any chest in a room occupied by a character at the end of the scenario are considered opened.
Honestly it only occurred to me while I was typing that message that you can just blast through a map (ignoring enemies even) to run with as much movement as you can and dropping cards to avoid damage even to get to a chest, end your turn, claim it, and just “lose” the scenario and then pack things up.
I think the obvious house rule here is any chests in a map will be given out randomly if no one grabs it (to inventive folks to grab it during gameplay if they can) to avoid that very thing. That also still makes loot cards valuable, while not making players feel they have to re-run missions over and over (unless they want to for the extra XP as well, of course).
Re: chests, something we missed early on: when you loot a chest and it rewards an item, the character that looted the chest gets that item, which cannot be traded to another player (though you can sell it and someone else can then buy it), and gets it immediately. But when it says “design”, then that’s added to the store stock and you have to purchase it first. We had been playing with them all added to the store. Nope!
We’ve never finished a mission without looting the chest. Sometimes to our detriment.