Gloomhaven - Tactical Combat in a persistent world!

Yeah I like the sense of discovery in learning a monster deck for the first time. Looking through it beforehand would feel like “cheating”, even though I’ll know what’s in there eventually.

On another note, the more I play this the more I wish there was a more elegant solution for the tactical map. The cardboard room tiles are kind of flimsy, mine have even started to warp and so they don’t always fit perfectly which drives the OCD in me nuts. I dream of a MS Surface-like table or panel that could serve as the playing surface. A digital playing surface would make setup a breeze!

What you do when a city event can never happen again, for any future players/parties.

I am loving this “Roguelike” system, our choices and the things we unlock are unlike what is going to be happening in many other games. We’ve already unlocked a random quest that takes place in the far flung map, and may well be traveling there next!

This is amazing!



You tear up the cards?! I just can’t bring myself to do that even though I’m pretty confident I’ll never actually play this a second time if/when I ever finish a first playthrough. I’m just stuffing those cards in the side of the box for now.

Same. I’ll rip up things for stuff like Pandemic Legacy which is a true Legacy game and has fundamentally altered everything to the point of no return by the end, but Gloomhaven’s not making any fundamental game changes, just unlocking stuff and ensuring you only encounter some events once.

First session down, everything seemed to go very smoothly but I think we all sighed and said “this is going to be impossible” nearly every mission, and we won all but one mission on our first attempt. The second mission was very unique (it was one we randomly unlocked, not on the beaten path, and had a kind of fascinating story) and took a little outside of the box thinking to get it done, but knowing what to expect a little better, we (barely) succeeded that second time.

We’re all level 2, my son is 2xp from level 3 and the rest of us are more like 20-30xp away (Spell Weavers level like mad) and we all have done and seen and experience some just amazing things. Man, what a great game!

Huh, the Spell Weaver in our group is the character with the least experience.

I would see if he is missing out because several of the skills give xp per target and a few give xp per time they trigger and the Spell Weaver can cast all said spells twice. It isn’t uncommon for our weaver to get 12-14 xp plus the xp reward for the scenario.

Hm, he usually mentions getting the EXP per target. I’ll ask him to see if there’s anything he might have forgotten keeping track of.

Now I’m at a PC I can properly type what I’ve observed.

There are two main buff spells my son uses every time he can. One grants immunity to damage for a few hits (2 XP total) and one deals +1 damage to up to 4 attacks (2 XP total on that one). He has three spells that target 3 (or 4) units and have “gain 1 xp per unit”, for 9-10 XP potential from those spells, and a few spells that grant 1 XP for just using them. That’s a potential of nearly 15-16 XP right there. He can reclaim any of his lost spells once (I think that gives an XP as well?) and have them ready to go, so a savvy player could probably easily break 20XP per mission just from skill cards.

The card that spawns a familiar is also quite nice. It gives 2 xp when cast and if the familiar can be kept out of harms way, it can do some nice damage. And as with all spell weaver cards, the familiar can be spawned again for 2 more xp.

There is no way in hell that I would tear up a card from a game I’ve spent over $25 for, much less $100 or $150. That’s just nuts.

I’m inclined to agree with you. I think i’d just put the used cards in a special “waste” bag.

I also don’t see myself writing on the cards either.

I would have agreed with all this sentiment up until about 24 hours ago, but once we decided (as a group) to lean into this being the One True story with this boxed copy of Gloomhaven, and we really got into the story and actual, honest role playing our party (especially after some early game events really took off our imaginations), and the world feels like a real, living place so we are just leaning into that hard. If, years down the road we want to play again (and I doubt it - my son will in a few years be off to college for one thing, and after 12 hours so far into the game we’ve barely scratched the surface so I imagine once we wrap up this campaign we’ll be ready to not play it again but IF we still are…), I’ll happily buy another copy. But right now, this map and these characters and the materials that came with this box are a literal road map of our adventures and I can’t express how cool that feels at the end of the day. It was a decision I was against initially but I like it a lot now, I have to admit.

I suspect that by the time we have played most of the campaign, and maybe replayed some of the stuff, it will be good with a break before the big expansion arrives.

I guess I am just not wired to understand such deliberately unnecessary conspicuous consumption on that level. All I can think of is “Am I going to get $200 more enjoyment out of this game by tearing up this card than if I didn’t tear it up?” And I get almost the opposite reaction. I’m not sure it wouldn’t keep me up nights if I’d deliberately damaged an expensive, not-easily-replaced possession of mine.

I guess if that’s your thing, though, who am I to gainsay it. I may not be hardcore enough for legacy games. ;)

Snipping out a random sentence because it hit me hard. When we sit down to Gloomhaven, my partner and I pull out the map of the world and discuss all the different locations we’re currently capable of visiting before setting up the game. That is such a fantastic moment. When we first set up the game, I thought the map with the stickers was silly overkill and would’ve preferred just listing available missions in order. But the physical act of poring over a map full of remnants of previous adventures, discussing the best place to find some treasure before setting up the mission is incredibly evocative for me as we’ve continued to play.

It reminds me when in Far Cry 2 you pull out a physical map when you want to figure out how to get around that literally obstructs the gameplay. It makes it feel so much more like an adventure having to consult a physical map before playing.

Yeah, I can see how that would work, once you make the psychological adjustment and commit to it.

Pandemic Legacy was a difficult hurdle for my group, and it wasn’t really a money thing. I was in a little dinner group for years, and every month we’d eat two or three hundred bucks easy, in a couple hours. Consuming a game over 12 months is a comparative bargain.

But tearing up cards freakin’ pains me. Maybe it’s the dog-eared Player’s Handbook and ancient bag of dice looking reproachfully at me from the bookshelf.

FWIW, Isaac Childres has said that the “rip” icon for those cards is simply meant that they should be permanently removed from the campaign. Even he’s like “Damn, you rippers are on another level.”

Hells yeah we are.

No but really, the thing is they are just events that really can never happen again (it would be cheating if they even did, because we would know the result we took if it was a positive one, and some shouldn’t be repeatable when they give item designs, bonus XP, Prosperity, or Rep or the like even) so these things can’t really ever work in the game again unless you really start completely from scratch.

And like I said, if I really ever wanted to start completely from scratch, it would be both years from now and something I’d be happy to re-invest in, Gloomhaven is simply amazing and any chance to support Issac and crew I’m in for.

Out of print Gloomhaven unripped card, 2023 EBay price:. $50.