Gloomhaven - Tactical Combat in a persistent world!

I am impressed so far. It’s a very nice implementation of the board game. I finished the tutorials and started a rogue like game — which ran me thru a couple tutorials again, even after I chose to skip the. But that’s okay. I need the practice. It sure is nice to have the rules enforced.

I guess the roguelike mode automatically starts me with a scoundrel and a tanky guy. Fine with me. I assume I’ll get to pick later.

I assume this is what they are calling Guildmaster mode. If so, yes, I think their tutorial series of missions introduces all the starting classes two by two, and then you can choose from among them, as well as picking your party size.

But as soon as you feel you’ve got it, I highly recommend switching to the Campaign. It’s just so much better done, in every way. (Unless you are simply delaying for that update, of course)

My indecision on this (one of my favorite things about this game is pondering decisions to death) may have led me to a whole other solution.

I took a Triangles character on a bit of a trial run – a replay of an old mission. Not very satisfactory, in large part because of a weird bug: the game repeatedly failed to give +1 attack simultaneously for the Soothsinger’s Power Ballad song and the Elementalist’s Formless Power bonus. However, I realized that in this one mission, I had taken the Triangles character more than halfway to retirement, and that it would be trivial to get him to retirement in one more go. And this would open up the Lightning class, which I found to be very good in Guildmaster mode. And since it can soak up some damage, I think that that is probably the way I will go.

I do like playing the Spellweaver, but I seem not to have the knack for doing it right. To my eye, a low level Sellweaver has to burn cards – she has so few non-burn attacks that I quickly have to resort to burn attacks or else burn a card retrieving other cards through a rest. And of course Reviving Ether only works once. I probably have my deck set up poorly or else I am missing some strategy… On the other hand, her retirement goal involves exhausting, so I could just take her along for a while and let it happen. She certainly provides amazing firepower as long as she lasts.

On a similar note, there’s no provision in the game to look into how an AI will behave. When I play the tabletop version, I can look through a monster’s cards to get a sense for that monster’s behavior. Does it have ranged attacks? How often and what kind? How mobile is it? Is it fast, slow, in between? Will it stun, wound, or poison? Does it generate or consume mana? What types? Will it heal itself? Will it summon other monsters?

You know, the basic behaviors that make a dragon different from a skeleton which is different from an elemental which is different from an “ork” or “warg” or whatever. All of that is played 100% under-the-hood in the digital version, with no way to reference it. Yet it’s right on the table in front of you when you’re playing the physical version of Gloomhaven.

For all the talk of this being a good digital port, it sure does manage to overlook some fundamental elements of the boardgame.


just started a new chapter in JotL physical, and in the first fight with 2 characters, I drew two times -2 for my party, and one x2 for the monster. I hate this game (because it hates me, too).

I have the tabletop, but haven’t played it (or the digital yet). But isn’t this cheating? Or is there a mechanism where a player is supposed to do this? Other than just by noticing what a monster’s AI does while you’re actually playing the game.

I don’t think the monster action decks are considered secret–certainly not in the “spoiler” sense. Some players will undoubtedly prefer to learn by experience but there’s no rule against looking at them as you set up the table. At least that I saw.

Ah, cool. I assumed they were more sort of secrety like the characters being boxed and hidden until you used them. If they can be seen with no sort of rule breaking, then not being able to check them out in the digital version is a pretty major difference.

I mean, I’m sure someone’s about to jump in and contradict me with a chapter and verse citation in the rulebook, but I certainly never played that way.

That’s a fair criticism. I know I did casually flip through the monster deck when playing the board game, at least on occasion. Still, doing so didn’t help me much, because I’m lazy and forgetful.

I suppose one could justify the digital game’s approach on the grounds that it challenges us to learn monster behavior by observing the monsters’ behavior in-game. I fear, though, that I’m too lazy and forgetful to learn like that. :)

On the other hand you can see at a glance what cards are left in the combat modifiers deck, giving you the exact odds of drawing a non-negative modifier for either the monsters or yourself. I don’t believe anyone playing the boardgame carried those odds in their heads, other than the vague notion of “I’ve used my +2 and a couple of my +1’s so I’m not likely to kill this one in a single blow”

Have played many scenarios 3 players in the physical version with friends. Can’t say we have ever been tempted to look through a monster AI deck before playing. Same way we don’t look at the back of a City or Road event card before choosing to find out which would suit us better,

Which makes it all the weirder that the digital version locks monster behavior into an impenetrable black box! The port isn’t doing anything you can’t see by checking a modifier deck’s discard pile, but it’s making it a lot more convenient. Yet it didn’t occur to anyone over there to create some analog for the monsters themselves.

Well, that’s certainly your prerogative, but the information is readily available for all the monsters, and it’s a fundamental part of learning the game. Do you also opt not to look things up in the Monster Manual when you play D&D? :)


Fair enough. I think if I was playing solo I would for sure look at the AI decks, but the stern matronly looks I would get from my playing partners holds me at bay in multiplayer.

Not actually fired up the app since the campaign mode was released. I fear I find it challenging enough handling one character, that handling multiple may fry my withering brain. Maybe if there was an undo function?

There’s an undo round button, I believe. Only works in single player.

To be fair, I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t really believe in spoilers when it comes to boardgames. I looked through each monster’s deck when playing a scenario to get a sense for what it could do. It never would have occurred to me to keep that information hidden. Randomized, certainly! But hidden?

Ah, they finally added an undo button! I can’t believe the game went so long without one. Previously, the only way to undo an action was the reload the game.


If you’re a player that has always been the case and perhaps even a written rule. Obviously as a sometimes player and sometimes DM you’re going to have a pretty intimate knowledge of the monsters (or whatever from the MM of DM Guide).

But again, not having played GH myself, while the idea of reading thru the monster cards seems a little dubious to me, if it’s how the game is supposed to be played that’s the way it is. And it’s your game anyway so do what you want. Regardless it does seem to be a difference between digital and board versions.

Nice that they put an undo round in. Interesting choice. Surely if you draw bad combat cards or open a door to a horde of nasties you can just reset the round and start again? I prefer an undo where no hidden information was revealed, seems a bit savescummy.

I’m sure it is. Luckily for me, I have a really good save vs. savescum and I only play in MP where it’s not an available option anyway. :)

I still pine for an undo action, though. There are times I’ve had a brainfart and accidentally used the top half of a card instead of the bottom and only then realized I executed my turn not in a way that I had intended.

Wait, so there is or isn’t one? I thought you were saying they added one, but I guess I misread your post. You’re just talking about the option to reload the entire round. I’m pretty sure that’s been in there all along, and it’s hardly a substitute for an undo button when you misclick a card or tile.

Honestly, the lack of an undo is the first sign that someone making a boardgame port probably shouldn’t be making a boardgame port, because they’ve failed at basic functionality. It’s especially surprising here because they’ve done such a good job otherwise.