Gloomhaven - Tactical Combat in a persistent world!

If it’s any help, I’m using Brute and Scoundrel in a two-person party and it becomes quite a bit easier a little past where you are.

I initially thought it was overly puzzle-y and that I needed to optimise each run, but thankfully as I became more familiar with the cards and to some small extent, the synergies, I found I could pretty much deal with most scenarios with something left in the tank. Some of that was probably ascending the power curve too.

All that is just to say, don’t give up on the two-person party too soon (unless three appeals to you). I have no prior experience of this type of game so I’m just futzing along and finding out what works. Very fun.

Me and a friend ran the entire boardgame campaign twice with just two characters, it’s definitely not impossible…

Good to know it’s feasible with two players.

I’m wondering why my Scoundrel ran out of cards so early, in round 14 or 15. The stamina calculator says he should last 20 with optimal play. I think I follow the plan: I short rest every time I’m down to either 2 or 3 cards. In this run, I did have to start the scenario by dsicarding two cards, since I had a bad road event. I was thinking discarding 2 would cost me 2 rounds, but maybe it’s more?

Discarding two cards should be one round, no? Since you use/discard two cards each round?

You should rest every time you are down to 0 or 1 card(s). If you’ve got 2 or 3 cards, that’s another turn!

… and part of that is planning it so that at least one of your cards isn’t total trash when you have 2/3 left. Not always easy but also not impossible! You’ll whiff once in a while when something unexpected comes up but Gloomhaven overall very much rewards planning long-term both macro (characters, items, the city) and micro (cards/scenarios).

Wait, I thought the tutorial told me to rest when down to 2 or 3! I had the impression I’d swoon if I played my last two remaining cards. Also the stamina calculator seems to say the same thing. Maybe I’m misreading it? BoardGameMath - Gloomhaven stamina exhaustion calculator

Edit: Blimey, you guys are right – I’ve been playing this wrong in both the digital and tabletop versions! I replayed and easily won the mission I’d failed twice, with plenty of cards to spare. This makes the game more fun!

Great stuff! And you must be pretty nifty at this game if you got through those first few scenarios using only four fifths of your turns. :D

You only exhaust if you don’t have 2 unburned cards.

2 cards will let you take a Long Rest and then exhaust (useful for soaking damage).

Discarded cards will never exhaust you, because you can always Short or Long Rest at the start of turn and get them back. You can start a turn with zero cards in hand, but you’ll be forced to use a Rest to get your discards back.

Just to add that long resting with no cards in hand in a 2 player game can be a little risky.

With no cards in hand to burn to mitigate damage if you get your assessment wrong on how many attacks you will take, that big health pool can look a lot smaller by the time you get to actually recover your cards…

Is the big update still supposed to happen before the end of the year? I want to jump into this, but not if I’m going to have to restart in a few days.

True, but it’s still almost always better to have a suboptimal turn than to waste a turn by resting early. Only exception would be in an extreme crunch situation like a boss battle.

Also, this!

Just to nitpick, you can only short rest at the end of a turn, but in TT I’d certainly let a player “turn back the clock” if we hadn’t really started the next turn yet (e.g. revealed cards).

Long resting in 2p is always a bit risky. Depending on the situation, though, I’d still strongly recommend not resting early if you can avoid it. Better to risk a big hit, IMHO, because there’s a decent chance the monsters do something stupid instead (see above). Once you start losing cards to damage, it’s usually a downward spiral.

Different characters have different issues for resting. Like if you can turn invisible (and doing so doesn’t screw the party) you can pretty much laugh at the monsters. Or if you have two permanent shields, that swarm of imps may not annoy you nearly as much as they would everyone else…

(Of course even with one character with the invisibility cloak, this is a great tactic for giving the whole party a break, park them in a doorway or other one-hex chokepoint and turn invisible for your long rest. That’s basically two full turns of invisibility. Of course it may not work against flying or long-range critters depending on the layout, but it’s very satisfying to make a whole room full of rending drakes just do nothing while the party heals up and prepares to deal with the situation.)

By the way, is there any other character in the game even half as effective as the Nightshroud? Properly geared up with support from the party it can kill any elite almost every other turn, and in the meantime it can kill normals. And all without taking any damage. And those dungeons that generate darkness every turn? Ha. Seems totally OP.

Heh, yeah, he’s extremely effective, especially leveled up and with the right gear.

Not as much fun for other players in an MP game, though. All those executes trivialize what the other characters are doing, and his tendency to disappear often adds injury to insult.

Since I complained so loudly about a crappy mission, it’s only fair that I be just as vocal about a great one:

Tribal Assault. Ironically, this was the next one involving Redthorn, the rescued Orchid. But this time, the thing makes sense. He’s out for blood, and to rescue other Orchids, and quite logically he brings his weapon. But he’s a bit reckless.

And what a great design for a mission. You have to rescue a whole slew of Orchids – all of them, over four rooms. Two of those rooms providing very significant Inox resistance. And you have an interesting decision to make. You can prioritize killing monsters, but if you do, the ones in the back will start hacking away at the prisoners. Which can eventually result in your having to burn a hero’s card to prevent damage. Or you can beeline rescuing the prisoners – but that not only puts your characters in jeopardy, but each rescue requires being adjacent to the prisoner, and then giving up the “top” half of your turn… I succeeded, but I think I had exactly the correct party to do it. Soothsinger bursting into a room with an AOE stun, followed by the bear with his big attack and my level 8 Mindthief combining stuns and substantial attacks. But even that might not have been enough without the Spellweaver’s mobility; in the end, the toughest aspect was that over four rooms and 9 turns wasted on rescuing, very tough to finish in time. Not that the Spellweaver’s attacks didn’t help, but the two uses of that move 8 jump made it possible.

Really, my only quibble with the mission was that it was never clear to me whether Redthorn dying would be a lose condition, and I was initially unclear whether he could open doors like he could in the other mission (he could not, apparently having lost that skill in the meantime)

But a super fun scenario.

I know that isn’t the case because it’s only available at the start of one’s turn.
If the digital version screwed that up people would’ve been screaming bloody murder like they have for literally everything else that deviates from table top.

Also we’re talking about digital, so even if they did screw it up, that isn’t how it works in digital. You short rest at the start of the turn when selecting cards.

Huh. I was 90% sure it’s described as at the end of the turn in the TT manual, but it’s effectively between turns so there’s no real difference. Didn’t know the digital version put it at the beginning.

You’re right, it’s at the end of the round in the board game. But it’s much easier to strategise with it at the start of the round, and as you say it makes no practical difference.

Big update for this today. It has the Permanent Enhancements option which I think is what a lot of folk were wanting. Time to dive in.

As I understand it, that feature requires a campaign restart. Is it worth restarting for it? In my ongoing campaign, enhancements are cheaper but don’t persist with a class once it’s retired? That tradeoff might be okay with me, but I don’t have enough experience with the game to be sure.

Also, do the new Steam achievements effectively require a restart if you want to get as many as possible?