Gloomhaven Catch-All

I have some other thoughts about two player campaigns that I'll throw out there.

While the upside of a two-player game is that turns run quicker, you need to be careful about synergy with card selection since you won't typically have all the bases covered. So talk about options and roles that seem interesting as you level up, so you can ensure you have opportunity to cover each others' butts. Otherwise consider playing at a lower level if you're weak in some areas.

Second, don't be afraid to loosen up retirement rules. Personally I think this mechanic is the weakest part of the game (with binary choice road events running a close second). Since you'll have half as many characters as a four player game, you'll unlock characters quite slowly. Personal quests that require killing a bunch of a certain type of monster are tougher because there are fewer monsters on the board, you're just not going to get as much gold dropped, and there are obviously fewer active quests so those enticing boxes can take a long time to open and may mean a lot of replaying missions if you stick to the rules as written. I'd suggest that you consider going through all the quest cards to pick one that seems interesting when starting a new character, as well as agree on a set XP goal or # of missions point as an alternate retirement goal. If you really want to get free-wheeling, just retire whenever the heck you feel like it, but for me I went with a middle ground where I could aspire to some goal without feeling locked in to an eternal grind.

imbiginjapan wrote:

I have some other thoughts about two player campaigns that I'll throw out there.

While the upside of a two-player game is that turns run quicker, you need to be careful about synergy with card selection since you won't typically have all the bases covered. So talk about options and roles that seem interesting as you level up, so you can ensure you have opportunity to cover each others' butts. Otherwise consider playing at a lower level if you're weak in some areas.

Second, don't be afraid to loosen up retirement rules. Personally I think this mechanic is the weakest part of the game (with binary choice road events running a close second). Since you'll have half as many characters as a four player game, you'll unlock characters quite slowly. Personal quests that require killing a bunch of a certain type of monster are tougher because there are fewer monsters on the board, you're just not going to get as much gold dropped, and there are obviously fewer active quests so those enticing boxes can take a long time to open and may mean a lot of replaying missions if you stick to the rules as written. I'd suggest that you consider going through all the quest cards to pick one that seems interesting when starting a new character, as well as agree on a set XP goal or # of missions point as an alternate retirement goal. If you really want to get free-wheeling, just retire whenever the heck you feel like it, but for me I went with a middle ground where I could aspire to some goal without feeling locked in to an eternal grind.

We solved that problem by fielding two characters each.

Which opens up a whole ‘nother level of complexity to keep track of, believe you me.

We were already playing level 1 scenarios with level 0 monsters. I’m not sure how much more low level we could get.

For now we’ve put it back on the shelf in favor of shorter, one-shot experiences that are less stressful. We plan to come back to it someday, when our collective stress levels are not already burying the needle.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

We solved that problem by fielding two characters each.

IMAGE(https://media.tenor.com/images/03df8ae2546d6042cb977c82e1d860c0/tenor.gif)

imbiginjapan wrote:

Frankly LS, whenever you find yourself taking more than 10 seconds to make a determination I'd suggest just fudging the monster movement to whatever feels agreeable. Typically it will all come out in the wash, and will save you a good deal of time spent pondering.

I found that the first time we played we had a hard time applying mob AI rules, because I hadn't really grokked the bit about focus targets. Then I reread that bit and the rule became very easy to understand and apply quickly.

In short - you figure out who the mob's focus target is before doing anything else, and then you resolve the mob's actions so as to (a) hit the focus target, (b) not make a ranged attack against an adjacent target, and (c) hit other targets if possible. That's all there is to it.

On a broader note, all my gaming buddies like Gloomhaven, but we all found the rulebook to be poorly written and confusing. It took several scenarios before we got out of the loop of puzzling over edge cases that you could only resolve by finding three different passages in three different parts of the manual.

fenomas wrote:

On a broader note, all my gaming buddies like Gloomhaven, but we all found the rulebook to be poorly written and confusing. It took several scenarios before we got out of the loop of puzzling over edge cases that you could only resolve by finding three different passages in three different parts of the manual.

Absolutely agreed.

Fredrik_S wrote:
fenomas wrote:

On a broader note, all my gaming buddies like Gloomhaven, but we all found the rulebook to be poorly written and confusing. It took several scenarios before we got out of the loop of puzzling over edge cases that you could only resolve by finding three different passages in three different parts of the manual.

Absolutely agreed.

Yuuuuuuuuuup, so true.

A friend gave me his extra copy of Jaws of the Lion today. When my brother gets back in town, I'm going to introduce him to it and I think my wife is going to try it, too. Could be fun! She kind of noped out of regular GH when she saw the setup and all the pieces.

-BEP

Fredrik_S wrote:
fenomas wrote:

On a broader note, all my gaming buddies like Gloomhaven, but we all found the rulebook to be poorly written and confusing. It took several scenarios before we got out of the loop of puzzling over edge cases that you could only resolve by finding three different passages in three different parts of the manual.

Absolutely agreed.

I am really hoping the Frosthaven rulebook comes with an actual index.

I had a lot of trouble getting past my understanding of the rules in the scope of D&D. So when something would happen I would think of the D&D rule and not the gloomhaven rules. Sometimes they lined up, sometimes they didn't.