Being a mercenary on the edge of civilization is anything but easy. For those stupid or brave enough to leave the relative safety of Gloomhaven's walls, adventure, wealth, and fame await in wild and shadowy forests, snowy mountain caves, and long-forgotten crypts. Just don't expect anyone to pay for your services up-front, because no one expects you to come back alive.
Gloomhaven is a cooperative game of tactical combat in a unique, evolving fantasy world. Each player will assume the role of a hardened mercenary with their own personal motives. Together, players will fight through a campaign of scenarios that reacts and changes based on the players' actions, creating a unique game state full of discovered treasure, retired adventurers, and permanent choices.
Each scenario offers players deep tactical decisions, where ability cards have multiple uses, and using the right ability at the right time can mean the difference between success and failure. Gloomhaven offers stream-lined tactical combat without dice against fully automated enemies, each with their own unique behavior patterns. In this box, players will find a fully realized fantasy campaign experience of unparalleled scope and depth.
One of the most overhyped board games I have ever played. Is it a bad game? Not really. Is it a good game? Not Really.
The main problem is that it has the flaws of a board game mixed with the flaws of an roleplaying game.
It is an interesting concept for the first couple plays that quickly loses its luster. Unless you can get the game for $50, this is a hard pass.
Where do I start with you Gloomhaven? We played 27 modules of this. We started off crazy into it! This game was awesome! It was so different - there were no dice, everything was card driven; the map was going to grow, we were going to level up; oh, and there were these boxes that contained who knew what. But then the game really started to feel samey. Unlocking things was the only thing that really kept us going. The card draws started to fell the repetitive. I never realized how much I missed dice. It felt to all of us like we were just grinding. To me, Gloomhaven's massive size and scope is also its downfall. You need a group of really dedicated gamers that are committed to this game to make it work. I would make sure you have buy in from your group before you buy this one. Not only is it a long game, but it is a shelf hog! If this bad boy doesn't get played, it's taking up alot of real estate that could be used by other games that are actually going to get to the table.
A few other tidbits:
The world is well thought out, however the scenario fluff is a little bland.
The AI and the scaling are wonderful!
I really dislike the treasure system and alot of the scenario end conditions. Alot of times you cannot get all of the treasure even if you clear the dungeon. And that just bothers me.
I cannot stress this enough:YOU NEED A STORAGE SOLUTION FOR THIS GAME!!!! Setup is a BEAR!!!
I liked our experience with Gloomhaven. I'm happy we had the experiences we did. It was time to just move on and start seeing other people.
Most well implemented and innovative game design in the modern era of board games. After playing Gloomhaven I wondered if I would have enjoyed traditional role playing as much, had I first experienced the fine tuned, well written and balanced story telling provided in the Gloomhaven box. You are really buying a months long, replayable RPG experience, and an automated DM to boot. I was skeptical about diceless combat until I tried it, and I have to say I am impressed here as well. The decisions and combat modifier decks make the game seem much more tactical while still providing flavor for the combat. I really can’t say enough about this game, must play in my opinion if you have any interest in a deep RPG type of board game experience.
If you're reading these reviews, Sniperdogg worded it so well, I don't even need to say anything. It's a great game that will take anyone, a decent amount of time to finish. Having said that, the price might look steep, but how long you will be playing. It's absolutely worth it, and SO MUCH FUN!
Great RPG-in-a-box style game. There is a huge amount of game play in this box. Each character feels unique and has a specific life goal before they are retired from the game. You discover new locations, stories and characters as you progress through the missions. Combat is handled through card play and there are no dice. There is some randomization of attack values using a modifier deck of cards. Another interesting part of the game is that your hand of action cards AND the attack modifier deck are upgraded as you advance in level. I rate the value as 5/5 even though it is a very expensive game. One downside of the game is the long setup time due to the insanely huge amount of tokens, cards and monster standees. Do yourself a favor and look up the YASS storage solution on boardgamegeek. A layout is provided for using Plano containers to organize all of the game pieces. This helps IMMENSELY and speeds up the setup time.
Not the average dungeon crawler or legacy game. Gloomhaven is similar to playing a predesigned D&D module without the need for a DM. Gameplay is strategic and challenging. Players build a hand of cards for their movement and attacks. These cards need to last long enough to complete a dungeon. Powerful attacks deplete the characters quickly as they can only be performed once and reduce the hand size. D20 Dice have been replaced with a deck of cards that can be customized as the characters level. Character eventually meet their life goal and retire unlocking new character classes to continue this epic adventure. 17 unique classes,a world that levels with you, branching story, 90+ predesigned locations to explore and a random dungeon generator, it very impressive.
FYI - Retail is identical to the 2nd edition kickstarter edition and the 17 solo scenarios were freely released by the developer online.
I would recommend a storage solution, what is included is ok but setup and takedown is very time consuming.