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Gloomhaven» Forums » General

Subject: "Reading the maps for strategic insight" - Do or don't? rss

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Sebastian Grawan
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Hi!

Going with the one scenario most of us know from Tabletopia, Tabletop Simulator or just by reading the rulebook, I wonder if the game was designed with the intention of the players first checking the maps and monsters the scenario will unleash upon them or not.

So when players first play 'The Black Barrow', should they rather dash into the fray unprepared on a room-by-room basis or should they first check the scenario maps on how many monsters they will meet in every room, where traps will be deployed and so on?

This could lead to a whole new 'Turn Zero' where players would first strategize on how and when to use their cards ("Don't use your mighty area attack in the first room, wait until we have spawned the big group of baddies in room 2 - there you'll use it!") and how to progress through the scenario.

But I fear this would also reduce the 'fun' aspect of not knowing what your party of adventurers will face next, too...?

What's your take on the matter?
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Matt Mason
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Just my opinion, but I was going to take the "Choose Your Own Adventure" book approach. Don't flip to the page unless I have firmly made the decision to go there.
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William Curtis
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Not really supposed to discuss tactics, you are supposed to be mercenaries and as such only fight in the way that is best for your character no?
 
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Sebastian Grawan
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CiviliTalismaniac wrote:
Just my opinion, but I was going to take the "Choose Your Own Adventure" book approach. Don't flip to the page unless I have firmly made the decision to go there.
For all the scenarios most of us know, Black Barrow, that is, there is no second page. All the maps and enemies that will be in the scenario are visible on the get-go.

 
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Isaac Childres
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I recommend that you just look at the names of the monsters you'll be facing (both so that you can prepare your own cards and also get those monster cards and standees ready for when they appear), and then set up the first room and go.
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Paul Grogan
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As Isaac says above, the intention is that players know the scenario and what monsters they will face. This will affect their decision to choose certain cards to take with them / battle goal, etc.

However, this is not what we are doing...

We have one player (me) responsible for the scenario book. We setup the map and the contents of the first room only. I try not to look at anything else.

When a door is opened, I populate the dungeon. And... if at that point, a new type of monster is encountered, I find the appropriate sealed envelope and someone opens it*

* I have gone through all the standees, monster stat cards, and monster ability cards and divided them into individual envelopes. This provides more excitement for the rest of the group as they have more things to open, and will not see the monsters before they are encounted. I highly recommend this if you buy the game.
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Ryan Smith
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PaulGrogan wrote:
* I have gone through all the standees, monster stat cards, and monster ability cards and divided them into individual envelopes. This provides more excitement for the rest of the group as they have more things to open, and will not see the monsters before they are encounted. I highly recommend this if you buy the game.


That sounds like an excellent idea, Paul. Are there any specific type/size envelopes you recommend?
 
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Paul Grogan
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I actually didn't have any envelopes.

I just got a piece of A4 paper, put the monster stat card in, then the ability cards, then the standees, folded left and right, folded top and bottom, sellotaped it, flipped it, wrote on it, put it in the box. The box is now filled with about 40 little packages which the rest of the players are excited to open at some point

Of course, I've seen the monsters, and therefore have been subjected to some spoilers, but I'll try to forget!
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Jared
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PaulGrogan wrote:
As Isaac says above, the intention is that players know the scenario and what monsters they will face. This will affect their decision to choose certain cards to take with them / battle goal, etc.

However, this is not what we are doing...

We have one player (me) responsible for the scenario book. We setup the map and the contents of the first room only. I try not to look at anything else.

When a door is opened, I populate the dungeon. And... if at that point, a new type of monster is encountered, I find the appropriate sealed envelope and someone opens it*

* I have gone through all the standees, monster stat cards, and monster ability cards and divided them into individual envelopes. This provides more excitement for the rest of the group as they have more things to open, and will not see the monsters before they are encounted. I highly recommend this if you buy the game.


Wow, this sounds like a great idea for those of us that don't mind being a game master of sorts. It would be fun to put character ability cards in small level-unlock envelopes as well.
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Dennis Schwarz
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More envelopes? Sounds really cool and it might be something I will do for our copy of Gloomhaven, too.

This will feel like packing presents

Very cool idea!
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James Dickinson
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It does sound like a cool idea.

Paul, how is your instructional video coming along? When are we going to see it?

And, as a long time Mage Knight fan, how does the combat compare, given that the mechanics are not dissimilar?
 
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Troy Laurin
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PaulGrogan wrote:
When a door is opened, I populate the dungeon. And... if at that point, a new type of monster is encountered, I find the appropriate sealed envelope and someone opens it*


I very much like this idea! Does it make the game much harder in that you miss out on being able to prepare your abilities for the types of monsters you'll encounter?

Cephalofair wrote:
I recommend that you just look at the names of the monsters you'll be facing (both so that you can prepare your own cards and also get those monster cards and standees ready for when they appear), and then set up the first room and go.
(emphasis mine)

I can see the element of unknown adding to the enjoyment/immersion... but not if it means having to run dungeons multiple times as a matter of course.
 
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Jared
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If you know a monsters abilities by the name alone, you would have already encountered it in a previous dungeon, therefore it would already have been unsealed. Basically, wether you seal or not, your first encounter with a new monster is a learning experience.
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Paul Grogan
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It makes the game harder for sure, but not by much.
For example, you might take a 'disarm trap' card, and there be no traps.
Or a 'loot a chest' battle goal, and there be no chest (although I think there is always one, I'm not sure)
But for us, it is worth it.

Comparison to Mage Knight. Hard, this is far more detailed, but it's clear that Mage Knight combat inspired this one to some extent, and since MK is my #1 favourite game, I do like the combat in this

Like I've told many people now, if GH was just standalone scenarios (like 1st Ed Descent), it would still be an awesome game.
 
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stk mx
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Love the idea of the envelopes for the monsters!!! It prevents spoilers, even just hiding the artwork of the monster cards or standees adds an element of excitement and surprise for the other players. Eventually these monsters do get opened; but the players gain the experience of difficulty over time. And it also serves as an organizational tool.

I too loved the Mage Knight game back in the day, and having all the figures does allow the possibility of using these figures for Gloomhaven monsters. Setting the dials to different values allows for the randomness of placement, and the colors can be used in a similar way. Blue now become standard (or white), yellow become elite, and red become bosses.
 
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Dennis Schwarz
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maybe on the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one....
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stkmx1 wrote:
I too loved the Mage Knight game back in the day, and having all the figures does allow the possibility of using these figures for Gloomhaven monsters. Setting the dials to different values allows for the randomness of placement, and the colors can be used in a similar way. Blue now become standard (or white), yellow become elite, and red become bosses.

Take note, though, that Paul and the others are talking about Mage Knight - The Board Game, not the tradable miniatures game.
 
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Luke Jacobs
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CiviliTalismaniac wrote:
Just my opinion, but I was going to take the "Choose Your Own Adventure" book approach. Don't flip to the page unless I have firmly made the decision to go there.


And keep one finger on the page so if you see a picture of something bad happening you can go back!
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Matt Mason
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mournful wrote:
And keep one finger on the page so if you see a picture of something bad happening you can go back!


Guilty as charged
 
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