Random thoughts about boardgames

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Gloomhaven. Oh, how I just do not like thee! Frustration Venting

Logan Hallfin
United States
Minnesota
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I'm not sure what it is about this game's design but I just cannot get "there" even after years of trying and playing the video game to try to better understand the card interactions and ruleset.

I find it near impossible to play, even on easy or friendly or very easy... I find myself often getting annihilated and this is after spending like a dozen hours reading cards, reading rules, trying to optimize hands, think of good combos, good equipment combos, reading posts on BGG about strategies, watching youtube videos... I mean I've played the game at least 15 times and this is pretty much still where I'm at mentally: ZERO.

Most of the time while playing I feel like Gloomhaven should have been titled Metahaven because you need to game the game and every aspect of the game from combo interactions that take 5 turns and 5 cards played exactly in the right order, to wall hugging, and enemy kiting, to the max to have any chance of success, often to only have the elites draw the one possible card to completely nullify your plan, or you draw a miss or they draw a 2x (and yes I know there are ways to mitigate those, I'm doing them, I promise!).

I'm literally terrified to play this game in-person where friends will have taken time out of their lives to show up, get everything ready and sit down and play and then one person (probably me) makes one mistake one time and poof ruins it for everyone; the party is stuck in a downward spiral where you'll spend the next 45 minutes trying to win, but have very little chance because of that one mistake that one time.

Above all else, I am not having fun. When I do finally scrape through what should have been a milk run, I don't feel invigorated, I feel half-chewed.

Knowing me, I'll probably keep trying.

I just am kind of shocked that I just cannot seem to unlock any amount of skill to play this game, even with the starting classes.

Oh that's another point, in my 15 plays none of my characters have unlocked any new classes. A couple of them aren't even close. I've spent like 100 hours on this game and I don't even get to open even a single tiny little box. I love opening boxes but also I'm horrified because that means new classes that I will also probably have zero skill playing leading right back to the beginning of all of this. Arg!

No one should probably take any of this seriously because for literally 100's of thousands of other people Gloomhaven is the greatest boardgame ever made. God I wish I knew what was wrong with me.

Here's what me playing has resulted in: Played 3 times in the last day, new campaign, new mercenaries, Craig w/helm, Brute w/leather armor, Mind w/poison dagger, Tink w/goggles. Normal diff, first mission, crushed about 7-10 exp each a 2-4 gold each. Replayed dropping the difficult as low as it could go and barely scraped through about 10-12 exp each and again maybe 2-4 gold each ZERO perks despite trying very hard. On to the second scenario (the first boss) on the lowest difficulty again, within three turns he opened two doors and summoned an elite skeleton, that means its 10 against 4. I did manage to take him out (not before he opened doors 3 and 4 which add another 5 mobs) but then ran out of cards before I could do enough damage to the living corpses which kept muddling everyone which kept everyone's damage down to almost nothing. ~ 10-15 exp each (no level up's yet) no perks still obviously, I think no progress in anyone's person quest. Amount of fun had: Zero.

This game makes me feel like I'm as stupid as a brick. I swear I'm not. Its been a long time but in school I was always in the 99th percentile for reading and math. I took advanced English and Math classes from 3rd grade all the way through college. My IQ has been tested well above average. Around 6th grade my reading level was already at a college level. Not bragging or exaggerating one bit, those are facts. So... WTF is wrong with me that I just cannot figure out this game?!? ARG!

Okay. I'm sorry. Thank you. Everyone have a good night.
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6 Comments
Thu Nov 18, 2021 6:49 am
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2 separate problems, KS and overall Boardgame spending.

Logan Hallfin
United States
Minnesota
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Alone and Loving it! :D
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Gone Gaming!
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Microbadge: Level 02 BGG posterMicrobadge: 2019 Copper SupporterMicrobadge: Silver Board Game CollectorMicrobadge: 1 Player Guild - Together We Game AloneMicrobadge: Arkham Horror: The Card Game fan
So I'm having a couple existential crises at the same time.

1) I'm overspending on boardgames.

Not to like a dangerous degree but, soon I'll have just way too many games to play as much as they deserve. Also I need to budget out a couple of big non-boardgame purchases and getting tons of new games constantly makes that markedly more difficult. I keep trying to convince myself to not spend and just play more of what I already own... but I lost that plot this month, more on that after number 2.

2) My obsession with kickstarter is coming crashing down.

A lot of my projects... I'm just not happy with, partly due to delays but even more so due to both the game and the shipping being cheaper at retail; sometimes by as much as 30% to 40%... as someone driven to seek "deals" that's just too much for me to ignore.

Edit, felt like adding a little more to this train of thought.

Not using kickstarter leads to a lot of potential missing out, mostly with KS exclusives and expansions. This triggers what I think is probably KSes biggest sales tool: FOMO, or fear of missing out. I admire those that want it "all", but for me personally, what I want is mostly just the base game. This is definitely something I've been learning about myself over the last year: extras, exclusives and expansions are great fun and can really change or breathe new life into a game; but, and again this is about me personally, often don't carry as much value (for me) as just getting a new game.

Now I'm not saying anything bad against anyone who kickstarts or wants to kickstart, or has run a kickstarter...

It's obviously a fantastic tool to get your product out there in the world and get that ball rolling. There's obviously dozens of other great benefits... but I think after a little over a years journey into both hobby gaming and KS and about 25 projects backed... considering all of the factors im feeling and thinking about I feel kind of done with backing for the most part.

I will continue to use it as almost a news feed, and to watch for non retail projects that look like something I can't live without.

For the majority of my purchases however, I think it's time to return to retail (by that I mean both online and physical stores).

Again I'd rather spend nothing right now... and maybe as my KSes fufil over the next several months that'll be easier (I do have tons of great games on the way, after all)... but blew that this month by adding Cerebria to my Trickerion CE pledge (dumb because it would have been cheaper and faster to preorder from a retailor) and by pre ordering Folklore the Affliction from a retailer (not as dumb because I'm saving almost 60 bucks over the KS price).

Anyway that's it for my first blog post here, felt good to write out some of my thoughts... even if no one ever reads this... at least it was a bit cathartic.
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4 Comments
Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:10 am
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