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Subject: Last questions before backing...help rss

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Mike Pezzi
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So after spending days watching/reading anything and everything, I've landed on a couple of essential questions I'm hoping to get help answering.

1) This will be a solo adventure for me. I know there is a solo mode, two or more characters, etc, etc. What I'm struggling with is whether this will remove part of what makes this game so interesting. Having the knowledge of all cards being played removes one of the best features, I feel. Isaac has said multiple times that the difficulty can be ramped up in order to offset the advantage of knowing all cards being played, but is part of what makes Gloomhaven so unique and "fun" removed when soloing, even though the combat might still be challenging?

2) This is more a selfish question based on my life situation, but I also have to assume I'm not alone. As a father of two under two, I do not have a dedicated gaming space. As a result everything I play requires set-up, play, and breakdown every session. Is this game simply too cumbersome in components and story, as well as too lengthy in play time, to lend itself to being treated the way I would treat it? Not to mention with often days and even weeks between gaming sessions, will it be difficult to track where I left off if I am away from the game for an extended stretch of time?

Any help/thoughts are greatly appreciated.

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Felix Scholz
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Pez17 wrote:

1) This will be a solo adventure for me. I know there is a solo mode, two or more characters, etc, etc. What I'm struggling with is whether this will remove part of what makes this game so interesting. Having the knowledge of all cards being played removes one of the best features, I feel. Isaac has said multiple times that the difficulty can be ramped up in order to offset the advantage of knowing all cards being played, but is part of what makes Gloomhaven so unique and "fun" removed when soloing, even though the combat might still be challenging?

I have to say that hidden decision making in the figths was what impressed me most in my test game. If I ever Play a round solo I would try to make the choices for one character and then for the other without relying on my knowledge what I already picked for the other character (since I'm rather forgetful that might work well for me ). But even if that's not an option I still believe that the fight System has a whole bunch of unique components to offer. And that doesn't even include everything that happens outside the scenarios.

Pez17 wrote:

2) This is more a selfish question based on my life situation, but I also have to assume I'm not alone. As a father of two under two, I do not have a dedicated gaming space. As a result everything I play requires set-up, play, and breakdown every session. Is this game simply too cumbersome in components and story, as well as too lengthy in play time, to lend itself to being treated the way I would treat it? Not to mention with often days and even weeks between gaming sessions, will it be difficult to track where I left off if I am away from the game for an extended stretch of time?


Set-Up and tear-down might be problematic depending on how much time you would be willing to sacrifice. Depending on what I saw in the tabletop zen session a lot of stuff is required for a Scenario (this might be mitigated by a clever box inset). But the Scenarios don't take as long as I would have suspected beforehand. Granted said game session took about 2,5 hours but that included quite some explaining and some technical Problems. So I guess 60-90 mins pure playtime for a Scenario might fit.
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Isaac Childres
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I hope I can sufficiently answer your questions, Mike.

1. You will admittedly lose some aspect of that interesting player interaction by going solo, but it would be the same with any solo game. Playing by yourself will increase the puzzle-like nature of it because you have that perfect information. And I think the puzzle of what to do is the strength of a lot of solo games.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I think you'll still have a lot of fun (but maybe people who aren't the biased designer could speak better to this point).

2. The game is designed with exactly you in mind. As long as you keep things organized in the box, setup and tear down should be fairly painless. Most of that will come from tearing down and setting up scenarios, which you have to do in between each one anyway, so as long as you can finish a scenario in a sitting, then everything should be good. Each scenario is designed to play in roughly 30 minute per character, so hopefully that should fit within your schedule, depending on the number of characters you plan on running. It will be a lot of information up front for a solo player because they'll have to learn multiple character decks, but after that first learning play, it should go pretty smoothly. And with the stickers on the map and notepads, it should be very easy to pickup where you left off.
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Craig C
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I can sympathize with your situation, and it seems like the best way to get maximum enjoyment out of Gloomhaven is to get rid of your children. There are two ways this can best be accomplished:

First, there are plenty of religious cults looking to acquire impressionable new members, and starting them down that path from near-birth is an ideal situation for most of them, so that's an option. The internet and late-night cable can probably provide contact information for most of them.

If that doesn't sound like the right way for you, then consider the number of wealthy foreigners looking to acquire heirs without the hassles associated with having to treat a woman decently for at least nine months. Not only could this free up gaming time, but they'd likely pay you enough to be able to pledge multiple copies of the game, eliminating the concern about stickers and resealable envelopes that are worrying some backers. Again, the internet's probably your best bet to make initial contact with these prospective buyers.

In all honesty, Isaac's probably given you the best advice, but I just thought I'd present a third option in case you were open to alternatives.
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Mike Pezzi
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First let me say as a fairly new member of modern gaming, I'm so glad I found this community. Isaac, i find myself almost wanting to support your project simply out of how impressed I am at your passion and your willingness to answer questions and address concerns on almost a daily basis. That level of dedication is enviable and fantastic. Major thanks for your quick response.

And Craig, while I'm a sucker for "out-of-the-box" thinking, your suggestions MAY be just a bit extreme for me. But again, a thank you for the ideas!
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Sal
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As a fellow dad, I can sympathize with your situation. I ended up trying the PnP version to answer these questions for myself. So here is my experience playing the demo within the same situation as you.

1. I think Issac makes a great point about the puzzle like aspect when playing solo. While you do lose that hidden hand factor, there is a lot of enjoyment in trying to figure out a good synergy between your characters before making a decision. Plus, with never knowing when or how the monster will act, you can very easily find yourself scrambling to adjust your plans to the new situation. I found it fun but there does seem to be a bit of a learning curve when trying to learn two classes at once. I think with a little practice you will master them and be able to make your decisions quickly which will speed up your playtime.

2. I found the initial setup when I first printed the game to be a bit long but most of this had to do with sorting out all the decks. Once you have all your decks made, I can see the setup time to be pretty short. Also, the map tiles aren't huge which was a big help for saving space. I know I've struggled with some other tile based games to fit it all on one table. Granted, this is only the first event so some of the other maps may get much larger but my initial impression is that it is a manageable size.
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Dave the Knave
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Take this with a grain of salt, but one point to reenforce.

Since the rules allow you to generally discuss what you are doing, who you are going to try to attack, and how early you are going to move I imagine there are not many times when you are completely shocked by what your friends are doing (unless they are trying to shock you).

You only cannot discuss specifics i.e. my initiative is exactly 17, but you can say "I think I'll be moving early." You can't say I'm moving to this hex and using this exact ability, but you can say I'm going to go in and try to get the archers.

The enemies have random initiative by cards so the element of the board not looking exactly as you imagined it would still happen, just maybe not as often.

And it seems like the setup/teardown shouldn't be too bad provided you keep things organized. The kickstarter says it comes with a custom insert to keep things organized, though no details on that yet. I feel the same way you do about long game sessions and thats wht I like about this verse other dungeon crawlers like Shadows of Brimstone. I don't have time to play a 3-5 hour game very often, but about 1 hour per scenario is a great sweet spot for me. If you want a longer game you can string scenarios together so no real downside there.
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Mike Pezzi
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deepfreeze wrote:
Take this with a grain of salt, but one point to reenforce.

Since the rules allow you to generally discuss what you are doing, who you are going to try to attack, and how early you are going to move I imagine there are not many times when you are completely shocked by what your friends are doing (unless they are trying to shock you).

You only cannot discuss specifics i.e. my initiative is exactly 17, but you can say "I think I'll be moving early." You can't say I'm moving to this hex and using this exact ability, but you can say I'm going to go in and try to get the archers.

The enemies have random initiative by cards so the element of the board not looking exactly as you imagined it would still happen, just maybe not as often.


This is a good point Dave. I had forgotten about this sharing of information from when i watched Rahdo's run through. Very helpful. Thank you.
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Captain Orlando
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I played the pnp solo with two characters and had similar experience to Sal.

1. It is fun sometimes to combine the two character moves to make the best situation and then the monster card stuff it up anyway (or you draw the null damage card). Other times you can play each character in character. Case in point: Tinkers battle goal was to collect loot so I decided to ignore the other character actions and tinker collected loot for a turn. Made it somewhat interesting.

2. I also thought it was slightly long to setup but could be because I had to find everything for each character. With custom inserts (one for each character) I think setup would go a lot quicker.

I would suggest you try the pnp version to see if it will be for you.
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will sullivan
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i'll be playing solo too, not cos of kids but busy and complex work life (and the simple fact i spend all my time w people and want some downtime!)

Having tried the PnP i've backed confident that the AI and the campaign will make it work as a solo player. Previously i was soloing descent which has lost it's shine since trying this, mainly cos of the conflict between overlord and hero objectives... which is a shame in itself seeing as we need to wait 9ish months for the game to come out!

as folk in other threads have said i think the main thing is playing with less characters - i found 2 fine, whilst 3 really slowed down as i got over involved in the optimum move puzzle. which as already pointed out goes against the spirit of the game anyways.
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