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Subject: Getting Started Setup Guide rss

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Matthew Van Howe
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Edited for consistency and accuracy.

When I opened the box to Gloomhaven, I just kept laughing when I pulled layer after layer of stuff out of the box. I felt kind of like Mary Poppins and her extra-dimensional bag. Then, I tried to figure out how to get started playing.... Maybe this might be helpful to someone:

1) Punch out all the cardboard. Put the monster punch outs in some type of organizing box. I used a jewelry making organizing box I bought from Joann Fabrics. Try to find the round marker (tiny yellow rectangle) and store it in the same bag as the elemental infusion table along with the wooden elemental circles.

2) Find the party pad and take a sheet. Fill in a Party name.

3) Select a character to play. Only choose one of the first six in the box. (The six that are closest to the center of the box) Take the corresponding miniature box with the character box (the tall skinny box roughly miniature shaped and sized) Open the character box. Open the ability card bag and remove just the cards marked with a "1" in the middle/top of the card. Leave the attack modifier cards in the character box!(The one's with the sword back) (I made the mistake of using these as my attack modifier deck for the first round of the scenario and thought something might be wrong...) Punch out the character counters. Take a character sheet off of the pad. Fill out your name. Write 30 gold in the gold notes section.

4) Shuffle the personal quest cards (the one with the dark grey backs that look similar to a file folder) and draw two. Pick one to keep. Pick one that you think goes with the character you selected to make it easier. Showing the other players is up to you.

5) Take an attack modifier deck from the box. (The sword backed cards.) These are numbered for players 1 to 4 with a number in the lower left hand corner of each card. Mine were organized per player deck.

6) Find the city event deck. Take cards 1 to 30, shuffle, and put the rest back in the box.

7) Find the road event deck. Take cards 1 to 30, shuffle, and put the rest back in the box.

8) Find the items. Take item cards 1 to 14. Put the rest of them back in the box.

9) Put out all the items (1 to 14) on the table. You have 30 gold to purchase any items. There are recommended starting items for each class if you have no idea what to buy. You cannot trade money or items with other players. Track the amount of money you spent on your character sheet.

10) Optional-Have a city event. Draw the top card of the city event deck and make a decision and flip it over and see what happens.

11) You are now ready to go to your first scenario!! Woohoo! Open the scenario book to the first page. Read all the information up until it has a circle with a "1" in the center. Don't read that until you open a specific door. Place the stickers on the map board as indicated in the scenario book. Then put the map board back in the box unless you have the biggest table to play on.

12) Draw a road event and resolve it.

13) Set up the board using the hex tiles as indicated in the scenario book including the door hexes (The hex tiles have a different label on each side). Place the obstacle hexes off to the side. As you open the doors to each room, you will populate that room with obstacles and monsters.

14) Put out the elemental infusion table and place all elemental discs in the inert column.

15) Take out the Monster attack modifier deck (It's the same type and number as the player deck except it has an "M" in the lower left hand corner)

16) Find the monster ability cards (Maroon back with a skull) for each monster mentioned in the scenario. If you've found a monster deck with any part of the monster name in it, that's the one you need.

17) Find the monster stat card for each monster in the scenario. Rotate it so it has a 1 in the level area of the card and place it in a monster sleeve.

18) Find the standees for each monster in the scenario.

19) Follow the rules on page 13 to place monsters depending on the number of players. Just place the monsters in the first room. Don't forget to randomly select the standees when placing them (they are numbered and that number determines the order they will act in a round)

20) Place a blue wooden Experience counter (the blue wooden star) on 0 on your character mat.

21) Place a red wooden Heath counter on the number beneath the "1" (that's the health you get for being level 1)

22) Draw two Battle Goal cards (grey brick back) and choose one to keep. Don't show everyone else.

I think that's about it. Now you can start playing the first scenario! Yay!
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I also had a hard time getting started; the information is scattered throughout the rulebook and the beginning of the scenario book. Well done!
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Jared
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Great guide to getting started. I think a little tutorial scenario would've been helpful for many but once you get it down I'm finding it very addictive.
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Morthai Saichor
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you missing:
23) watch this video: Rules Overview

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Richard A. Edwards
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Wish I had this list when I started! Well done.

I might add that in step 16, the monster ability decks, the second word in multi-word monsters, such as "Guards" in "Bandit Guards", is the title of the deck needed.

I lost some time searching for the "Bandit" deck.

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a little too late for me, but great post!

This was undoubtedly one of the most frustrating games to get started that I've experienced, despite reading the rules and watch Rahdo's run through prior, several times. So much flipping through the rulebook trying to figure out what to do next and making sure I didn't miss any step that was in a different section of the rulebook for the setup and first game.

After I unpunched everything, it took me about an hour just to set up the first scenario and start playing. Ridiculous. It really makes me appreciate FFG's model of a quick start learn to play book and a rules index book being separate.

There really should've have been a "tutorial" scenario for getting used to how the game works and recognizing errors, instead of starting off your campaign right away with a good chance of procedural mistakes being made in something that matters.

I also would've added a brief description of each of the starting classes. The rulebook acknowledges that it's an important decision, but then gives you no help at all, and immediately skips to what happens when your decision has been made. Thanks rulebook!
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Brian C
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It's a good rulebook for referencing, but that initial hump is a doozy.

Would be nice for a mod to sticky this, for all the new players about to dive in.
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Artemus Maximus
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Yes, agreed that it is easy to find what you need for reference thanks to Table of Contents and page indicators on back of book, usually. Just not organized in a logical/procedural order when starting your first campaign.

For those playing casual mode, I don't think it's an issue.
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Morthai Saichor
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gloomhaven is one of the most easiest gaming systems to learn in the recent years as it is pretty intuitive and selfexplanatory. One glance over paul grogan rules video should have easily teached you the game.

Killer Spaceman wrote:
a little too late for me, but great post!

This was undoubtedly one of the most frustrating games to get started that I've experienced, despite reading the rules and watch Rahdo's run through prior, several times. So much flipping through the rulebook trying to figure out what to do next and making sure I didn't miss any step that was in a different section of the rulebook for the setup and first game.

After I unpunched everything, it took me about an hour just to set up the first scenario and start playing. Ridiculous. It really makes me appreciate FFG's model of a quick start learn to play book and a rules index book being separate.

There really should've have been a "tutorial" scenario for getting used to how the game works and recognizing errors, instead of starting off your campaign right away with a good chance of procedural mistakes being made in something that matters.

I also would've added a brief description of each of the starting classes. The rulebook acknowledges that it's an important decision, but then gives you no help at all, and immediately skips to what happens when your decision has been made. Thanks rulebook!
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Richard A. Edwards
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Killer Spaceman wrote:
I also would've added a brief description of each of the starting classes. The rulebook acknowledges that it's an important decision, but then gives you no help at all, and immediately skips to what happens when your decision has been made. Thanks rulebook!

I ended up sending the players the "Residents of Gloomhaven" image from the Kickstarter page.

I have to say that I too found myself wishing for some sort of thematic, story background of the world with descriptions of the starting classes and races.

Something short, but easily shareable with all the players so they can read ahead and select a character before we start. And to help them understand their role from the workd's perspective.


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Kathrin
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SirRoke wrote:
Killer Spaceman wrote:
I also would've added a brief description of each of the starting classes. The rulebook acknowledges that it's an important decision, but then gives you no help at all, and immediately skips to what happens when your decision has been made. Thanks rulebook!

I ended up sending the players the "Residents of Gloomhaven" image from the Kickstarter page.

I have to say that I too found myself wishing for some sort of thematic, story background of the world with descriptions of the starting classes and races.

Something short, but easily shareable with all the players so they can read ahead and select a character before we start. And to help them understand their role from the workd's perspective.

Why not use the backside of the character mats? The ones I read so far are well written and give a nice introduction into the world and the background of the character. And except the tinkerer all backs are available in the images gallery of Gloomhaven.
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Boof Boofski
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Great write up!
Regarding #4, was there ever official word that personal quests should be kept secret? The rule book explicitly says battle goals are kept secret, but nothing that I saw about keeping personal goals secret.

From a role playing perspective, I could see leaving it up to the player; maybe some characters are really talkative about their life goals, others very secretive.
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Kitarja wrote:
Why not use the backside of the character mats? The ones I read so far are well written and give a nice introduction into the world and the background of the character. And except the tinkerer all backs are available in the images gallery of Gloomhaven.

Great idea! But then I have to open all six boxes, scan I need all the mats, then print or email them to my players. It would certainly be easier if there was such a document ready to go.

Of course we could wait until we're together then open the six boxes and hand the mats around, but I don't want to spend a half hour of potential game time doing that. I usually share such info before we gather whenever I can.

Even just a single printed sheet with all six would help since sharing the mats limits us to our slowest reader as we pass them around.

I also wish the six starting boxes had "Starting" or some such printed on the outside.
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Brandon Wickersham
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boof3001 wrote:
Great write up!
Regarding #4, was there ever official word that personal quests should be kept secret? The rule book explicitly says battle goals are kept secret, but nothing that I saw about keeping personal goals secret.

From a role playing perspective, I could see leaving it up to the player; maybe some characters are really talkative about their life goals, others very secretive.


Isaac has recently stated on here (can't remember which thread) that there is no rule on this, but he personally prefers to keep it quiet. I know Paul of GamingRules actively kept his open with his three teammates and they discussed a synergy amongst themselves.

I think I'll go secret, as when someone does achieve their goal it will be a complete surprise to the rest of the group. Surprises = Fun! Not to mention as the games go on, people will be trying to figure out each others goals.
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David desJardins
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Kitarja wrote:
And except the tinkerer all backs are available in the images gallery of Gloomhaven.


SirRoke wrote:
But then I have to open all six boxes, scan I need all the mats, then print or email them to my players.


Eh?
 
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Kathrin
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SirRoke wrote:
Great idea! But then I have to open all six boxes, scan I need all the mats, then print or email them to my players. It would certainly be easier if there was such a document ready to go.

Of course we could wait until we're together then open the six boxes and hand the mats around, but I don't want to spend a half hour of potential game time doing that. I usually share such info before we gather whenever I can.

Even just a single printed sheet with all six would help since sharing the mats limits us to our slowest reader as we pass them around.

I also wish the six starting boxes had "Starting" or some such printed on the outside.

As I said except the tinkerer all character mats are available in the image gallery here, so you would only need to scan the tinkerer, or maybe ask Josh nicely to add the backs into a document







Just send the links to the images to your friends and they can read the story of the characters before you start playing. Or let them read the stories while you set up the first scenario, which might also take a few minutes.

boof3001 wrote:
Great write up!
Regarding #4, was there ever official word that personal quests should be kept secret? The rule book explicitly says battle goals are kept secret, but nothing that I saw about keeping personal goals secret.

From a role playing perspective, I could see leaving it up to the player; maybe some characters are really talkative about their life goals, others very secretive.

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere in the FAQ thread that Isaac said it's up to you if you want to keep it secret or not, he prefers to keep his personal quests secret.
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Ken Clark
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This is an essential post!

This is the first place I have found clear instructions on what to do (and not do) to make the initial combat modifier decks. I watched the video twice and scoured the instruction book but could not figure out how to do it. We got it completely wrong (we used the deck of cards that came with each character, but it was quite clear that was not right as we played...)

Thanks so much for putting this together.

One thing that could be added to #13 is that all of the hex tiles are identified by a unique label (and side) which is referenced in the scenario book. We did not realize this for a while and were trying to guess based on how they looked. We got one wrong and then realized there were not hexes where there should be.
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Alex P
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Great list. If you've read the rulebook obsessively like most of us have, you know all this, but there's so much to organize it is so easy to miss something. In hindsight an organizational one-sheet would have been a great addition.
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Alex Florin
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Great list. I wrote a Rules Summary document which you may find helpful for future sessions. It is written in a sequence of play format with check lists and consolidated steps for each part of game play, including starting each scenario. It includes FAQ items (where applicable), clarification posts from Isaac, and plenty of feedback from various people.

https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/142767/rules-summary

Note that the most recent version is in the shared link as noted in the file description
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bze24YskmJNeeElLVzhHWlJsNVE...

I keep the shared link file current as questions and clarifications come in during these first few days. The final version will go into the Files thread once things have stabilized.

I add a comment whenever I update the file so subscribe to the File thread to get notified if you like
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Rob Bugh
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I created a pdf of your setup guide with a bit of Gloomhaven styling. Here is a screen shot.



Enjoy!
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This was seriously needed. Last night, I spent a few hours punching out cardboard and sorting it into baggies. I have just wrapped up reading the 50-page rulebook, and although everything I read got me excited to play, as you said, important information on getting started was scattered all throughout that sucker. I couldn't even see anything that explicitly mentioned you begin in Gloomhaven (except that that's the only place you can make a new character).

If you don't mind, there are still a couple of logistical questions I can't figure out.

1) How do I track Gloomhaven's prosperity? Since it is tracked on the board, my first instinct is to check the boxes with a permanent marker, but there is a line in the rulebook that says "the town can never be brought below the minimum prosperity for its current level," which suggests prosperity CAN go down and permanent marker is a bad idea. Am I supposed to use pencil or what?

2) Is there a place to track the content of the various decks? For instance, how do I keep track of the items for sale in town? Do I just sort of keep those cards separated from the other item cards? What about the ability cards my characters have unlocked?

There are a lot of fantastic ideas in this game to help the user experience (monster sleeves are a fantastic idea), but there is surprisingly little direction on how to make use of the insert after unpacking everything or track the legacy elements in between plays. Additional envelopes for storing town inventory, cards removed from the game, etc. would have been really helpful.
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kittenhoarder wrote:
This was seriously needed. Last night, I spent a few hours punching out cardboard and sorting it into baggies. I have just wrapped up reading the 50-page rulebook, and although everything I read got me excited to play, as you said, important information on getting started was scattered all throughout that sucker. I couldn't even see anything that explicitly mentioned you begin in Gloomhaven (except that that's the only place you can make a new character).

If you don't mind, there are still a couple of logistical questions I can't figure out.

1) How do I track Gloomhaven's prosperity? Since it is tracked on the board, my first instinct is to check the boxes with a permanent marker, but there is a line in the rulebook that says "the town can never be brought below the minimum prosperity for its current level," which suggests prosperity CAN go down and permanent marker is a bad idea. Am I supposed to use pencil or what?

2) Is there a place to track the content of the various decks? For instance, how do I keep track of the items for sale in town? Do I just sort of keep those cards separated from the other item cards? What about the ability cards my characters have unlocked?

There are a lot of fantastic ideas in this game to help the user experience (monster sleeves are a fantastic idea), but there is surprisingly little direction on how to make use of the insert after unpacking everything or track the legacy elements in between plays. Additional envelopes for storing town inventory, cards removed from the game, etc. would have been really helpful.


1)
[FAQ]
How do I track lost prosperity?
Note it next to the prosperity track and then scratch out the note the next time you gain prosperity.

2) Keep them in separate decks (ziplocks works)

 
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aflorin wrote:

1)
[FAQ]
How do I track lost prosperity?
Note it next to the prosperity track and then scratch out the note the next time you gain prosperity.


Thanks for pointing me to the FAQ, though that still does not answer the question of how I am meant to track it in the first place. Based on the content of the reply, I assume permanent marker is intended. I hope lost prosperity does not come up often, as it seems it would be annoying and ugly to track.
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Marc Alexandre
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kittenhoarder wrote:
aflorin wrote:

1)
[FAQ]
How do I track lost prosperity?
Note it next to the prosperity track and then scratch out the note the next time you gain prosperity.


Thanks for pointing me to the FAQ, though that still does not answer the question of how I am meant to track it in the first place. Based on the content of the reply, I assume permanent marker is intended. I hope lost prosperity does not come up often, as it seems it would be annoying and ugly to track.


Permanent marker when you gain prosperity, pencil or something not permanent when you lost some. And it would seem it does not come up often at all.
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Alex Florin
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kittenhoarder wrote:
aflorin wrote:

1)
[FAQ]
How do I track lost prosperity?
Note it next to the prosperity track and then scratch out the note the next time you gain prosperity.


Thanks for pointing me to the FAQ, though that still does not answer the question of how I am meant to track it in the first place. Based on the content of the reply, I assume permanent marker is intended. I hope lost prosperity does not come up often, as it seems it would be annoying and ugly to track.


If you want to keep the game resetable, you can use an erasable pen (the pilot Frixions are good). You'll need to print the stickers on removable labels as well. There are several threads on that.
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