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Subject: Is it possible to play a shortened campaign? rss

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Isaac S.B.
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So, I really want this game. The mechanics look fascinating and my group loves tactical dungeon crawlers. I was miffed that I discovered it when the KS was already closed, and then seeing that it was impossible to get hold of a retail copy. So I'm happy to see it's hitting KS again for a reprint.

But there's a big but for me. There's just no way that my group will play through the sheer amount of scenarios the box packs. We've played through Descent campaigns, IA campaigns, but those are 10-15 scenarios each. Gloomhaven asks a much larger commitment, from what I gather. And we don't have the stamina for it. Even if we did, it would take us years, since we rarely play the same game more than once a month (we love mixing it up).

So, my question is: Is this game enjoyable if you only aim to play 15-20 scenarios? Is there a "main campaign" that can be followed to its conclusion if you ignore side scenarios and such? Would it be frustrating if we did so? (like, is the game balanced around playing a huge amount of sides?).

Thanks a lot, for your answers. I really want to get this, but I won't if my group won't be able to "digest" it, so to speak.
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Daniel Berg
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celedhring wrote:
So, my question is: Is this game enjoyable if you only aim to play 15-20 scenarios? Is there a "main campaign" that can be followed to its conclusion if you ignore side scenarios and such? Would it be frustrating if we did so? (like, is the game balanced around playing a huge amount of sides?).

Balance shouldn't really be a factor for your enjoyment, as the difficulty is fluid. You are going to miss out on a lot of the game's content if only play 15-20 scenarios, though.

Of the 95 scenarios in the box, the first 51 concern the main plot. If you substract the branching plot strands, that leaves you with maybe a little over 30 scenarios if you restrict yourself to just the main plot (educated guess, will probably change, depending on the route you take). It's also likely that you won't unlock that many classes and other additional content.

I'm 23 games in (14 different scenarios) and I've thoroughly enjoyed the game the whole time. If I had to stop playing now without unlocking anything else, I'd be incredibly frustrated, but I would still have gotten a lot of value for my money.
 
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Jeppe Bøttger
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Can you complete the campaign in 15-20 scenarios? No. It will take 50+ scenarios to complete the main campaign.

Is it enjoyable anyway? Definitely. Every single scenario is enjoyable on its own. Great gameplay.
Though for me the most exciting part is the exploration and unlocking and you will not get to explore/unlock much in 15-20 games. we've played about that amount right now and only unlocked 2 characters and 1 envelope.

I can't tell you what to do here. Maybe your group will change they way it usually plays for Gloomhaven, or maybe you can play it with just 1 friend separate from the entire group.
Maybe it's just not the game your are looking for.

If you do decide to pick it up, make sure that you know the rules inside and out. There are a lot to keep track of regarding enemy behavior. Everything else is pretty straight forward.
 
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Eric Bridge
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1) Buy the game, intending to play only 15-20 scenarios.
2) Get addicted to this awesome game.
3) Play the game MUCH more often than you thought you ever would.
4) Complete the main storyline in 12 months.

Problem solved
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Chris
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celedhring wrote:
So, I really want this game. The mechanics look fascinating and my group loves tactical dungeon crawlers. I was miffed that I discovered it when the KS was already closed, and then seeing that it was impossible to get hold of a retail copy. So I'm happy to see it's hitting KS again for a reprint.

But there's a big but for me. There's just no way that my group will play through the sheer amount of scenarios the box packs. We've played through Descent campaigns, IA campaigns, but those are 10-15 scenarios each. Gloomhaven asks a much larger commitment, from what I gather. And we don't have the stamina for it. Even if we did, it would take us years, since we rarely play the same game more than once a month (we love mixing it up).

So, my question is: Is this game enjoyable if you only aim to play 15-20 scenarios? Is there a "main campaign" that can be followed to its conclusion if you ignore side scenarios and such? Would it be frustrating if we did so? (like, is the game balanced around playing a huge amount of sides?).

Thanks a lot, for your answers. I really want to get this, but I won't if my group won't be able to "digest" it, so to speak.


I just played 5 different scenarios with my group till now obviously without unlocking any of the new classes, but when somehow all copies of gloomhaven in the world would dissapear I don't want to miss the time we had so far with the game. ^^

This game is ridiculous fun especially the puzzle you have to solve every round by taking the best 2 cards in a specific situation in collaboration with your teammates. it's a really neat COOP where good communication is the key to victory.

Just play your 10 games or whatever... you won't regret it and maybe you will get the stamina to go for it anyway

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M. S.
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adjacentbeastman wrote:
...
Just play your 10 games or whatever... you won't regret it and maybe you will get the stamina to go for it anyway


I agree, the campaign story isn't too much in the forefront that you *have" to finish it absolutely or be disappointed with your current games.

Of course, if the overall limit is somewhat fixed you can also play only every other scenario in the main story line. Just read the story text, apply campaign info and continue as if you completed the skipped scenarios.
If you want you could add some standardized char progression to these skipped scenarios as well, that way you could also experience some more of the char development/retirement effects.
This way you basically reduce the overall campaign duration without missing out more than you would anyway, if you think you have only time for a limited number of scenarios.
Let's call it Gloomhaven on steroids. It wouldn't influence the scenario sessions that much in itself as they are scaled anyhow, it would mainly influence how much you see from the total of Gloomhaven without having to play every scenario on the way.
 
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Drake Coker
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This game is much less plot-driven than something like IA or Descent. The world changes as you play it, but this is much more like a series of adventures in a living world than a grand plot you follow from start-to-finish. The game never truly finishes (though it can stop evolving eventually), so few people are likely to play to "the end" (whatever that is).

There are some main plot lines, definitely, but any one of those reaches a potential pausing point fairly quickly.
 
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Noel Szczepanski
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You can look at the scenario flow chart and only do the story scenarios that take you to the end if you want.
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Mike Oehler
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[quote]It will take 50+ scenarios to complete the main campaign. [/quote]

Isn't the main campaign scenarios 1-50, with later ones being side quests from the random deck, stuff tied to personal quests, and such? So while there are 50 'story' scenarios, some of them will be locked by branching paths and exclusive choices. And some routes seem faster than others at progressing the story. So it seems like it'd be possible, with some foreknowledge of scenario progression, to blitz through in closer to 15-20 missions instead of 50.

Spoilers for scenario progression (but not plot or enemies):

Spoiler (click to reveal)
For example, in our game we just did mission 20, our 12th scenario. However, if a party didn't do any sidequests and skipped the wizard missions, it seems like they could get mission 20 through 1->2->3->8-> 13? (I think) -> 20. So six missions could get a group to 20. So advancement through the campaign seems like it could progress with 1/2 to 1/3rd roughly of the mission numbers.

 
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Luke
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P0isson wrote:
You can look at the scenario flow chart and only do the story scenarios that take you to the end if you want.


That's a solid idea. I haven't looked at the chart yet, because spoilers.

But if you wanted to check that for the shortest route through the campaign, then you'd know if your group has the stamina.

As for only playing maybe 10-15 scenarios. That's a really funny question for me. I've got 75 logged plays, I've completed between 30-40 different scenarios. I also play solo so my stamina isn't affected by scheduling.

Part of me wants to say, "don't bother."

But I also think it's reaaally good. So maybe 10-15 plays would still be great(I retired my first character after 13 plays.) I think you'd have a harder time selling off your copy post-reprint though. If that's a thing you were considering.
 
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Isaac S.B.
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15-20 plays out of a game costing around 100$ is certainly good value to me, that wouldn't be an issue. I never resell my games unless they are complete bombs within my group.

My only worry is whether it would feel satisfying. I.e. seeing a good sample of what the game has to offer in playing content and story. Maybe I'll "cheat" and check the scenario flow in order to optimize our plays in terms of story content. I don't mind spoiling myself if it helps me giving a more satisfying experience to my group.

I guess I'll go and buy it anyway, once the reprint comes to KS. It seems too unique to pass up. Who knows, maybe it will catch on and change our habits. IA and Descent are our most favored games and nonetheless we are short of 30 plays each.

Thanks everybody for their feedback on this.
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Eric Bridge
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Also the game can be played solo pretty easily too, though I personally wouldn't find it as fun. You don't HAVE to have a group to play this.
 
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Isaac S.B.
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I certainly don't enjoy playing solo. The social aspect of gaming is 50% of the fun for me, maybe even more.

(Total respect to those who do enjoy soloing games).
 
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Bernd Weber
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Looking at the scenario flowchart it looks like the shortest way to complete the main quest is only

Spoiler (click to reveal)
10


scenarios (unless I'm missing something - I don't own the game).
 
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David Latimore
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If you avoid doing scenarios above #51, you will speed up the campaign quite a bit. Many scenarios get locked off as you play, so you won't have to do anywhere close to the full 51 to get the whole story.

I think if you prioritize your most recently unlocked scenarios, and never go back to check out other plot lines, you will move faster through the campaign. There's been at least twice I've seen this to be true, and I'm not too far into the campaign really.
 
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Anon Y. Mous
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Aubigny wrote:
Looking at the scenario flowchart it looks like the shortest way to complete the main quest is only

Spoiler (click to reveal)
10


scenarios (unless I'm missing something - I don't own the game).


Spoiler (click to reveal)
You are missing something.
 
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Mark Blasco

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If you bought another game for the same price and enjoyed playing it 10-15 times, would you be happy?

Honestly, while the campaign element is awesome, it doesn't change the core gameplay in the way that Pandemic Legacy and other legacy games do. The rules stay the same from game to game, and the gameplay does too.

What you really will be missing out on is all of the world development/character unlocks/events which lead into other events/full character leveling and enchantments. These things are all supplemental to the game, but for me they are the things which make this game better than the others in my collection.

If you were to just have the 6 starting characters, a small deck of items, and the random dungeon generator, without all of the starting stuff, it would still be a really fun game.

So, if you watch a video of it being played and like what you see, I say go for it. The story/campaign/leveling/etc. stuff will add another layer of awesome, and may entice your group to play it more often.
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