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Subject: Trampled by hordes (probably spoilers) rss

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foldedcard
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After getting stomped multiple times in scenario 13 and a similar experience with scenario 2 we seem to have issues dealing with scenarios that are very wide open for the monsters because the monsters are more easily able to focus on a single hero and spam them with damage. In scenario 13, we even played level 2 characters against level 1 monsters and it still wasn't close. Once in range of just a couple of enemies, which generally have strong attacks and good defenses, things can go bad quickly. Any tips for getting a handle on these sorts of scenarios?

We are playing Brute, Scoundrel, and Mind Thief.
 
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Greg
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Brute has a persistent ability to gain Shield 1 for 6 attacks. He also has a level 2 card that is persistent to totally block damage from 3 attacks(I just levelled up to level 2 and chose that one). He could also buy Hide Armor and had chosen as his perk the one that ignores item restrictions, so no adding -1 cards for Hide Armor.

So with that and the starting minor healing potion, and bumped up to 12 health at level 2, he could be the one to get focused on and the others can primarily be the damage dealers perhaps?

One of my daughters is the Scoundrel and the other is the Spellweaver. So I've built my Brute to go in and get beat on while my daughters attack with high damage or multiple target attacks. Granted, we are only on our 4th scenario (8) and just got to level 2, and are not experts by any means.

I never played the Mindthief, so I don't know what kind of damage he can do.
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Luke
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Just flipped through the book to look at 13 again. "Oh.. Riiiiight."

You don't really have a source of healing in that group, so hopefully you've got:
1) armor and a shield on the brute.
2) The brute's heal equipped.
3) Stamina and Healing potion on everyone.
4) without a healer, probably a shield on the scoundrel too.

You're going to need to use terrain to your advantage. You want to setup a situation in which enemies can only easily get to the brute, and you want to do so such that he can't get surrounded.

In Scenario 13, you can control the bears pretty well with some forethought.

The Stone Golems though... That's a tough first room.

I suggest, moving all your dudes to one side and focusing on one Normal golem, and hitting one of the others with some kind of status effect if you can. Mindthief has Stun, which you'll want to set up early.

Just as monsters focus fire on you, you need to do the same. Forgive me if any of this is obvious. If there are 3 golems doing 13 damage a round, you need to reduce that number to 9 damage a round as fast as you can.

A key strategy of Gloomhaven is getting the monsters to focus on your tank, and then reducing the amount of damage they can put on him. Remember that monsters use Initiative as a tiebreaker, so if your Scoundrel and Brute are in melee with the same group, try to have the scoundrel go after the brute, so he takes the hits. Or, switch it up if the Scoundrel can soak a hit or two.

Mindthief can also off-tank with her shield and heal augments. Let her take a hit for the brute sometimes, but mostly use her for the +2 attack so you can burn down those golems.

If you know how to use Summons, bring one of the Mindthief's. Used correctly, the summon should get at least two hits in before it drops. Save it for the second room, probably after your second rest.

Make sure to long rest the brute as much as you can. Getting those armor points back is critical.

Make sure everyone has their healing abilities.

It's an interesting combo you have. You need to kill them faster than they can kill you.

Status effects are your friend. Stun, Disarm and Immobilize will save you a ton of damage on this map. Poison or Wound for the Living Spirits too. Or Pierce, if you have it handy.
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B K
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I would try to add a better healer. Would probably replace the mind thief with a spell weaver or tinkerer. Tinkerer is probably the best option as it has solid healing on the top and bottom line, so if things get really ugly, you can heal a lot at once. If you are cautious about burning cards, you will have the luxury to stop for a turn and heal up and maybe rest up before opening a new door. The upside to healing and being able to rest early is usually a lot better than the value of burning a card - think about it this way - not burning a card on the first pass buys you 4 - 5 extra turns to mess around healing and looting in the beginning of the game.

You can try to position your characters to split the damage, but if you have the Brute, you have good options to have him take most or all of it. There is a first level card with 6 one-shield spots and a 2nd level with 3 spots that absorb all damage. Put a shield and either leather or hide armor (hide is maybe the better choice) and he can take a lot if backed with a healer. I might lean a little more to doing damage from the Brute with a Tinkerer, but if you go Spellweaver and Scoundrel you can maximize his defense and let the other two deal damage with occasional healing from the Spellweaver.

If you are not, try to get in the habit of not burning cards early and using those turns to heal, rest, reset items prior to entering new rooms. That is not universally good advice as there are some scenarios with high leverage opportunities to burn cards for good value early, but more often than not, getting through the first cycle of cards without burning a card has tremendous upside leverage throughout the rest of the scenario.

foldedcard wrote:
After getting stomped multiple times in scenario 13 and a similar experience with scenario 2 we seem to have issues dealing with scenarios that are very wide open for the monsters because the monsters are more easily able to focus on a single hero and spam them with damage. In scenario 13, we even played level 2 characters against level 1 monsters and it still wasn't close. Once in range of just a couple of enemies, which generally have strong attacks and good defenses, things can go bad quickly. Any tips for getting a handle on these sorts of scenarios?

We are playing Brute, Scoundrel, and Mind Thief.
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Mike Oehler
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13 was rough. We failed to consider what only having 2 rooms would do to the monster density in the second room, and thus were unprepared for the onslaught. Our brute ended up dropping early because even after retreating the drakes still pounded him, so down to two cards he trampled in for the stun with Warhammer which also soaked a few more attacks from the rest of us. The obstacles I created slowed the bears down some, so the drakes and spirit were the main threats. The big concern about the elite bear was killing it before we ran out of cards. Despite the threat of the drakes reaching well into the first room, retreating did turn out to be useful because it made most of the ranged enemies bunch up for aoes.

If we were replaying to get the chest and also win, I'd want our Brute to save his Juggernaut block for the second room. We should also try to time our entry into the room to all go as close to the same time as possible so everyone can move in and try to spread damage and take something out, instead of opening up the door while the other two clean up. The drakes are pretty annoying with auto-muddle, some AoE cards, and long range (I think both range and move had increased relative to the last time we fought them, so the threat range was HUGE). We have more ranged autokills now, so it should be possible to quickly eliminate at least one drake and spirit in the opening round of the second room and thin out the enemies some. The bears, despite having a decent speed, had a fair number of tactics that involved standing still or moving at a penalty so it was possible to kite them out some, especially with obstacles and some immobilizes. With Cragheart and Tinkerer, ground based melee enemies can be way less threatening than their stats would indicate because of all our roots, stuns, and obstacles. Flying or ranged guys tend to give us more trouble.

With essentially triple melee, it seems like you need to bust in with 4+ move cards and boots ready to reach the ranged enemies. Or you need to drop way back into the first room to bait them closer. Both the mind thief and brute can have some abilities to control enemy movement though, so going aggro gives you opportunities to use the traps to stall the bears. If you end up chewing through the bears while a bunch of spirits and drakes shoot and debuff you, it seems like a you will surely end up in trouble.
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Ryan H
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Spellweavers seem to be better the more enemies there are, as her powerful AOE spells can hit more things. So, I guess my not-very-helpful tip for you would be to use a spellweaver . Your 3 characters are all pretty heavy on single target damage (except for maybe the Brute who is more balanced), so these types of scenarios are going to be quite difficult. Try to have the Brute and Mindthief stand close to each other and share tanking duties with shields up so that no one character gets swarmed too badly.
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foldedcard
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Thanks all for the helpful comments. Some good points about using the Brute more consistently to soak up the damage, armor cards, importance of items, status effects etc.

mournful wrote:
Just flipped through the book to look at 13 again. "Oh.. Riiiiight."


This made me chuckle, but also gave me a sense that we are (a) not alone and (b) will face a lot more of this. I think I need to house rule a checkpoint system so as my young gaming buddies (sons) don't get too discouraged. I am thinking that the last room opened can serve as the check point. Go back to full health and refresh your hand and all the items, but you lose 1-2 cards per room skipped, don't get any checks for battle goals and don't get the XP bonus for finishing the scenario. Has anyone tried anything like this?


 
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B K
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I have to admit, my advice before was a little general and should have looked at the scenarios. For both of these, I think it would go much better trading the mind thief for the spellweaver. Just a few thoughts:

On scenario 2: My goal is to kill the bandits in the first room without burning any cards, healing all of my guys and having them by the door on the first pass through my decks. Have everyone long rest and be ready to go into the second room with a full deck minus one card. If things go a bit sideways, you can easily get away burning a card in someones deck, likely the spellweaver. Then you have to go into the second room very hard. I would have both shield cards active on the Brute, which basically means you don't have to worry about damage if you keep positioning right. There is a card, balanced measure, that is one of the x cards, extremely powerful with boots of striding. You can get from just outside the door all the way to the elite bandit archer and attack for six, without having to burn a card. If the spell weaver comes in hard with an AOE, you likely will have both bandits dead and some damage on the commander. Third guy can mop up bandits or hit the commander. After this throw everything plus the kitchen sink at the bandit commander. If he open's zombies its a long term, but not immediate problem because they are slow. Kill him very quickly (or let him open the second door, but this makes it tougher).

As you can see, I do basically do what you describe very often within the rules. For these two room scenarios, I would say its pretty much a must to clear the first, heal, and everyone rest at the same time to reload items and be ready to go in hard. Don't want to go in with 2 or 3 cards in your hand and have to rest while they are hitting you.

13 is very tough. Putting piercing bow, eagle eye goggles and power potion on the spellweaver and using all with an AOE burn card will go along way either with the living spirits or stone golems, both of which can be a huge pain due to shields. Brute has a pierce card, which is helpful, also high damage combo like I described above is helpful. Getting wounds on living spirits is good, as is poison ( and stuns, immobilize, disarm) on the golems. If you are running a scoundrel trade in something for the trickster's reversal to use on one of the elites. Again, load up on shields for the Brute going into room 2 and you should have a fighting chance. Its a really tough board.

foldedcard wrote:
Thanks all for the helpful comments. Some good points about using the Brute more consistently to soak up the damage, armor cards, importance of items, status effects etc.

mournful wrote:
Just flipped through the book to look at 13 again. "Oh.. Riiiiight."


This made me chuckle, but also gave me a sense that we are (a) not alone and (b) will face a lot more of this. I think I need to house rule a checkpoint system so as my young gaming buddies (sons) don't get too discouraged. I am thinking that the last room opened can serve as the check point. Go back to full health and refresh your hand and all the items, but you lose 1-2 cards per room skipped, don't get any checks for battle goals and don't get the XP bonus for finishing the scenario. Has anyone tried anything like this?


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Maurizio Briosi
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Apart from the scenario...You know that normal difficulty for a party of lvl 2 heroes...Is a lvl 1 monster (maybe there are different scenario rules,but otherwise half the mean of of levels)
 
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foldedcard
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Sorlin wrote:
Apart from the scenario...You know that normal difficulty for a party of lvl 2 heroes...Is a lvl 1 monster (maybe there are different scenario rules,but otherwise half the mean of of levels)


Haha good point. We had only just leveled up and I forgot the rules. So we were playing normal when I though we played easy. And I mistated that my earlier problem was with scenario 2 when I meant 3.

So you might be suggesting that we could play those scenarios at level 0. But other than those two we didn't have problems playing at level 1 so far. I guess one option is to drop a level when we replay. But each replay is still a 2 to 3 hour commitment.

It also occurred to me that 13 is deliberately harder than the other scenario choice at this point in the campaign. But it is hard to know that going in.
 
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