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Subject: Scenario 1 Length for 4 players? rss

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David Miller
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My gaming group is starting this soon, but I was wondering, for those that have played scenario 1. Just the first part, what was about your length of play for a group of 4?.
Somewhere I thought about 2 hours, but I've been skimming through some youtube plays and they seem to be closer to 3 hours.

I believe Dice tower said the scenarios are pretty reliably 1/2 hour per player.
 
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David Latimore
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warpi9 wrote:
My gaming group is starting this soon, but I was wondering, for those that have played scenario 1. Just the first part, what was about your length of play for a group of 4?.
Somewhere I thought about 2 hours, but I've been skimming through some youtube plays and they seem to be closer to 3 hours.

I believe Dice tower said the scenarios are pretty reliably 1/2 hour per player.


If you set up everything in advance, I'd still expect the first session to be 3-4 hours.
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David Harrison
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alphasquid wrote:
warpi9 wrote:
My gaming group is starting this soon, but I was wondering, for those that have played scenario 1. Just the first part, what was about your length of play for a group of 4?.
Somewhere I thought about 2 hours, but I've been skimming through some youtube plays and they seem to be closer to 3 hours.

I believe Dice tower said the scenarios are pretty reliably 1/2 hour per player.


If you set up everything in advance, I'd still expect the first session to be 3-4 hours.


I agree with this. Obviously though it heavily depends on the individual players; how long do they normally go over a game's advertised runtime the first time through?
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David Miller
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Yeah everything will be setup, but man it doesn't seem like the first scenario would be that long. We're just going to do scenario 1. The first part not the linking one until the following week. Will all the scenarios be 3 hours?

Maybe we'll just do setup and buying for that week, then jump into scenario 1 the following week. Geeze with buying starting gear, filling out some sheets and picking characters. It sounds like scenario 1 could easily take 4 hours.
 
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Greg
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The time will be longer for new players, as it takes a while to figure things out and verify rules and such. It also takes a bit for players to "get to know" their character and what their role will be and how to work as a team.

There are also a lot of tough decisions, as you first have to figure out what top and bottom abilities you want to use, but also you have to figure out when in turn order you want to go, thus choosing card with initiative number geared toward that. You won't know what the enemy is going to do or what turn order they will go until after all the players reveal their initiative number. Then monster ability cards are revealed, and then everyone can see what the order will be for the round, but also what the enemies will be trying to do. So then there's discussion about who could do what etc. So some of the added time in the game, is due to the fact that their is no set turn order, nor is it players' choice of who goes first, and the monsters don't have a generic AI that you can count on from round to round, as they will change up on you.
 
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David Miller
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How about the length of the scenario 2? I'm thinking maybe my game group could select characters and do most of scenario 1. Then the following week finish 1 and go to it's link and do that if it's shorter.
 
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Gordon Au
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warpi9 wrote:
Yeah everything will be setup, but man it doesn't seem like the first scenario would be that long. We're just going to do scenario 1a. The first part not the linking one until the following week. Will all the scenarios be 3 hours?

Maybe we'll just do setup and buying for that week, then jump into scenario 1 the following week. Geeze with buying starting gear, filling out some sheets and picking characters. It sounds like scenario 1 could easily take 4 hours.


It's a pretty simplistic scenario, but between learning your character, getting used to playing together and the actions of each player and learning the game, 3 hours isn't unreasonable. It definitely gets a lot faster as you play though.

I'd definitely suggest that you have everyone view Paul Grogan's excellent Gaming Rules! videos for Gloomhaven before playing and have a read through the rules or the rules summary sheet found in the Gloomhaven files section. If you're ambitious enough, may be a good idea to even have each player select their starting character and look through the available cards (https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1562522/selecting-starting-...) so they're familiar with what they can use! All that said though, you'll still find odd cases that you'll need to spend the time figuring out.

Edit: Without spoiling Scenario 2 it's likely to be faster, but with bad luck on the AI cards the length can vary a lot.
 
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David Miller
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I gave everyone a printed rulebook to read. Also as we select characters I plan on going over everyone's cards as a group so we know what cards each potentially has. Thanks for the replies. I was going in thinking 2 hours but now am thinking 4.
 
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Michael Convento
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In my game group of 4 it took about 3.5 hrs for scenario 1, although 1 of them takes forever to decide on what cards to play. Scenario 2 was about 3hrs the first time through where we lost, then about 2.5hrs the second tie through where we won.

I am sure the time will cut down as we get more familiar with our characters and how the game plays, unfortunately 2 of them was turned off by the difficulty and other aspects of the game so I won't be continuing it with them. Will probably reset the game world and solo it or play with a different group
 
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David Latimore
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warpi9 wrote:
Also as we select characters I plan on going over everyone's cards as a group so we know what cards each potentially has.


I would recommend against this. As a co-op game, hidden information is important to both preserve the challenge and to prevent quarter-backing.

In my group, it's fine to ask "Can anyone infuse Earth this turn? Can someone try to kill this guy?" Stuff like that. But telling the tinkerer he should use his flamethrower this turn is going too far. The more you can stave this off the better.

Also, it's fun when you say what you're gonna do and everyone else is like, "What?!"
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David Miller
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I can see that. I just wanted everyone to be familiar with their cards and how they work, but yeah I can see your point. So then should I even allow them to look at the cards before selecting a character?

Also eventually you'll know anyways.
 
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Miguel Pacheco
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alphasquid wrote:
warpi9 wrote:
Also as we select characters I plan on going over everyone's cards as a group so we know what cards each potentially has.


I would recommend against this. As a co-op game, hidden information is important to both preserve the challenge and to prevent quarter-backing.

In my group, it's fine to ask "Can anyone infuse Earth this turn? Can someone try to kill this guy?" Stuff like that. But telling the tinkerer he should use his flamethrower this turn is going too far. The more you can stave this off the better.

Also, it's fun when you say what you're gonna do and everyone else is like, "What?!"


If quarterbacking and spoiling the hidden information is going to take a 4 hour game down to 2 hours, then you better believe we're gonna do exactly that and deal with the consequences later. That feels like way too long for the kind of game Gloomhaven is.
 
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Quarterbacking is most likely to increase the time it takes you to play, not decrease it.
As the game becomes more of a puzzle game, and less of a randomized game.

Quarterbacking will increase your chances of winning, yes, but it will also increase the time you spend solving the puzzle of that victory. (especially since in theory if you ever say something like "hey tinker use flamethrower now."... you're supposed to increase the monster and trap level by one for every scenario you play.

If you can stomach losing the first scenario, I think avoiding quarterbacking will get you through the scenario faster. If you don't want to lose, and you want it to be less than 4 hours, I highly recommend you play on "Easy" by doing the first scenario on scenario level 0. Another thing that would heavily reduce time would be to house rule that everyone HAS to buy the recommended starting items, as well as deciding who will play what class before the first session.

Another thing that could help is playing through it solo yourself beforehand for practice, then playing all the monster/cleanup actions yourself, while your friends are trying to figure out how to play their characters.
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Gordon Au
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warpi9 wrote:
I can see that. I just wanted everyone to be familiar with their cards and how they work, but yeah I can see your point. So then should I even allow them to look at the cards before selecting a character?

Also eventually you'll know anyways.


Personally I've tried to avoid reading any cards until we've chosen to play a character and even then *try* not to read cards for characters I'm not actually playing. That said it's not a bad idea to let players look through their cards and discuss anything they're unsure of ahead of time; no need to analyze every card, just see if there's tricky things you need to look at before you start playing (Mindthief augments for example) so mid game you don't run into an instance where someone thought they were doing something and end up unable to because of an error they made in the interpreting the rules.
 
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Joshua Hansen
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This depends largely on the personalities of the players. Slow, fearful players can take a long time the first time. One of my group's players takes as long as the other two combined consistently.


I'd expect 3 hours for the first play, while people get the mechanics and someone gets mauled for most of their hp and people panic and burn cards, leading to a later panic to prevent exhaustion.
 
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Eli K.
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Total about 3hrs ...

You will need half an hour first time intro and shopping in Gloomhaven. Also do not underestimate Road Events ^^

So last saturday we stumbled already slightly mauled into Black Barrow in easy setting (lvl 0). Including rules clarifications we took a little less than 2hrs for it. (4P party of Scoundrel, Cragheart, Spellweaver and Inox Brute)
Start on easy was to allow everyone to get comfortable with the card mechanism without too much pressure ^^ I think the card system works fabulously and you will get used to it pretty quickly.

(Never had such an easy to read manual before either. Whenever we needed a clarification we found the page within seconds and the backside overview helped a lot too)

Share the duties ... e.g. one person keeps track of monster health (we use d10 dice), another flips the monster cards, another watches over initiative and turn phases and the last one sets up and moves monsters. Worked quite well and nobody got bored ^^

Setting up takes 15 mins with a well pre-organized game (all standard decks in easy to grab deck boxes and monster (sheets/tokens/decks) sorted alphabetically in tuck boxes/envelopes, tiles stacked by number aso)

Wish you good fun with your start ... we really had and it is so hard to pass the 2 weeks until our next session ^^ (That I wrote so much goes to show whistle)
 
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Bryan K
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warpi9 wrote:
I gave everyone a printed rulebook to read. Also as we select characters I plan on going over everyone's cards as a group so we know what cards each potentially has. Thanks for the replies. I was going in thinking 2 hours but now am thinking 4.


We're we supposed to have that whole thing read before Monday? So much homework....
 
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David Miller
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ZombieDad2 wrote:
warpi9 wrote:
I gave everyone a printed rulebook to read. Also as we select characters I plan on going over everyone's cards as a group so we know what cards each potentially has. Thanks for the replies. I was going in thinking 2 hours but now am thinking 4.


We're we supposed to have that whole thing read before Monday? So much homework....


Not necessarily the whole thing. But it would be nice if everyone kinda knew the rules. I've read the rules 3 times now.
 
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Mark casino
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Just did my first scenario. Only 1 person (me) read the rulebook. One person watched a full video guide. One person read half the rulebook and one person didn't read it all. If you exclude the hour setup time, it took 3.5 hours for us to do the fail the first scenario.
 
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Gary Olsen
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I think if at least one person -- likely the owner -- knows the whole Rulebook, there's a lot the rest can get away with not knowing yet. I'd recommend everyone else be familiar with the Play Overview, Overlay Tiles, and Round Overview before they begin.
 
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Jay Johnson
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gtolsen wrote:

I think if at least one person -- likely the owner -- knows the whole Rulebook, there's a lot the rest can get away with not knowing yet. I'd recommend everyone else be familiar with the Play Overview, Overlay Tiles, and Round Overview before they begin.

if the one person truly knows the rulebook, then yeah, that is probably fine.
But if the game is new to everyone, then that one person likely doesn't totally have a firm grasp on all the intricacies of the rules and mechanics (usually it takes a scenario playthrough or two to really understand what the rulebook was talking about), and I think it is a good idea for all players to have had a readthrough of the rulebook.

Of course, that isn't always practical, so sometimes you just have to make do with what rulebook knowledge you have, and just live with the inevitable rules/mechanics mistakes that are made during the first game.

In any case, your first scenario usually takes a bit longer, as players aren't familiar with the rules or their characters, so they take more time trying to figure out what to do on their turns, or figuring out what the monsters are supposed to do, and probably some time spent digging through the rulebook when instances come up that people can't remember off their top of their heads how to handle.
 
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Our first game was roughly 4 hours...and a loss. Ouch, got to do it again.

At this point, we're down to 2-3 hours, depending on exact scenario.

Things that took longer initially:
Knowing the rules. We all read the rule book, and I had read it several times, and watched several play throughs. We still had to look a lot up.
Suggestion: Have the rules open on a computer nearby where you can control-F for terms

Monster Management. How the monsters move, tracking HP, etc. It's a bit ugly the first few times, this is one of the things that speeds up each play.
Suggestion: Look into using one of the apps. Tracking HP with the little tokens isn't great, some people use a die for hit points. If I don't have access to a computer when playing, I just track it all on graph paper.

Hand Management. What card's should I play this round? When is it ok to use a loss card? Is what I'm choosing the correct choice for the rest of my team?
Suggestion: I've got nothing. This just takes a few games to figure out.

Initial Party/hand Creation, etc. This takes time, no one knows what they're doing yet.

Initial Boardset up. With out an insert or some other organizational method (planos for example), you might be looking at 30+ minutes.
Suggestion: Who ever is hosting should do all of this before anyone else gets there.
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ilpalazo wrote:

If quarterbacking and spoiling the hidden information is going to take a 4 hour game down to 2 hours, then you better believe we're gonna do exactly that and deal with the consequences later.


This sounds like something a quarterback would say. Even if it speeds things up for the more experienced player to tell other players what to do, they still shouldn't do it. The rules explicitly forbid quarterbacking because it makes the game less fun for the victims.

If you want to play solo, play solo. Otherwise, let other players learn their characters and make their own mistakes.
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Gabriel Rockman
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kleep wrote:
If you want to play solo, play solo. Otherwise, let other players learn their characters and make their own mistakes.


You can let them do this to some extent. If they want to open the door to the next room when you've still got every single enemy from the current room alive, that's when you do need to quarterback and stop them.

It's hard to find the right balance, but you shouldn't play their character for them, but you also shouldn't let them make any mistake possible. There's a middle ground that's different for each group, but for each group there is a middle ground.
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