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Subject: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank" [RESOLVED] rss

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M.C.Crispy
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My usual group of 4 is Brute, Mindthief, Tinkerer and Spellweaver. However, we may have to play a 3-player session without the Brute and I'm wondering whether this is even possible. We're not going to spin up an alternate tank and "swap out" one of our mains as prosperity isn't high enough to make that viable (plus we all want to play our main, else not at all - we only play once a month).
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Felix Scholz
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Re: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank"
You should be fine. One of my groups is actually in the exact same situation, same party composition. It has worked out for now You might have to adept your playsytle a bit (bit mor healing for the tinkerer; More stuns/disarms overall if you can).

My bigger worry is that our brute might not be able to tank anyomre when he comes back because of the level gap. But we will see.

My experience with this game is that you can make every character combination work which includes without a tank, dedicated healer, or even a specific Damage-dealer.
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M.C.Crispy
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Re: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank"
Well, our tank should only be out for one game, so it shouldn't be a big deal in terms of levelling. He'd only be one level lower than the Tinkerer at worst - probably two below the Spellweaver.

The biggest challenge that I see is that nobody reliably does enough damage to get past enemies that have Shield. We met some enemies where the Elites had Shield 3 (or maybe 4?) - even the Brute was struggling.
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Felix Scholz
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Re: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank"
Yes high shield enemies can be scary but they usually come with low health. I would suggest the piercing bow for your Spellweaver for those instances. Using that for one of her multitarget spells she can often take care of 2 or three high-shiled-low-health enemies with one action.

In our party the tinkerer carries the other bow but that is probably overkill (we just havent found anything better). The Tinkerer also has access to some highdamage Lost-Abilities that might be useful if the bows are already spent. I think there is a 6 damage attack on one of his level 2 or 3 cards.

Finally the mindthief can pull of some pretty high damage attacks using his +2 attack augment. Using an random item we found he can get attack of 6 or more quite regularly.

Hope this helps
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Tobias
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Re: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank"
I also think it will teach you to play differently. Mindthief can deal a lot if single target damage if used correctly. Also, think about things like poison and wound or pushing enemies into traps. Be creative.
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Trang VP
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Re: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank"
Hey mccrispy, in general there's no need at all for a tank in the traditional sense to do well So long as you have at least one character that can deal at least a moderate amount of damage (you do still need to kill things before you run out of cards after all), then any party composition will work in most situations.

In your particular case, dropping down to 3 players means less monsters and less elites. That means you'll more easily be able to kill them before they can seriously hurt you. The only thing to be careful of is that your Mindthief will be the only melee character, so she is more likely to get surrounded and take most of the focus. She might want to bring some more shield/healing oriented augments to help her survive once she gets surrounded.
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Kristabelle Du Bast
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Re: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank"
Creativity definitely the way to go. I have played a lot of 2 char scenarios with a range of tactics. Wounding and shoving work great. I think this versatility is one of the most genius aspects of the game design.
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Adam Bateman
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Re: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank"
Our group is a Scoundrel and Tinkerer. We have had very few issues in beating missions so far.
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Mihnea Cateanu
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Re: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank"
I'm almost always playing 2P so creative is the way to go. When we have a tank we don't have a heavy hitter...or something. Still great fun and always a fair challenge. Stun/disarm is super important, pushing/pulling into traps, retaliate works great for shielded enemies etc.
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Nathan Ehlers
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Re: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank"
One of the challenges I've noticed in my weekly group is that we get used to playing a certain way and then when the party changes around, there's an adjustment period as we try to figure out our new standard operating plan is going to be. Case in point, we just retired a cragheart and scoundral. The Scoundral picked up one of the unlocked characters who is mostly utility and the Cragheart changed over to the Spellcrafter. So before, generally what would happen is the Craggy would move to the center of the room, take lots of damage, and control monsters (through status effects and piles of rubble). The other three would strategically pick off monsters while most of the room was busy with Cragheart. Now we have to figure out a new way to play the game. The Spellcrafter will certainly be squished dead if she tries that maneuver.
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Brian Torrens
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Re: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank"
Think of it as a learning experience! Part of the fun of the game is learning and trying new strategies.
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Nathan Stiles
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Re: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank"
My 3 player group is a CH, SC, and my SW and we've won 80% of our runs the first time. The CH is not built as a tank, if you are wondering.

However, you've now been conditioned to play with a tank, and the Tinker is probably doing more healing, and less damage-- so you'll have more problems than any of the people responding. You'll need to rethink everything, or you'll struggle.

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MATTHEW THOMPSON
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Re: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank"
I was initially worried about the same thing with I had a party of the midthief, scoundrel, and another unlocked class with mindthief style HP.
However, I found out quickly that murder is also a very effective tank...
:-p

It took a little getting used to, and a minor switchout of the cards I usually load, and a small change in tactics. But yeah, a "tank" isn't really super necessary.
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M.C.Crispy
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Re: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank"
Snooches wrote:
Yes high shield enemies can be scary but they usually come with low health. I would suggest the piercing bow for your Spellweaver for those instances. Using that for one of her multitarget spells she can often take care of 2 or three high-shiled-low-health enemies with one action.

In our party the tinkerer carries the other bow but that is probably overkill (we just havent found anything better). The Tinkerer also has access to some highdamage Lost-Abilities that might be useful if the bows are already spent. I think there is a 6 damage attack on one of his level 2 or 3 cards.

Finally the mindthief can pull of some pretty high damage attacks using his +2 attack augment. Using an random item we found he can get attack of 6 or more quite regularly.

Hope this helps
Yes, we've just worked out the significance of the Action keyword on the Piercing Bow. Unfortunately, I don't think that anyone has the money for the bow. But I agree, the Bow seems to be useful.

We're also working on adding in negative effects to make the Mindthief more effective.
 
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M.C.Crispy
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Re: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank"
mihnea_1309 wrote:
I'm almost always playing 2P so creative is the way to go. When we have a tank we don't have a heavy hitter...or something. Still great fun and always a fair challenge. Stun/disarm is super important, pushing/pulling into traps, retaliate works great for shielded enemies etc.
Unfortunately, our Brute seems to have most of the Push, Pierce. Maybe the Tinkerer can try her traps and hook thingy. TBH, I abandoned that approach fairly early.
 
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M.C.Crispy
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Re: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank"
Brian T wrote:
Think of it as a learning experience! Part of the fun of the game is learning and trying new strategies.
Yes, if you play frequently enough that a loss can be almost immediately turned around by another game. Playing only two/three scenarios a month makes winning a bit more important.
 
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Joseph Cochran
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Re: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank"
Just choose your scenarios with an eye to it. With side scenarios and different plot choices, if we see a scenario with monsters that we're not a particularly fit group to handle, we just wait until our group mix changes (either because our fourth is with us or because someone retires or gets an item with a good summon, or levels up or whatever). If you're only missing the Brute for the one night you should be able to find a scenario that the others can make short work of.
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M.C.Crispy
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Re: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank"
SaintHax wrote:
My 3 player group is a CH, SC, and my SW and we've won 80% of our runs the first time. The CH is not built as a tank, if you are wondering.

However, you've now been conditioned to play with a tank, and the Tinker is probably doing more healing, and less damage-- so you'll have more problems than any of the people responding. You'll need to rethink everything, or you'll struggle.
Well, my Tinkerer has put the party on notice that they can't rely on being healed as the Tinker needs to earn experience and Gold too So we're not doing too badly in that respect - except of course that all the useful spells in that respect are Lost, so the Tinkerer now tends to Exhaust.
 
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M.C.Crispy
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Re: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank"
jsciv wrote:
Just choose your scenarios with an eye to it. With side scenarios and different plot choices, if we see a scenario with monsters that we're not a particularly fit group to handle, we just wait until our group mix changes (either because our fourth is with us or because someone retires or gets an item with a good summon, or levels up or whatever). If you're only missing the Brute for the one night you should be able to find a scenario that the others can make short work of.
Good call!
 
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gordon Medeiros
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Re: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank"
sirgalin wrote:
One of the challenges I've noticed in my weekly group is that we get used to playing a certain way and then when the party changes around, there's an adjustment period as we try to figure out our new standard operating plan is going to be. Case in point, we just retired a cragheart and scoundral. The Scoundral picked up one of the unlocked characters who is mostly utility and the Cragheart changed over to the Spellcrafter. So before, generally what would happen is the Craggy would move to the center of the room, take lots of damage, and control monsters (through status effects and piles of rubble). The other three would strategically pick off monsters while most of the room was busy with Cragheart. Now we have to figure out a new way to play the game. The Spellcrafter will certainly be squished dead if she tries that maneuver.


it would be awesome to have a spellCRAFTER in this game. 10/10 would buy.

Isaac, make it happen! look into Mystic Vale card crafting =D
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Tomi Mononen
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Re: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank"
No tank needed. Just kill the enemies before they can attack. Tanking in this game usually is a really bad choice
 
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M.C.Crispy
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Re: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank"
Tjolmir wrote:
No tank needed. Just kill the enemies before they can attack. Tanking in this game usually is a really bad choice
So you're saying that the Brute is a useless class then, and that playing a Brute is a really bad choice? Perhaps, rather than just making assertions that don't really help move the discussion forward, you could explain your point of view. Otherwise you run the risk that your view is just regarded as hyperbole.
 
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Nathan Stiles
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Re: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank"
mccrispy wrote:
Tjolmir wrote:
No tank needed. Just kill the enemies before they can attack. Tanking in this game usually is a really bad choice
So you're saying that the Brute is a useless class then, and that playing a Brute is a really bad choice? Perhaps, rather than just making assertions that don't really help move the discussion forward, you could explain your point of view. Otherwise you run the risk that your view is just regarded as hyperbole.


I think Tjolmir is off base, but McCrispy has made statements on his behalf that shouldn't have been made.

Tjomir never said the Brute (a tanky class) is a really bad choice, it is possible he builds and plays him more offensively. However, having a melee warrior that can aggro the hard hitters is nice. It's not always possible to kill things before they can attack. I can think of a range 4 monster (at least at one level) that has a surprising amount of hit points and punch.
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M.C.Crispy
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Re: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank"
SaintHax wrote:
mccrispy wrote:
Tjolmir wrote:
No tank needed. Just kill the enemies before they can attack. Tanking in this game usually is a really bad choice
So you're saying that the Brute is a useless class then, and that playing a Brute is a really bad choice? Perhaps, rather than just making assertions that don't really help move the discussion forward, you could explain your point of view. Otherwise you run the risk that your view is just regarded as hyperbole.


I think Tjolmir is off base, but McCrispy has made statements on his behalf that shouldn't have been made.

Tjomir never said the Brute (a tanky class) is a really bad choice, it is possible he builds and plays him more offensively. However, having a melee warrior that can aggro the hard hitters is nice. It's not always possible to kill things before they can attack. I can think of a range 4 monster (at least at one level) that has a surprising amount of hit points and punch.
No, don't put words in my mouth! I made no statements on Tjolmir's behalf, I asked a (non-rhetorical) question because I wanted clarification on Tjolmir's opinion of the most obvious tanking class - an opinion that appeared to indicate that the Brute was useless (I accept that perhaps Tjolmir may play the Brute as a non-Tank, but my question left it open for an expansion upon the apparently hyperbolic assertion).

In the build that my buddy uses (level 4 only ATM) the Brute is not very mobile, is slow regarding initiative and has only one ranged attack - all of which makes the Brute pretty much useless for anything other than Tanking IME. I'm happy to hear any reasoned opinion on this, or any other thread-relevant subject.
 
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Re: Is anyone playing this game without a "tank"
My first character was the Brute, which I thought was a tank and I played him like a tank. Then I unlocked some more characters, and realised that the Brute is not really a tank so much as he is a character who can take a reasonable amount of punishment while doing what he does best (damage and controlling space). In hindsight, I realise now I didn't get the best out of him by playing him like a tank.

Two other classes outshine the Brute by a long way in terms of traditional tanking (taking hits at mitigated damage).

Then there are other ways to negate enemy offensive effectiveness, such as stuns and disarms, and curses -- and these far eclipse the tanking capacity of the Brute. The unlockable classes tend to be much better at doing these things than the starting classes.

So there are two points here:

1. If, of all the 6 starting classes, the Brute is the tankiest, yet he is not even a real tank, then a party can fare just fine without a traditional tank.

2. But, this does not logically lead to the conclusion that pure damage is the way to go. A party will still benefit greatly from a real tank or other defensive abilities (disarm/stun/curse).

The answer to the original question of whether a tank is needed is quite a bit more nuanced than just "tanks are essential/useless" or "all you need is damage". I could write all day also about how the dynamics change as monster levels increase, but I've written plenty on that in some of my strategy posts
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