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Subject: Comparisons to Conan? rss

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Ken Knott
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Ok, Gloomhaven has a campaign and Conan is entirely scenario driven so there's that... But gameplay/system? Which is your preference? I'm surprised to see little comparisons of the two games.
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Dan Licata
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Completely different.

Conan is very dice roll dependent, a game can swing on the roll of a die (not that it's a bad thing). It's a 1 vs. many game and the gem system is used to control turns giving you lots of options on your turn as long as you have and are willing to spend the gems. Also all attacks are the same or near enough.

Gloomhaven has no dice rolls everything is deterministic with no luck. It's a full co-op which some people prefer. Everything depends on cards in your hand each attack and movement is very different. Even player turn order is determined by the cards you play so you never really know for sure what player order is.


They are really very different games to play IMHO. If I had to choose between the two I would choose Gloomhaven only because I can find games similar to Conan where I haven't really played anything quite like Gloomhaven.
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Fito R
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danlicata wrote:
everything is deterministic with no luck

Well, this part isn't entirely correct since attack modifier decks and monster action decks are still an element of randomization. Much smaller than, say, rolling dice, but not perfectly deterministic either.

The rest is correct, though. I guess the closest comparison is that both are board games, and not much else.
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Dan Licata
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Joou wrote:
danlicata wrote:
everything is deterministic with no luck

Well, this part isn't entirely correct since attack modifier decks and monster action decks are still an element of randomization. Much smaller than, say, rolling dice, but not perfectly deterministic either.

The rest is correct, though. I guess the closest comparison is that both are board games, and not much else.


Good point. I was trying to remember where the limited luck came in but I couldn't think of it. It's been a few months since I've played Gloomhaven.
 
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Jimmy Brazelton
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I was so excited to see this question! I'm a huge fan of both games, but as Dan said, they are very different. They may look like combat-heavy dungeon crawl-type games, but that's about where it ends. I own both and they fill very different niches in my collection. In case this helps, while I love both of these games, I really do not like Descent or Mice and Mystics, although I do like Claustophobia.

Dan mentioned the difference in the combat mechanics and that's definitely a big part of the difference. For me, Conan is a very fun game, where the focus is on doing cool, epic stuff with your friends and having a laugh about the crazy situations that arise out of those games. The lack of any phases or turn order for the Hero players allows for a ton of flexibility in how you approach situations. Conan can smash through a wall and grab the princess while Shevatus sneaks past a group of hyenas to get in position to throw a crossbow over to Belit who uses it to shoot a Pict warrior in the throat before it can stab Hadrathus in the back while he is focusing on his spell to paralyze the giant Snake. And that's just one turn.

Gloomhaven, by contrast, is much more strategic, and takes a lot of thinking and planning with your companions. It's also much more immersive, getting you caught up in a constantly-changing world. I don't want to give any spoilers here, but we've played about 35 scenarios and we're just now seeing a lot of the choices we've made and characters we've played come back to influence current events. And it never gets old. Characters, scenarios, and events all change often enough that you are always excited about what happens next.

The short way I describe it is that Gloomhaven is like reading a book series that you just can't put down where Conan is like watching an good action movie.
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J P
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They're very different for all the reasons mentioned. The only similarity I can think of is that they both have an energy/life-force mechanic that determines what you can do. In Gloomhaven this is represented by your cards, which you burn through to take actions and also can discard to absorb wounds. When you run out of cards, you die. In Conan this is represented by gems. You spend gems to do actions, using up your energy, and you must "discard" gems to absorb wounds (they can't easily be brought back). When all the gems are in the discard pile (wound zone), you die. Personally, I felt this aspect was very similar from the first time I played Gloomhaven, but I've never seen anyone else say it, so I may be in a minority. In any event, yeah, the games are totally different otherwise. But, I have them both, and think they're both awesome.
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J P
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Joou wrote:
danlicata wrote:
everything is deterministic with no luck

Well, this part isn't entirely correct since attack modifier decks and monster action decks are still an element of randomization. Much smaller than, say, rolling dice, but not perfectly deterministic either.

The rest is correct, though. I guess the closest comparison is that both are board games, and not much else.


Also, you have to choose which cards go into your hand at the start of s scenario. You also have to choose which cards to take when you level up. While this is not "randomness," per se, it does add an element of unpredictability when you don't know what's in a scenario as it can really swing things.
 
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danlicata wrote:
Joou wrote:
danlicata wrote:
everything is deterministic with no luck

Well, this part isn't entirely correct since attack modifier decks and monster action decks are still an element of randomization. Much smaller than, say, rolling dice, but not perfectly deterministic either.

The rest is correct, though. I guess the closest comparison is that both are board games, and not much else.


Good point. I was trying to remember where the limited luck came in but I couldn't think of it. It's been a few months since I've played Gloomhaven.


I find that the unpredictable actions that the enemies make in combo with the modifier deck is just as random if not MORE random than a typical dungeon game that uses dice. The decks are more flexible, but just as random.

The thing is that you can play the mechanics to your advantage and swing the 'randomness' in your direction if you strategize. Being able to 'choose' your initiative really helps with this element.

But still, you have no idea if a ooze is going to move, split, heal, or when it is going to do those things until you've already limited your actions. Then, if you factor in curses, the crits that make you reshuffle the modifiers, etc... there is actually a TON if unpredictability.
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Dan Licata
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soakman wrote:


I find that the unpredictable actions that the enemies make in combo with the modifier deck is just as random if not MORE random than a typical dungeon game that uses dice. The decks are more flexible, but just as random.

The thing is that you can play the mechanics to your advantage and swing the 'randomness' in your direction if you strategize. Being able to 'choose' your initiative really helps with this element.

But still, you have no idea if a ooze is going to move, split, heal, or when it is going to do those things until you've already limited your actions. Then, if you factor in curses, the crits that make you reshuffle the modifiers, etc... there is actually a TON if unpredictability.


I would disagree with you on the fact that a deck of cards is the same or even more random than dice rolls. With dice when you roll a 1 you can always roll a 1 again. With a deck of cards you start to limit the options the next card can be as you go through the deck giving you more and more information on what is likely to come up next.
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danlicata wrote:
soakman wrote:


I find that the unpredictable actions that the enemies make in combo with the modifier deck is just as random if not MORE random than a typical dungeon game that uses dice. The decks are more flexible, but just as random.

The thing is that you can play the mechanics to your advantage and swing the 'randomness' in your direction if you strategize. Being able to 'choose' your initiative really helps with this element.

But still, you have no idea if a ooze is going to move, split, heal, or when it is going to do those things until you've already limited your actions. Then, if you factor in curses, the crits that make you reshuffle the modifiers, etc... there is actually a TON if unpredictability.


I would disagree with you on the fact that a deck of cards is the same or even more random than dice rolls. With dice when you roll a 1 you can always roll a 1 again. With a deck of cards you start to limit the options the next card can be as you go through the deck giving you more and more information on what is likely to come up next.


Oh I realize that, but then you have the crit fail crit success cards that shuffle your deck, so really it's nearly as random. Also, most decks have more than one copy of the same modifier card, so that also affect the probability a given modifier is drawn. Random/not random depending on how closely you pay attention to what is in your deck.

The difference is that you can tailor the randomness. You very well could pull a shuffle card every other card, though it is not likely.

My point is not that they are the same, my point is that the decks do not make the game a game purely of strategies based around known quantities. If you choose to look at it that way, you will either have to be very good at card-counting or sorely disappointed when you crit-fail your massive lost attack 10. You might as well know that going in.
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