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Subject: GH vs. KDM -- Fiddly-bits rating rss

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mike heim
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I'm trying to compare Gloomhaven to Kingdom Death Monster in terms of complexity.

1) TIME? The unboxing/unpunching/prepping for first play

2) TIME? Setting up for the first scenario

3) TIME? Setting up the average scenario

4) TIME? Average length of playing a scenario

5) TIME? Breaking down (after playing)*

*Granted there are plenty of people that can just leave it set up, but with limited space and a 9-month old that will put anything he can into his mouth, I no longer have that luxury
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Wes Holland

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I've played both, but I did not own KDM.

1) First Play Prep:
Oh boy. At first, I thought that KDM would win on this, and then I remembered that the KDM minis come on sprues. You'll be punching tokens out of the *17* punchboards for an hour, and sorting them for twenty minutes after, with Gloomhaven... But you won't be assembling minis, at least. The cards are also already sorted, and I think KDM has *slightly* more cards, if you're going to sleeve literally all of them, but I think if you just sleeve the stuff you need to play the first time, GH will take longer to sleeve than KDM will.

Still, the sprues of minis means KDM will take longer for first-time setup.

2) First Scenario setup:
I think KDM wins on this one, more because the first scenario in KDM pulls a lot of punches, having no obstacle setup and a specific AI deck setup. It's noticeably simpler and quicker than every other setup in its game.

By contrast, Gloomhaven doesn't pull punches, exactly. It tends to be a relatively minimal scenario, but no rules are missing like they are from KDM's first scenario. This is where you learn how much organization you want for GH. This first scenario will take probably 30 minutes to set up unless you were religious in your organization. If you weren't, you'll consider being religious in the future.

3) Average Scenario Setup:
Harder to gauge. If you're just talking Showdown Phase, KDM is faster. If you're talking Hunt+Showdown, they're probably about equal. Hunt+Showdown+Settlement, though, Gloomhaven wins by a mile. One of KDM's weaknesses compared to Gloomhaven is that it's actually three different games that you have to setup and takedown repeatedly as you go through a gaming session. GH is only one game. (City actions in GH don't require you to go setup a board or anything more than pass around an Item deck and pull an Event.)

Caveat: If you can actually dedicate a space to keeping the Settlement Phase setup for KDM, the two tie on average setup times.

4) Average Scenario Playtime:
Gloomhaven is longer. KDM can fluctuate wildly in scenario time, generally taking longer in the beginning without good equipment, and taking less time when you get gear combinations setup to take down monsters quickly, but there's exceptions (Boss fights).

Gloomhaven, however, almost all scenarios take the same amount of time. With a couple of exceptions being speedruns, (you'll know em when you find em) most scenarios will take 1-2 hours at least. But you'll barely notice the time it takes.

5) Breakdown Time
KDM is faster, sortof. If you put everything from a Phase away when you move to the next, KDM is faster. But you're also spending time each time the Phase changes, so... Shrug?

I'm at the point in my GH career where I can put the whole thing away after everyone stands up from the table with character boxes strewn about... in about 20-30 minutes. That's literally everything with no help. If people put stuff back in their character boxes and sort the item deck for me, that time drops to like 5-10 minutes. There was a time when solo-put-away-time was an hour, back when I was figuring out good ways to store/organize stuff. Now, I've got a System, so it's much faster.

Congrats on the 9-month old! He was born into a Gloomhaven world! (Mostly. January, it was on the boats at least.) My daughter turned 2 not long ago. I'm excited for the day 10 years in the future where I can pull this out and play it with her...
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Greg
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kzinti wrote:
I'm trying to compare Gloomhaven to Kingdom Death Monster in terms of complexity.

1) TIME? The unboxing/unpunching/prepping for first play

2) TIME? Setting up for the first scenario

3) TIME? Setting up the average scenario

4) TIME? Average length of playing a scenario

5) TIME? Breaking down (after playing)*
...


I've owned both games; played about 20 sessions of each.

1) If you include the time it takes to assemble the first five miniatures, I would say KDM takes longer to prepare for the first game. Punching all the cardboard in GH is a multi-hour job, but you don't need to punch everything to play your first game.

2) I would say KDM is much faster here. To play the first scenario, you just need the board, a few decks of cards, the first five miniatures and a few other things. It also has a tutorial that is supposed to help you learn the first few rules faster. With GH you kinda need to read the entire book before playing.

3) I would say KDM is faster here as well, because the board is all one piece; you don't have to sort through a pile of map tiles and map overlay tiles that are scenario-specific.

4)Here things can vary a lot. With GH, the scenarios are all more or less the same length. With KDM, you can have a battle that drags on if the monster just won't die, or if it's a high level monster that draws multiple cards, etc. Also, if you add in the Settlement Phase and Hunt Phase, KDM is definitely going to be longer.

5)With GH, you need to sort a lot of bits back into the box. With KDM that isn't so much an issue, however, you do have all the paperwork that comes with updating your Settlement sheet and possibly your Survivors' sheets. I think KDM is faster.
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Greg
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CrushU wrote:
... The cards are also already sorted, and I think KDM has *slightly* more cards


No, GH has about 1800 cards; almost double what KDM has. Many of them are hidden inside the characters' boxes, so it's not immediately obvious.
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Nick Davis
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I'm sorry I've never played Kingdom Death but I can speak to Gloomhaven. Gloomhaven depends a lot, *a lot*, on how well you have it organized. Once I put the tiles into an alphabetized accordion folder pulling them out and putting them away only takes seconds. Similarly all of the cardboard bits are in labelled baggies so there's no trouble finding the right bag either to take things out or put them back.

We've also gotten really good at putting things together and taking them apart as a group. One player grabs the minis bags while I grab the tiles while the third player grabs the non-mini cardboard bits (traps, dungeon dressing, terrain, etc). One player pulls out the minis and puts them in stands while I put the map together, third player breaks out all the cards we'll need. Stuff like that.

Gloomhaven seems like an overwhelming amount of stuff but it can really be managed.

We start at 6:30 every week, we stop for dinner and watch an episode of Jeopardy while we eat and we finish by 10. So 3 hours from box hitting the table to box returning to the shelf. That includes all the city shopping and stuff, city event, road event, character deck building and scenario. We play at a leisurely pace.

Hope some of that was helpful.
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Nathan Ehlers
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I've got a little over 20 plays of Gloomhaven in a campaign and I've notched about half a dozen full KD:M campaigns. Here's my thoughts...

kzinti wrote:
I'm trying to compare Gloomhaven to Kingdom Death Monster in terms of complexity.

1) TIME? The unboxing/unpunching/prepping for first play


KD:M needs you to assemble minis. I think that ends up being the big intro time investment. Both boxes comes with the "here's a pile of cards and tokens, but you only need about 5% of them for your first game" thing. If you like to punch everything, sleeve everything, and organize it all into your fancy whatever, then they probably break even. But you still gotta build at least 5 models to play the first game of KD:M.

Quote:
2) TIME? Setting up for the first scenario


One of the big differences between KD:M and GH is that the rules learning is integrated into the initial scenario and a half of KD. You can effectively start out with little to no knowledge and walk through the tutorial while also getting to play. On the other hand, GH requires you to read through a 30ish page rulebook and have a basic understanding of how everything works before you begin. Then you look at the scenario book and build out your first game like you do for ever game to come after. In this way, I think GH is actually the heavier lift for getting started.

Quote:
3) TIME? Setting up the average scenario


Takes me about 30-45 minutes to set up the average Gloomhaven sceanrio. This is probably a little long as I go through sleeving all the monster decks (I only sleeve the decks we're using, so it's unsleeving last mission's too). Still it's find all the map pieces, find all the monsters, terrain, etc., plus get all the player and campaign stuff out of the box. For KD:M, it's usually no more than 10 minutes to set up. This might be a little longer depending on where we stopped (what phase) and if there's an exceedingly complicated matrix of cards to build or something. The big difference between the two games is Gloomhaven is more of a traditional dungeon crawl like descent or imperial assault where you have modular map pieces and terrain. So every game needs time to build out everything and find the right pieces. There's just no good way I know to simplify this process. By contrast, my KD stuff is meticulously organized. I have a file system for the papers and all the decks are in tuck boxes or trays so I can pull out only what I need from the box at any given time. Functionally then, to set up KD:M, I just need to open the game board and pull the couple of decks relevant to whatever we're about to do. If it's a Monster fight, then a few more minutes to grab models and get everyone into starting position.

Quote:
4) TIME? Average length of playing a scenario


An average Gloomhaven game including city phase takes my group about 2 hours. KD:M is more complicated because there's no clear end to a game. You just choose where you want to stop. Depending on story events and other things, a lantern year takes me from 1-3 hours. Sometimes longer than that if I die and want to replay something. But a session of KD:M pretty much just fills up whatever time I have to play it in.

Quote:
5) TIME? Breaking down (after playing)*

*Granted there are plenty of people that can just leave it set up, but with limited space and a 9-month old that will put anything he can into his mouth, I no longer have that luxury


See my notes about set up and it's pretty much the same thing for break down. GH has everything put back into plano boxes and cards sorted out. KD has everything go back into tuck boxes and file folders. KD might have slightly more bookwork just in terms of logging all the additional stuff that's happened in the session if you aren't adding to your campaign record as you go along. Less global changes happen in Gloomhaven in one sitting.


FWIW, while I enjoy both games, I don't think they're comparable beyond this kind of oddball stats. I could have written this comparing Agricola and KD:M too, but I'm not sure what that gets anyone. I wouldn't necessarily recommend both games to the same kind of gamer.
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mike heim
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sirgalin wrote:

FWIW, while I enjoy both games, I don't think they're comparable beyond this kind of oddball stats. I could have written this comparing Agricola and KD:M too, but I'm not sure what that gets anyone. I wouldn't necessarily recommend both games to the same kind of gamer.


But they're constantly compared and contrasted in other forums. Both are very meaty cooperative dark-fantasy tactical "rpg in a box" with persistent character/world effects.

Which game(s) do you think are more similar to Gloomhaven than Kingdom Death Monster? Surely you must be jesting when you say Agricola...
 
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Nathan Ehlers
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kzinti wrote:
sirgalin wrote:

FWIW, while I enjoy both games, I don't think they're comparable beyond this kind of oddball stats. I could have written this comparing Agricola and KD:M too, but I'm not sure what that gets anyone. I wouldn't necessarily recommend both games to the same kind of gamer.


But they're constantly compared and contrasted in other forums. Both are very meaty cooperative dark-fantasy tactical "rpg in a box" with persistent character/world effects.

Which game(s) do you think are more similar to Gloomhaven than Kingdom Death Monster? Surely you must be jesting when you say Agricola...


I know, I know. I just like to push back on that when I can because I disagree with it. At it's core, KD:M is a civilization building game. It isn't a dungeon crawl in any sense other than you chuck dice to resolve combat (which, ironically, GH doesn't have). Gloomhaven is much closer to Descent or any number of dungeon crawl games going back to Heroquest and D&D. What it does that I think is special, is provide a really unique and fun system of character building. The best parallel I can draw would be with Diablo. In Diablo 2 and 3, the gameplay and story are pretty inconsequential. Go to a random place, kill all the things, get all the loot. What's engaging is each character offres multiple different kinds of builds in order to most efficiently achieve those tasks. Gloomhaven is the same way. The story is kind of thin and most scenarios are "go to random place, kill all the monsters" but the way you can your team kill those monsters is pretty variable. And just when you're starting to get tired of your character build, you can retire it and open up a surprise new character class to try your hand at. That's what I think sets GH apart from Descent, Mice and Mystics, Silver Tower, Runebound, Imperial Assault, World of Warcraft, etc etc etc etc. All the other stuff (stickers, deck building, "legacy" whatever) is just icing on top of that feature.

KD:M, on the other hand, has a much more complex and evocative world building style. It achieves a level of dread or horror in a board game that is frankly unmatched elsewhere. In one sense there is no story. No direct narrative per say. In another, the life and death of your tribe is the story you play out while the world is built through allusion and a cunning kind of indirect narrative. If you break it down into it's tiny parts, you can find other games to compare it to. For example, the hunt system is similar to the story system in Tales of the Arabian Nights or Agents of SMERSH. Or you gather resources and then invest those resources into leveling up various aspects of your civilization in order to more efficiently gather more resources. But taken all together, I don't think I know of another game that comes close. In fact, when someone suggests one, I try to go out and play it to find out if there's a successor to KD:M. The last couple I was recommended were Dark Souls and Shadow of Brimstone. The first ended up being fairly shallow on the gameplay end though the boss fights were closer. The second had little to no decisions to make, but did lift the classic "roll on a million different tables" system that KD:M also makes use of. Neither one really told a story and both were pretty focused on the individual character rising or falling rather than on a civilization of many characters.

All this is to say that if you want an experience where you're a mighty hero, leveling up, and increasing skills to bash bigger and badder monsters, then GH is the way to go. If you'd rather do the puzzle-solving that comes along with managing a larger group over an expansive timeline, deciding where and how to spend limited resources to continue the group, then give KD:M a shot. Both games are pretty interesting, complicated endeavors. I wouldn't recommend either to someone who's just looking to chuck dice and squish things. I just think they aren't filed in the same part of the library. My two cents.
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Wes Holland

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Glic2003 wrote:
CrushU wrote:
... The cards are also already sorted, and I think KDM has *slightly* more cards


No, GH has about 1800 cards; almost double what KDM has. Many of them are hidden inside the characters' boxes, so it's not immediately obvious.

Huh. Yeah I suppose the Character Ability cards break the difference. I know there's more monster cards in KDM than GH (counting HitLocation+AI Cards vs Monster Ability Cards+Stat Cards) and then KDM has Resources for each monster, Hunt cards for each monster, more Item cards than GH does... Then Fighting Arts, Disorders, Obstacles, Settlement Events, Innovations...

Shrug. That particular was for initial setup related to sleeving cards. GH you sleeve the modifier decks and monster ability cards, and optionally the Event/Character Ability decks. (Those aren't shuffled NEARLY as often.) For KDM, you sleeve the AI and Hit Location decks, maybe Innovation/Obstacle/Fighting Art/Disorder/Resource/Settlement Event decks. (They aren't shuffled more than once a Showdown phase... Which is pretty much where I draw the preliminary line of 'Can Sleeve' vs 'Must Sleeve'.)

For KDM, I've played 12LY in one campaign, but restarted multiple campaigns and dropped into and out of other TTS KDM games at various stages.
 
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Wes Holland

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sirgalin wrote:
kzinti wrote:
sirgalin wrote:

FWIW, while I enjoy both games, I don't think they're comparable beyond this kind of oddball stats. I could have written this comparing Agricola and KD:M too, but I'm not sure what that gets anyone. I wouldn't necessarily recommend both games to the same kind of gamer.


But they're constantly compared and contrasted in other forums. Both are very meaty cooperative dark-fantasy tactical "rpg in a box" with persistent character/world effects.

Which game(s) do you think are more similar to Gloomhaven than Kingdom Death Monster? Surely you must be jesting when you say Agricola...


I know, I know. I just like to push back on that when I can because I disagree with it. At it's core, KD:M is a civilization building game. It isn't a dungeon crawl in any sense other than you chuck dice to resolve combat (which, ironically, GH doesn't have). Gloomhaven is much closer to Descent or any number of dungeon crawl games going back to Heroquest and D&D. What it does that I think is special, is provide a really unique and fun system of character building. The best parallel I can draw would be with Diablo. In Diablo 2 and 3, the gameplay and story are pretty inconsequential. Go to a random place, kill all the things, get all the loot. What's engaging is each character offres multiple different kinds of builds in order to most efficiently achieve those tasks. Gloomhaven is the same way. The story is kind of thin and most scenarios are "go to random place, kill all the monsters" but the way you can your team kill those monsters is pretty variable. And just when you're starting to get tired of your character build, you can retire it and open up a surprise new character class to try your hand at. That's what I think sets GH apart from Descent, Mice and Mystics, Silver Tower, Runebound, Imperial Assault, World of Warcraft, etc etc etc etc. All the other stuff (stickers, deck building, "legacy" whatever) is just icing on top of that feature.

KD:M, on the other hand, has a much more complex and evocative world building style. It achieves a level of dread or horror in a board game that is frankly unmatched elsewhere. In one sense there is no story. No direct narrative per say. In another, the life and death of your tribe is the story you play out while the world is built through allusion and a cunning kind of indirect narrative. If you break it down into it's tiny parts, you can find other games to compare it to. For example, the hunt system is similar to the story system in Tales of the Arabian Nights or Agents of SMERSH. Or you gather resources and then invest those resources into leveling up various aspects of your civilization in order to more efficiently gather more resources. But taken all together, I don't think I know of another game that comes close. In fact, when someone suggests one, I try to go out and play it to find out if there's a successor to KD:M. The last couple I was recommended were Dark Souls and Shadow of Brimstone. The first ended up being fairly shallow on the gameplay end though the boss fights were closer. The second had little to no decisions to make, but did lift the classic "roll on a million different tables" system that KD:M also makes use of. Neither one really told a story and both were pretty focused on the individual character rising or falling rather than on a civilization of many characters.

All this is to say that if you want an experience where you're a mighty hero, leveling up, and increasing skills to bash bigger and badder monsters, then GH is the way to go. If you'd rather do the puzzle-solving that comes along with managing a larger group over an expansive timeline, deciding where and how to spend limited resources to continue the group, then give KD:M a shot. Both games are pretty interesting, complicated endeavors. I wouldn't recommend either to someone who's just looking to chuck dice and squish things. I just think they aren't filed in the same part of the library. My two cents.


While I don't agree with everything you said, I do agree that KDM and Gloomhaven aren't exactly directly comparable. They get compared a bunch because they're both games with a large following right after a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign.

My ultimate problem with KDM is that the game, as a whole, feels disjointed. You can really feel the effects of this if you only set up one Phase at a time. The only things that affect Hunt/Showdown from the Settlement are gear choices (Survival limit and Survival/Hunt bonuses don't directly influence Hunt/Showdown other than increasing your 'oh shit' button presses... Gear, however, really *matters* and it can change the game.) Hunt phase barely affects the other two phases and you can almost just roll a d10 and damage location for each survivor instead and get the same effect. (Very rarely, Innovations you have matter and you can gain Innovations from Hunt, and the Gear you took can affect Hunt, and Hunt has some special effects besides damage that affects Showdown, but these are all rare.) Showdown has the most effect on Settlement, but even then that's just ticking off Survivors Remaining boxes. You barely need the Survivor sheet except for Showdown and you barely need the Settlement sheet except for Settlement Phase.

Look, I don't think KDM is a bad game. My personal problem with it is that the dice rolling and hit locations are entirely too random for my tastes, and after playing GH's combat system, a 'Move here and Hit that by Rolling a Die' system really pales in comparison. My more universal problems with it is that it's actually 3 mini-games in one, and I don't feel the mini-games adequately stand up individually, only when in combination. Settlement Phase has severe Quarterbacking problems. Hunt Phase has a serious problem with being unable to make meaningful decisions (the Candyland problem). Showdown phase has Quarterbacking problems as well as being relatively uninspired combat. The AI deck being hitpoints and the Hit Location are the most interesting parts of the combat, but in general there's too much unknown for it to be engaging. And, like Hunt, your decisions aren't very meaningful. (There's always a Right Move, and if you didn't take it, you either Died or have a significantly higher chance of Dying.) And of course, you can sometimes just Die because the game hates you, but that's part of its charm to those who like it.

Ugh, I got wayyyy off topic.

I definitely agree that comparing Descent to Gloomhaven is probably better than KDM to Gloomhaven.

One of the problems is that there hasn't been a good game to compare to Gloomhaven. Ultimately, I'd say that the dungeon crawls like Descent and Imperial Assault compare better than the Boss-Rush of KDM. (GH fights are more Tactical than KDM, where KDM relies more on Strategy than Tactics. ... Your Gear that you take into the fight matters much more than what specifically you do in the fight for KDM. GH, your Gear and Skill choices going into the fight do matter a lot, but your Tactics matters a bunch too.)

For a game to compare to Gloomhaven, Tactical Combat has to be a part of it, that's the first category to narrow down. Next, you have to have Character Progression, and you're down to fewer games. Finally, a game should have Action Selection to really compare to GH, and I don't know of a game that fits all of those categories besides GH. KDM and Descent are missing the Action Selection part, and basically any other game is missing the Tactical Combat or Character Progression part.

That's why I think this particular topic is useful, as all he's asking about is Time Taken for the game. That, we can definitively compare. And it's useful, because maybe he only has time to bust out a Hunt Phase of KDM and can't play a GH scenario.
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I honestly wonder why these two games get compared so often. They aren't so similar as all that. But I suppose that the fans REALLY love both games (and sometimes seem at odds like Star Wars and Star Trek fans).



1) TIME? The unboxing/unpunching/prepping for first play

Kingdom Death features unassembled minis on sprues, so that will take longer than just punching things. Neither game is super quick about this aspect, though.

One thing to note- Kingdom Death is designed really well from a hobby perspective. You will need to assemble 5 minis to start playing (Lion and four survivors).

You can assemble/paint minis based on what you'll need for the next session, and if you have sessions spaced out to a weekly game night, it isn't a burden.

Gloomhaven features punching and storage issues from the start, so it sort of depends on how much sleeving you want to do, etc.

2) TIME? Setting up for the first scenario

KDM has a "set up as you go" system that keeps first sessions from becoming a burden.

3) TIME? Setting up the average scenario

Set up for Gloomhaven is somewhere in the 15-20 min range, setup for KDM is much lower (experienced players can set up in 5 minutes depending on the scenario).

4) TIME? Average length of playing a scenario

KDM is faster. Basically, there are more stopping times in KDM than in GL, and KDM easily breaks down into 45 min to 1 hour segments.

Gloomhaven's time depends greatly on your number of players (I think it is around 45 per player- the box isn't lying like with Dark Souls).

5) TIME? Breaking down (after playing)*

My experience KDM sets up pretty quick, but takes a bit of time to break down (mostly, you pull out a few decks while you're playing, and those need to be tidied up). Breakdown isn't epic though.

Gloomhaven follows most dungeon crawlers- breakdown and set up are comparable.
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CrushU wrote:

I definitely agree that comparing Descent to Gloomhaven is probably better than KDM to Gloomhaven.

One of the problems is that there hasn't been a good game to compare to Gloomhaven. Ultimately, I'd say that the dungeon crawls like Descent and Imperial Assault compare better than the Boss-Rush of KDM. (GH fights are more Tactical than KDM, where KDM relies more on Strategy than Tactics. ... Your Gear that you take into the fight matters much more than what specifically you do in the fight for KDM. GH, your Gear and Skill choices going into the fight do matter a lot, but your Tactics matters a bunch too.)

For a game to compare to Gloomhaven, Tactical Combat has to be a part of it, that's the first category to narrow down. Next, you have to have Character Progression, and you're down to fewer games. Finally, a game should have Action Selection to really compare to GH, and I don't know of a game that fits all of those categories besides GH. KDM and Descent are missing the Action Selection part, and basically any other game is missing the Tactical Combat or Character Progression part.

That's why I think this particular topic is useful, as all he's asking about is Time Taken for the game. That, we can definitively compare. And it's useful, because maybe he only has time to bust out a Hunt Phase of KDM and can't play a GH scenario.


Huh. Interestingly, while any given scenario has a little bit of a tactical element to solving it, I think about Gloomhaven much more as a strategy. Specifically, how is a given character going to play out and then how is the team going to interact to achieve the goal. It "helps" that the goal is almost always "kill all the monsters", so strategy for characters can generally be considered against this problem. Eventually a character runs on autopilot for me (playing the same selection of cards in nearly the same order every game) and I have to draw up a new one or risk getting bored.

But, to your point, I think the answer is Super Dungeon Explore. Particularly under the forthcoming 3.0 ruleset. The whole thing plays out like Final Fantasy tactics and each character has a mess of abilities and options with limited action points and movement each turn. The map is littered with monsters and while you're mostly just killing things, you're trying to control the mob to kill the right things as moving too slowly across the board can be fatal to the good guys. Legends is going to introduce a character leveling system, which is the last piece missing in the comparison.

That said, my prediction is Legends falls on deaf ears because it tries to keep feet in too many camps (Is it a minis game? an rpg? a board game?), and the game itself is far too complicated for all but the most dedicated gamers to try and learn and play correctly.

The two other games I'd pull out of my hat to compare to Gloomhaven would be Mage Knight and Combat Commander. The first, because it has a similar kind of question over puzzle solving and playing cards as resources. Heck, GH straight up steals some of the mechanics. Combat Commander, even though it's a wildly different genre, has a very similar kind of mechanic to resolve actions and asks similar kind of questions regarding playing cards to control certain parts of the board while forgoing others. Likewise it often presents the idea that there is no good solution other than to wait till next round and refresh.

Again, games I wouldn't recommend to people that like dungeon crawls...
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CrushU wrote:

5) Breakdown Time
KDM is faster, sortof. If you put everything from a Phase away when you move to the next, KDM is faster. But you're also spending time each time the Phase changes, so... Shrug?

I'm at the point in my GH career where I can put the whole thing away after everyone stands up from the table with character boxes strewn about... in about 20-30 minutes. That's literally everything with no help. If people put stuff back in their character boxes and sort the item deck for me, that time drops to like 5-10 minutes. There was a time when solo-put-away-time was an hour, back when I was figuring out good ways to store/organize stuff. Now, I've got a System, so it's much faster.



I was wondering what your System is and would love know know you hacks that make the clean up time super quick! All the Good ways to store/organize all the stuff.
 
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Of the two games, Kingdom Death will fit into your life easier. With some experience, a lantern year of Kingdom Death can be less than an hour long- and even then it has three distinct places that you could stop and pick up again.

Gloomhaven takes longer to play and set up (although it doesn't have the miniatures hobby aspect, and therefore will take less time before you get it onto the table).

One note on KDM- from a miniatures hobby perspective, the game is brilliantly presented. You only need to assemble (and possibly paint) five minis to start playing, and if you play weekly, you can easily assemble (and paint) the next monster in between sessions.

That said, the minis were definitely designed from a miniatures hobby perspective. They require assembly, they're brilliantly detailed and made of hard plastic.



sirgalin wrote:
CrushU wrote:

I definitely agree that comparing Descent to Gloomhaven is probably better than KDM to Gloomhaven.

One of the problems is that there hasn't been a good game to compare to Gloomhaven. Ultimately, I'd say that the dungeon crawls like Descent and Imperial Assault compare better than the Boss-Rush of KDM. (GH fights are more Tactical than KDM, where KDM relies more on Strategy than Tactics. ... Your Gear that you take into the fight matters much more than what specifically you do in the fight for KDM. GH, your Gear and Skill choices going into the fight do matter a lot, but your Tactics matters a bunch too.)

For a game to compare to Gloomhaven, Tactical Combat has to be a part of it, that's the first category to narrow down. Next, you have to have Character Progression, and you're down to fewer games. Finally, a game should have Action Selection to really compare to GH, and I don't know of a game that fits all of those categories besides GH. KDM and Descent are missing the Action Selection part, and basically any other game is missing the Tactical Combat or Character Progression part.

That's why I think this particular topic is useful, as all he's asking about is Time Taken for the game. That, we can definitively compare. And it's useful, because maybe he only has time to bust out a Hunt Phase of KDM and can't play a GH scenario.



But, to your point, I think the answer is Super Dungeon Explore....

The two other games I'd pull out of my hat to compare to Gloomhaven would be Mage Knight and Combat Commander...


I feel one of the more underrated dungeon crawlers out there is Undercity/Widower's Wood.

There's a lot in terms of tactical decision making, as well as character progression (adding elements of strategy).

While it has its flaws, I really think it is a pretty underrated game (especially once you have more than just the core set of heroes).


Super Dungeon Explore has gone through several iterations- it seems like they're separating out the ways to play SDE under different titles and different core boxes (Arcade, Explore, Arena, Legends).



What Kingdom Death has in common with Gloomhaven is the large campaign and discovery elements. KDM is less concrete about it (Gloomhaven has the Legacy style presentation).
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CrushU wrote:

Which game(s) do you think are more similar to Gloomhaven than Kingdom Death Monster? Surely you must be jesting when you say Agricola...


Kingdom Death: Monster compares with Gloomhaven on two levels:

1- Both games have a cult like following. Fans of either game are likely to name it as the best game they own.

That's about quality, not genre. They really don't have to have anything in common at all in order to share that.


2- Both games are Cooperative Tactical Miniatures Combat Games.


Gloomhaven fits very nicely into the genre of "Dungeon Crawler" which is a sub-genre of tactical miniatures combat games, and KDM doesn't really have a dungeon to crawl (even using broad definitions).




If we're looking for an apt comparison for Gloomhaven, we should just look to dungeon crawlers. If we want to narrow it even more, we could restrict ourselves to co-op Dungeon Crawlers with a campaign systems would be best for comparison. Here are a few:


Shadows of Brimstone (Forbidden Fortress)
Undercity (Widower's Wood)
Warhammer Quest: the Silver Tower
Descent
Dark Souls
Massive Darkness
Journey

None of these have quite the sprawling campaign and city advancement of Gloomhaven.

Dark Souls and Massive Darkness, the campaign system isn't core to the game experience- it is more like a variant on a one-off style game.




And a LOT of upcoming kickstarter projects. Off of the top of my head, there are these:

Darklight: Momento Mori
Wander: the Cult of Barnicle Bay
Super Dungeon Legends
Middara


Of these, Darklight and Middara seem like they'll have more than a few things in common with Gloomhaven, but it is never super easy to say before the game's release. It is doubtful that either would have as LARGE a campaign as Gloomhaven, since GL's campaign is crazy huge.
 
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I'm really just wondering when someone's going to take KDM's monster fighting and GH's characters and progression and make a Monster Hunter board game.
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I have high hopes for Middara. I'm kind of thinking I'll try to roll my Gloomhaven group into it when it drops.
 
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sirgalin wrote:
I have high hopes for Middara. I'm kind of thinking I'll try to roll my Gloomhaven group into it when it drops.


I agree- Middara looks pretty sweet.

Do we know where it is in development? I suspect that it will be at least as late as an average kickstarter.
 
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odinsgrandson wrote:
sirgalin wrote:
I have high hopes for Middara. I'm kind of thinking I'll try to roll my Gloomhaven group into it when it drops.


I agree- Middara looks pretty sweet.

Do we know where it is in development? I suspect that it will be at least as late as an average kickstarter.


Last update was at the end of August. They said the were finalizing production details with Panda on the KS bonus stuff and would announce a final production schedule soon. It was supposed to be delivered March '16. So they're on the 2-years-late-train that all the cool kickstarters ride.
 
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sirgalin wrote:
odinsgrandson wrote:
sirgalin wrote:
I have high hopes for Middara. I'm kind of thinking I'll try to roll my Gloomhaven group into it when it drops.


I agree- Middara looks pretty sweet.

Do we know where it is in development? I suspect that it will be at least as late as an average kickstarter.


Last update was at the end of August. They said the were finalizing production details with Panda on the KS bonus stuff and would announce a final production schedule soon. It was supposed to be delivered March '16. So they're on the 2-years-late-train that all the cool kickstarters ride.


Yeah, well things are only late until they deliver, right?


One thing that gets me is the extent of the fury about Super Dungeon Legends' lateness. We've got plenty of info on what they're doing, the delay was clearly so that they could improve the rules and game, but people have been comparing them to things like HeroQuest 25.

I'm glad people aren't raging about Gloomhaven's lateness (sure, it is just a reprint, but he did have to make a lot more of them than he had planned on).
 
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The SDE community has been bizarrely toxic since the early expansions. It's bad even for the internet. I think they've put themselves in an unwinable position too. No matter what they release, there will be a contingent of people that wanted things one way that won't be happy.

It didn't help that their last couple projects had a few big problems. Rail Raiders has a shipping issue such that it went to retail before some backers. Ninja whatever had some glaring holes in design such that they were discovered by the community during the kickstarter.

There's probably also some amount of fatigue over the changes to SDE. 2.0 is a pretty different game than if you invested in the original system. 3.0 will feel more familiar, but then you have to decide how much you care about Arcade and Legends. Plus somewhere in there they changes their SKU model from the comfortable board game plus expansions system to the modular blister pack system that most tabletop minis games. Which puts them in a weird place from the perspective of someone wanting to buy a board game.

That said, I think SDE is a great game and I'm looking forward to the new system.
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martellmoyle wrote:
CrushU wrote:

5) Breakdown Time
KDM is faster, sortof. If you put everything from a Phase away when you move to the next, KDM is faster. But you're also spending time each time the Phase changes, so... Shrug?

I'm at the point in my GH career where I can put the whole thing away after everyone stands up from the table with character boxes strewn about... in about 20-30 minutes. That's literally everything with no help. If people put stuff back in their character boxes and sort the item deck for me, that time drops to like 5-10 minutes. There was a time when solo-put-away-time was an hour, back when I was figuring out good ways to store/organize stuff. Now, I've got a System, so it's much faster.



I was wondering what your System is and would love know know you hacks that make the clean up time super quick! All the Good ways to store/organize all the stuff.


I'll have to find the post, but I'm using a foamcore solution that fits everything back into the box, with minis, and sleeves. it's white foamcore that uses 1.5mm presentation board as well as the normal stuff. It's not complete, the overlay tiles and the monsters holders I haven't made yet, because I find plastic baggies do the job well enough, and the 'cut out the shipping foam' strategy is pretty nifty.

The tricks I have besides that is that I always put certain monsters back in certain places; Only pull out a baggie of stuff from the box if we're using it. That way I can tell if everything's back or not because if there's baggies out on the table, I need to find the things that go in that baggie. Anything else I pull out to get to lower layers goes in the top of the box. (Usually just the sticker sheets and some monster baggies, along with the rule book.)

The biggest 'trick' is that I've figured out a decent way to stack the map tiles in the foamcore tray, pretty similar to the guide that's on the Broken Token tray, actually. I have pictures of it up on here somewhere. I can take all of the map tiles out, then put them all back in, in less than a minute.
 
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