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Subject: What's the deal? rss

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Sam Pak
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So, I just started a solo campaign with two characters, Tinkerer and Scoundrel.

I cannot complete the 1st scenario without exhausting my characters. Mind you, I'm on level 1 difficulty, playing solo. I'm also trying to remain extremely conservative with my characters' use of abilities and not using strong effects very often so I can maximize the longevity of their hands.

What's the deal? Am I getting something wrong? Am I just straight up bad at this game? Level 1 difficult seems substantially more difficult than level 0, as I and my brother also began a campaigns with the mindthief and cragheart, and we were able to beat the scenario on level 0 difficulty on our first try (but it was still very close).

I've played a lot of Mage Knight in the past and have become quite efficient at playing my cards well and achieving a lot with a little, so I figured my capacity for this kind of strategy would accommodate Gloomhaven as well. I can't tell if I'm missing something, or I just plainly haven't gotten good enough at the game yet. I've now played the first scenario a total of 3 times, and I end up exhausting my characters by the time I enter the 3rd room of the 1st scenario. I've played a total of 6 games if you count my solo campaign and my and my brother's campaign.

Thoughts?
 
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James Palmer
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Don't forget you can "lose" a card to negate a single source of damage.
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Noel Szczepanski
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Do you have a stamina potion? Are you using the correct battle deck? Are you losing cards to damage? Are you burning cards in the first play through the deck or saving the cards that you lose for later on? Are you spending multiple turns without enemies on the board?
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Chris Ferejohn
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Well, Tinkerer isn't great for a 2 player game, just because he focuses more on support than dealing damage, so he'd prefer more characters taking more damage to spread the healing around. Still, only barely making it to the 3rd room sounds wrong. Just to gut check here:

* Are you only placing the monsters for 2 players? Many of them should not get placed at all.

* You realize that instead of taking all damage from a single source you can lose a card from your hand (or 2 from your discard)?
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Alex Florin
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It is possible you are getting some rules wrong that are making things more difficult. These are some mistakes I've seen posted:

- Make sure the enemies are set to level 1 (seems obvious but I accidentally slipped a monster in its envelop at a high level once and no one noticed because it was a new monster - it wasn't pretty)
- If a monster ability card doesn't say Attack (or Move), it doesn't Attack (or move)
- You can lose a card to negate all damage
- Make sure you are only placing the monsters on the map that are specified by the scenario for the number of players in the party
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Cole Robinson
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Exhausting before you even enter room 3 is an indication to me that you are doing something wrong either rules wise or strategy wise. Couple of things...

1) Did you buy items with you characters? The starting items can make a pretty large difference to the power of level 1 characters. Similarly, are you using the X class cards?

2) The Tinkerer/Scoundrel combo is pretty weak pairing compared to some of the other combos. Not that it is unworkable but I am not surprised that the Mindthief and Cragheart combo was stronger.

3) Have you checked the frequently missed rules threads? There are several common rule mistakes that players can make that makes the game much harder. For example monsters do not move/attack unless their ability card explicitly says so. Also you can lose a card to ignore a source of damage.

4) Are you placing the right amount of enemies? There should only be 3 enemies in each of the first two rooms (1 elite, 2 normal).
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Conor Davitt
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My husband and I are playing a Mind Thief and Cragheart combo campaign. I'm the Cragheart and it took me several scenarios to figure out that I'm NOT a tank. No one really is. You should do your best to avoid taking any damage, whenever possible, to avoid needing to lose cards to negate that damage.

Also, really focus on your abilities, what kinds of attacks/moves/etc they each can do, what their initiative is (and whether or not it would be better to go sooner/later), etc. I spent some time really thinking about how the abilities work in general, how they work with each other, when they might be good for specific situations (groups of enemies, one near a trap, etc), and so on. I did that recently and I think it's been a big help to analyze each scenario we've run through since.

Oh, communication is important, as well. Are you focused on the same enemy to take it out faster instead of each of you doing your own thing? Are you planning who's (probably) going to go first/second and what the plan of attack will be?

There are countless intricacies with this game, so it's really difficult to pinpoint what you may or may not be doing "wrong." Perhaps you may want to watch a video or two of different groups running a scenario.

Edit: Oh, also scroll through the FAQ post and just scan over the bullet points in there.
 
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J Mathews
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Honestly, Tinkerer/Scoundrel is a rough combo. The SC benefits with enemy and ally placement and the TI wants to be far away from the action. They don't synergize very effectively, or at least very obviously. I think that it may be possible (I've only played 4-player parties so I don't know) but it's a rough way to learn. Trading one of those out for a Cragheart or Brute would be a better way to get your feet under you.

Once we are done with the current campaign, I want to go back and try a 2-player solo game and see what I can do with some of these more difficult pairs. Seems an interesting challenge.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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cferejohn wrote:
Well, Tinkerer isn't great for a 2 player game,


As a tinkerer in a two player game, I disagree. Once we figured out how to maximize card play, tinkerer and spellweaver have become a heck of a lot of fun. Failed first scenario twice, then we just started tearing through.
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Mike H
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I think part of your problem is that the tinker and the scoundrel don't synergize great together because the scoundrel wants and ally nearby to boost her damage and take some hits, but the tinkerer prefers to hang back and do ranged attacks. The tinkerer also doesn't have great damage output to begin with, which might be contributing to your struggles.

That being said, I feel like you should still be able to complete the scenario. Don't be afraid to use a big loss attack, especially with the tinkerer in the beginning of the scenario. Often times that will be one of the toughest fights, so it can be worth it to lose a card even though it is right at the beginning. This is especially true if you would have otherwise ended up losing a card to prevent damage.
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Chris Kessel
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The first 3 or so scenarios were HARD (solo, 3 characters). I only won twice in 7 attempts.

Since then, I'm at about 75% victory over the last 8 sessions. Being able to get more equipment and understanding some synergies helps substantially.
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Sam Pak
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Thanks everyone. Your comments are valuable. I have been remembering that I can lose a card from my hand (or 2 cards from discard) to negate all damage from one attack. I did not realize that if an enemy card does not include move/attack, then it does not move/attack, so that is good to know. I think I may try using the brute and scoundrel to see if I can even complete the scenario with default character items on level 1 difficulty.
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Jared
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I don’t really feel like there is a bad character combo in this game. The Scoundrel has something like two cards that benefit from more players but as you add more cards and get new gear there are lots of options even with a party of two. Her damage dealt is ridiculous.

If neither character is a tank then you need to a) maximize your damage to weed enemies down quickly, b) think defensively about movement, c) utilize crowd control effects, d) stamina potion.

There’s also a learning curve with any new character. When you play solo you have twice as much to think about and that curve is likely longer.
 
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Noel Szczepanski
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Sam Pak wrote:
Thanks everyone. Your comments are valuable. I have been remembering that I can lose a card from my hand (or 2 cards from discard) to negate all damage from one attack. I did not realize that if an enemy card does not include move/attack, then it does not move/attack, so that is good to know. I think I may try using the brute and scoundrel to see if I can even complete the scenario with default character items on level 1 difficulty.


We messed up the move/attack part in our first game too come to think of it. Remember that even if a mob doesn't have an attack (i.e. heal, curse, bless etc.) it will still move as if it had a melee attack.
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Chris Kessel
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R3DSH1FT wrote:

b) think defensively about movement

This can't be overstated. The mindset in a lot of games is to take your tanks and DPS and get stuck in right away (draw aggro).

The better approach in Gloomhaven, even for the heavy hitters, is to play coy and say outside of combat range until you have a definitive edge. That might mean blowing a turn to maneuver or doing less attacks than you could because it leaves you far less open to counter attack.

You also get better and using the monster move sequence against themselves (e.g. having id2 get stuck behind id1 by going right father than left).
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michael ray
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Sam Pak wrote:
So, I just started a solo campaign with two characters, Tinkerer and Scoundrel.

I cannot complete the 1st scenario without exhausting my characters. Mind you, I'm on level 1 difficulty, playing solo. I'm also trying to remain extremely conservative with my characters' use of abilities and not using strong effects very often so I can maximize the longevity of their hands.

What's the deal? Am I getting something wrong? Am I just straight up bad at this game? Level 1 difficult seems substantially more difficult than level 0, as I and my brother also began a campaigns with the mindthief and cragheart, and we were able to beat the scenario on level 0 difficulty on our first try (but it was still very close).

I've played a lot of Mage Knight in the past and have become quite efficient at playing my cards well and achieving a lot with a little, so I figured my capacity for this kind of strategy would accommodate Gloomhaven as well. I can't tell if I'm missing something, or I just plainly haven't gotten good enough at the game yet. I've now played the first scenario a total of 3 times, and I end up exhausting my characters by the time I enter the 3rd room of the 1st scenario. I've played a total of 6 games if you count my solo campaign and my and my brother's campaign.

Thoughts?


Scoundrel gets huge perks from allies adjacent to enemies...tinkerer generally wants to stay at range. It's a rough party combo.

I'm playing scoundrel in a 4 player game, with tinkerer/spellweaver/craighart, and it's still rough to play the scoundrel for the same reasons
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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Geosphere wrote:
cferejohn wrote:
Well, Tinkerer isn't great for a 2 player game,


As a tinkerer in a two player game, I disagree. Once we figured out how to maximize card play, tinkerer and spellweaver have become a heck of a lot of fun. Failed first scenario twice, then we just started tearing through.

Agreed. We killed it with Tinkerer/Crag. You just build the Tinkerer different than you would in a 4p.

Having said that, I can imagine the difficulty of a Tinkerer/Scoundrel combo. Scoundrel relies a decent amount on party composition, especially in a 2p game.
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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Ygglephysics wrote:
Don't be afraid to use a big loss attack, especially with the tinkerer in the beginning of the scenario. Often times that will be one of the toughest fights, so it can be worth it to lose a card even though it is right at the beginning. This is especially true if you would have otherwise ended up losing a card to prevent damage.

Having played and retired the Tinkerer, that's my advice as well. In any scenario, that first room can be brutal because you're just dropped in a room of enemies. You can get beat up bad right away, and then you'll limp along the rest of the way. I would often use a Lost card right off with the Tinkerer provided that payoff was going to be high enough.
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Jeroen
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You probably just need some practice. Don't worry, we've all been there.
After a while, you've created some neat combo's with your characters and you're humming along nicely.

One combo to get you started:
Go late, so the mobs move toward you -> Tinkerer stuns and moves adjacent to a monster -> Scoundrel goes last then first next round, getting the 'Ally adjacent' bonus twice -> Tinkerer collects the loot.
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Matt Ziemer
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mfaulk80 wrote:
Ygglephysics wrote:
Don't be afraid to use a big loss attack, especially with the tinkerer in the beginning of the scenario. Often times that will be one of the toughest fights, so it can be worth it to lose a card even though it is right at the beginning. This is especially true if you would have otherwise ended up losing a card to prevent damage.

Having played and retired the Tinkerer, that's my advice as well. In any scenario, that first room can be brutal because you're just dropped in a room of enemies. You can get beat up bad right away, and then you'll limp along the rest of the way. I would often use a Lost card right off with the Tinkerer provided that payoff was going to be high enough.


Plus you might never get a better grouping to drop an aoe on than on the first turn. I agree, it can be more than worth it to burn a card first turn with the tinkerer and save 3 turn of the game by dropping all the baddies right away.

Just remember, if your burning that lost aoe, might as well burn that power potion and tap those EEG's and make it a good one.
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Chris Ferejohn
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Geosphere wrote:
cferejohn wrote:
Well, Tinkerer isn't great for a 2 player game,


As a tinkerer in a two player game, I disagree. Once we figured out how to maximize card play, tinkerer and spellweaver have become a heck of a lot of fun. Failed first scenario twice, then we just started tearing through.


How about "it might be trickier to use well in a 2 player game"...
 
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Niels Taylor

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Geosphere wrote:
cferejohn wrote:
Well, Tinkerer isn't great for a 2 player game,


As a tinkerer in a two player game, I disagree. Once we figured out how to maximize card play, tinkerer and spellweaver have become a heck of a lot of fun. Failed first scenario twice, then we just started tearing through.


Glad to hear this. My son really wanted to play the Tinkerer and I already had invested one failed scenario in a Spellweaver so wanted to keep playing her. We ran out of cards in the third room of Black Barrows. We’ll try again but concerned about keeping his interest. Glad to know this is a viable combo.
 
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Simon Ng
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Sam Pak wrote:
I did not realize that if an enemy card does not include move/attack, then it does not move/attack, so that is good to know.


Yeah, that rule will make a huge difference, with some cards like Living Bones healing itself, it'll take at least an extra round or two to recover from if the Bones heal and attack, and getting in range from archer attacks when it doesn't need to move. So you end up spending actions healing yourself on damage that you didn't need to take
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Jeff Carter
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Doesn't the solo campaign say not to start it until you've played through the other campaign and retired 2 characters? Have you done that?
 
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Chris Ferejohn
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IdleHacker wrote:
Doesn't the solo campaign say not to start it until you've played through the other campaign and retired 2 characters? Have you done that?


He's not talking about the solo campaign, he's just talking about the normal campaign played solo...
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