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Subject: KD:M vs Gloomhaven - Why has nobody done a comparison? rss

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Carter Burke
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It would seem logical to compare KD:M and Gloomhaven, but despite searching the reviews and forums I haven’t found anything.

If anyone has played both, what are your thoughts and impressions?
 
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T Tardi
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Would you rather have a hammer or a screwdriver? Both work great but serve in quite different ways, just depends what you want it for.. there is a comparison somewhere ive read it but the gyst is they are both really good games but they arent necessarily for the same audience.
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George Aristides
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Apples to Oranges!

KDM is a rollercoaster ride!
I would happily play it solo, and would enjoy playing with close friends. I also love watching playthroughs and reading about it. Not sure if it would be the same playing with a "random strangers" game group, as it can be wild and unpredictable at times.

Gloomhaven is an interesting puzzle game themed as a dungeon crawl. It's got tightly controlled randomness and feels a bit clinical at times. I wouldn't play it solo, and can't bear watching youtube playthroughs as they take way too long for the amount of "excitement" offered. That said, we got a new "random strangers" group together and we are having a lot of fun playing this regularly.

I don't think there is much similarity between the two, apart from the fact that they both recently got a new printing through kickstarter and are large, expensive games

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nobody82b wrote:


I don't think there is much similarity between the two, apart from the fact that they both recently got a new printing through kickstarter and are large, expensive games



They're both in large boxes!
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Amy (Other Amy)
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I've seen a few. The conclusion is generally that they don't have much in common.
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This thread may interest you.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1895777/mini-review-someone...
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Panwuan Panwuan
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cormor321 wrote:
nobody82b wrote:


I don't think there is much similarity between the two, apart from the fact that they both recently got a new printing through kickstarter and are large, expensive games



They're both in large boxes!


Both take tons of time!. But seriously, my group has yet to pass scenario 6 on GH, instead would rather play either RPGs (pathfinder) or KDM(2nd campaign, first met untimely death at the kingsman nemesis.)

TBH i kinda regret buying GH when i have already KDM + 12 expansions + more incomming. The setup time takes too much, and i could rather play KDM or roleplaying games DnD/Pathfinder.
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Wikiro Trio
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Watch SU&SD Gloomhaven review he does a quick review
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Caleb Kester
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Both are great games but both are completely different. The main thing is KDM uses dice combat and Gloomhaven uses cards (so feels more like a puzzle).

Both are good. Both are fun. Different enough that there is no "better" game. Just depends on personal preference.
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sam newman

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I tried Gloomhaven, just a few of the scenarios and at first i liked the card mechanism but as the game played out i started to feel more of a disconnect between the mechanics and the theme. I just dont think a dungeon crawl euro is a thing that works personally.
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Carter Burke
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Wikiro wrote:
Watch SU&SD Gloomhaven review he does a quick review


Thank you, i already had.
While SU&SD have great reviews and respected opinions, it’s always good to get the opinions of other people who have played both.
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Wouter Dhondt
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Carter_Burke wrote:
It would seem logical to compare KD:M and Gloomhaven, but despite searching the reviews and forums I haven’t found anything.

If anyone has played both, what are your thoughts and impressions?


Why? They are nothing alike. Well, I love KD:M and hate Gloomhaven. That is about the only comparison I can make.
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My name is
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Carter_Burke wrote:
It would seem logical to compare KD:M and Gloomhaven, but despite searching the reviews and forums I haven’t found anything.

If anyone has played both, what are your thoughts and impressions?


Why would you assume it's logical?
What do you think these games have in common?
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Chester
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Gloomhavens don’t pull your arms out of your sockets when they lose. Kingdom Death has been known to do that.
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Martinus Curiosus
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Also: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1760383/gloomhaven-or-kdm
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J J
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I have both and am in the process of playing through KDM solo and Gloomhaven with a group. Here are my initial impressions, focusing exclusively on gameplay:

First off, the fundamental difference between these two games is like tightrope walking. Gloomhaven has a safety net that prevents anything really bad from happening to you where the worst thing that can happen is being forced to repeat a location if you fail. In KDM there is no safety net, the game is completely built around bad things happening to you and how you deal with it, sort of like life. You will make mistakes and suffer bad luck and your task is to figure out how to keep your settlement going. Gloomhaven is light entertainment and KDM is a work of art, which is fine because some people just want to go watch the latest Disney Marvel movie at the theatre and others want to spend an evening watching a niche artsy movie that challenges their beliefs and their preconceived notions of human existence.

In KDM, the combat portion of the game is maybe 50% of the game, and arguably not even the most exciting part depending on what you're fighting. In Gloomhaven, the combat portion is almost everything, pretty much 90% or more of what you're doing. Most of the Road and City event decisions you'll make have minor outcomes like unlocking a particular side mission or a small change in money or a slight negative heading into the next fight. Gloomhaven, much like other dungeon crawler games (Descent for example) is virtually a fantasy themed combat simulator.

The vast majority of the decisions you make playing Gloomhaven are small tactical ones like what monster to hit or what door to open first or whether to be greedy and grab a bit more treasure before finishing off the bad guys. The decisions you make in KDM are constantly game altering and even the smallest have the potential to have campaign altering consequences. The decision to bring a single piece of equipment on a hunt can have a huge effect not just on the outcome of one year but on the future of your entire settlement in extreme cases.

Gloomhaven is simple once you figure out what options your character has. In fact, as you use your cards up you will quickly run out of options and the game feels a bit like it's on rails because all you can really do is what the cards you have left let you do. KDM seems almost endlessly dense in terms of possibilities. As you move into the mid game, it's very easy think for hours about all the possible directions to go with endeavours, resources at hand, what to innovate, what gear to build, what survivors to send out on a hunt or against a nemesis, how to assemble gear grids, what risks to take. Trying to think ahead and plan the future of your settlement is like trying to unravel a massive puzzle where you think there is the perfect answer somewhere if you just look for it... and then the game punches you in the gut anyway blowing up everything you thought you were planning for.

In Gloomhaven, the enemies you fight at level 1 can be sort of the same as the enemies you fight at level 2 through 9, they will just be significantly upgraded version of those enemies. The Bandit Guard you fought at level 1 will somehow be a much more powerful Bandit Guard when you fight it at higher levels, it's the illusion of progress and character advancement in a game that completely matches its difficulty to the power level of the characters. You have the option of playing the game on higher difficulty levels, but that will just result in you falling into your safety net more and having to repeat the same location again... which isn't all that fun. In KDM, when your survivors have amazing equipment and bonuses to a bunch of stats you can still go back and fight that level 1 White Lion... but you'll absolutely slaughter it easily. In KDM you have a significant degree of control over what you fight when, which creates a complex decision every time your survivors go on a hunt. Are you fighting something too difficult at the risk of losing an entire year of development? Will the hunt events cripple one or more of your survivors, resulting in the loss of everyone in the showdown phase? Or are you being too conservative by going after a lower level monster that won't provide the settlement the resources it needs to be competitive against higher level nemesis monsters later in the campaign?

Gloomhaven is a pure multiplayer game, in that it is at its best with the maximum number of players because that's when it comes the closest to accurately reflecting the chaos of fantasy battlefield combat. Each player is doing their own thing to a certain extent and it becomes increasingly difficult to coordinate between players. KDM is completely the opposite and it's likely that if you play with 4 players, at some point someone's survivor is going to die on a hunt event and one player will have to sit around for hours with nothing to do. Even worse, at 4 players one person is probably going to get stuck on Cat's Eye Circlet or Rawhide Headband duty for an entire gaming session which isn't much better than having nothing to do.

Probably one of the most innovative aspects of Gloomhaven is that it is widely lauded for fixing the notorious alpha gamer issue that many coop games have - the tendency of one individual to dominate game decisions. KDM does nothing to address this, and if anything probably exacerbates it by being so brutally unforgiving to bad decisions. In KDM, everyone really needs to be on the same page where Gloomhaven is much more accommodating to those players who like to freestyle a bit. Gloomhaven can afford to do this because, again, there's that safety net that prevents anything really bad from happening.

Overall, I like both games for different reasons as both have their place. Gloomhaven is a fun game for 3-4 people to play together for some light entertainment and is rightfully seen as a best of breed board game dungeon crawler. KDM is virtually an art project as board game that arguably works best at 1-2 players and probably should never be played with more than 3. KDM will knock you down and dare you to figure out a way to stand up again while Gloomhaven just wants you to have a fun time beating up the bad guys and winning the day like the traditional heroic stories of any fantasy epic. Who you are, what your game group is like, and why you play board games should inform which game will appeal to you more.
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Willian Boit Silva
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I have both. They are both RPGs but Thety're totally different games.One is a pure Dungeon Crawler and the other is like a civilization/loot and craft game through the monsters.It's like you compare a Japanese RPG, Final Fantasy video game and a Western RPG like Mass Effect. They are completely diffetent buy the both are RPGs.
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sam newman

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RepublicLifeHuman wrote:
I have both and am in the process of playing through KDM solo and Gloomhaven with a group. Here are my initial impressions, focusing exclusively on gameplay:

First off, the fundamental difference between these two games is like tightrope walking. Gloomhaven has a safety net that prevents anything really bad from happening to you where the worst thing that can happen is being forced to repeat a location if you fail. In KDM there is no safety net, the game is completely built around bad things happening to you and how you deal with it, sort of like life. You will make mistakes and suffer bad luck and your task is to figure out how to keep your settlement going. Gloomhaven is light entertainment and KDM is a work of art, which is fine because some people just want to go watch the latest Disney Marvel movie at the theatre and others want to spend an evening watching a niche artsy movie that challenges their beliefs and their preconceived notions of human existence.

In KDM, the combat portion of the game is maybe 50% of the game, and arguably not even the most exciting part depending on what you're fighting. In Gloomhaven, the combat portion is almost everything, pretty much 90% or more of what you're doing. Most of the Road and City event decisions you'll make have minor outcomes like unlocking a particular side mission or a small change in money or a slight negative heading into the next fight. Gloomhaven, much like other dungeon crawler games (Descent for example) is virtually a fantasy themed combat simulator.

The vast majority of the decisions you make playing Gloomhaven are small tactical ones like what monster to hit or what door to open first or whether to be greedy and grab a bit more treasure before finishing off the bad guys. The decisions you make in KDM are constantly game altering and even the smallest have the potential to have campaign altering consequences. The decision to bring a single piece of equipment on a hunt can have a huge effect not just on the outcome of one year but on the future of your entire settlement in extreme cases.

Gloomhaven is simple once you figure out what options your character has. In fact, as you use your cards up you will quickly run out of options and the game feels a bit like it's on rails because all you can really do is what the cards you have left let you do. KDM seems almost endlessly dense in terms of possibilities. As you move into the mid game, it's very easy think for hours about all the possible directions to go with endeavours, resources at hand, what to innovate, what gear to build, what survivors to send out on a hunt or against a nemesis, how to assemble gear grids, what risks to take. Trying to think ahead and plan the future of your settlement is like trying to unravel a massive puzzle where you think there is the perfect answer somewhere if you just look for it... and then the game punches you in the gut anyway blowing up everything you thought you were planning for.

In Gloomhaven, the enemies you fight at level 1 can be sort of the same as the enemies you fight at level 2 through 9, they will just be significantly upgraded version of those enemies. The Bandit Guard you fought at level 1 will somehow be a much more powerful Bandit Guard when you fight it at higher levels, it's the illusion of progress and character advancement in a game that completely matches its difficulty to the power level of the characters. You have the option of playing the game on higher difficulty levels, but that will just result in you falling into your safety net more and having to repeat the same location again... which isn't all that fun. In KDM, when your survivors have amazing equipment and bonuses to a bunch of stats you can still go back and fight that level 1 White Lion... but you'll absolutely slaughter it easily. In KDM you have a significant degree of control over what you fight when, which creates a complex decision every time your survivors go on a hunt. Are you fighting something too difficult at the risk of losing an entire year of development? Will the hunt events cripple one or more of your survivors, resulting in the loss of everyone in the showdown phase? Or are you being too conservative by going after a lower level monster that won't provide the settlement the resources it needs to be competitive against higher level nemesis monsters later in the campaign?

Gloomhaven is a pure multiplayer game, in that it is at its best with the maximum number of players because that's when it comes the closest to accurately reflecting the chaos of fantasy battlefield combat. Each player is doing their own thing to a certain extent and it becomes increasingly difficult to coordinate between players. KDM is completely the opposite and it's likely that if you play with 4 players, at some point someone's survivor is going to die on a hunt event and one player will have to sit around for hours with nothing to do. Even worse, at 4 players one person is probably going to get stuck on Cat's Eye Circlet or Rawhide Headband duty for an entire gaming session which isn't much better than having nothing to do.

Probably one of the most innovative aspects of Gloomhaven is that it is widely lauded for fixing the notorious alpha gamer issue that many coop games have - the tendency of one individual to dominate game decisions. KDM does nothing to address this, and if anything probably exacerbates it by being so brutally unforgiving to bad decisions. In KDM, everyone really needs to be on the same page where Gloomhaven is much more accommodating to those players who like to freestyle a bit. Gloomhaven can afford to do this because, again, there's that safety net that prevents anything really bad from happening.

Overall, I like both games for different reasons as both have their place. Gloomhaven is a fun game for 3-4 people to play together for some light entertainment and is rightfully seen as a best of breed board game dungeon crawler. KDM is virtually an art project as board game that arguably works best at 1-2 players and probably should never be played with more than 3. KDM will knock you down and dare you to figure out a way to stand up again while Gloomhaven just wants you to have a fun time beating up the bad guys and winning the day like the traditional heroic stories of any fantasy epic. Who you are, what your game group is like, and why you play board games should inform which game will appeal to you more.


I think poots mentioned scouts of death in the advanced rulebook will address the issue of 4 players games, where 1 player dies and sits out. I think he mentioned that the scout is sort of like a reserve 5th character that is there to bring back loot should u all die. But you can instead bring him onto the battlefield should someone die at the risk of everyone dying and having nobody left to bring back your loot.
 
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Igor Persin
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If scouts of death functioned like that, wouldn't that break the game? You send your survivors, having all you gear 2/3 in the game and you loose it all. So what, now you have almost nothing after it and you go to hunt lv1 something because he is only thing you can manage then with almost no gear at all. Next nemesis figt, yea, better have 4 meat bags to throw at him, because something is telling me with barely any gear, you are not really supposed to win?
 
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sam newman

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I believe they also give other bonuses but it is in the advanced rulebook so its probably designed for those who have played kdm a lot. Also it is an option. Since oyu dont have to replace a lost surviovr with a scout.


I may be very wrong on this, if someone can find the info poots said about scouts of death then that would clarify it.
 
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sam newman

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Ok found info on it


Scouts will watch and record what happens during the showdown (what this means in game terms nobody knows)

Scouts job is to carry the loot and equipment from a hunt.

Scouts may "join the fight" during a showdown at the risk of party wipe losing all gear.


Scouts are designed to improve Settlement development and Monster fighting capabilities.
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BG.EXE
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Everyone has compared these XD
They’re really dissimilar. Though I greatly prefer KD:M.
 
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Mark Watson
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smurfORnot wrote:
If scouts of death functioned like that, wouldn't that break the game? You send your survivors, having all you gear 2/3 in the game and you loose it all. So what, now you have almost nothing after it and you go to hunt lv1 something because he is only thing you can manage then with almost no gear at all.

2/3rds into the game the only way you won't have enough gear to equip a small army already in storage is if you were going for a tooth and fist / gearless build to begin with. Either way, it's unlikely to be that big a deal.



 
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Matt
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I think the comparison happens because they are both really involving games. For me personally, I love games I can play solo, and I love being able to really dive into the same game over and over, and both Gloomhaven and KD:M are great for that, and Gloomhaven is my #2 game and KD:M is #1 (though by quite a margin).

But yeah, they are quite different. KD:M is more about building your settlement than any one character. Characters will die, sometimes quite unexpectedly, but fortunately in most cases your gear will live on, and that's how you upgrade over time.

I love how both give me a tactical experience. The 4 on 1 boss battles in KD:M are unmatched in complexity, but Gloomhaven has a lot going on in its battles, and that's a big part of why its my #2 board game. Especially compared to other "dungeon crawlers" like the D&D ones or even more recent ones like Sword and Sorcery.
 
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sam newman

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Darklight - Memento mori looks like an interesting game and probably a fairer comparison to gloomhaven
 
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