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Subject: Solo Frustration - Beginning to Lose Intrest in the Game rss

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Robert Hahn
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So I've played 6 session of Gloomhaven solo.

Playing Brute and Spellweaver.

So far I've got 1 win* and 5 losses

Game 1, Scenario 1 - It was a close call but I won* this scenario. However the asterisk is there because I discovered I played it without the +1 level bump for solo. Figured new game, growing pains... just keep going. As a reward for this scenario I got access to Scenario 2 and Scenario 67.

Games 2-4, Scenario 2 (with solo bump) -
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Not even close. Never had a chance to win. The Boss has so many hit points. One time I think I got him before he opened the 3rd room but that meant he'd summoned so many bones I was getting gutted. The other two time I couldn't kill him till after all the doors were open. There are just so many hit points to take out and none of my attacks do more than 3 on a hit (+/- the deck draw.) Tried some X cards but no noticeable effect. After 3 fails decided to try 67.


Games 5-6, Scenario 67 (with solo bump) -
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Felt good on my first play through. The fey and bears relatively easy to deal with but then I opened the golem room and WTF? Level 1 scenario bumped to level 2 for solo means the golem is bumped to level 3 (rules of scenario) which means it has 30 hit points (rules of scenario) and a Shield of 3. SHIELD OF 3!!! My attacks don't do more than 3 (unless I'm willing to lose the card.) WTF? Gained enough XP to level so tried it again with level 2 heroes but the few extra hp and level 2 cards didn't make a noticeable difference.


I guess I'm gonna give scenario 67 one more go without the solo bump but if I feel like I still don't have a chance then I might be done with this game. The solo bump doesn't feel like its a well thought out or tested rule and that makes me worry about the rest of the game. Anyone else have a similar/different experience. Thoughts appreciated.
 
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Mike Daneman
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You can also lower the difficulty (beyond removing the solo bump). Don't feel like you HAVE to play at the recommended difficulty - the point is to have fun. Once you get more experience with the game, you can consider increasing difficulty back up.
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Grey Fox
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Easiest solution here is to simply play with the normal difficulty level. I personally don't think that there's really all that much of a difference in coordination in 1 player vs 2 players to justify a bump in difficulty, but whatever, just play on easy (actually normal).

As for a boost in damage, the only thing I can recommend from the top of my head, is to bring the Spellweaver summon along and the Brute card that has the X damage where X is how much you moved. That last one, coupled with the boots that give you +2 move (and the fact that you can just dance in place) should give you a good damage boost.

Best of luck in your future endeavors!

Edit: Also consider getting blessings from donations.
 
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Jay Johnson
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solo bump is just a suggestion anyway. If the game is more fun for you at the normal non-bumped level, then play at that level. If things start to feel too easy, then re-institute the bump.

And since you're playing solo, feel free to try out some of the other starting characters. You may find that different combos have different synergies that may match your playing style better and provide more fun for you.
 
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Tristan Whitley
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wraith428 wrote:
Games 2-4, Scenario 2 (with solo bump)

I just beat scenario 2 last night after a horrible first attempt. I am soloing with 3 characters (Brute, SW, and Tink) and found that the Tinkerer was really helpful in not only doing damage, but helping out the Spellweaver.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
On the second attempt, I used every possible option I could to get close to the boss as soon as opening the door and smacking him with my best moves in order to knock him down, including Wounding and Poisoning him as well as using a minor power potion. His first 2 rounds he summoned living bones, and I killed him on the 3rd round before he managed to open the first door. Only after this point did I start killing the other things in that main room.
 
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Andreas Kortegaard
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Hey.

Never played solo, but reading the forums plenty of other people did. Maybe take a look around for strategy tips, or the many "missed rules" threads.

General consensus is the game is harder in the beginning, as gear, new powers, hit points scale faster than the monsters.

The start can be harsh, and the level bump for solo might feel over the top as you're getting into the groove of the game. Remember you don't raise scenario level till you're characters have 5 levels combined. So at level 1 you're early on the curve.

The level bump is meant to combat the lack of the planning friction put into the game (secret dungeon goals, non-perfect knowledge, life quests) that is there to combat alpha gaming in a multi player co-op setting (imo). If you don't actually focus on the added knowledge you get from knowing exact initiative, planned targeting and damage values you lose that edge.

All in all drop the level bump if you don't have fun. Level 0 exist, so you're meant to be able to downgrade the difficulty.

For your class combo, some suggestions:
-Get some tank gear for the brute (helmet, shield, hide) it takes out a lot of the incoming damage, but focus on single damage powers.
-The brute is a bit slow, but try and get him to go before the spellweaver, it will help with monster targeting.
-Find a rhythm for the spellweaver. You won't have a lot of elements from the brute to feed off, for early level damage boost, so make sure she uses her own. And make sure you get the significance of the ether spell.
-Also maybe use her a bit as a healer till the brute is set for tank gear.

Hope you find your fun.
 
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Mauro Moura
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Scenario 2 is honestly not a good scenario in my opinion (the only one I'd say is bad in the whole game), the boss is prone to some very unfun behaviors depending on RNG, like summoning infinite skeletons or just jumping around like a maniac.

The solo bump can be kinda wonky on low levels cause of excessive shields in some mobs, but you can solve your golem problem by trying to wound and poison him, the poison will essentialy counter 1 of his shield, the wound will deal damage regardless of shield. The Brute also has a pierce 2 attack wich ignores 2 shield and is a way to do some extra damage, Brutes can also use move boots + the move 6 card and attack with balanced measure wich results in an attack for 8. And if youre runing Brute and Spellweaver combo the Brutes leaping cleave move to generate air, and then consume the air with the Spellweaver to cast Crackling Air adding 2 damage to each of your attacks rather than 1.

Also you're not forced to play with the solo bump, or even on normal difficulty, play at an easier difficulty till you get the hang of the game.
 
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Simon Ng
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I play solo with monster level 0 (one level below the easy level for solo) and are having a blast, I like my games to be easy.

Also maybe check this thread for easy to miss rules, maybe you've missed something that made the game hard for you

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1727703/easy-miss-rules
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Jared Heath
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Those 2 classes might not be great as a duo.

I play solo with 4 classes (scoundrel, mind thief, cragheart, tinker). I still have close calls with the +1.

Scenario 2 is awful.
 
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Menin Gate at Midnight, Will Longstaff, 1927.
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Spellweaver is a great character when playing with 4 people [and thus many enemies], because they specialise in multi-target and area-of-effect abilities, but they're pretty poor Solo or with 2 people.

When playing Solo, or with 2 people, I highly recommend playing with the Scoundrel. They do a huge amount of focused damage on single enemies and can move around the map pretty quickly [and at a good initiative] to tactically manoeuvre where you need to be. Rather than re-start your game, just create a new Scoundrel character and start them from scratch; I'm pretty confident you'll have a more enjoyable experience.
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Ben Martell
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I've never even tried to play it with the solo bump. Just play it on normal difficulty and have fun.

I also think that the idea of mandating a solo bump was a bad idea. Would have been better to suggest that some people might find solo easier (because of open information) and so they might consider the alternate approach as a variant.

Also, I find playing three players solo is a good balance - two is too prone to the vagaries of the specific combo - generally you will find you get benefits of AoE damage/healing abilities without heavily relying on needing them. Try adding in a Cragheart or Tinkerer for their healing.
 
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Eric Frank
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I have been playing solo with 3 characters (Scoundrel, Spellweaver, and Brute) and find that to be a good combination. I never did use the difficulty bump and played the first few scenarios at on easy with a monster level of 0. I had some close calls but was able to barely win. With a bit more experience I decided to shift to normal difficulty and have stuck to that for the most part. I have had a couple of scenarios where I was beat pretty soundly a couple times at normal difficulty so dropped it to easy to get through them. A few scenarios have felt a bit easy but I'd rather that than keep losing. But that is just me. I am about to try hard difficulty and see how that goes.

Play it however suits you. It is hard at first until you start to get the hang of it but once that happens, for me at least, it is probably the most fun I have had playing a game solo or not.
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Andrew Sarnowski
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This game is a little like the Fire Emblem series in that "normal" difficulty is incredibly punishing early on and sometimes one bad bit of RNG leaves you starting over.
As everyone has said, feel free to drop the difficulty. It isn't cheating. It doesn't put an asterisk on your wins. It doesn't mean you're bad at games or that you're slacking. It's just the way the game is built. It's not beginner friendly. There is no tutorial. There are no easy missions at the start meant to let you learn your characters.
Games are about fun. If they aren't fun for you either adjust them so they are or drop them. No point in slogging.
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Pink Rose
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I play solo with 3 characters. Odd combo (Mindthief, Scoundrel, Spellweaver).
I try each scenario at normal level, no Solo Bump.
If I fail, I retry at Easy, 1 level lower.
Seems to work. I haven't got frustrated yet. Just now starting to see combos so I may add the Solo Bump here soon, and then downgrade from there as I inevitably lose.
There is no wrong way to play. (well, yes there is, don't cheat, I'll judge you)
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Seppo Sinisalo
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Ha!

Damn your difficulties get me pumped up to set up solo and get my ass handed back to me. Sadly too much effort running multiple campaings :/

perhaps when the game is through with my group years from now.
 
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Mike Wonham
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Stupid question I know, but:

You are using the right number and type of monsters? On the scenario map each monster location has three coloured corners. WIth TWO characters you should be using the upper left. Black = don't put the monster there. White = Normal and Yellow = Elite.

For scenario 2 tht means the first room only has two normal archers. The centre room only has the boss and one archer. The East and West wing only have two normal living corpses and the two southern rooms each only have 1 elite living corpse.

For two characters even at level 2 that's going ot allow you a lot of focus. Which is key on this scenario. Don't open the first door till you've killed the first two archers and then just focus on the boss. The quicker you kill him the fewer of the rest appear. Also, remember Living corpses are slooow. And half the time they push themselves a little hard and hurt themselves.

ALSO - if you've played it 6 times then by now you should have accumulated a little gold and some experience. Remember you keep that even if you DON'T complete the scenario. You should be looking at level 2 characters by now, which won't uplift the scenario difficulty but will give you a couple of useful abilities, and hit points. Gold buys items.

And finally, make use of the bless cards by donating at the sanctuary.
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Mike Wonham
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Some scenarios just aren't good for low level chars IMO. The shield factor makes some monsters impenetrable until you've had a chance to get a couple of bigger attack abilities, retaliation, or modified your attack deck to 'shift right' into the +x, or even add some pierce cards to the (e.g.) Brute.

In fact, I'd say shield is the single biggest pain in the butt in this game. We're currently playing with a Level 5 Brute a Level 4 CH and two level 1 unlocked. (Yeah, we didn't get prosperity going...). Last night played a scenario with some Shaman's. Only two of the characters even bothered attacking them as the others were wasting time doing so. Yes, poisoning something is great, but it doesn't help against shields if you're still basically an attack 2 character with a bunch of +0 and -1 cards in your deck. You still don't do immediate damage.

Having played 14 scenarios now, I'd say the 60 onwards aren't good for entry level characters, even at easy levels. Build your characters (and your own skill) through the quest scenarios first.

 
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Jörn Mang
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Amnese wrote:
Spellweaver is a great character when playing with 4 people [and thus many enemies], because they specialise in multi-target and area-of-effect abilities, but they're pretty poor Solo or with 2 people.

When playing Solo, or with 2 people, I highly recommend playing with the Scoundrel. They do a huge amount of focused damage on single enemies and can move around the map pretty quickly [and at a good initiative] to tactically manoeuvre where you need to be. Rather than re-start your game, just create a new Scoundrel character and start them from scratch; I'm pretty confident you'll have a more enjoyable experience.


I disagree. My wife and I chose Spellweaver and Cragheart as starting characters. They had great synergy and were very effective on their own too. Every scenario is beatable with those two. For solo play, I would recommend three characters, though. Scoundrel would be my choice as an addition, too.
 
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Hermann Steer
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I am also soloing, playing Brute, Mindthief and Tinkerer. While waiting for my KS to arrive, I read a lot of threads here on BGG. So I knew that the start is going to be hard.

I played Scenarios 1, 2 and 4 so far and all of them on level 0. Might be too easy, but I play the game to have fun. Trying the same scenario 3+ times is not fun for me.

And honestly, I don't feel that it is a piece of cake. Still ended up with exhausted characters here and there. Now that all my characters are level 2 I will raise the difficulty for the next scenario to 1 and then see from there.
My tip: Try to add a third character. It really improves the synergies a lot and therefore also helps out. Plus, more characters to retire, more stuff to unlock
 
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Vince De Zutter
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Darklet wrote:
My tip: Try to add a third character. It really improves the synergies a lot and therefore also helps out. Plus, more characters to retire, more stuff to unlock


This. And don't be afraid of rotating characters. I play with two other people regularly and we all have 3 active characters that we can use depending on the scenario. If we need more AoE for example, my roommate can swap his Brute for a Spellweaver. If we need more heavy single-target hits, my gf swaps a class for her Scoundrel. I usually play support (three classes built for either buffs, debuffs or heal/summons) and pick whatever characters the group/scenario requires.

It's also more fun to not have to play the same character all the time. I've seen people blame losing scenarios on a "bad guy" and it'll lead to them not really wanting to play that character anymore. You have to realise that no single class/combination in Gloomhaven is inherently bad - they just all have different pros and cons. Play with it a little.
 
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Jeroen
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- Drop the Solo bump.
- Adding a 3rd character (any of the others is great)makes the game easier, but also more fiddly, so it's not for everyone.
- You can adjust your deck after you have checked the scenario. For instance, the Brute might bring has cards with Pierce (only) to scenarios with Shielded monsters.

Brute and Spellweaver are a good duo, I played them solo myself.
Some tips: always bring both cards that create elements with the Brute. Use Warding Strength and Shield items, but don't 'tank'. Kill instead. When you open a door, it's usually best to step back out of range again.
The SW can drop 'Ride the Wind' and take the summon instead. Usually you should start a scenario by playing one of your AoE's. The first turn is often the most difficult one. Don't forget to use your Invisibility Cloak so you can open a door and still take no damage. Also you can tank if needed: by using the Cloak, or your Frost Armor, or by simply dropping cards before you play Reviving Ether. Just make sure you will not run out.

Scenario 2 is pretty nasty.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Kill the archers asap, open the door and either sprint with your boots or step back. On the next rounds kill the Elite Archer, followed by the boss. Don't worry about him opening doors. Ignore the Living Corpses, they will crawl toward you anyway. Only attack the Bones if you have nothing better to do or they would otherwise kill your summon.
 
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J D
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My group plays those same 2 characters (Brute and Spellweaver). The first couple scenarios are tough even without the solo bump. As others have said, get rid of the difficulty bump. After playing a few scenarios we have learned what each other have in the way of initiatives so we can just say, going fast or going to try and go last, and we know what each other is roughly going to play.
 
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Mauro Moura
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benmartell wrote:
I've never even tried to play it with the solo bump. Just play it on normal difficulty and have fun.

I also think that the idea of mandating a solo bump was a bad idea. Would have been better to suggest that some people might find solo easier (because of open information) and so they might consider the alternate approach as a variant.

Also, I find playing three players solo is a good balance - two is too prone to the vagaries of the specific combo - generally you will find you get benefits of AoE damage/healing abilities without heavily relying on needing them. Try adding in a Cragheart or Tinkerer for their healing.


I have to disagree here on the part where some ppl may find solo easier, solo is objectively easier cause you play with much more information and combo actions from one character with the other, it is not a matter of personal opnion/perception. You never run into the troble of having one character do something that completly screws the plans of another when playing solo cause you know what each character will do since they are all you. That said the solo bump is optional, the rulebook suggests that you use it to counterbalance the drop in difficulty but even if it mandated it you are already playing solo it is not like you have to abide to anyone's rules but yours.
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patrick mullen
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A few things:
1) play on easy (level 0, no solo bump) and have fun
2) the brute has cards that can do more than 3 damage. Look again.
3) Make sure the items you bring are going to help your build. Power potion for example can boost at least one of your attacks, boots of striding can help solve many movement issues

You are still learning the game, the difficulty scaling recommendations are really only applicable for experienced players.
 
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Nik Degtyarenko
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Solo bump expects you to perfectly combo all ability cards.
Which is hardly possiable for a new player.
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