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Subject: help with Brute and Spellweaver combo (solo) rss

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Craig Dube
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I love this game but am having a heck of a time getting anywhere in my solo game with a brute and spellweaver combo. I successfully finished the first mission and have had 3 attempts at the 2nd one. I'm not even close to clearing the enemies and am looking for any advice, tips or strategies.

Playing solo, I have the enemies level at 2 and I'm finding them fairly challenging to take down. I don't want to drop their level to make it too easy but right now I feel like I'm just grinding for xp so that I can eventually leave, level up, and then return with a fighting chance.

I think one thing I'm really struggling with is figuring how to maximize the spellweaver. With so many of the vast majority of the spellweaver's attacks being ranged, I find that with scenario 2 the quarters become tight and she is soon adjacent to a host of enemies; which at this point I am now operating under the Disadvantage condition. The range of most of her spells isn't that strong that she can fall too far back and it seems the enemies close ranks on her very quickly.

One small rules question I wasn't sure of was am I at a Disadvantage if I am invisible and adjacent to an enemy?

Anyone out there playing this combo solo? If so, what would you advise?

Thanks!
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Steve Gabrielli
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I would play the monsters on normal level. Both your characters are level 1, even tho your are playing solo, why increase the difficulty to Hard?
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Jussi-Pekka Jokinen
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sgabrie854 wrote:
I would play the monsters on normal level. Both your characters are level 1, even tho your are playing solo, why increase the difficulty to Hard?


I guess the OP did the same mistake I did, and didn't divide the average character level by 2. The solo modifier can be a bit brutal in the beginning, especially when you're still learning the game.
 
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Matthew Gardner
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I agree with keeping the difficulty at 1 especially if you are struggling. You can always bump it up again if needed.

Also, remember that having an enemy adjacent to you is not what causes ranged attacks to be disadvantaged.

Quote:
Any ranged attack targetting an adjacent enemy gains Disadvantage against that target

Even if you are surrounded by enemies, your ranged attack is not disadvantaged against any targets at least 2 hexes away.

I tried the Brute + Spellweaver combo, and agree it can be challenging. My difficulty (at low level, anyways) is this pair doesn’t have a great way to consistently do high damage to single targets. Once you get used to the mechanics, maybe try adding a Scoundrel or Mind Thief to this group. Even though the monster count will go up, you may find the battles are easier overall as each character will be able to play off the other’s strengths.
 
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Jay Johnson
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as Matthew mentioned, having an enemy adjacent to you doesn't make ALL your ranged attacks disadvantaged, just the ranged attacks against targets that are adjacent to you.

So let's say your spellweaver uses Fire Orbs to target Enemy A that is adjacent (1 hex away), Enemy B that is 2 hexes away, and Enemy C that is 3 hexes away.
The attack against A is disadvantaged, since Fire Orbs is a ranged attack, so you would draw 2 AttMod cards for the attack on A and choose the worst one.
But your attack against B isn't disadvantaged, so you'd just pull one AttMod card for that one
And same for your attack against C, so again, just one AttMod card.

Invisibility has nothing to do with it.
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Kenny Felts
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The OP is correctly playing level 2 enemies. When playing solo you are instructed to increase enemy and trap level by 1 to account for the ability to perfectly coordinate card play. You do not increase xp bonus nor gold conversion rate.

That said, you can certainly reduce the level if you find normal too hard.

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wojciech slusarczyk
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I was redoing this Barrow Lair recently with Spell Waver and Brute. I was in a little bit better situations as both were level 2 and had some equipment - I was doing it to collect treasure chest. I was a little bit unlucky and ended short of 1 attack to win scenario, but got the treasure, so half success.

Spoiler scenario 2, obviously:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
The general advice for this scenario is to give the boss as few actions as possible. So after opening the door kill him as quickly as possible. Don't let him produce more enemies. (I waited for the room with treasure to open and in the end to many enemies has spawned).
The boss on level 2 has only 24 health for 2 characters. So in theory you could be able to kill him in 2-3 rounds. Some tips here:
-Create wind element with Brute, and cast Crackling Air for Spell Waver, its gives you +2 attack on next 5 4 attacks (do it before opening the door)
-Flame Strike has an attack on the bottom, so with the correct SW positioning you could possibly make 2 attacks in one turn. (With crackling air its about 9 dmg).
-If you are unable to use bottom line of Flame Strike, you can always go for Fire Orbs and Flame Strike on the next round to apply burn (which will give you few additional dmg).
-With 8 movement (skewer + boots) Brute can reach from the first room to the boss in one go. And deal him 8 dmg (Balanced measure). Additional benefit is that Brute will do the tanking.

Other things:
-Brute can soak some damage with Warding Strength. So try to position him ahead.
-SW summon could help, but there is not good time to cast it. If yo created it in first room it will take him forever to move close to the boss. And after entering Bandits Command chamber, you don' really have time for this - you need to kill the boss ASAP.
So probably use it in first room. Kill the boss without waiting for summon. Let it help with clean up afterwards.
-Living corpses move slowly (most of the time). Let them take their time exiting their rooms. And kill the boss in meantime.
-From the setup there are no large packs of enemies. 2 creatures first room, boss + archer second. AOE cards of SW might not be so useful here (especially Freezing nova, afterwards Impaling Eruption). But do get all single target attacks.
-Do not play any lost attack cards with SW in first room. Only use lost cards with longer benefit - crackling air. And MAYBE your summon (as this way you are loosing 2 cards with is quite much).
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Jeroen
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- Scenario 2 is notoriously difficult and swingy. Don't hesitate to lower the difficulty.
- Your Brute is not a tank. Try to avoid getting hit while dealing as much damage as possible.
- Your Spellweaver should always be able to find a target at range. You can ignore or step away from adjacent monsters.
- For new players, I'd advise not using Lost cards for the Brute, except Warding Strength (the shield card).
- The Spellweaver should use an AoE whenever she can hit 3 targets. I would not use Crackling Air, but your summon. Make sure to keep it alive.
- Some more tips: https://www.reddit.com/r/Gloomhaven/comments/6lmxz3/class_gu...

Spoilers lvl 2:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
In room 2, kill the Elite Archer first. Hit the Boss as often as you can. Let the Living Corpses come to you. If you can take the Commander down quickly, that's great, but you can still win if he opens all 4 doors. If that happens, just take it slow yourself. Remember, if there is no move (or attack) on the small monster card, it does not move/attack that round
 
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Fito R
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In a two-character party, there's real consideration for Crackling Air, especially with a Brute that can generate Wind on a non-loss movement card. Given the smaller count of enemies present, Spellweavers might be better off with fewer multi-target loss cards, and +8 damage total from Crackling Air certainly plays well with that.

Of course, that sort of combo might be better suited for when you are more familiarized and experience with your characters, but don't dismiss it outright.
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Darren Nakamura
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vvojtas wrote:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
-Create wind element with Brute, and cast Crackling Air for Spell Waver, its gives you +2 attack on next 5 attacks (do it before opening the door)


My reading of Crackling Air is that you would have to consume air to get the +2 each time you use a charge, not that you consume the air when you put the card out to gain +2 on all of them. Also, it's four attacks.
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wojciech slusarczyk
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Dexter345 wrote:


My reading of Crackling Air is that you would have to consume air to get the +2 each time you use a charge, not that you consume the air when you put the card out to gain +2 on all of them. Also, it's four attacks.


My mistake on number of charges - its 4.
But you consume air on casting and it gives +2 on all uses.
From the FAQ: https://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/thing%3A174430%3AOfficia...


Quote:
Crackling Air (Card 069):
Keep track of whether you consumed air when you used this ability by placing another character token on the card.
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Craig Dube
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Thanks everyone for the great suggestions! I was definitely playing the ranged attack disadvantage rule wrong as I was giving the Spellweaver disadvantage to all attacks as soon as an enemy became adjacent. I played the rule correctly yesterday and failed my fourth time. The good news however was that the Spellweaver had enough XP to level up so I returned to Gloomhaven leveled her up. I also took the opportunity to swap out one my my Brute level 1 cards for a "X" card (the skewer one).

After surviving a road event, I returned to the Barrow's Lair and I'm thrilled to say I finally got the victory (5th time is the charm, right?). I ended up going through 1/2 of the curses in the first room but that was ok, b/c those enemies weren't fairing that well either. After finally dispatching them, we burst into the next room and began the attack. The big fight went on for a bit, but he only managed to Special 1 once and Special 2 three times. I was able to get some great positioning to take care of multiples effectively and walked out with the win.

The Brute now has enough XP to level up so back to Gloomhaven we return!

Thanks again!
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Guðbrandur Magnússon
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Remember that you can pick your cards anytime you start a mission, not just in Gloomhaven. (Or that's how I understand it). And in short missions like this one some weird cards become viable.
The Brute loss attack for 6 becomes instantly more useful when you really just need to kill the one target and the Spellweaver 8 speed jump can mean the difference between standing in the crowd and standing right behind the boss. I tried this mission with her + Brute as well and I did just this, 8 move jump next to the boss on the side of the A door and then I laid every non-loss energy bolt in my arsenal on him, buffed by cackling energy too. The Archer took her down but the Brute was able to crush the boss with the big lose attack.

Spellweaver isn't very good at killing bosses, she's the least flexible starter character with just 9 options to her name and just 6 in hand, AoE cards are useless in the second room. This messes with her usual tempo of blasting swathes of foes to bitz with 3-5 strength area attacks inbetween repositioning and swatting the survivors with small energy bolts.

The ironic thing is that the Spellweaver actually gets stronger in this mission if you up the player count to 3, extra foes give her extra targets for her attacks and the extra body can pick up her slack against the boss, the Spellweaver suffers a bit in 2 player simply because of the slightly diluted enemy volume.
 
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Craig Dube
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It seems I misunderstood the rules about swapping out cards as well. I had thought that b/c Scenario 1 and Scenario 2 are linked, that I couldn't swap cards at Scenario 2 without first returning to Gloomhaven. Knowing I can change the mix of cards in my hand between linked scenarios is definitely good to know!

 
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Duncan Bradley
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ErroneousPlanet wrote:
I love this game but am having a heck of a time getting anywhere in my solo game with a brute and spellweaver combo. I successfully finished the first mission and have had 3 attempts at the 2nd one. I'm not even close to clearing the enemies and am looking for any advice, tips or strategies.

Playing solo, I have the enemies level at 2 and I'm finding them fairly challenging to take down. I don't want to drop their level to make it too easy but right now I feel like I'm just grinding for xp so that I can eventually leave, level up, and then return with a fighting chance.

I think one thing I'm really struggling with is figuring how to maximize the spellweaver. With so many of the vast majority of the spellweaver's attacks being ranged, I find that with scenario 2 the quarters become tight and she is soon adjacent to a host of enemies; which at this point I am now operating under the Disadvantage condition. The range of most of her spells isn't that strong that she can fall too far back and it seems the enemies close ranks on her very quickly.

One small rules question I wasn't sure of was am I at a Disadvantage if I am invisible and adjacent to an enemy?

Anyone out there playing this combo solo? If so, what would you advise?

Thanks!


Wow! I played and had almost the same problems this week it would seem: I played Gloomhaven for the first time this weekend, playing solo, with Brute and SpellWeaver as well! However, I had been advised that Scenario 1 was tricky so I played it on level 0 monsters and found I ripped through it. So I went into scenario 2 all cocky and upped the monsters to level 1...and got destroyed! I was apparently burning through my lost cards too fast. So I tried again at level 1 monsters and this time conserved my cards as much as possible...and got destroyed. So I tried again at level 0 this time and conserving my cards until the ROI appeared to justify it....and succeeded in completing it with my last move of the game!
Lessons learned: Card/Stamina management vital as was target prioritization, conserving lost card effects until later and with big payout. I left the slower moving living corpses till the end, but because of their high HP (10 at elite for level 0) I almost ran out of time because I had let the boss open 3 doors. I should have made him a higher priority, but the archer was wrecking me and living bones kept appearing in my path and hitting me then healing themselves so hung around forever!

All that said, there are so many nuances I can see that learning, replaying and mastering will be a joy and not a grind/drudge...like I have found for example in Dark Souls the board game. But it was truly satisfying to complete it in the end!

Super Easy Difficulty FTW and not randomly throwing fireballs around all the time...at least until I figure out what I am doing and get better at it!
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