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Subject: Fog of war variant: Should I adjust difficulty? rss

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Hugo Ferreira
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I, like many players, like to use Gloomhaven Scenario Viewer app (https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1878209/gloomhaven-scenario...) or the Interactive scenario PDFs with hidden sections (https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1773584/interactive-scenari...) to emulate the "fog of war". This makes the game more realistic for me, and helps me reduce meta-gaming, and increase actual role-playing (which is more fun for me).

There is the disadvantage of not being able to plan and choose ability cards in advance, or picking specific items and strategies...
Should I adjust the difficulty or maybe win some extra bonus scenario XP, for going in blind?
My monster and trap levels are being bumped up because I play solo (or I can play on easy, get monsters/traps at regular level, but win less bonus scenario XP). I feel that if we need to bump up difficulty for having that 1 player perfect information, we should also adjust something for going in blind. I just don't know how much that should be, in order to keep the game balanced.

Maybe get 1 or 2 extra XP points for beating the scenario blind on a 1st try? (As after the 1st try, you are no longer going in blind).

What do you think?
 
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Jay Johnson
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what do you mean by "going in blind"?

The intended design was for players to only know what was set up in the first room, along with all the types of monsters they would/could be facing (but not their numbers, locations, or whether elite/regular) and which tiles and overlays that would be used (but again, not their exact locations.

Of course, it is possible for the person setting up the scenario to peek at the setups for the subsequent rooms, but the actual balance of the game was based on just the above info going in.
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darhoth of darhothland
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I asked this same question before we started playing, and the consensus from those who had already played was that no difficulty adjustment was necessary. We have now played 5-6 scenarios this way and I do think it is harder. BUT I think it is a lot more fun and we play to keep the fog of war.
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Delith Malistar
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Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
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JayJ79 wrote:
what do you mean by "going in blind"?

The intended design was for players to only know what was set up in the first room, along with all the types of monsters they would/could be facing (but not their numbers, locations, or whether elite/regular) and which tiles and overlays that would be used (but again, not their exact locations.


Are you sure that was the intended design? Because there are much better ways to design this if that were the case. The easiest would have been keeping each room on it's own page in a book, with the monsters, traps, and treasure to add, and specifically saying "Don't turn the page until you open the door."

But as it is, without some way to hide the other rooms (like Scenario Viewer), I think the game is designed to know exactly where everything is, whether they are elite or regular, and numbers, just not lay any monsters out except the ones in the starting room. And this is only because some scenarios might run out of standees in later rooms and laying out monsters ahead of time might mess with that. I know people can say "Well, try not to look at that information." but let's be realistic here. If it wasn't meant to be looked at, then it should be just a little bit harder to look at then in your face, don't you think? At the very least, have a big bold sentence in the beginning saying "Only look at the beginning room you start in! Everything else should be secret!"

But to answer Hugo's question though, and give my own session report, I play with these PDFs to make it harder to know what is ahead. Not perfect, as it doesn't break down if all types of monsters are in the room, just the rooms and monster/trap spawns, which to me is "going in blind" as well. I also play solo, with only 2 characters. I personally choose not to play with the solo bump and find the game perfectly balanced for me. Not an easy sweep and even a loss every now and then. I equate that perfect balance to not having the solo bump but instead "going in blind". If I did use the included scenario book, I would have much more info about the scenario and would probably force myself to use the solo bump instead.
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Flo
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Malistar22 wrote:
JayJ79 wrote:
what do you mean by "going in blind"?

The intended design was for players to only know what was set up in the first room, along with all the types of monsters they would/could be facing (but not their numbers, locations, or whether elite/regular) and which tiles and overlays that would be used (but again, not their exact locations.


Are you sure that was the intended design?


There has already been multiple discussions on this subject here.

Malistar22 wrote:

Because there are much better ways to design this if that were the case. The easiest would have been keeping each room on it's own page in a book, with the monsters, traps, and treasure to add, and specifically saying "Don't turn the page until you open the door."


Do you realise how large the book would get? This is not practical.

Malistar22 wrote:

But as it is, without some way to hide the other rooms (like Scenario Viewer), I think the game is designed to know exactly where everything is, whether they are elite or regular, and numbers, just not lay any monsters out except the ones in the starting room.


You may think that, but it doesn't make it so. Jay has it right.

 
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Diane Mountford
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The rule with my party is that if we lose a scenario twice we bump the difficulty down by one level. But since bumping down also reduces gold and XP earnings, we never want to start at lower difficulty.

We play with the reveal-on-room-at-a-time app, but with knowledge of all the monsters we'll face and what tokens will be used (i.e., if there are going to be traps and/or difficult/hazardous terrain).
 
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Jay Johnson
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I don't know about anyone else, but I think it's quite easy to set up just the first room without really studying any of the future rooms. Sure you might have a vague sense of what is coming up, but no specifics unless you deliberately look into it.

The only exception is that the general layout of the map tiles is tough not to notice. So in order to not give the scenario setter-upper player too much of an advantage over the other players, perhaps all of the map tiles should be placed at the start of the scenario (just not the monsters or overlay tiles outside of the first room). So there would be a slight difference in knowledge compared to using an app or concealed PDF
 
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Delith Malistar
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Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
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florencka wrote:
You may think that, but it doesn't make it so. Jay has it right.


His and yours is also just opinion, as I have yet to see an official response to this question. Perhaps you can point me to the thread or post that has the answer from an official source as your post makes it sound like you are so sure I am wrong.
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Jay Johnson
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am I SURE? only about 90% sure, given the impression from how scenario setup is described in the rulebook and common sense.

But play it whichever way feels most fun for you and your group.
 
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Corey Mayo
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I play solo with the hidden information via the HIDDEN pdf. I've been playing on Normal difficulty, but without the +1 adjustment for solo play. I personally think the hidden dungeon information nicely counteracts the advantage I get from playing solo with open information.

As a tangential bit of info for ya, I will add that playing this way has taught me to anticipate monster placement in the next hidden room based on experience from previous scenarios. It's a minor thing, but it's fun trying to figure out if I'm going to be able to open a door AND attack (or open the door and NOT get attacked). I really like playing this way, and this tiny bit of extra strategy is enjoyable to work through.
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Hugo Ferreira
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JayJ79 wrote:
The intended design was for players to only know what was set up in the first room,

Can you please refer to were that is in the ruling?
According to the the FAQ:
"What is the exact order of my choices at the beginning of a scenario in terms of battle goals, ability cards, and equipped items?
The first thing you should do when starting a scenario (after going through a Road Event when applicable), is look in the scenario book to get the map tiles set up, all the monsters you will be fighting prepared, and apply any negative scenario effects. Next, you should deal battle goals and choose one. After choosing your battle goals, then you can decided which items you would like to equip from the ones you own (adding in -1 cards to you attack modifier deck when applicable) and which ability cards you would like to start with from the pool of those you have available to you."

Also, Isaac himself mentioned that you are supposed to "get out all the tiles and monsters you need based on the contents list for the scenario and then set it up as you go along" https://boardgamegeek.com/article/25058356#25058356, which means you would know what monsters you would encounter beforehand, and can adapt accordingly.
 
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Per Erlandsson
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Hugo_Ferreira wrote:
JayJ79 wrote:
The intended design was for players to only know what was set up in the first room,

Can you please refer to were that is in the ruling?
According to the the FAQ:
"What is the exact order ...

Isaac has clearly stated that the intention is that the monster positioning on the map is revealed once the door is opened. If you don't believe me then enjoy looking through the FAQs


I play one campaign with open information and one with Fog of War. Advantage of open info is less downtime turns (hard to storm an unkown room) while the Fog of War mode adds more tension and makes flexible and high Movement Cards better.


I would suggest letting your group try out both modes and see what they like more. Difficulty wise it should never matter since you should be adjusting Difficulty to just below where you fail "too often"!
 
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Kenny Felts
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Hugo_Ferreira wrote:
JayJ79 wrote:
The intended design was for players to only know what was set up in the first room,

Can you please refer to were that is in the ruling?
According to the the FAQ:
"What is the exact order of my choices at the beginning of a scenario in terms of battle goals, ability cards, and equipped items?
The first thing you should do when starting a scenario (after going through a Road Event when applicable), is look in the scenario book to get the map tiles set up, all the monsters you will be fighting prepared, and apply any negative scenario effects. Next, you should deal battle goals and choose one. After choosing your battle goals, then you can decided which items you would like to equip from the ones you own (adding in -1 cards to you attack modifier deck when applicable) and which ability cards you would like to start with from the pool of those you have available to you."

Also, Isaac himself mentioned that you are supposed to "get out all the tiles and monsters you need based on the contents list for the scenario and then set it up as you go along" https://boardgamegeek.com/article/25058356#25058356, which means you would know what monsters you would encounter beforehand, and can adapt accordingly.


You can do all of that without looking at set-up of anything other than the first room. You'll know the monster types and any tokens/overlays/traps but not where they'll be. The app makes this easier than trying to cover part of the page while setting up.
 
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Darren Nakamura
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Hugo_Ferreira wrote:
Maybe get 1 or 2 extra XP points for beating the scenario blind on a 1st try? (As after the 1st try, you are no longer going in blind).

What do you think?


I wouldn't make any changes to the reward structure for going in blind. If you wanted to give yourself bonus XP, sure, but I don't think you need to.
 
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Flo
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Malistar22 wrote:
florencka wrote:
You may think that, but it doesn't make it so. Jay has it right.


His and yours is also just opinion, as I have yet to see an official response to this question. Perhaps you can point me to the thread or post that has the answer from an official source as your post makes it sound like you are so sure I am wrong.


Personally I don't care whether you (or OP) play as intended. I offered you information on this. If you don't feel like searching FAQ and forum for Isaacs statement on this, and you don't believe multiple people here that said you're wrong, then it's your thing. I don't feel like doing extra work just so you also know you're wrong.
 
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Sean Fletcher
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Malistar22 wrote:
...But to answer Hugo's question though, and give my own session report, I play with these PDFs to make it harder to know what is ahead. Not perfect, as it doesn't break down if all types of monsters are in the room, just the rooms and monster/trap spawns, which to me is "going in blind" as well. I also play solo, with only 2 characters. I personally choose not to play with the solo bump and find the game perfectly balanced for me. Not an easy sweep and even a loss every now and then. I equate that perfect balance to not having the solo bump but instead "going in blind". If I did use the included scenario book, I would have much more info about the scenario and would probably force myself to use the solo bump instead.


This has been my experience too. It’s not perfect, as you can still lose, and at that point doing your second run has many, if not all, of the “hidden information“ spoiled. Regardless, I’ve enjoyed the feel of the game played this way.
 
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Nick Caporin
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Have a rotating GM for the game who is in charge of setup. That way everyone only knows what monsters they will encounter during the scenario and only what has been revealed.

Personally, I GM all my games. While I may know where things will be placed, I ask the other players what doors we should go through. It allows them to play with that element of surprise, and as a GM I love being able to provide that.

In addition, I do not pull out treasure chest tiles until they are revealed. I do this so the other players are not busting through doors to "Find the Treasure", but rather to "Search for Treasure". This keeps them more focused on the mission as they have no idea if opening all doors will yield any results.

If we finish a scenario without revealing a treasure chest, then they will never know about it and we will likely not return for a casual run to search for one.
 
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patrick mullen
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florencka wrote:
Malistar22 wrote:
florencka wrote:
You may think that, but it doesn't make it so. Jay has it right.


His and yours is also just opinion, as I have yet to see an official response to this question. Perhaps you can point me to the thread or post that has the answer from an official source as your post makes it sound like you are so sure I am wrong.


Personally I don't care whether you (or OP) play as intended. I offered you information on this. If you don't feel like searching FAQ and forum for Isaacs statement on this, and you don't believe multiple people here that said you're wrong, then it's your thing. I don't feel like doing extra work just so you also know you're wrong.


I've searched and I agree with Malistar. Official statements in just the rulebook and FAQ are ambiguous at best as to how much of the scenario setup information should be kept hidden. Searching outside of the faq and rulebook has not revealed any definitive statements from Isaac on this matter, although there is a ton of content to search through so I may have missed it

That said I don't know that the difficulty would change that much. It's generally only 2 or 3 turns that are affected by knowing or not knowing what's on the other side of the door. If it feels too hard you can always drop the difficulty by 1. Or lose on your first try and then play a second time with perfect information?

(For me that's the biggest knock against hidden rooms. You still are only playing with the information hidden one time, if you lose because of a poor door choice you are going to replay it and not make that mistake again... Which is different from the other uncertainty in the game that stays uncertain each time.)
 
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Scott Burns
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saluk wrote:
florencka wrote:
Malistar22 wrote:
florencka wrote:
You may think that, but it doesn't make it so. Jay has it right.


His and yours is also just opinion, as I have yet to see an official response to this question. Perhaps you can point me to the thread or post that has the answer from an official source as your post makes it sound like you are so sure I am wrong.


Personally I don't care whether you (or OP) play as intended. I offered you information on this. If you don't feel like searching FAQ and forum for Isaacs statement on this, and you don't believe multiple people here that said you're wrong, then it's your thing. I don't feel like doing extra work just so you also know you're wrong.


I've searched and I agree with Malistar. Official statements in just the rulebook and FAQ are ambiguous at best as to how much of the scenario setup information should be kept hidden. Searching outside of the faq and rulebook has not revealed any definitive statements from Isaac on this matter, although there is a ton of content to search through so I may have missed it :)

That said I don't know that the difficulty would change that much. It's generally only 2 or 3 turns that are affected by knowing or not knowing what's on the other side of the door. If it feels too hard you can always drop the difficulty by 1. Or lose on your first try and then play a second time with perfect information?

(For me that's the biggest knock against hidden rooms. You still are only playing with the information hidden one time, if you lose because of a poor door choice you are going to replay it and not make that mistake again... Which is different from the other uncertainty in the game that stays uncertain each time.)


You must have missed it! Pretty clear from what i have read (from memory) that you should not know the composition of the rooms beyond the first except for tile layout, types of monsters etc, but not exact positions. Makes bursting through a door with a range 1 one-shot or big melee attack ready to go much more dicey (as it should be unless you have xray vision...) Some poeple play with all the monsters/rooms setup from the start to save time mid game no havng to setup new rooms, but can be is problematic with standee limits.
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Chris Willott
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Personally, I love having the rooms hidden. We know the types of monsters we'll face, and the types of traps/overlays (this is all information we've gleaned from other mercenaries who have made failed forays), but exact numbers, positions, strengths will vary.
And although I find all the rules ahead of time, I now just place them one at a time. We don't even know the size of the room until the door opens!

The Gloomhaven app is awesome for that!
 
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Flo
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saluk wrote:


I've searched and I agree with Malistar. Official statements in just the rulebook and FAQ are ambiguous at best as to how much of the scenario setup information should be kept hidden.


Question:

https://boardgamegeek.com/article/25057668#25057668

Official statement:

https://boardgamegeek.com/article/25058356#25058356

Even though the answer might be ambiguous, it refers to 2. option in the question which is unambiguous.

It took me about 10 minutes to find with Google.

BTW can we please put this in FAQ? It's obviously a frequently asked question.
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