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Gloomhaven» Forums » General

Subject: Campaign Length, Single Games, and Legacy Reset rss

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Mark Schmidt
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I'm thinking of taking the plunge and investing in this game, but I just have a few quick questions.

1. My gaming group has been suffering a big of campaign fatigue coming off the back of Near & Far and Arcadia Quest. How many games does the campaign last?
2. Is it possible to play a one-off game outside of the campaign, and is it any good?
3. I know there's a resettable sticker pack -- does this allow the game to be fully reset? Do these stickers stand up to heavy use?
4. BONUS QUESTION: How does this game stack up to Massive Darkness (the other dungeon crawl I'm looking at in this price range).
 
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Ryan H
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California
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watersilver wrote:
I'm thinking of taking the plunge and investing in this game, but I just have a few quick questions.

1. My gaming group has been suffering a big of campaign fatigue coming off the back of Near & Far and Arcadia Quest. How many games does the campaign last?
2. Is it possible to play a one-off game outside of the campaign, and is it any good?
3. I know there's a resettable sticker pack -- does this allow the game to be fully reset? Do these stickers stand up to heavy use?
4. BONUS QUESTION: How does this game stack up to Massive Darkness (the other dungeon crawl I'm looking at in this price range).


1. If you take the most direct path, the campaign is maybe ~30 scenarios long. Each scenario takes 1.5 - 2 hours. With all of the side quests, personal quests, and other distractions, you will probably play closer to ~50 - 60 scenarios before completing the main quest. Our group did not feel that we needed to complete the main quest to feel satisfied as simply playing the game is quite satisfying and the storyline is pretty simplistic.

2. Somewhat. If you mean just playing a random scenario without character advancement, that is possible but not too exciting. However, playing side scenarios with your main characters, and getting to earn XP, money, perks, etc for your characters is really fun and a large part of the game. I would say the main campaign is not the focus of the game - the focus is on improving your character, unlocking new classes, unlocking new items and scenarios, and exploring the mechanics of the game.

3 & 4 I do not have experience with and cannot answer.

I will say that there is a massive amount of content to play through in this game, but each scenario is self-contained enough that you can jump in and out of the game as desired.
 
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Jordan Livingston
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Illinois
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4 - I have the full ks massive darkness with zcide crossover. Very fun game and I did enjoy it very much. It kind of killed zombicide for me. Gloomhaven has killed massive darkness for my group. And ... Well... Our entire gaming library for that matter. I seriously can't recommend this game enough. I actually broke out massive darkness the other day for someone breaking into gaming and it was fun. But it felt empty. Gloomhaven just provides a better story, more strategy, and seriously every scenario is either lost or won by skin of your teeth. You feel accomplished when you complete something. With MD it was always the same start out cautious get a couple items and destroy everything. I can't put it into words really but the majority of our scenarios ends with us needing to do things just right to pull it off. And damn it feels great when you do. Throw in some road/city events and unlockables. You can't go wrong
 
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Doug Cooley
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I don't have the sticker pack. I use the GH campaign helper app in iOS, it will take care of the map and all the stickers so you can keep that stuff pristine. Really, the whole thing with the map feels a little precious, this enormous heavy map that's just a very pretty checklist. Maybe that gets more useful as the game goes on.

Sorry, the app is on a device I don't have handy, but I recommend it highly as you can track the party and characters as well. It does a good job of hiding information, for example if you have equipment you have to enter the card number and item name, there isn't a list to spoil what might show up later.

Also a big fan of the scenario book app that hides rooms and token/monster lists, as well as progressive info text until the appropriate time. I find the web apps I've tried more of a mixed bag, prefer my data be somewhere I can get to it without the internet.
 
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Mr Suitcase
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To answer number 3, I have the removables. They seem really sticky themselves, but after playing several scenarios and seeing the book has 98 available ones, I’m honestly ditching the Idea of putting the removables back on the sheet. Instead, I’m marking the removables, and when I reset, I will use the permanents that came with the game, or buy another pack of removables for 10 (cdn dollars).

In other words the idea of resetting more than once now seems outlandish to me after starting my group’s campaign.
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Justin Moll
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1. I went 52-0 and completed the game. Each game lasted 2-3 hours each. The last 10-15 scenarios were a total grind and I just wanted to end the campaign. The story is forgettable.

2. I would not play this game as one off. It is a long boring grind, but at least campaign style you get to customize your characters over 10-20 games, before they retire and you start over again. One off games you have no character advancement. Plus setup and tear down is a major pain unless.

3. I printed out the map and stickers on plain paper and just taped the pieces onto the map. Worked for me, haven’t used any stickers yet. Was hoping to play with the stickers with friends but couldn’t get everyone to commit in a timely matter so ended up playing solo.

4. I own Massive Darkness and as a one off game it’s a good game. The heroes all feel different and you go from zero to hero by the end. If you are thinking campaign don’t buy it. Campaign feels tacked on and worthless without a lot of housing ruling. I have all the KS stuff and played maybe 10-12 games with 4 friends and everyone has enjoyed it. Games took 1.5-2hrs including setup and tear down.
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Luke
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watersilver wrote:
I'm thinking of taking the plunge and investing in this game, but I just have a few quick questions.

1. My gaming group has been suffering a big of campaign fatigue coming off the back of Near & Far and Arcadia Quest. How many games does the campaign last?
2. Is it possible to play a one-off game outside of the campaign, and is it any good?
3. I know there's a resettable sticker pack -- does this allow the game to be fully reset? Do these stickers stand up to heavy use?
4. BONUS QUESTION: How does this game stack up to Massive Darkness (the other dungeon crawl I'm looking at in this price range).


1. I think the shortest possible campaign is 20 sessions if you do no sidequests of any kind. I played 84 sessions before I took a break for a year.

2. Yes. The random dungeon mode is something I enjoy when I don't feel like doing all the campaign-related stuff.

3. I have no experience here.

4. Massive Darkness is a medium-light dungeon crawler with two modes. The first is the one-shot dungeon bash mode, which is currently the best offering at the medium-light slot for dungeon crawlers. The second is the story/campaign mode which is poorly designed and implemented.

Gloomhaven is significantly deeper and a diffrent kind of thinky fun. I own both and one doesn't replace the other.
 
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Scott Burns
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Leo Moonstriker wrote:
1. I went 52-0 and completed the game. Each game lasted 2-3 hours each. The last 10-15 scenarios were a total grind and I just wanted to end the campaign. The story is forgettable.


Wow and despite that you stuck with it for 52 games!

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HenningK
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At the risk of repeating stuff:

1. You will probably play 40-60 scenarios during one campaign, depending on your paths and your willingness to explore sidequests.
2. Certainly possible, and it will be fun; but after playing the campaign, I fear the experience will be lackluster. I really love campaign games in general, so I personally would feel something is missing.
3. The stickers are removable, but I'm not sure how *reusable* they are. They peel off easily, so in that regard, the game is perfectly resettable. By the way, it's easy to play through the campaign by tracking everything on paper, on in one of the numerous apps for the game.
4. Massive Darkness is a *very* different game. Its campaign mode doesn't work, it should be played as a bunch of single scenarios. The gameplay is very simplistic - you move and attack by rolling dice. Tactical or strategical depth is mostly trivial. The most interesting decision is when to buy which skill with your XP. Story and plot are non-existant.
Massive Darkness is a very light dice chucker, while Gloomhaven is very thinky optimization puzzle. Gloomhaven has a ton more content, but requires lots of dedication and concentration. It really depends on what you like.
For what it's worth, 2 plays of Massive Darkness were enough for me; after 140 plays of Gloomhaven, I still want to play more. Maybe that shows how different the games are.
 
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Mark Schmidt
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Thanks for all the replies!

My main takeaway is that for a gamegroup that is a little campaign-fatigued and only meets once a week, this is probably not the best game for us.
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Des T.
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watersilver wrote:
Thanks for all the replies!

My main takeaway is that for a gamegroup that is a little campaign-fatigued and only meets once a week, this is probably not the best game for us.


It's easier if you treat it as a game set in a persistent game world, than as a "must binge" campaign game. It is binge-worthy, though
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Ryan H
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watersilver wrote:
Thanks for all the replies!

My main takeaway is that for a gamegroup that is a little campaign-fatigued and only meets once a week, this is probably not the best game for us.


I'd recommend taking a month or two off, play some other games, then pick up Gloomhaven. Gloomhaven is pretty damn addicting so even if you don't *need* to play it every week and finish the campaign, you will want to play it every week. I do find that I play other games less because of Gloomhaven. Mostly because it's just more fun than those games, but also because the progression in Gloomhaven makes it quite addicting.
 
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