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Subject: Fully cooperative? rss

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Jacob Selchau
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Possibly a stupid question here, but...here goes:

Do the players/characters work together completely or are they also rivals for resources/victory points or whatever? I know the work together against the game/monsters, but are they also one-upping each other?

The thing is that I think Gloomhaven as such looks interesting, but I don't like fully cooperative games very much. I do love me some hybrid stuff, though.

Thank you in advance.
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Yes there is some internal conflict. All players are trying to achieve the scenario objective to win, but each player also has a character objective to meet throughout the campaign (this can be secret or open), and their own scenario objective (this is secret and gives you a sort of level up bonus if you succeed).

During a mission, you can also do certain actions to gain more experience, sometimes these actions might be slightly less optimal but you might want to do it anyways.

There is also loot scattered throughout the map (in the form of chests and gold), getting them might also force you to make suboptimal actions but you might want to do it anyways because none of your items/money is shared with other players.
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Jacob Selchau
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Thanks Fatesadvent. How much would you say that the conflict shapes the game, as opposed to the cooperation?
 
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Ben Greig
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depends on a the player group a lot,

we've almost finished the campaign with a number of different players (we've been playing with the perma-death variant). We've seen a number of times that a player has caused or almost caused a wipe to try and get a chest,

players do often fight each other for coins, but we haven't had a lot of conflict due to battle goals or personal quests (we keep both hidden),

Due to the permadeath rule in play we have found if things are looking dicey but there is a possible win that players will often look after self interest if there is a chance they can live, but in general i think the perma-death rule has increased co-operation
 
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Alexander Steinbach
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This is mostly a cooperative game.

However, players "compete" for three different things during the game.

1. Gold and items. Loot is the most competitive part of the game as there is a finite amount of it in each scenario. You cannot share or sell gold and items between other players. Any loot that remains after the scenario ends is lost. This means you constantly have to choose between working towards the objective and looting. Also, if you move after someone who just killed three guys, you are free to pick up the loot they dropped, potentially leading to sour faces.

2. XP. Experience is probably the least competitive of the three. Each character gains experience independently from one another by the use of his ability cards. The most XP is typically obtained by playing lost cards, which are one-off abilities. Those abilities can pay off and be very powerful to the team. But using them suboptimally still gives you the XP.

3. Battle goals. At the start of each scenario, each player receives a secret battle goal. These cards are hidden for the other players and reward you for behaving in suboptimal ways during a scenario. Completing a battle goal gives you a reward, but may give your teammates a headache.

In summary, you will need to constantly weigh how much you are willing to play for the team and for your own personal objective. Doing everything is typically not an option.
 
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Alexander Steinbach
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Heksefatter wrote:
Thanks Fatesadvent. How much would you say that the conflict shapes the game, as opposed to the cooperation?


I'd say it's 90% coop, vs 10% competition.
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Mike
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Have you guys really seen anyone actually stick their neck out for personal gain?
 
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Patrik Severinsson
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Vardaine wrote:
Heksefatter wrote:
Thanks Fatesadvent. How much would you say that the conflict shapes the game, as opposed to the cooperation?

I'd say it's 90% coop, vs 10% competition.
I think this is very group dependent. I'd say 98% co-op and 2% competition.
 
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Sam Bartholomew
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Mike1977 wrote:
Have you guys really seen anyone actually stick their neck out for personal gain?


Yeah. Our Spellweaver has a bad habit of flying past all the conflict and hopping onto any newly-revealed chests with that huge move card they have.
 
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Mike
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LeumasWhite wrote:
Mike1977 wrote:
Have you guys really seen anyone actually stick their neck out for personal gain?


Yeah. Our Spellweaver has a bad habit of flying past all the conflict and hopping onto any newly-revealed chests with that huge move card they have.


And then what? Die?
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James J
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LeumasWhite wrote:
Mike1977 wrote:
Have you guys really seen anyone actually stick their neck out for personal gain?


Yeah. Our Spellweaver has a bad habit of flying past all the conflict and hopping onto any newly-revealed chests with that huge move card they have.


It's funny. I often do this in my group as the Spellweaver. But normally because everyone is interested in what is in the chest. The other half of that card is a loot anyway, so it's not like playing it the other way round would be any less annoying if the players were wanting to loot.
 
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Mike
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Jjdelanoche wrote:
LeumasWhite wrote:
Mike1977 wrote:
Have you guys really seen anyone actually stick their neck out for personal gain?


Yeah. Our Spellweaver has a bad habit of flying past all the conflict and hopping onto any newly-revealed chests with that huge move card they have.


It's funny. I often do this in my group as the Spellweaver. But normally because everyone is interested in what is in the chest. The other half of that card is a loot anyway, so it's not like playing it the other way round would be any less annoying if the players were wanting to loot.


I just want to be sure I am getting the rules right... You can't partially move, then use your other card (say to attack) and finish your movement right?
 
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James J
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Mike1977 wrote:
I just want to be sure I am getting the rules right... You can't partially move, then use your other card (say to attack) and finish your movement right?


No, you cannot.
 
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Jeroen Visser
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aquillo wrote:

we've almost finished the campaign with a number of different players (we've been playing with the perma-death variant).

Your group has taken that 'perma-death' rule way too seriously zombie
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Josh
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We have zero competition other than occasionally stating things like 'I really want to kill thwt guy' I need get that chest', 'I'm opening the door this round' etc. The moves might be sub optimal overall, but we are still co-op about it.
 
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Des T.
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Heksefatter wrote:

The thing is that I think Gloomhaven as such looks interesting, but I don't like fully cooperative games very much. I do love me some hybrid stuff, though.


Someone in SU&SD said something along the lines of "Gloomhaven is a truly cooperative game in that it gives the players the choice on how much they actually want to cooperate."

I think that's the best description you can get. If playing as intended, you're constantly compting for resources (gold and treasure chests), while also attempting to gain as many rewards through risky playstyle as possible without failing the scenario.

What personal gain is more important also depends a lot on what character you're playing. Some are late bloomers and want as much xp as possible. Others need gear to work with, so they'll be greedy for gold, and a rare few work best once they've enhanced their abilities, so they'll be extremely greedy.

I personally love the amount of choices the game forces us to make, and especially love the tension of the unsure situation. If you know another character is working hard to get those whopping 175 Gold they need to make their main ability awesome, you'll be grateful when they let you have the 15 Gold you need for your battle goal.

As the farming player, you'll always be extremely tense when a chest shows up. You know that your group knows you'll loot it given half the chance, but there's still a heavy hitter next to it who might be able to one-shot you. So when do you go in to grab it? Can you rely on your group letting you take the valuable loot, or do you risk getting taken out, but have the cash safely in your pocket?
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Jacob Selchau
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A big thanks to everyone who took the time to answer and explain. I appreciate it.
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Zachary Homrighaus
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Mike1977 wrote:
Have you guys really seen anyone actually stick their neck out for personal gain?


I certainly have, but agree that it is group dependent. I played about 10 scenarios 2 player and we were very much cooperative. We tried not to overshare plans, but with 2 players you can't really sit a turn out to look after yourself... you kinda need to run that by your partner or risk them getting blown up.

I am playing 2 campaigns now with 3p and it's much easier to be a little selfish... you can see yourself a little outside of the action and take a greedy 1/2 turn feeling confident your teammates have things under control. But battle goals are still a nice balancer. We had a situation early on where a room had 2 traps and we had a way to force 2 different enemies into them (a pull and a push), but another guy who moved early in Initiative order had a goal about disarming traps... so the first thing he did was disarm the trap which kind of hosed another guy's turn. It didn't really make sense until he was excited to get his battle goal taken care of.

The other place I see it show up is when 2 players have their eye on the same pile of gold... they both quietly play their turn hoping they are the one who can move to that spot and loot or end their turn in a specific spot... when both reveal cards, there is a bit of debate over who should actually make the move... this is all great! It simulates how greedy mercenaries might behave without full knowledge of their partner's intentions.
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Jay Johnson
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zjhomrighaus wrote:
We had a situation early on where a room had 2 traps and we had a way to force 2 different enemies into them (a pull and a push), but another guy who moved early in Initiative order had a goal about disarming traps...

This got me thinking. How many characters actually even have the ability to disarm traps? Scoundrel does, obviously. Tinkerer has a Level 3 card that can do it (but looking at the level 3 cards, I doubt many people ever choose that one over the other option). But I think that is it for the starting characters. Maybe some of the unlockable chars have a disarm traps ability, but I doubt that many do.

Seems odd to have a battle goal so only a select few could ever accomplish
 
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James J
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JayJ79 wrote:
zjhomrighaus wrote:
We had a situation early on where a room had 2 traps and we had a way to force 2 different enemies into them (a pull and a push), but another guy who moved early in Initiative order had a goal about disarming traps...

This got me thinking. How many characters actually even have the ability to disarm traps? Scoundrel does, obviously. Tinkerer has a Level 3 card that can do it (but looking at the level 3 cards, I doubt many people ever choose that one over the other option). But I think that is it for the starting characters. Maybe some of the unlockable chars have a disarm traps ability, but I doubt that many do.

Seems odd to have a battle goal so only a select few could ever accomplish


You can step on the trap yourself to accomplish the goal. Or Push/Pull an enemy onto it. You simply need to be the cause of the trap triggering (or being disarmed).
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Zachary Homrighaus
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Jjdelanoche wrote:
JayJ79 wrote:
zjhomrighaus wrote:
We had a situation early on where a room had 2 traps and we had a way to force 2 different enemies into them (a pull and a push), but another guy who moved early in Initiative order had a goal about disarming traps...

This got me thinking. How many characters actually even have the ability to disarm traps? Scoundrel does, obviously. Tinkerer has a Level 3 card that can do it (but looking at the level 3 cards, I doubt many people ever choose that one over the other option). But I think that is it for the starting characters. Maybe some of the unlockable chars have a disarm traps ability, but I doubt that many do.

Seems odd to have a battle goal so only a select few could ever accomplish


You can step on the trap yourself to accomplish the goal. Or Push/Pull an enemy onto it. You simply need to be the cause of the trap triggering (or being disarmed).


Yep... I was using some shorthand... the goal is something like "cause a trap to be triggered or disarmed" so you can disarm with a card, walk into yourself or push/pull an enemy.

It turned out the guy who had it was in fact the Scoundrel and my Tinkerer and the Brute had push/pull cards ready since it was the first turn of the scenario.
 
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Tom
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As someone who also dislikes cooperative games, I highly recommend Gloomhaven. Not because of its competitive aspects (my group tends to play as teamworky as possible), but because it avoids the issues that I have with most co op games.

You don't really know what your teammate is capable of, the cards that are in his hand, what the monsters will do on their turn, etc. Because you don't have much information, no single player can tell everyone what to do, so Gloomhaven will never be that game where one good player plays for everyone while the other players just sit there following instructions.

Also, Gloomhaven is challenging but fair, and the personal and party rewards are a strong incentive to keep going and get stronger together. Teamwork games usually feel unbalanced or random to me, but Gloomhaven is very rewarding to beat together as a team.
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