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Subject: Gloomhaven Welcomes Two Mercenaries Suffering from Deja-Vu... rss

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Jeff Knapp
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(If you wish to skip the story, perhaps at least help with the questions at the bottom!)

Jekserah needed something returned to her. But somehow, we already knew that...

Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that Hemilious had been here before. Something in his Inox senses told him this was a conversation he had participated in some time in his past. Even those alley thugs him and his yet-unnamed human companion beat up later seemed oddly familiar. And sure enough, those oddly-placed tables in that room on the left triggered a memory he seemed to have forgotten... or perhaps repressed?

Well, okay, perhaps I have some s'plaining to do...

So my wife and I finally decided to tackle the FULL experience of Gloomhaven. We had tried the first scenario before - it didn't go well... I then played it solo (with a critical rule aspect relearned) and had a much better time of it, and then just a week ago sat down with some friends who wanted to try it out. Each time we simply selected a few items to take, and made minimal effort to go after treasures or coins. I enjoyed each experience as I got to see how a few different characters worked, while getting very comfortable with my Brute.

Over the past week I bugged my wife to start off the full story, but I think she was hesitant after crashing and burning the first time. But an opportunity presented itself, and she finally suggested, "Hey - let's start off the Gloomhaven campaign." Sweet!

And so the "Homeless Homewreckers" were formed. The latter is somewhat self-explanatory, as tales involving mercenaries go. The "homeless" requires a little explaining - see, we were essentially stuck in the dining room of our rental house while our landlord paraded strangers through as he's trying to sell the house out from under us before we have another place lined up to relocate to. So there's a little tongue-in-cheek, "not funny hah-hah but more funny awwwww" humor there in play. Plus, who doesn't like alliterations?!

Anyhoo, my wife took the Scoundrel which, in both my solo and 3-player playthroughs, I felt she would enjoy - she deals great damage, has a few tricks up her sleeve, and gains experience in droves. I've described her as a bit of a ninja. My wife quickly came to calling her a "bad-ass". Whatever works!

I retrieved my Brute from his special storage place, and then spent the next HOUR opening the city/road cards, opening the career cards, sifting through the rulebook for the specifics as to where we start and when and how and when we draw what before getting to the part I'm actually experienced with, placing stickers...

I made a few mistakes - somehow I though we started off with 50 gold instead of 30, and didn't realize my mistake until we both had $40 worth of goods and $10 in "change" marked on our player sheets. The votes were unanimous "screw it - we robbed a bank on the way to Gloomhaven" (but we returned the $10 in change.) We then drew our first city card which
Spoiler (click to reveal)
told the tale of being robbed ourselves, allowing us to either chase or kill our thief, resulting in the loss of $5 if we gave chase (and didn't have a mindthief) or getting our money back at the loss of a reputation point if we killed the thief. We opted to give chase (I had a hunch a murder on our hands wouldn't be a good way to start our adventures) but didn't have the $5 to be stolen...


We kinda once again said, "oh well screw it - we really don't feel like revisiting the shop again..." and then headed out to Black Barrow, drawing a road card along the way which
Spoiler (click to reveal)
told a simpler tale of seeing some flying birds which we could hunt if we felt like it - "could make for a quick meal," it suggested. I again had a hunch that, since food wasn't really an aspect of the game, it probably wouldn't be useful to eat and thus that was probably the negative outcome I wanted to avoid. The vote was 2/2 for "ignore the birds," and I was right!


And so we finally settled in to the familiar gameplay, this time with the advantage of some beneficial deja-vu. Funny though, as I did make one mistake during the scenario - I completely forgot to
Spoiler (click to reveal)
lay the traps in the second room,
which upon realization - literally as we were packing up the game - and reflection, would have had minimal impact due to some other plays in that same area which would have made it all work out in the end. Again, we went with the popular vote to not worry about it that much.

Lastly, we played a permanent house-rule I decided upon during my solo playthrough (and my buddies agreed in the recent, 3-player excursion) in which we continue to play cards after the scenario has been completed until we are completely exhausted (ie 1 or fewer cards left in our hand.) This to me makes thematic sense - as the cards are indeed an "exhaustion timer," it would make sense that I would take every step I could before passing out on my own two feet. This let the Scoundrel grab the treasure (brat), and the Brute snag a few extra coins.

So we won, and my wife legitimately had fun. I'm VERY excited to finally try a new scenario, and she's looking forward to leveling up. I don't know what her goal is, but mine is to
Spoiler (click to reveal)
have a specific count of armor pieces,
which I thought would be more fun than my alternative option to
Spoiler (click to reveal)
have 200 gold, which would basically force me to SAVE money, while the other encouraged me to SPEND money, and I'm ALL about spending money!!
She also said that she especially enjoyed the fact that we were working together, which was the #1 reason why I thought I could get her to look past her disinterest in the "dungeon crawl, fight creepy things" aspect of the game and end up enjoying it. I was so glad when she said that.

We did have just a few questions following our game - perhaps you can answer them real quick!

Not that it really matters anymore, but when specifically do we draw city cards? The rulebook says, "Whenever a party returns to Gloomhaven, they can perform a variety of activities: [b]creating new characters, completing city events, buying and selling items,[b]" etc, on page 42. At the top of page 43 it says, "Once per visit to Gloomhaven, a party may complete a city event." It does list "Buying and Selling Items" next in the rulebook, but at no point can I gleam that there's a specific order. So in the spoiler above about our city card, how should we have resolved
Spoiler (click to reveal)
having money stolen from us that we didn't have to steal...?


Doors and enemies - yes, I'm sure it's been asked before...
Situation was like this:

Enemy either didn't have a move action or had already made their move (I can't remember), player was on other side of wall. Per the rulebook, "line of sight, which means that a line can be drawn from one corner of the attackers hex to any corner of the defenders hex without touching any part of a wall." In the above image, I can draw a line from the right-most corner of each hex to each other, through the doorway. However, that same paragraph (page 19) says, "Also note that two hexes separated by a wall line are not considered adjacent" - which to me says that the enemy in the image above could not hit me from around the wall. That's how we played it (essentially to our advantage, as in fact we were both hugging the doorway with enemies on each side.) Did we play it correct?

I also welcome friendly banter on our house-rule, though just know that I have no intention of removing it from play.

I hope you enjoyed this session report!!
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Ben Kyo
Japan
Osaka
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Forward 1, Forward 2, Forward 3... siege attack 5?
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Why for this life there's no man smart enough, life's too short for learning every trick and bluff.
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Through a door, you can draw line of sight, but you have to count all the hexes involved to determine range. So either side of a wall as you describe is range 2.
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Sean McCarthy
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You choose the order of buying/selling/city events/etc. In this case you chose to spend your money before the event. Good call!

As Benkyo says, those two hexes have line of sight, but are two hexes apart.
 
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Jeff Knapp
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Gotcha - so if it were an archer, I'd get hit AND the archer wouldn't be disadvantaged. But since it was a guard, and his attack that turn wasn't ranged, he couldn't attack.

Thanks!
 
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