Recommend
61 
 Thumb up
 Hide
106 Posts
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »   | 

Gloomhaven» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A negative review from a guy who finished the campaign, played the game over 80 times and rates it a 9.6 rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Daniel Nedeljkovic
Serbia
Paracin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Lay down the pitch forks and read the whole topic! Finished? Calmed down a bit? Great! Now you're asking yourself: why the heck does this guy do a negative review if he rates it a 9.6 and has finished the campaign? Is he trolling us?

To explain it simply: I find negative reviews more informative than positive reviews and have found reviewer's inability to make negative comments about a game they like really enraging. If I, as someone who has played less than 50 games can do so about every game I played, so can someone who has played thousands and reviewed thousands. Rant over. Sort of...

PS. One guy beat me to doing a negative review from a perspective of someone who likes the game. Have a read if you want:
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1963477/what-gloomhaven...


Caveats

1. Most of this is from the perspective of 3 and 2 player sessions (and 2 player 2 character each, which might not count)
2. POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD (I'll try to give a warning with real spoilers, but will usually talk in general , or make similar, but unrelated examples. If you don't want anything spoiled, stop reading!)
3. Most of these negative points don't bother me, but are worth mentioning for someone looking to buy the game.

First: Where do I come from?
I dislike randomness in competitive games immensly. I am OK with some randomness in co-op games, but am not OK with Game Over cards (Shadowrun:Crossfire I'm looking at you!)

My Favourite games are (numbers 2-4 are interchangeable):
1. Starcraft the Boardgame
2. Spirit Island
3. Gloomhaven
4. Ora et Labora
5. Mage Knight
6. Dominion (What!? Dominion?! You said you don't like randomness!!! - If you want a debate, send me a PM, let's not derail this thread any
more then needed to :-) )


The negatives (or: you might not like the game if you're bothered by this)

1. The rulebook
As most people said the rulebook is not that good becuase it has several ambiguities and it's not that easy to find some of the rules. It's not horrible, but still not great.

2. The setup might take longer than the actual gameplay
The setup time does improve with other players helping, but I usually setup/tear down games by myself to save time for actual gameplay and it takes me 60-75 minutes on the average. The best solution would be to have a separate table just for Gloomhaven, but that's not a thing a lot of people have.

3. Campaign Story incoherent (POSSIBLE SPOILERS)
If you're into Gloomhaven for the overall story, you might not like it. The overall story is sort of incoherent and frantic. That might be because the campaign is soooo long (which is not a negative for me) that you forget the overall thread of the story.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
And you don't get the sense of completion upon finishing it.
That being said, smaller story arcs are fun and interesting and offer interesting choices.

4. Semi-co op
I don't like semi-co op games. I actually hate them with a passion. But I'm OK with it here. It certainly does help that we are a "little" loose with the rules of not telling each other our battle goals.

Edit: By semi coop I don't mean that Gloomhaven is a semi coop games, but that it has semi coop elements (battle goals, life goals, looting)

5. Character Unbalance (POSSIBLE SPOILERS)
Some of the characters are reeeeaaaaly good and fun, some are OP and not fun (at least for me), some are boring to play, some are fun (for me, other people in my group hated one particular character with a passion of a thousand suns) but extremely inefficient. Some work only after you get to a certain level, some are reeeealy good, but bog the game down and turn it into a slog. And if you get 2 uninteresting characters in a row, you might get tired of the game. (Yes, you could pick other basic characters instead, but you won't know how the character worked unless you play him/her 2-4 times (it depends on the character))

6. Player count
2 player experience is sub par compared to 3 players. With 2 players you can get characters that don't work well with each other and (as with life goals) you have to take cards to complement your partner instead of the ones you like, which I find unappealing. Also, you cannot unlock as many envelopes as you could in 3 and 4 player games. Gloomhaven as a 2 player game is also more difficult than a 3 player game because you could get enemy combinations/scenario goals that don't work with those 2 characters. If I had played Gloomhaven with only 2 players my rating would have been an 8.5 instead of 9.6.

(I've only played a pure 4 player game once and have deduced that 4 players might be too easy and might have people lose to many actions.
Take this with a grain of salt. )

7. Monster AI
Monsters sometimes behave like idiots and totally unthematically. I don't mind that and if Isaac made the AI more complex it might bog down
the game too much, but it needs to be mentioned.

8. Life Goals
While in the beginning the life goals were fun, after a retirement or 2 they turned into a chore. "Oh, I can do this interesting scenario, but it doesn't help with any of our life goals", so we take this other scenario and by the time we can play that interesting scenario we forgot why we wanted to play it. I know that this was a personal choice, but it still was frustrating. Also, some of the battle goals are very difficult to complete with certain characters or actively force you to take the ability cards to match your life goal instead of the ones that you find more interesting for that character. The most fun I had were in the beginning several scenarios where I had a life goal that basically solved itself and in the end when we unlocked all the characters and there were no life goals to worry about.

9. Battle Goals
Although I don't mind it, the battle goals are really unbalanced. You can get battle goals that you cannot possibly do, while if another character got them he could do them without even trying. Also, you might get some battle goals that do not work with your life goal, but that doesn't usually happen as you would have to get one of those and the other that doesn't fit your character.

10. Summons

The summons in the game are lackluster. You cannot get them to do what you want, if there are no enemies on the map they just sit there doing nothing (if we played that rule correctly), they attack enemies that they shouldn't attack and die... I understand that they would be OP if you could control them, but this way they are basically useless unless you use them as a meat shield.

PS. I don't dislike them. I just came to realize after playing with them that they are extremely inefficient (as other people in my group have said). It could be that the one particular character's life goal comboing with some scenarios that came up and the fact that I didn't know you could unsummon them that made me see them as inefficient.

11. Advantage (If you haven't played the game you might want to skip this)
The rule I find most frustrating is the advantage rule. All that: you flip 2 cards and if it's a rolling modifier you keep flipping is extremely frustrating if you hit a miss with it. Why is it called advantage if you can miss? But, wait, if you don't get any rolling modifiers in your combat deck, then you cannot miss with Advantage. So I'm punished for making my deck better?! Arghhh

EDIT
I forgot point 12. (probably because I don't see it as a problem but it needs to be mentioned for people who want their games to be as thematic as possible)
12. The weirdness of the items
What I mean by this is that items in Gloomhaven don't behave in the same way as in other dungeon crawls and feel rather weird. Why do I get to use my Axe only once during a scenario? How come my Mage can use a net to cast a lightning spell and give enemies immobilize? I'm throwing gigantic rocks with a bow and arrow? Whaaat?!


Conclusion (Or "Holly cow what a horrible transition!"):
I really like Gloomhaven. It's the best dungeon crawl (in my opinion) out there for many reasons:
1. It gives you meaningful decisions. Most of the others (I don't know any apart from Perdition's Mouth, somebody correct me if I'm wrong) are just move X, roll a bunch dice - no thinking involved. If you don't like your dungeon crawls to be "thinky", you probably won't like Gloomhaven. Although, one of the people in my group doesn't like the depth of Gloomhaven, but rates it highly because of the story, unlockables, perks.

2. The replayability and the amount of stuff you get in the game for the amount of money is probably 4 times as much as most other dungeon crawls.

3. It is the most unique dungeon crawl and unlike any other in the market currently.


Final rant, I mean conclusion
In my opinion Gloomhaven is number one on BGG because it can appeal to different kinds of people, not because people bought it on Kickstarter and are forcing themselves to like it because of the money they spend (as some people have stated). No one in my group even uses Kickstarter. It's a dungeon crawl for Euro Gamers (like me and 1 other member of my play group) who like their games "thinky", but (as I already mentioned) it can appeal to "Ameri" gamers who are in it for the story, unlockables, perks etc.
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeremy Steward
Canada
flag msg tools
Yeah, I really agree with this.

I love this game like no other game but it is not perfect. This captures pretty much everything that I dont love about the game but it should be said that they are all pretty minor.

The other thing I'd add is the tile art is pretty bland (water overlay tiles are reall bad and look more like the surface of the moon). Imperial Assault tiles for example are way nicer and more interesting.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Nedeljkovic
Serbia
Paracin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Deadwolf wrote:
Yeah, I really agree with this.

I love this game like no other game but it is not perfect. This captures pretty much everything that I dont love about the game but it should be said that they are all pretty minor.

The other thing I'd add is the tile art is pretty bland (water overlay tiles are reall bad and look more like the surface of the moon). Imperial Assault tiles for example are way nicer and more interesting.


Agreed on the minor part (apart from Advantage, that really irritates me ).

Didn't want to mention artwork and design as I don't find them important. All the other negative reviews mention it, though.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
michael ray
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Floating World wrote:

4. Semi-co op
I don't like semi-co op games. I actually hate them with a passion. But I'm OK with it here. It certainly does help that we are a "little" loose with the rules of not telling each other our battle goals.


What makes you dislike semi-co op? I would also quibble if this is truly semi-co op, or just hidden information. To me, semi-co op are games like Dead of Winter where someone might actually be a bad guy, and you can win individually. As compared to gloomhaven, where it's just a hidden bonus goal, and a few gold coins.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Nedeljkovic
Serbia
Paracin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
squegeeboo wrote:
Floating World wrote:

4. Semi-co op
I don't like semi-co op games. I actually hate them with a passion. But I'm OK with it here. It certainly does help that we are a "little" loose with the rules of not telling each other our battle goals.


What makes you dislike semi-co op? I would also quibble if this is truly semi-co op, or just hidden information. To me, semi-co op are games like Dead of Winter where someone might actually be a bad guy, and you can win individually. As compared to gloomhaven, where it's just a hidden bonus goal, and a few gold coins.


I wasn't clear: I'm OK with semi coop elements here (the battle goals and life goals), I wasn't trying to say Gloomhaven is fully semi coop (God forbid :-) ).

What I dislike about semi coop games is that they have all the randomness of a cooperative game and are actually competitive. I also dislike games that try to be 2 different things but do neither well, but I don't hate them like I hate semi coops.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
jeff bee
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Floating World wrote:

1. The rulebook
2. The setup might take longer than the actual gameplay
3. Campaign Story incoherent
4. Semi-co op
5. Character Unbalance
6. Player count
7. Monster AI
8. Life Goals
9. Battle Goals
10. Summons
11. Advantage


I feel like a ton of these are legitimate complaints. My fiance and I have been super into Gloomhaven recently, but it's not a perfect game.

Now that we've played 30 or so scenarios, we're not referencing the rule book that often, but it can definitely use improvements, especially for the first few scenarios.

I don't really understand everyone's setup time complaint. Perhaps if you just use regular baggies for everything that's an issue. We put the overlay tiles into stackable circle containers that we had laying around the house, and the monster stat sheets in CD sleeves that we had in the house. But even if you had to buy that stuff, the overall cost would be <$20. One person reads out what is needed, the other grabs it from the box, and overall setup is probably 10-15min, with an additional 5min if it's the first scenario of the day.

There's a story? Whoops, I missed that.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by semi-co-op. The only thing I can see that would be considered "semi" would be the individual personal quests and the individual battle goals. But those never pit you against other players (such as "have more cards in your hand than any other player" or the sort). At best you're asking to loot the treasure even though the other player may need the contents more.

Character unbalanced is definitely a thing. And the balance of a character changes with the number of players. Even without changing the character classes themselves, I think there could have been some improvements on the stat sheet. From the classes I've unlocked, they all require the same experience for each level. Some of the weaker classes could have had bonus perks or something like that, and some of the classes that only get good when you get to a certain level could have had an unique exp requirement structure (easy to get to level 4, slows down beyond that).

Varied player counts are going to change the play of the game. Fact. And there's normally a sweet spot that's the optimal number of players. The good thing about Gloomhaven is if you decide it's too easy with 4 players, you can just level up the scenario to address it.

The monster AI is an interesting idea. The more I learn about how they act, the more I realize that it's not that unrational. The only time I think it's awful is when you're surrounded, so the melee guys won't move at all, or when they go the long way around to get to the "open hex" just for you to kill the guy blocking the open hex, and then they have to back track. What I find more obnoxious about the enemy AI is how difficult it can be to aggro ranged monsters, especially if you're a melee class. I wish they would focus on the closest person first, instead of the least amount of movement to get to a hex to attack, then the closest person. Net result is if you're a melee character, the ranged monster will attack your backrow heroes... Though I guess this makes sense .

I get life goals. I get what Issac is trying to accomplish with them. But I don't like them either. Or let me rephrase, I think each one should have an option A or option B. Option A might be whatever it currently is and opens a box, while option B could be a simpler one (which several of the goals are in general) such as complete X number of scenarios, have Y amount of gold, get Z check marks, etc... And perhaps you get a random scenario unlocked if you go that path. My fiance started with the tinkerer, and didn't really like him. And she had a personal goal of killing certain enemy types, one of which just wouldn't show up. I finally cheated and looked up in the book which scenarios (that we had unlocked) had the enemy type she needed, and suggested we did that one - she was super excited when she found her last enemy and was *finally* able to retire her character. She was on the verge of just starting a new character without retiring hers.

Battle goals are fine, but they could be improved. There seem to be some discrepancies with the level of difficulty, and I feel like perhaps it should be 4 checks per perk, and expand it out to 1, 2, or 3 check mark cards (and even maybe deal a single 1 check mark card, and deal 1 multi-check cards). Some are super easy "open a door," some aren't really up to you "be the first to kill an enemy" and others you can't really do without telling everyone you're doing them "why aren't you using your potions and goggles as you attack everyone in the room?" "Eh, I just don't feel like it." Obviously some are harder than others, but it's really obnoxious when your fiance gets "use no items" for the first two scenarios (when she only has 1 item anyways) while I get "end at full health" and "have 5+ cards" (as the spellweaver), knowing that even if I get those, I will get 1 check mark each, while she gets 4 check marks for basically not doing anything. With so many "add road/city event" triggers, I think the battle goals could have gone a similar route and increased the experience.

Summons... I'm not going to comment on summons. They haven't seem worth it enough to play with them, so I don't have much experience with them.

Advantage is a hot topic issue around here. And it's BS imo. We've house ruled both Advantage and Disadvantage to be more of what we would expect it to be... We keep drawing until we get 2 final cards. For Advantage, we take all of the rolling modifiers, and at disadvantage, we trash all of the rolling modifiers. This means that both are more impactful than they would be as ruled. We also house rule how the ambiguity works... There's nothing worse than getting a +0 muddled when your second card was a bless x2 that would have just killed him... but since muddled is "ambiguous" and was drawn first, that's what happens... No, the x2 is better. I may not be able to tell you how much better, but a dead enemy is better than a muddled enemy. Same thing when it's elements - who cares if fire gets infused if it's already infused... but if your second card was wind, then that's better. So we've house ruled that you always draw 2 final cards and apply the situationally better card. It's a bit harder when the enemies have advantage or we have disadvantage, but if we can't decide which is better (or worse), we default to the first card.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Zachary Homrighaus
United States
Clarendon Hills
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
ranissi wrote:
Floating World wrote:

1. The rulebook
2. The setup might take longer than the actual gameplay
3. Campaign Story incoherent
4. Semi-co op
5. Character Unbalance
6. Player count
7. Monster AI
8. Life Goals
9. Battle Goals
10. Summons
11. Advantage


---

Character unbalanced is definitely a thing. And the balance of a character changes with the number of players.

---


Yeah, I think this is the biggest inconsistency. Melee classes don't really get weaker or stronger with different player counts, but AoE classes really get much better with more players. More monsters = more clumping = more damage = more XP, etc. Also, classes that use elements (which tend to be those who have AoE attacks) are better with more players because there is greater ability to have some random elements floating around. Spellweaver or other casters playing with certain classes will never, ever have a stray element to use unless a monster generated it... that's a pretty big nerf.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Nedeljkovic
Serbia
Paracin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ranissi wrote:
I'm not quite sure what you mean by semi-co-op. The only thing I can see that would be considered "semi" would be the individual personal quests and the individual battle goals. But those never pit you against other players (such as "have more cards in your hand than any other player" or the sort). At best you're asking to loot the treasure even though the other player may need the contents more.


I was unclear on that so I've added a note. Basically I didn't mean Gloomhaven was semi coop, but had semi coop elements (battle goals, life goals, looting) that don't bother me.

ranissi wrote:
I get life goals. I get what Issac is trying to accomplish with them. But I don't like them either. Or let me rephrase, I think each one should have an option A or option B. Option A might be whatever it currently is and opens a box, while option B could be a simpler one (which several of the goals are in general) such as complete X number of scenarios, have Y amount of gold, get Z check marks, etc... And perhaps you get a random scenario unlocked if you go that path. My fiance started with the tinkerer, and didn't really like him. And she had a personal goal of killing certain enemy types, one of which just wouldn't show up. I finally cheated and looked up in the book which scenarios (that we had unlocked) had the enemy type she needed, and suggested we did that one - she was super excited when she found her last enemy and was *finally* able to retire her character. She was on the verge of just starting a new character without retiring hers.


That would be a good idea. I would also have preferred communal life goals: you as a party have to kill something/ do certain quests, ear a certain amount of money per scenario etc. That would have been way more satisfying. I hope Isaac at least adds an option for something like that.

ranissi wrote:
Advantage is a hot topic issue around here. And it's BS imo. We've house ruled both Advantage and Disadvantage to be more of what we would expect it to be... We keep drawing until we get 2 final cards. For Advantage, we take all of the rolling modifiers, and at disadvantage, we trash all of the rolling modifiers. This means that both are more impactful than they would be as ruled. We also house rule how the ambiguity works... There's nothing worse than getting a +0 muddled when your second card was a bless x2 that would have just killed him... but since muddled is "ambiguous" and was drawn first, that's what happens... No, the x2 is better. I may not be able to tell you how much better, but a dead enemy is better than a muddled enemy. Same thing when it's elements - who cares if fire gets infused if it's already infused... but if your second card was wind, then that's better. So we've house ruled that you always draw 2 final cards and apply the situationally better card. It's a bit harder when the enemies have advantage or we have disadvantage, but if we can't decide which is better (or worse), we default to the first card.


We played that way by mistake (draw 2 final cards, play the better or worse (depending whether it's advantage or disadvantage) and I really liked advantage. But then I found out (by watching a One Stop Coop Shops video) that we were doing it wrong so we had to play by the rules (there's a rules lawyer guy in my group who doesn't like any messing with the rules)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Nedeljkovic
Serbia
Paracin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
zjhomrighaus wrote:
ranissi wrote:
Floating World wrote:

1. The rulebook
2. The setup might take longer than the actual gameplay
3. Campaign Story incoherent
4. Semi-co op
5. Character Unbalance
6. Player count
7. Monster AI
8. Life Goals
9. Battle Goals
10. Summons
11. Advantage


---

Character unbalanced is definitely a thing. And the balance of a character changes with the number of players.

---


Yeah, I think this is the biggest inconsistency. Melee classes don't really get weaker or stronger with different player counts, but AoE classes really get much better with more players. More monsters = more clumping = more damage = more XP, etc. Also, classes that use elements (which tend to be those who have AoE attacks) are better with more players because there is greater ability to have some random elements floating around. Spellweaver or other casters playing with certain classes will never, ever have a stray element to use unless a monster generated it... that's a pretty big nerf.


As always - other people explain it better than I could. Couldn't have said it better myself (and I didn't )
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
A Kar
msg tools
I’d like to argue in favor of the “semi-competitive” portion of Gloomhaven, based off of reading some of Isaac’s blog posts.

The biggest part of secret info and semi-competitive mechanics is to encourage players to make suboptimal plays for legitimate reasons. The big reason for that is to prevent alpha-gamers from running roughshod over their teammates and playing everyone’s class for them. Certainly, there’s one person in our group who sometimes plays TOO selfishly, and if we all played like him we’d lose a LOT more scenarios, and that can be frustrating. I the whole, I think that the design is definitely a net benefit in making sure that EVERYONE is playing the game. Maybe that’s not a problem at your table, but I’ve seen it many times (and have been guilty of it more than once), so I think that it’s actually a huge boost in favor of the game.


ranissi wrote:
[q="Floating World"] I wish they would focus on the closest person first, instead of the least amount of movement to get to a hex to attack, then the closest person. Net result is if you're a melee character, the ranged monster will attack your backrow heroes... Though I guess this makes sense .


I’m not sure what you mean by this. If you’re next to an archer, they’ll focus you, and maintain that focus even if they move to avoid disadvantage. Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you’re saying, but generally ranged monsters will be blowing up your front line, since it’s closest to them.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeremy Steward
Canada
flag msg tools
Character imbalance is there but I dont think it is that bad. Most classes do fall within the balanced power tier. I'd say 1 or 2 classes fall into a weaker tier but are not unplayable. The top 3 classes can do some OP stuff but for those classes it is possible to not use the OP cards and still be a strong class.

Also, because characters retire and difficulty is scalable, character imbalance is less pronounced in this game than in others (like IA/Descent).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Nedeljkovic
Serbia
Paracin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
abakus wrote:
I’d like to argue in favor of the “semi-competitive” portion of Gloomhaven, based off of reading some of Isaac’s blog posts.

The biggest part of secret info and semi-competitive mechanics is to encourage players to make suboptimal plays for legitimate reasons. The big reason for that is to prevent alpha-gamers from running roughshod over their teammates and playing everyone’s class for them. Certainly, there’s one person in our group who sometimes plays TOO selfishly, and if we all played like him we’d lose a LOT more scenarios, and that can be frustrating. I the whole, I think that the design is definitely a net benefit in making sure that EVERYONE is playing the game. Maybe that’s not a problem at your table, but I’ve seen it many times (and have been guilty of it more than once), so I think that it’s actually a huge boost in favor of the game.


That's exactly why I don't mind them in Gloomhaven (although, we never did have an Alpha Gamer problem, if that's what you're referring to).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Nedeljkovic
Serbia
Paracin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Deadwolf wrote:
Character imbalance is there but I dont think it is that bad. Most classes do fall within the balanced power tier. I'd say 1 or 2 classes fall into a weaker tier but are not unplayable. The top 3 classes can do some OP stuff but for those classes it is possible to not use the OP cards and still be a strong class.

Also, because characters retire and difficulty is scalable, character imbalance is less pronounced in this game than in others (like IA/Descent).


The bigger problem is that some characters might not be fun for some players. I've had problems with one character: no matter what I did, I couldn't get them to work properly. And it's the only such character in the game. He/She sounded cool but ended up boring for me cause I couldn't use them properly and they were among the worst classes at getting experience.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeroen
Netherlands
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Great review!

I don't agree with 1 and 7 though.
The rulebook's not perfect, but it's still one of the best manuals out there. The rules are very clear. All it lacks is a set-up guide or a tutorial.
And monster behavior is unthematic? So you pretend to know how fantasy creatures should act? shake

Oh, and you basically listed the same 'problem' twice: the battlegoals turn Gloomhaven from a co-op into a semi-co-op. So...shake again.

Eh, I'm just nitpicking. It's a good review; people can get a real sense of what they are getting into. Thanks for the write-up!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
jeff bee
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
abakus wrote:


ranissi wrote:
I wish they would focus on the closest person first, instead of the least amount of movement to get to a hex to attack, then the closest person. Net result is if you're a melee character, the ranged monster will attack your backrow heroes... Though I guess this makes sense .


I’m not sure what you mean by this. If you’re next to an archer, they’ll focus you, and maintain that focus even if they move to avoid disadvantage. Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you’re saying, but generally ranged monsters will be blowing up your front line, since it’s closest to them.


The rules for determining focus:
Quote:

A monster will focus on the enemy figure it can perform its current attack against using the least
amount of movement.
It finds the shortest possible path to get in range and line-of-sight to use its
attack, and the figure that can be attacked at the end of that path is the focus. This enemy figure is
considered the “closest.” It doesn’t matter if the monster can’t get within range to attack with its
current movement, as long as there is a path to eventually get within range. If a monster does not have
an attack listed on its ability card for the round, it finds a focus as if it had a melee attack. In the case
where the monster can move the same number of spaces to get within range (and line-of-sight) of
multiple enemy figures (e.g., because it starts its turn within range of multiple enemies), proximity from
the monster’s current position (i.e. number of hexes they are away, not counting through walls) is then
checked as a tie-breaker for determining “closest.”


And for Monster Movement:
Quote:
If the monster is performing a ranged attack, it will only move toward a hex where it is within range to perform
its best possible attack. A monster will also move away from its focused enemy until it can perform the ranged
attack without Disadvantag
e. When forced to choose, a monster will prioritize losing Disadvantage on its
focused enemy over maximizing its attack on secondary targets. Even if a monster cannot move into attack
range, it will still use its movement to get as close as possible to its focus.


(Emphasis mine)

Maybe I'm interpreting the rules wrong, but here's how we think it through. When you put those two together, a ranged attack monster focuses on a Hero using the least amount of movement. If it has multiple heroes in range, but one is at melee, it would have to move 1 to attack the melee since it will move to perform the best possible attack. As such, the shortest path is not moving and attacking the hero that is not adjacent.

Please let me know if we're doing that wrong - we would much prefer the ranged attacker to back up and attack the tank that's in his face, but that's not how we interpret the rules (hey look! it goes back to the rule book isn't very good).

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Nedeljkovic
Serbia
Paracin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Charian wrote:
Great review!

I don't agree with 1 and 7 though.
The rulebook's not perfect, but it's still one of the best manuals out there. The rules are very clear. All it lacks is a set-up guide or a tutorial.
And monster behavior is unthematic? So you pretend to know how fantasy creatures should act? shake

Oh, and you basically listed the same 'problem' twice: the battlegoals turn Gloomhaven from a co-op into a semi-co-op. So...shake again.

Eh, I'm just nitpicking. It's a good review; people can get a real sense of what they are getting into. Thanks for the write-up!


I don't have that much of a problem with the rulebook as many other people, I think that over 50 % of the reviews here mentioned it.

As for monster movement: they behave like idiots in some cases, which is unthematic for sentient beings.

I think you misunderstood the point: I said that the battle goals were unbalanced, semi coop was another thing entirely (where I listed battle goals as an example).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Nedeljkovic
Serbia
Paracin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I forgot point 12. (probably because I don't see it as a real problem but it needs to be mentioned and I'll add it into the review)
12. The weirdness of the items
What I mean by this is that items in Gloomhaven don't behave in the same way as in other dungeon crawls and feel rather weird. Why do I get to use my Axe only once during a scenario? How come my Mage can use a net to cast a lightning spell and give enemies immobilize? I'm throwing gigantic rocks with a bow and arrow? Whaaat?!

Also, we only ended up using a handful of items (15-20 out of 100+), other ones seemed quite useless.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Zachary Homrighaus
United States
Clarendon Hills
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
ranissi wrote:
abakus wrote:


ranissi wrote:
I wish they would focus on the closest person first, instead of the least amount of movement to get to a hex to attack, then the closest person. Net result is if you're a melee character, the ranged monster will attack your backrow heroes... Though I guess this makes sense .


I’m not sure what you mean by this. If you’re next to an archer, they’ll focus you, and maintain that focus even if they move to avoid disadvantage. Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you’re saying, but generally ranged monsters will be blowing up your front line, since it’s closest to them.


The rules for determining focus:
Quote:

A monster will focus on the enemy figure it can perform its current attack against using the least
amount of movement.
It finds the shortest possible path to get in range and line-of-sight to use its
attack, and the figure that can be attacked at the end of that path is the focus. This enemy figure is
considered the “closest.” It doesn’t matter if the monster can’t get within range to attack with its
current movement, as long as there is a path to eventually get within range. If a monster does not have
an attack listed on its ability card for the round, it finds a focus as if it had a melee attack. In the case
where the monster can move the same number of spaces to get within range (and line-of-sight) of
multiple enemy figures (e.g., because it starts its turn within range of multiple enemies), proximity from
the monster’s current position (i.e. number of hexes they are away, not counting through walls) is then
checked as a tie-breaker for determining “closest.”


And for Monster Movement:
Quote:
If the monster is performing a ranged attack, it will only move toward a hex where it is within range to perform
its best possible attack. A monster will also move away from its focused enemy until it can perform the ranged
attack without Disadvantag
e. When forced to choose, a monster will prioritize losing Disadvantage on its
focused enemy over maximizing its attack on secondary targets. Even if a monster cannot move into attack
range, it will still use its movement to get as close as possible to its focus.


(Emphasis mine)

Maybe I'm interpreting the rules wrong, but here's how we think it through. When you put those two together, a ranged attack monster focuses on a Hero using the least amount of movement. If it has multiple heroes in range, but one is at melee, it would have to move 1 to attack the melee since it will move to perform the best possible attack. As such, the shortest path is not moving and attacking the hero that is not adjacent.

Please let me know if we're doing that wrong - we would much prefer the ranged attacker to back up and attack the tank that's in his face, but that's not how we interpret the rules (hey look! it goes back to the rule book isn't very good).



Yeah, you're playing it wrong. Do a quick search on ranged monster focus and you'll find all sorts of detailed discussion that really just boils down to... 1. Identify closest enemy you can attack (if melee attack, you need to consider the path to make an attack). That is your focus. 2. Once focus is established, monster will attempt to move if necessary to perform their best attack that includes their focus (meaning a monster won't move away from their focus even if it allowed them to hit two different enemies).

For ranged monsters, this is generally pretty easy... just find the enemy who is closest. They are your focus. Attack them. If you have multi-target attack, the monster may move to hit multiple targets, but their focus must be one of them. There are absolutely nuances and corner cases, but for the most part, ranged enemies are going to pick apart your front line and stay in place unless someone moves adjacent to them at which point they will start backing up to maintain range and avoid disadvantage.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darrell Goodridge
United States
Windsor Locks
Connecticut
flag msg tools
Currently at 1:2 ratio, getting better every week
badge
I don't want it, I don't need it, but I can't stop myself. - Stabbing Westward
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ranissi wrote:
abakus wrote:


ranissi wrote:
I wish they would focus on the closest person first, instead of the least amount of movement to get to a hex to attack, then the closest person. Net result is if you're a melee character, the ranged monster will attack your backrow heroes... Though I guess this makes sense .


I’m not sure what you mean by this. If you’re next to an archer, they’ll focus you, and maintain that focus even if they move to avoid disadvantage. Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you’re saying, but generally ranged monsters will be blowing up your front line, since it’s closest to them.


The rules for determining focus:
Quote:

A monster will focus on the enemy figure it can perform its current attack against using the least
amount of movement.
It finds the shortest possible path to get in range and line-of-sight to use its
attack, and the figure that can be attacked at the end of that path is the focus. This enemy figure is
considered the “closest.” It doesn’t matter if the monster can’t get within range to attack with its
current movement, as long as there is a path to eventually get within range. If a monster does not have
an attack listed on its ability card for the round, it finds a focus as if it had a melee attack. In the case
where the monster can move the same number of spaces to get within range (and line-of-sight) of
multiple enemy figures (e.g., because it starts its turn within range of multiple enemies), proximity from
the monster’s current position (i.e. number of hexes they are away, not counting through walls) is then
checked as a tie-breaker for determining “closest.”


And for Monster Movement:
Quote:
If the monster is performing a ranged attack, it will only move toward a hex where it is within range to perform
its best possible attack. A monster will also move away from its focused enemy until it can perform the ranged
attack without Disadvantag
e. When forced to choose, a monster will prioritize losing Disadvantage on its
focused enemy over maximizing its attack on secondary targets. Even if a monster cannot move into attack
range, it will still use its movement to get as close as possible to its focus.


(Emphasis mine)

Maybe I'm interpreting the rules wrong, but here's how we think it through. When you put those two together, a ranged attack monster focuses on a Hero using the least amount of movement. If it has multiple heroes in range, but one is at melee, it would have to move 1 to attack the melee since it will move to perform the best possible attack. As such, the shortest path is not moving and attacking the hero that is not adjacent.

Please let me know if we're doing that wrong - we would much prefer the ranged attacker to back up and attack the tank that's in his face, but that's not how we interpret the rules (hey look! it goes back to the rule book isn't very good).



I believe that this
Quote:
It finds the shortest possible path to get in range and line-of-sight to use its
attack, and the figure that can be attacked at the end of that path is the focus.
is the relevant line for ranged monsters. It will move the minimum distance to be in range of a hero, typically the closest.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
michael ray
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Floating World wrote:
squegeeboo wrote:
Floating World wrote:

4. Semi-co op
I don't like semi-co op games. I actually hate them with a passion. But I'm OK with it here. It certainly does help that we are a "little" loose with the rules of not telling each other our battle goals.


What makes you dislike semi-co op? I would also quibble if this is truly semi-co op, or just hidden information. To me, semi-co op are games like Dead of Winter where someone might actually be a bad guy, and you can win individually. As compared to gloomhaven, where it's just a hidden bonus goal, and a few gold coins.


I wasn't clear: I'm OK with semi coop elements here (the battle goals and life goals), I wasn't trying to say Gloomhaven is fully semi coop (God forbid :-) ).

What I dislike about semi coop games is that they have all the randomness of a cooperative game and are actually competitive. I also dislike games that try to be 2 different things but do neither well, but I don't hate them like I hate semi coops.


Interesting, our group has alpha gamer issues, so true co-op either boils down to arguments or actual players just basically being dummy AIs and doing what their told is optimal (pandemic for example has that issue for us). So, having hidden goals, or the occasional diversion for a chest or pile of coins as an excuse for sub-optimal play really works out well for us.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Nedeljkovic
Serbia
Paracin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
squegeeboo wrote:
Floating World wrote:
squegeeboo wrote:
Floating World wrote:

4. Semi-co op
I don't like semi-co op games. I actually hate them with a passion. But I'm OK with it here. It certainly does help that we are a "little" loose with the rules of not telling each other our battle goals.


What makes you dislike semi-co op? I would also quibble if this is truly semi-co op, or just hidden information. To me, semi-co op are games like Dead of Winter where someone might actually be a bad guy, and you can win individually. As compared to gloomhaven, where it's just a hidden bonus goal, and a few gold coins.


I wasn't clear: I'm OK with semi coop elements here (the battle goals and life goals), I wasn't trying to say Gloomhaven is fully semi coop (God forbid :-) ).

What I dislike about semi coop games is that they have all the randomness of a cooperative game and are actually competitive. I also dislike games that try to be 2 different things but do neither well, but I don't hate them like I hate semi coops.


Interesting, our group has alpha gamer issues, so true co-op either boils down to arguments or actual players just basically being dummy AIs and doing what their told is optimal (pandemic for example has that issue for us). So, having hidden goals, or the occasional diversion for a chest or pile of coins as an excuse for sub-optimal play really works out well for us.


There's a guy in our group that get's every game after a play or 2 and always thrashes us (in competitive games). He refuses to help in cooperative games (even if asked)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Zachary Homrighaus
United States
Clarendon Hills
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
squegeeboo wrote:
Floating World wrote:
squegeeboo wrote:
Floating World wrote:

4. Semi-co op
I don't like semi-co op games. I actually hate them with a passion. But I'm OK with it here. It certainly does help that we are a "little" loose with the rules of not telling each other our battle goals.


What makes you dislike semi-co op? I would also quibble if this is truly semi-co op, or just hidden information. To me, semi-co op are games like Dead of Winter where someone might actually be a bad guy, and you can win individually. As compared to gloomhaven, where it's just a hidden bonus goal, and a few gold coins.


I wasn't clear: I'm OK with semi coop elements here (the battle goals and life goals), I wasn't trying to say Gloomhaven is fully semi coop (God forbid :-) ).

What I dislike about semi coop games is that they have all the randomness of a cooperative game and are actually competitive. I also dislike games that try to be 2 different things but do neither well, but I don't hate them like I hate semi coops.


Interesting, our group has alpha gamer issues, so true co-op either boils down to arguments or actual players just basically being dummy AIs and doing what their told is optimal (pandemic for example has that issue for us). So, having hidden goals, or the occasional diversion for a chest or pile of coins as an excuse for sub-optimal play really works out well for us.


100% agree. It also creates a little bit of roleplay ability. I'm not trying to make an argument that Gloomhaven is an RPG in a box, but our first Scoundrel played to his strengths and hoovered up coins at every opportunity. It got to the point where the Tinkerer (me) decided not to heal him a few times and let him lose a few cards to teach him a lesson. This is great! This makes the game much more immersive and fun vs. just memorizing everyone's abilities and mapping out the optimal turn before choosing cards.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
jeff bee
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
squegeeboo wrote:
Floating World wrote:
squegeeboo wrote:
Floating World wrote:

4. Semi-co op
I don't like semi-co op games. I actually hate them with a passion. But I'm OK with it here. It certainly does help that we are a "little" loose with the rules of not telling each other our battle goals.


What makes you dislike semi-co op? I would also quibble if this is truly semi-co op, or just hidden information. To me, semi-co op are games like Dead of Winter where someone might actually be a bad guy, and you can win individually. As compared to gloomhaven, where it's just a hidden bonus goal, and a few gold coins.


I wasn't clear: I'm OK with semi coop elements here (the battle goals and life goals), I wasn't trying to say Gloomhaven is fully semi coop (God forbid :-) ).

What I dislike about semi coop games is that they have all the randomness of a cooperative game and are actually competitive. I also dislike games that try to be 2 different things but do neither well, but I don't hate them like I hate semi coops.


Interesting, our group has alpha gamer issues, so true co-op either boils down to arguments or actual players just basically being dummy AIs and doing what their told is optimal (pandemic for example has that issue for us). So, having hidden goals, or the occasional diversion for a chest or pile of coins as an excuse for sub-optimal play really works out well for us.


That's interesting. One of the things I like about Gloomhaven is even without hidden battle goals, you don't really know what each hero can do on each given turn. Even if you previously played the class and have every card memorized, unless you're keeping very detailed notes, it'll be hard to know what's in the players hand at that given time. I find that the game lends itself well to generic strategy of "I'm going to run up to those guys and whack them" or "I'm going to go slowly and leave myself flexible to respond" or whatever because there's so much information that it's difficult to know what everyone is *able* to do.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lukasz Kaniewski
Poland
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
ranissi wrote:
abakus wrote:


ranissi wrote:
I wish they would focus on the closest person first, instead of the least amount of movement to get to a hex to attack, then the closest person. Net result is if you're a melee character, the ranged monster will attack your backrow heroes... Though I guess this makes sense .


I’m not sure what you mean by this. If you’re next to an archer, they’ll focus you, and maintain that focus even if they move to avoid disadvantage. Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you’re saying, but generally ranged monsters will be blowing up your front line, since it’s closest to them.


The rules for determining focus:
Quote:

A monster will focus on the enemy figure it can perform its current attack against using the least
amount of movement.
It finds the shortest possible path to get in range and line-of-sight to use its
attack, and the figure that can be attacked at the end of that path is the focus. This enemy figure is
considered the “closest.” It doesn’t matter if the monster can’t get within range to attack with its
current movement, as long as there is a path to eventually get within range. If a monster does not have
an attack listed on its ability card for the round, it finds a focus as if it had a melee attack. In the case
where the monster can move the same number of spaces to get within range (and line-of-sight) of
multiple enemy figures (e.g., because it starts its turn within range of multiple enemies), proximity from
the monster’s current position (i.e. number of hexes they are away, not counting through walls) is then
checked as a tie-breaker for determining “closest.”


And for Monster Movement:
Quote:
If the monster is performing a ranged attack, it will only move toward a hex where it is within range to perform
its best possible attack. A monster will also move away from its focused enemy until it can perform the ranged
attack without Disadvantag
e. When forced to choose, a monster will prioritize losing Disadvantage on its
focused enemy over maximizing its attack on secondary targets. Even if a monster cannot move into attack
range, it will still use its movement to get as close as possible to its focus.


(Emphasis mine)

Maybe I'm interpreting the rules wrong, but here's how we think it through. When you put those two together, a ranged attack monster focuses on a Hero using the least amount of movement. If it has multiple heroes in range, but one is at melee, it would have to move 1 to attack the melee since it will move to perform the best possible attack. As such, the shortest path is not moving and attacking the hero that is not adjacent.

Please let me know if we're doing that wrong - we would much prefer the ranged attacker to back up and attack the tank that's in his face, but that's not how we interpret the rules (hey look! it goes back to the rule book isn't very good).


Sounds like you mix up focus and movement. Monster first finds focus and so "locks on" the nearest enemy. After focus had been found it determines movement, moving in a way that allows to lose disadvantage against his chosen focus, he does not refocus now.

It does not think about disadvantage when choosing focus, but afterwards, when focus won't switch
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
michael ray
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
ranissi wrote:
squegeeboo wrote:
Floating World wrote:
squegeeboo wrote:
Floating World wrote:

4. Semi-co op
I don't like semi-co op games. I actually hate them with a passion. But I'm OK with it here. It certainly does help that we are a "little" loose with the rules of not telling each other our battle goals.


What makes you dislike semi-co op? I would also quibble if this is truly semi-co op, or just hidden information. To me, semi-co op are games like Dead of Winter where someone might actually be a bad guy, and you can win individually. As compared to gloomhaven, where it's just a hidden bonus goal, and a few gold coins.


I wasn't clear: I'm OK with semi coop elements here (the battle goals and life goals), I wasn't trying to say Gloomhaven is fully semi coop (God forbid :-) ).

What I dislike about semi coop games is that they have all the randomness of a cooperative game and are actually competitive. I also dislike games that try to be 2 different things but do neither well, but I don't hate them like I hate semi coops.


Interesting, our group has alpha gamer issues, so true co-op either boils down to arguments or actual players just basically being dummy AIs and doing what their told is optimal (pandemic for example has that issue for us). So, having hidden goals, or the occasional diversion for a chest or pile of coins as an excuse for sub-optimal play really works out well for us.


That's interesting. One of the things I like about Gloomhaven is even without hidden battle goals, you don't really know what each hero can do on each given turn. Even if you previously played the class and have every card memorized, unless you're keeping very detailed notes, it'll be hard to know what's in the players hand at that given time. I find that the game lends itself well to generic strategy of "I'm going to run up to those guys and whack them" or "I'm going to go slowly and leave myself flexible to respond" or whatever because there's so much information that it's difficult to know what everyone is *able* to do.


Right, and that's part of what makes it great. If we could all look at each others hands and battle goals and choose the exact best option instead of "going early, stabbing" or "screw you guys, I don't care that we're not ready yet, I'm kicking down the door!" You'd instead have an extra chuck of time each turn while the alpha gamers look over everyone's remaining hands/goals and harass you into the 'optimal' choice, meanwhile the leyroy jenkins of the group get bored and lose interest, cause they just want to have fun smashing things or what not.

All the other games I can think of that try and deal with this will either do a little bit of hidden information (vanilla pandemic, where you can't say what specific cities you have if I remember?) which isn't enough...or go to a full blown "there could be a traitor in your mists!"(knights of Camelot, dead of winter), where any sub optimal play causes mistrust and kind of ruins the co-op aspect. As opposed to Gloomhaven, where you still all win/lose as a group, so any sub optimal is weighed against is it worth it for the group, vs is it worth it for me (hopefully).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.