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Guildhaven City» Forums » Reviews

Subject: First story arc done - impressions, spoilers hidden rss

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TL:DWR*
Guildhaven City is a very good Dungeoncrawler solo experience with an overarching story that still offers more to expirence on a second play through. If you like playing solo, Dungeoncrawlers or Gloomhaven chcek it out!


Context and Intro

First of all - thank you - Mike Heim (and his playtesters) - for creating this game and making it available for free. The bang for the buck is really high in this one.

I came acorss this game due to a reddit post in r/gloomhaven. To this day I played overall 89 sessions of Gloomhaven in all party sizes and enjoyed it so very, very much. However, septup, play time and tear down of Gloomhaven are a pain, and the game is very fiddly at times.

As no review of Guildhaven City exists here are my two cents, after haviung played one story arc made up of
Spoiler (click to reveal)
12
Scenarios finished in
Spoiler (click to reveal)
16
Sessions (spoiler to shroud the numer of scenarios needed for conclusions).

Another disclaimer: I dislike the superheo genre as well as comics and movies of that ilk (baring only and arguably not in this genre Sin City). However, In this case it looked differnt enough to give it a shot.

Last disclaimer:as you might have noticed already I am not an Enlish native speaker. Therefore, I beg you pardon on any of my language hickups.

The "Review"

As is mentioned in the game's manual, this is a streamlined version of Gloomhaven - but, oh boy, it is so much more (and less). It is an amazing single player experience, that is deep and can be challanging. The scenarios are diverse and innovative and the story is engaging - putting you in a city dircetly borrowed fom 1950's style of "The Spirit" comics, with 'alpa' heros (god-like beings of power) gone missing and you a young 'beta' hero going for vengence of your clicé freshly kiled kid and life partner Max**.

The game's core concepts are heavily influnced by Gloomhaven: you basically will find yourself playing a dungeon crawler (doing what you do in this game genre - viz. walking around, punching face and looting goodies), with euro elements. Compared to its far beefier brother, there are several alterations, that might become pitfalls if you played too much of BGG's top game. However three major (and svereal smaller) changes have been done to the system:
1)the combination of two (of 6) character classes, allowing you two play two superhero skill sets at once, that you can mix and match,
2) plays are far quciker games with tremendously less set-up and
3) the introduction of dice to your attack modification and villan actions.

Though the fist two concepts are great, the third is less so. One of the beauties of Gloomhaven is it's treatment of randomness as a dependent factor (due to the use of card decks for attack modifiers and monster actions). This has unfortunate ramifications for Guildhaven City as it can be a fickle mistress either making life quite easy at times but crushing you later, as villan actions and modifier outcomes can be detrement to you falling or succeeding.

Though I really disliked the whim of true coincidence dice put on the player, the quick nature of any given scenario makes you chuckle it off and start again, as I found playtimes lasting between 15-40 minutes (+5minutes reading time). However, due to my class and leveling descisions I found the later scenarios rather easy.

The overarching story had me play only half of all scenarios in the book, making me curious on the other half. So there is your replayability, which is higer than in Gloomhaven is looked at number of campains you will play, but less so in sheer number of scenarios.

Whilst smaller as his far heavier cousin Guildhaven City did not loose the fiddlyness of its muse. Initiative tracking is as hard as in Gloomhaven and the marker-kerfuffle can be there as well.

All that being said the game is great: It evokes a feeling of being in the world only by harping on Superhero-clishees we all know (and hate) but spins them around enough to keep you intrested even if you are a super-hero loather as I am. The price for what you get are unbeatable and really lured me into looking at more pnp-games.

So one more thanks to Mike Heim for creating this game.

________________________
*Too long: don't wanna read

**I love how here your partner could be of any geneder. A nice touch even though I am not part of the LBGTC.

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mike heim
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Thank you Yudas for the FIRST REVIEW!!

**I made Max to be non-gender specific because you can play a female superhero if you want, so Max could be a man. Great catch in that this could also be a same-sex relationship. I'm just trying to make the game more inclusive to whomever would like to play it.
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**would love more designers to incorporate that!
 
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