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Subject: Good game for relatively new board-gamers?? rss

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Andy Hannibal
United Kingdom
Bournemouth
England
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Brief bit of history is me and my misses recently started playing Pandemic, then Pandemic Legacy Season One, we want something else to play before playing season two as we don't want to overplay the series and ruin it, but those are the only real boardgames we've played. We've found this game and like the sound of it, as we both enjoy the huge aspect of Pandemic Legacy, so my questions are

Do you guys think this would be too much for us fairly early on in gaming?

And is it somewhat similar to Pandemic Legacy in the scale and evolution of gameplay?

Hope this all makes sense and thanks!!
 
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Moritz Jakobi
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Where there's a will, there's a way. I have yet to play PL1 (it's literally waiting in my sideboard).
From playing a few games of Pandemic core, I'd say, there's a lot more randomness/luck involved in Pandemic and a lot less rules.
As said, I haven't played PL1, but I guess, there's more impact of your decisions there then in GH, in a way, especially concerning changing rules and gameplay.
 
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Mike Wonham
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If you're playing Pandemic then you're playing a more involved 'co-op with challenge' game, but it's a big leap from there to Gloomhaven. GH is a big commitment financially, and to get the best out of it, expect to play it weekly for a long time. But it doesn't stop you playing other games while you're doing that...

If you've played any sort of RPG beforehand, or another board game dungeon crawler, then GH is probably a game you'll love. It bridges the gap from the abstract to the board really well, and is much more accessible than the RPG.

If you can, watch some of the run throughs on YouTube. That'll give you an idea of how it works. Watch Rahdo's review on YouTube. Read through some of the 'how do I start' threads on this forum. Best of all, see if there's anyone relatively near you who would be willing to take you through an early scenario to actually have a go. (somerset in my case).

If you open it, play it, and don't like it, you'll be able to eBay it in about 5 minutes for nearly what you paid for it.
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wojciech slusarczyk
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Labinopper wrote:

And is it somewhat similar to Pandemic Legacy in the scale and evolution of gameplay?
Gloomhaven is much more massive in terms of rules, complexity, number of components, set-up time and game length. As it was mentioned Gloomhaven requires time commitment and time investment to actually grasp everything.
Never the less it is very fun game. But it would be best if you were able to try it first before acquiring your own copy.


On site note I found this thread:
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1848358/dungeon-crawler-col...
which lists dungeon crawlers and how well they are perceived by players with different experience. You might want to check it out.
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al Cann
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Labinopper wrote:
Brief bit of history is me and my misses recently started playing Pandemic, then Pandemic Legacy Season One, we want something else to play before playing season two as we don't want to overplay the series and ruin it, but those are the only real boardgames we've played. We've found this game and like the sound of it, as we both enjoy the huge aspect of Pandemic Legacy, so my questions are

Do you guys think this would be too much for us fairly early on in gaming?

And is it somewhat similar to Pandemic Legacy in the scale and evolution of gameplay?

Hope this all makes sense and thanks!!
Good advice from all other posters ... especially the attached link by vvotjas.

I think GH is an enormous leap from where you are currently. As said, it is massive. You and your partner could play this game 100+ hours (probably 50 game nights) and still not be done with it. Add probably at least 15 minutes for set up and tear down if you cannot leave the game out, and you can see the degree of time commitment involved.

It is a good and exciting game, however, but not without lots of obscure and counterintuitive rules and perhaps frustration until you get the hang of it.

You might consider looking into Near and Far. Much lighter, story based, easier to learn, less of a financial and time commitment. It is a step up from PL season 1 in complexity but not near to the level of GH.

My 2 cents.

PS -- It is a competitive game, not cooperative. However, it is not confrontational really, but more about experiencing the story and collecting victory points through various tasks.
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Aaron Montgomery
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If you opt for GH, expect to miss a few rules and know that that is okay. Even experienced gamers misinterpret many rules in complicated games like GH. As you discover missed rules, correct them in future plays, but don’t feel obligated to go back and replay everything to correct your previous mistakes. I frequently read the rule book and the BGG forums between plays to find our misplays so we can correct them in our future games.

Aaron
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Jerold Wallis

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I would not count on eBay, since it is now readily available new on amazon with free shipping. Given the 22 lb weight, the shipping would result in a significant loss.

Both are very fun, but a big leap in complexity and time commitment between the two. If possible, try before you buy.
 
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B C
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Muscatine
Iowa
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albcann wrote:
Add probably at least 15 minutes for set up and tear down if you cannot leave the game out, and you can see the degree of time commitment involved.
This little bit of quoted information is what I consider one of the key things that keeps me playing Gloomhaven*, and how it differs from PL1. I played and finished PL1 and PL2, they were great, and relatively easy to tear down and prep. Gloomhaven seems to get played a lot less if I'm constantly putting it back in the box and having to set things up.

At my condo I added all the extra leaves to my dining room table, I play Gloomhaven at one end of the table, and unless I'm having people over, I just leave the game out all the time.

* Note: PL1 and PL2 can usually be finished in 15-20 games. At 20 games of Gloomhaven, you will probably just be getting used to your second characters, and still have 50 - 60 scenarios to go. As far as campaign duration goes, PL1 and PL2 feel like a sprint you can just put your head down and churn through games to get to the end. You could theoretically start and finish them in one weekend. That's just not possible with Gloomhaven. Like a marathon, you have to pace your group.
 
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Sean Jackson
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Great questions, Andy. I agree with the responses already posted. My two cents is this: Gloomhaven is either going to be a game that you don’t care for and you will know it pretty quickly or, it will consume you and you will never get to PL Season 2, because you will forget everything else. Rules-wise, as stated in another post, you will forget some and do some of them wrong, but this has never detracted from the enjoyment of this game for my group. We have played over 20 scenarios now and we have the rules dialed in and the experience is the same as before. Last night we retired 2 characters and opened 2 new ones, while a third player leveled up his Cragheart. It was a fantastic night for us, unlike any other game. I also play solo and with a third group, so I have 88 total plays logged at this point. I still have not seen everything the game has to offer.
The best way to answer your questions is this. I don’t think this is a game that you will use in-between your PL Seasons, it is too much of a commitment. If you both enjoy it, it will likely replace everything else you play. But that is not a bad thing.
 
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Clayton Threadgill
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Labinopper wrote:
And is it somewhat similar to Pandemic Legacy in the scale and evolution of gameplay?
The other posters have excellent answers for your questions, so I thought to chime in with some alternate recommendations.

If you're looking for something closer to the complexity of Pandemic with evolving gameplay, I would say check out Betrayal Legacy (though it requires at least 3 players), or Charterstone.

Gloomhaven is a great game, but it is much more complex than Pandemic Legacy. And while it does have a large story-driven campaign you can complete, you could just as easily ignore the plot and play most of the various scenarios out of order, so I don't really consider it an evolving, Legacy-style of game.
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Ben Martell
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I was also coming to suggest Near and Far. Don’t do Gloomhaven yet - work up to it.
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SilentMix
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Research Gloomhaven thoroughly before committing. I would suggest watching the JonGetsGames video of Gloomhaven on YouTube so you can get a feeling of what the game is like. He plays a random scenario so you won't get spoiled on anything.

Keep in mind that Gloomhaven is a MUCH more complicated game than any flavor of Pandemic. The rulebook is 50 pages that you can read through several times before the first session and you still probably won't get 100% of the rules right at first (don't worry, pretty much no one does). It takes 2-3 hours minimum to play a session, and this doesn't include setup/teardown time. It's a game that you'll probably want to play once every 2-3 weeks at a minimum, so requires a large time investment. You also NEED to come up with some sort of storage solution - the most common that people use is one of the expensive solutions (Broken Token, Meeple Realty, etc), the cheaper solution (Y.A.S.S., which uses Plano tackle boxes), or the even cheaper solution (a LOT of plastic ziplock bags).

That being said, I disagree with some of the people who say you need to ease into it. I got into board gaming more recently. Gloomhaven wasn't my first board game, but I got it only about a month after getting into the hobby. I'm fine with it. I will say though that I'm a video gamer and I also played Dungeons and Dragons at one point in time, so complicated rules is no problem.
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Mad Mullet
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Labinopper wrote:
Brief bit of history is me and my misses recently started playing Pandemic, then Pandemic Legacy Season One, we want something else to play before playing season two as we don't want to overplay the series and ruin it, but those are the only real boardgames we've played. We've found this game and like the sound of it, as we both enjoy the huge aspect of Pandemic Legacy, so my questions are

Do you guys think this would be too much for us fairly early on in gaming?

And is it somewhat similar to Pandemic Legacy in the scale and evolution of gameplay?

Hope this all makes sense and thanks!!
Totally depends on you and your partner.

My co-op board-gaming history went: Pandemic (played twice) --> Gloomhaven.

I've bought Pandemic Legacy since.

For me, Gloomhaven is just a game that has had an instant appeal and I have found the rulebook very easy-to-use. I don't particularly find the game 'fiddly' as many do and I don't use an app. I have a DIY storage solution (more similar to the plano-box system that others use than anything else) that works for me.

I would agree that it is very different to Pandemic Legacy in terms of scale but it's a game that just 'clicks' for many people so getting your head around rules etc. may not necessarily be as onerous as you may think.

I think the biggest thing to check with your other half is whether the genre appeals. My wife will happily play Pandemic, T-I-M-E Stories and Forbidden Island but she'll run a mile if I suggest we go co-op on a Gloomhaven scenario. It's just not her thing - rules, genre, game-play etc. If the tactical combat doesn't grab you (or her), it is unlikely that the storyline will compensate for that.
 
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Simon Ng
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Now, our group is similar to your group. Pandemic Legacy was the game that actually started our group, with me never played anything more complex to Monopoly before, and others never played anything more complex than Catan. And Gloomhaven was the 3rd game we tried in our group.

Labinopper wrote:
Do you guys think this would be too much for us fairly early on in gaming?
There are 2 things I think you need to consider.

1) I think someone in your group need do the work, to learn the rules, watch the videos on how to play, know the game in and out. In our group it was me, and I do it gladly

2) I think everyone in your group needs to buy in to the experience, mainly because of some of the hurdles below

Labinopper wrote:

And is it somewhat similar to Pandemic Legacy in the scale and evolution of gameplay?
In terms of scale, Gloomhaven is a step up from Pandemic Legacy, game length, setup time, hence why I was saying (2) is important, as these could become hurdles in getting this game to the table

In terms of evolution of gameplay, Pandemic Legacy has a different sort of evolution. Pandemic Legacy's evolution is more the evolution of the rules, the state of the board changes, more interconnected story line. In Gloomhaven the rules don't change, it's more unlocking characters, leveling up, similar to how in Pandemic Legacy you get characer game end upgrades.

All in all, Gloomhaven was NOT a success in our group, because one of the misses on our group (she really liked Pandemic Legacy) found the game too complex, and the setup time was too much and the gameplay was too fiddly, not that we don't like the game, one of the guys (the husband of the misses) played a few scenarios solo and I've played through the entire campaign solo. But for our group, it was just easier to play something that is easier to setup and everyone enjoys.
 
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Daniel Sweetser
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I run my Gloomhaven group with a seasoned gamer and two people who are less experienced but fairly game savvy, although one of them suffers from some AP. I've trained one of them to run monster upkeep, and I generally run monster movement. All things told it's a lot, and the not-insubstantial set up/breakdown usually falls to me. One the bright side of things, the setup is simplified by the (super expensive but worth it) Broken Token insert.

With all of that said, finding a good class mix in Gloomhaven is hard with just two players, and the bookkeeping is a lot. If you're looking for a cooperative dungeon crawl for less experienced players I'd recommend trying Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) with the Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) – Road to Legend expansion. The app handles a lot of the upkeep, leaving you more free to choose what you'd like to do; if Star Wars is more you (or or partner's) speed, Star Wars: Imperial Assault might be more accessible for you.
 
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