I’ve been waiting in anticipation… long ago did I place my order… – over a year, in fact – and now it has finally arrived! My very own copy of Gloomhaven by Cephalofair Games!
For anyone not familiar with Gloomhaven, it’s a legacy-style fantasy dungeon crawl. Lots of scenarios. Lots of monsters. Lots of locations to go adventuring during the campaign. And the game changes as you play it, morphing to become your own unique experience.
But, before I dive into too much detail… BEHOLD! The treasure trove of gaming goodness!
Welcome to the monster that is Gloomhaven!
Now, I’ve not yet played the game… I need to decide who to invite to this epic campaign before I just thrash some monsters all willy-nilly. However, I have a general understanding of the game’s basic concepts. And here’s what I know:
Players may choose from a starting set of adventurers or character classes. Each class is unique in style, with different abilities and methods of combat. These adventurers start out in the town of Gloomhaven, encountering different bits of storyline as they go, unlocking additional locations as they visit each one and clear them of horrid monsters. Think of it almost like a choose-your-own-adventure-style game. No one forces you to hit all of the locations, but you can if you want to. (Maybe..? I guess that depends… will some locations be unavailable if you don’t visit them, or visit an alternate location??? No idea!)
Here’s a quick shot at the box of minis. (This was extra, the base came includes standees. I got both!) Lots of great detail in the resin. These WILL get painted at some point.
As you play, your character gains experience and strength, eventually reaching the peak of their careers only to retire… and unlocking a new character class! The additional classes are secret. Unknown. Only discovered when you reach the proper time. That’s what will make this game amazing: all of the discovery and anticipation along the journey.
Throughout the campaign, various monster types may begin escalating in difficulty. That’s where the monster stat cards come into play. Notice how there are four sets of stats? As the monsters grow in difficulty, just turn the card to the appropriate set of stats and slide it into the card sleeve to cover the rest of the unused stats so you only see one quarter of the card. Genius!
As for organizing monster tiles, I saw someone suggest using GMT token trays. I’ll definitely look into that idea, as there are a LOT of monster standees in this game!
Tracking your progress throughout the game is done using not only your class’ character tile, but also a party progress sheet. Each character also gets their own log sheet, in addition to various bits and cards within their tuckbox.
Lastly, the rules are laid out well and appear to be very organized. I still have to read through them all. (All 50 pages!) But, at first glance, they look to be excellent. The scenario book also looks great, but I’m not posting pictures of that to avoid any major spoilers.
As I noted, I’m really excited to play this game. Once I have some scenarios under my belt, I’ll come back to review the gameplay side of things. For now, I’ll just do some curls with my 20lb box of gaming goodies… or I’ll just have a beer and daydream about playing my new game. 🙂