I’m really digging Gloomhaven except for the enormous time commitment every single mission. Huge, huge footprint. Makes it hard to table, especially with the legacy element.
Honestly I think this game is why I got a tiny 5E itch at the end of the year. When your brain is telling you D&D might be easier to commit to, there might be something wrong with your board game.
Veterans: does it speed up with experience? I’ve already lost my sorcerer and I’m learning my way around the mindthief, and I gotta say this is probably why it’s so slow (for me). Much tougher experience than Descent or Imperial Assault, for sure.
35 thoughts on “I’m really digging Gloomhaven except for the enormous time commitment every single mission.”
Yeah, this is what we keep coming away from with games like Descent.
“Hey, these miniatures and maps are cool…but couldn’t I just do this with D&D and effectively zero set up?”
Well there’s also the school of D&D that’s all about minis and elaborate dioramas, which is setup x 100.
Even just a dry erase battle map and glass tokens would be faster than Gloomhaven.
We played with two people and have run through about 60 of the scenarios since early November. It does speed up somewhat, partly from familiarity with each individual class but partly also from figuring how much you need to min-max each turn – you realise you can drop some of the cognitive load and still win.
Uh, doesn’t D&D require like 100 hours of lonely prep? How is that better than setting up a board?
Mark Delsing my brain is totally ignoring that lalalalala
Joanna Piancastelli we’re still scared straight from losing two characters on our second mission.
Paul Beakley All the indie games have made you soft.
Mark Delsing I prefer velvety.
D&D does not require 1000s hours of lonely prep. It can require 0 hours. Depends on how you want to run it.
Curious about this. How many people are you playing with and how long are games taking?
We only have a 3 hours window with my regular group and I worry that this may not fit
Maurice Tousignant we played three players yesterday and it was about…2.5 hours? Three? And that’s with the Broken Token organizer, which is a lifesaver.
I’m also suffering crippling AP when I play, which it’s weird because that’s not usually a problem for me.
I’m also assuming it requires the same players each session since it’s a Legacy Game. That seems like it’s also a problem lately.
Maurice Tousignant you know, it’s actually quite flexible on that count. We had three of our four, and the scenarios scale really well. I could in fact level up via solitaire play between group sessions!
You can even run multiple parallel “parties,” if you have enough characters unlocked.
The world maintains some interesting continuity regardless of how many adventurers are doing things in it.
Now that is good to know! Thank you.
Unlocks come slow, mind you. And the game only starts with six available characters.
It doesn’t require the same players. In fact you could have two different players playing the same “class” and because of how they level up they’ll play slightly differently.
I feel like (having finally broken mine out NYE/NY) this game really sideloads the “prep” … whereas for D&D the DM generally has to do a decent amount of prep this the only prep is setting up and taking down. Can’t wait for my organize to come in… I’m tempted to just leave this on the table in the meantime.
And regarding D&D not always requiring prep… that’s only true if you are a Master DM and literally have 1000s of hours of prep under your belt… If you’re fairly new to DMing, and/or aren’t great at improv, and/or don’t have the Monster Manual(s) memorized (or access to some sort of CR based Encounter Generator) it’s going to generally take about 1-8 hours of prep for a 3-5 hour session.
Can’t say I agree with that. We had DMs running adventure league material with half hour prep, DMs who had never run a game before in their lives. Yes traditionally D&D took hours of prep but both the games and the DMs job has evolved over the years. But that’s probably better left for another thread instead of highjacking this one.
There are several things you can do to lower the footprint. First, there is a fantastic webapp called Gloomy Companion. It replaces all the cards and attack modifiers on the table. Also, it already knows all the monsters and bosses for every scenario. So no time needed to pull out the cards. johreh.github.io – Gloomy Companion
Yes, the more you play, the quicker it gets, as you learn your characters skills, and how they work with your team.
Also, Gloomhaven should not in any way be compared to D&D. D&D combat is open ended. Gloomhaven is closer to a puzzle.
Yanni Cooper I do dig the idea of the same character class leveling on their own, and it’s probably not even that hard to track. I guess it’s be different equipment lists and skill cards. The attack modifier deck changes should already be logged on the character sheet.
I guess some of that in my head is the form factor of the Broken Token organizer itself. There are four super handy play trays for the (up to) four characters in an active party. Nothing at all keeps you from having stuff rewritten down for, whatever, five different Craghearts. But being able to just pull your tray sure is nice.
(And given that the limited available equipment cards are part of Gloomhaven continuity, you would need to keep physical copies in marked baggies, I suppose.)
Glenn Rittenhouse Holy wow!
How does it compare with other legacy games, both time-wise and table space-wise?
We haven’t even looked at our copy yet. Probably won’t until we finish Kingdom Death; then we’ll have to decide between GH and Pandemic Legacy 2
Can you actually finish KDM?
There is also an app both on android and apple stores, called the Gloomhaven Campaign Tracker, that does a good job of keep track of campaigns, characters, equipment, and everything else. I would not even think of attempting to run multiple groups without it.
Paul Beakley https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.timmcode.ghcampaigntracker.droid&hl=en
I had no idea there was such a well developed support ecosystem for the game. This is great.
Paul Beakley – Maybe? The year tracker only goes up to year 30, but we haven’t read anything beyond then, so I don’t know if that was just an arbitrary distinction or not. In any case, I’m pretty sure you can finish the game by losing.
You can totally finish KDM … My group has finished 6 times (once “successfully” )
Derrick Kapchinsky KDM’s “parts” are much more destinct… a full Settle/Hunt/Showdown runs about the same as scenario for Gloomhaven… However the parts are more easily separable. Whereas for GH the “city” portion is so negligible it’s almost not worth mentioning; however you can’t easily split a dungeon up. As such KDM’s time commitment is much more forgiving… Extra long showdown? Pause before the settlement phase and do it next week.
Derrick Kapchinsky the only other legacy game I can speak to is Seafall, which you already know. It’s a messier footprint, for sure, although maaaaybe the companion app up there might clean things up a bit. But you still have a lot of stuff scattered around, even using an organizer. I felt like Seafall was honestly a pretty compact package: the map, each player’s ship board, lots of stuff sitting in the box top waiting to get accessed as needed but not really in the course of play.
Paul Beakley It gets better. You can google multiple 3d printed holders for the monster standees, that will allow you to put the actual effect tokens (poison, stun, etc.) right on the base. I hate to admit it, but the Gloomhaven FB page is full of great ideas. facebook.com – Gloomhaven Board Game
Oh yeah I left that group because every good idea was a chance to spend even more $$$. I’m already in about $200, absurd.
Paul Beakley All the apps are free. The 3d files are free. The strategy tips are free. I get a lot out of the group, except the inevitable arguments when you have nearly 6k members. I find myself turning off notifications for the page for days at a time. then I will go back and learn something. Anywho, you are right, there is a robust community for this game.
Paul Beakley One example of your concern is the Fish Stickers. I have 2 sets, and have yet to use any lol. Now i love my broken token insert, but yeah, i have to draw the line, and I refuse to spend more money on this game. Until the next ks……….
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