Gloomhaven First Impressions


So uhh, Gloomhaven.

For anyone uninitiated into the world of neo-board games, Gloomhaven is the new hotness. The big kahuna. One of the shiny Porsches of tabletop gaming. It’s a co-op dungeon generator where you and friends are weird, fantasy-but-guys-its-not-tolkein races wielding sharp things intended to enter various spleens. My closest comparison would be the ol’ Dungeons and Dragons series, 4th edition specifically.

I say that because It’s a role-playing game for power gamers. The plot is entirely chunked up into the mechanics of the game. no choice made is done for flavor alone. Everything you do has a measurable impact. As of writing I’m 3 sessions in. And the first thing you learn about Gloopyhaggis is that IT. IS. HARD. Any first-timer could be forgiven for saying the game is an angry slog through an unforgiving world. In truth, the difficulty is what gives Glaringhonkers its shine.

First and foremost, we lost the very first encounter. we reach the final room. But have run so low on cards that we will be exhausted before we can ask the elite bandit out on a date. We throw our hands in the air. “How are we supposed to do this?” we cry. And as we finish up, we immediately pick apart our mistakes. Sophie should have saved her ‘big reset’ button. Mike forgot to mention his ability to summon a rat swarm. And as the big bad damage taker, I didn’t sequence my defensive options correctly at ALL. From this, you’ll find the game is tuned juuuuust right to reward player skill instead of just waiting for dice to roll correctly (f.y.i. there’s no goddamn dice).

So we play again. But this time, we don’t burn cards using their powerful modes. You don’t get more cards as the scenario goes on, so you need to pace yourself. and we end up succeeding! What is even cooler is, win or lose, we get gold and experience. As someone who owes their sanity to incremental games like cookie clicker, this struck a chord in my brain pretty hard.

I havn’t had immediate withdrawals from a game as I’m packing it up like with Gloomhaven. We’ve leveled up once,  giving us the chance to change our combat decks and skill cards. I WANT TO PLAY RIGHT NOW MIKE IF YOU’RE READING THIS COME OVER WE NEED TO PLAY FOREVER

P.S. Jaw pain is fading but the wisdom teeth are gunna have to go in April. Noice.


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