Saturday Morning Gaming: Gloomhaven (Steam Edition)
Remember when we talked about Gloomhaven way back in the beforetimes? Man, those were some good old days.
Anyway, we’ve had a pandemic and my gaming group got, like, 3 or 4 dungeons into the game before we hit the holidays and then after the holidays we were smack dab in the middle of the Novel Coronavirus and so there we were not able to, like, play games with each other.
It was in the middle of this unable to play with each other that the game got announced on Steam. I mean, it made sense, right? You’ve got a bunch of very specific rules for players and a bunch of very specific rules for monsters and if you can make a handful of If/Then statements for a playbook, it should be easy to make it for a computer, right?
Well… kinda. The game got announced back in March 2019 and only got (preliminarily) finalized on October 20th, 2021. Like, a week and a half ago! Well, I’ve been playing it and, like, I’m only 4 dungeons into it. I don’t think that I can give anywhere near a full review of the game. That said, I *CAN* give a review of the game for the whole “how much does it feel like when you were playing at the table with your buds?” thing.
For that, there’s a handful of observations that I have despite only being about 4 dungeons into the game.
Here’s the first: Holy cow. THIS IS THE EXACT GAME.
Here’s the second: Huh. One of the things that we got warned against was the whole “table talk ruins the game” thing. Like, the advice was that if you were to communicate with each other, keep it to stuff you could say in one breath. Preferably, one *SHOUTED* breath. So “I need to go first!” would be okay. “Somebody better heal me!” would be okay. “Okay, Wally… what cards do you have left? Okay, I’ll use my high initiative card and you use your medium initiative card and then we’ll be able to kill all three of these guys” would *NOT* be okay.
Part of the fun, it’s said, is the whole “stepping on each others’ toes” thing.
Well, unfortunately, when you’re playing all by yourself controlling 3 characters, the table talk is constant. Nay, it is interminable. You can’t help but look at the map and see that who would be best going first… maybe your Scoundrel needs to go first, then the Tinker, then the Cragheart and, seriously, you’ll be able to take out pretty much everybody and pick up 4 gold while doing it.
So… you might think that the game might kinda be broken, right?
Well… I started on “Normal”, played the first couple of dungeons twice, then decided that it wouldn’t be unfair to just *TRY* “Easy”… and, okay, now I’m playing the game that I was warned about way back when. I am now able to calculate how to prioritize each of my three heroes and make sure that my Scoundrel goes first, then my Tinker, then Cragheart lays the smack down and, hurray! I’ve taken out 60% of everybody and picked up 2 gold!
Huh… I thought. Maybe table talk didn’t break the game as much as I was warned back then… I thought.
Anyway, if you miss Descent: Road to Legends, you probably should check this game out. If you played Gloomhaven in your basement for a half-dozen sessions before the pandemic shut you down and you’ve been thinking about this game non-stop ever since? JEEZ LOUISE PICK THIS GAME UP RIGHT NOW.
Seriously, it’s pretty good. If you prefer multiplayer, you’ll still need to coordinate your group. If you prefer singleplayer? Oh, my goodness… do I have a treat for you. Seriously, you’re going to *LOVE* this. (But play the tutorial.)
So… what are you playing?
(Featured image is a screenshot of one of the first moments in one of the first parts of the game. Screenshot taken by the author.)