Gloomhaven – Square (a)

Re-reading the rulebook and checking the FAQs, we now know that we’ve messed up a whole bunch of rules. Among them is the difficulty level. It appears that contrary to what we’d thought, we’re not that good… So, for the time being, very hard is beyond our capacity, as the actual post will make clear..

Square A

(set difficulty: hard)

Our short mercenary career have, somehow, led us to side with the merchants in an attempt to overthrow the military rulers of the city of Gloomhaven. That doesn’t sound that bad, does it? That’s until you learn that the leader of our faction is also a necromancer…

Our role is to kill the Commander of the Guard. He has many men at his disposal but we’re not alone on this risky endeavor, undead troops fight on our side! Cannon fodder, yay!

Things starts smoothly, two guards and an elite archer in the first room. One of our lousy Living Bones is killed, and then we wipe the floor with the guards.

Next room: some archers and half a dozen guards. There’s also 2 Living Corpses on our side but they’re immediately cut down by the archers’ arrows. The useless stinking wretches. But here comes the Cragheart, RUTHLESS, he crushes our foes under tons of rocks. Me and our new friend, the Elementalist, finish the survivors.

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The Mindthief, behind, gnawing at a friendly Living Bones

The Elementalist opens next door and… there’s a SHIT TON of folks over there.

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Elementalist: *Uh, guys… Is it too late to defect?”

We do see that the right side is weakly defended and maybe we could dash to the final room? But, oh no, that’s not what we do…

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Cragheart: “I SMASH YOU WITH FOUNTAIN!”
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Commander: “Who the fook are you?”

The Cragheart and Mindthief are exhausted, leaving a wounded Spellweaver and a raw recruit to face the Boss… That dude has 56 hp. We fight ’til the end. It’s mercifully quick in coming.

Bitter Defeat!

That’s a hard blow to our pride!

  • We’ve almost cleaned up the map but it costed us way too much.
  • Both the archers and guards had shield, we had a hard time doing real damage.
  • The Elementalist card “infuse an element/ – 1 to damage” doesn’t look like its worth it.
  • Opening the second door without killing the previous enemies would have meant a less crowded third room.
  • We could have jumped in the fountain, killing the archers while (mostly) protected from the guards.

Liane the Wayfarer

I recently read the first of the Dying Earth books and was much delighted by the inventiveness of these short stories, with so many colorful characters…

Of course Cudgel the Clever is the most well-known, but here’s another, at least as unforgettable in my opinion:

Liane the Wayfarer

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Art: Konstantin Koborov

You could easily  be deceived by his looks, this guy is, in fact, a true murderhobo!

I mean, beside being an overconfident jerk…

  • He tortures a couple (killing the woman in the process) so he can get a lead on some sort of bounty-hunting.
  • He wants to steal an object (one half of a tapestry), just so he can have his way with a beautiful woman.
  • He must hide his identity in a city, less his own nefarious reputation brings him unwanted attention.
  • He kills a helpful old man in cold-blood after questioning him ’cause he might, very hypothetically, serve someone he wants to steal from!

 

Gloomhaven – Infernal Throne

Killing the denizens of the Plane of Elemental Power got the attention of their master, the Prime Demon. He offers us a choice, kind-of, we can go retrieve an ancient artifact for him, or we can die…

-Uh… Give us a minute…

The Prime Demon frowns as we get in circle and debate together.

-An artifact!

-Yeah, but I want to kill demons, says the Brute.

-I want to help with that, I say.

-But seriously, demons, again?

*Collective groan*

-Give me your answer NOW! booms the Prime Demon.

-We choose to die? err, not exactly what I meant…

Infernal Throne

(set difficulty: medium)

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The Prime Demon’s abode is rather modest

So yeah, more demons, even if we’re sick to death of fighting them, but the Brute is really close to accomplishing his Life Goal so we endure…

First room isn’t impressive, with only a Frost and a Sun. Those 2 dead, I open the left door, revealing 2 Wind and 2 Night. The Cragheart opens the other – 2 Earth and 2 Flame in the right. I joyfully hurl Fire Orbs at the demons near me and then we regroup in the first room. The Mindthief and Brute deal with the left while I support the Cragheart with the right.

We’re under pressure, dealing with 8 demons simultaneously, but things aren’t that bad. Except that the Brute tries and tries to finish a Night Demon and it takes an awfully long time before he finally succeeds. I and the Mindthief both had to heal him, as he was really battered.

The two hallways cleared, we got further in the Prime Demon’s abode. The Brute finds His Evilness in a room with a strange altar. The Prime Demon boasts of his invincibility, yada yada yada, but hey, we have some sort of intuition (man, this game sucks at  roleplay) that he’s somehow linked with the altar.

You may be invincible but your stupid altar ain’t!

There’s a twist though, the altar changes location, jumping around clockwise and summoning demons at the same time. Not too inconvenient, as we had cleared the place prior to this. The Brute have the Prime Demon on his back, and that jerk hits hard! So we bash the altar as much we can, except the Cragheart who’s too slow, too far, and has his eyes on the treasure anyway.

The Brute and Mindthief get exhausted but the altar is almost destroyed. I’m in good shape but can’t finish the altar as it jumps too far from me. But the Cragheart, sporting a new piece of jewelry, is right there to finish the damn thing, dissolving the Prime Demon at the same time.

Victory!

  • The Brute will leave us, the first to accomplish his Life Goal
  • Guillaume, the Brute’s player was truly frustrated by his lack of damage output
  • We will have the Elementalist as a new recruit, that’s nice!
  • The treasure, a Dark Pendant, seems okayish
  • We got a LOT of gold for finishing this scenario but that still feels a little underwhelming

Gloomhaven – Plane of Elemental Power

The altar we found in the Ruinous Crypt was, in fact, a portal that lead to the Plane of Elemental Power. Overconfident fools as we are, we jumped in…

Plane of Elemental Power

(set difficulty: hard)

Things went smoothly. At first. We cleared the first room in no time.

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Impaling Eruption! Piercing Bow! Die Demon Scums!

Then we got horrendously bogged down.

The elite Sun Demon infused one of his special attack (two targets) and did a 2x damage on me. Shiiiit. I had to lose precious cards to survive. Not good at all. I then jumped inside the second room, invisible, to get out of the way. My three companions were immobilized by the Earth Demons for what seemed like an eternity. From bad to worse.

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Arrrggghhh! Should’ve stayed in the back!

We lost so much resources on the second room that our only chance of success by then, was to try to accelerate things. This meant letting the baddies out of their room while my friends were still busy behind me. Hopefully they’d finish before the next wave. Risky business.

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My best move of the scenario: opening a damn door…

The Sun Demons are very lethal and can heal their allies too. The Earth Demons have simply a ton of hp. But man, it’s the Flame Demons, with their range attacks, retaliate and high shield, that are truly a pain in the ass…

With the lot of them hot on my heels, I fled, with a timely Ride the Wind.

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The Mindthief, valiantly distracting a Flame Demon

Me and the Brute got exhausted soon after but we’d managed to cull down the demons. The odds still weren’t favorable.

The Mindthief did a supreme effort before depleting his cards too.

One last demon, the worst of their kind: an elite Flame…

But, hey, we still had the Cragheart! I think he shoveled sand over it or something. Anyway, he doused it for good…

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Not so FIERY now, are you!

Victory!

Damn that was close!

  • Back in town, we unlocked the Sanctuary of the Oak achievement
  • after many scenarios that felt like a walk in the park, this one stands in stark contrast…
  • no treasure for us this time

Gloomhaven -Ruinous Crypt

Back to our own brand of persecution – against the Gloomy Cultists (or whatever they call themselves). We had previously cleansed the Crypt of the Damned, now it’s turn to the:

Ruinous Crypt

(set difficulty: medium)

This time, the cultists seem more ready to fend off invaders. Both me and the Mindthief are the targets of some dark power preventing us to attack for a while. Fortunately, I still can call my Mystic Ally to join the fray. Meanwhile, the cultists are rapidly cut down by the Brute and Cragheart but the 2 Night Demons are craftier creatures, they turn invisible!

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Feel our gloomy poweeeeer err, *cough *cough

But this is just a delay on the inevitable. We then split the party in two and open the doors both sides. Such is our confidence at this point.

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Oh, nice, a frosty for my collection!

More demons (Frost and Flame), and some living bones. The Brute have a personnal vendetta against the demons and he tries his best to kill as many as he can. The crypt is cleansed without much sweat.

Victory!

  • The first room took a lot longer than we’re used but we still kept most of our ressources
  • The Brute now had killed 4 ou the 6 demonkind to accomplish is Life Goal (Night Demons are troublesome to him)

Gloomhaven – Diamond Mine

So our shady employer had witheld information from us, who would’ve thought, and we ended up killing babies in their cradles. Shit happens. We got paid (well paid, but the guilt!) and now, of course, she wants to hire us again, this time to raid a diamond mine and kill its vermling workers.

-Go to hell! I said.

-No! We want this, said the Mindthief.

-We do?

-I want to kill vermlings.

-But… Aren’t you a vermling?

Sooooo?

-Uh, nevermind, I guess we’ll go kill vermlings…

Diamond Mine

(set difficulty: hard)

The entry is guarded by 5 hounds, we’re kind of talking about how to tackle them but the damn dogs don’t care to wait for us… They are FAST!

But still, we kill them and the Minthief opens the door to the mine proper.

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Yikes! That’s a lot of rats!

And… is promptly overwhelmed. The vermlings are mobile and numerous and their Overseer is intimidating  (his own attack his moduled by the number of minions he has, a whopping 10 for now).

That’s when me and the Cragheart came up with a PLAN!

-What are you doing?

-I’m putting spikes on myself.

-Oh… Do you want more spikes?

– *grins*

And that’s how a rocky, spiky Cragheart IMPALED a whole horde of vermlings (almost) all by himself.

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Come my lil’ ratling. Come join the big pile of pennies!

With his workers dead, the Overseer did not look so fearsome. At all.

 

We clowned around a little then snuff the life out of his pathetic existence.

 

Victory!

  • The hounds beat my best initiative card.
  • Even the elite vermlings were squishy with 5 hp, so our retaliate tactic proved absolutely lethal
  • Sadly, that kind of undercut the Life Goal of the Mindthief but he wasn’t very much in combat shape by then.