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.

20190113_143548
The Mindthief, behind, gnawing at a friendly Living Bones

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

20190113_145533
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…

20190113_150914
Cragheart: “I SMASH YOU WITH FOUNTAIN!”
20190113_161829
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.

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)

20181230_222413
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.

20181230_181956
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.

20181230_191658
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.

20181230_202056
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.

20181230_213740
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…

20181230_213943
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!

20181230_155351
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.

20181230_163512
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.

20181230_140229
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.

20181230_142317
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.

 

Gloomhaven – Inox Ecampment

With the Brute’s player absent, we changed our plans and did scenario III (Inox Encampment).

The goal is straightforward: kill 15 enemies.

20181219_201001
Math’s 3D decors: he doesn’t halfass…

Inox Encampment

(set difficulty: hard)

Murderers. That’s what we are now. We’ve killed the Inox raiders… and, uh, their wives and  kids. Happened to be there when we absent-mindedly put their camp on fire… But hey! Look at the bright side, there won’t be a next generation of thieves!

Scenario highlights:

  • Picked Battle Goal Sadist (kill 5 or more foes), fittingly, and succeeded (killed 6)
  • With the addition of Icy Blast for my level up, I could bring 3 AoE spells and it was great!
  • The Mindthief did some sort of big mind-shriveling attack on the shaman to finish him off. He was starting to get on our nerves with his cursing & blessing & stuff.
  • At one point (see pic), I immobilized an Inox Archer with a Freezing Nova (melee attack), giving him disadvantage with his attacks, I then did a long rest (yep, how long could that be?) right there, in front of him, while he shot at me inefficiently. Nonsensical but funny.
  • The Cragheart did a Boulder Attack (?) in the middle of a bunch of spawned Inox Warriors and did a LOT of damage.
  • The Cragheart managed to pick the treasure while I killed one last Inox en route to winning the scenario.

 

Gloomhaven – Black Barrow, Barrow Lair & Crypt of the Damned

So Math, my brother-in-law, bought Gloomhaven. We’d all heard so much good about it and here we are, playing every 2 weeks for the foreseeable future. We started a 4-players campaign last month and I’ll be sharing some of my personal experience along the way.

(Next time, I ought to show pictures as Math did an incredible prep job with 3D decors and minis!)

Our adventuring group: The Democratic Plunderers 

(just came with it tbh, we’ll see if it sticks!)

If, perchance, we have taken your treasure property, banished your demon pet, killed one of your jerkass brethren, or vexed you in any other way, know that it was no rash, improvised demeanor on our part but the result of a duly voted choice of action. In other words: you can shove it in your gloomhole!

Here’s our starting group:

  • Math plays the Cragheart (reminds me of Ludo, the big, gentle, rock-summoning troll in the movie Labyrinth)
  • Guillaume plays the Brute (big warrior guy with too many horns, surprisingly fast and mobile)
  • Sylver plays the Mindthief (rat-guy who likes to play tricks with the minds of allies and foes alike)
  • I play the Spellweaver (sorceress with powerful AoE spells and a very limited selection)

Now, our actual party composition and my own inclinations does mean I play the spellweaver a certain way, leaning slightly on a support role.

My Character:

pic3724906

Name : Zirconia Chainsmoker

Roleplay, kinda-sorta: Somehow, smoking continually helps her concentrate on the tasks at hand, as her species tend to be extremely contemplative most of the time. She’s always eager to help but won’t participate voluntarily in anything morally dubious.

Spoilers ahead, first 3 sessions:

Scenario 1: The Black Barrow

Our employer, some lady with a tail (seems more than a little shady to me), offers us our first job and there’s not anything else we can do. We have to bring back some stolen papers from a bandit lair called the Black Barrow. Upon arriving, the leader makes a corny speech and order his minions to attack us while he flees inside like the craven bastard he is.

We’re 4 against 6 in the first room. The Brute and Cragheart charge the baddies while me and the Minthief stay behind. We clear the room, but our two overconfindent companions are now bleeding from a few wounds. Next room, bandit archers joyfully jump on their own traps, hurting themselves badly as we watch dumbstruck. The Cragheart seems eager to open the next door, revealing skeletons and some more archers: they shoot at him, putting him out of combat. While my two remaining companions finished the skeletons, I got myself in position to attack the 4 archers in the back, killing one quickly and the remaining 3 with a spectacular Impaling Eruption!

We were too absorbed in our bloodshedding to loot the place properly it seems (what lame-ass treasure-hunters!) but we could now go downstairs, pursuing our quarry.

  • For this first scenario, before I get a grasp on the game’s mechanics, I’m all out with my powers (losing cards way too fast) but it turns out okay.
  • We hadn’t figured yet that we could lose cards to evade attacks.
  • My Battle Goal: Do the scenario without taking any coins or treasure (Succeed: 2 perk points).

Scenario 2: The Barrow Lair (set difficulty: medium)

We made short work of the 3 foolish archers standing in front of us. The Bandit Leader in the next room, dark energy at his disposal, finally made his stand.  He summoned a bunch of Living Bones to add to those already there. In fact, that’s very much the only thing he did. Again and again. We’re fine with that as we can mow them down faster that he can bring them up. My Mystic Ally flings magic bolt after magic bolt at the underachieving Boss and my three companions do heavy damage to him, mostly from range too. Once the jerk -in-chief is dead, we collect the papers and find information about some sort of Gloomy Cult.

  • Turns out that the craven bastard can take a punch, he had 40 hp, compare to my squishy 6!
  • Yep, the bandit leader did not open any door, if he had, he would have had a lot more minions at his disposal. We got it easy!
  • My Battle Goal: Have less than 3 cards in hand & discard at end of scenario (succeed: 1 perk point).
  • New Perk: add one earth & add one air (so I can help the cragheart fuel his powers).

Scenario 4: The Crypt of the Damned (set difficulty: hard)

Now we had our first choice as we got back to town. Our employer had another mission for us: kill a bunch of Inox who had raided a caravan of hers OR we could go persecute the Gloomy Cult, following the map we had found earlier.

We voted, ’cause y’know, that’s what we do!

The Brute wasn’t very interested in killing his own people and I wasn’t interested either as it seemed to me there was true evil afoot elsewhere. Don’t remember how the others voted but we got to the Crypt of the Damned to kick some cultists asses.

We were welcomed at the crypt by some skeletons and a couple of archers. An Impaling Eruption of mine, followed by a Dirt Tornado by the Cragheart softened them up. Next round, I felt the need to open the door while my companions finished the lone skeleton and was quickly peppered by arrows and stabbed by a cultist… Ouch! I had to retreat to heal myself a little. The Brute and Cragheart took to the enemies. The mindthief wanted a piece of the action but was annoyingly blocked inside the first room. He did help the Cragheart to move all the way to the other side of the long hall to attack the cultists at the back.

The hall proved troublesome at first, but the Cragheart and the Brute were both very lethal. They seemingly had things under control and I got on the move again and opened another door at the right and found myself face to face with two  Earth Demons, the first of demonkind that we met. That’s when I wisely chose to use my Cloak of Invisibility. The two huge creatures ignored me and lumbered in the hallway (one triggering a nearby trap) where they were met by a swarm of rats! I then jumped over the busy demons and summoned my Mystic Ally. The Mindthief did the opposite and got into the room to grab the treasure chest. Unfortunately, all he got for his trouble was poisonous gas in his lungs…

Meanwhile, the Cragheart and Brute opened the door at the other side of the hallway and found another cultist with 2 Wind Demons.

Splitting the party proved a good idea, oddly, as each pair of us killed a pair of demons and still had the leisure to loot all we could see, for once.

Victory once again!

  • Battle Goal, Have a visible enemy at the start of every round (succeed: 2 perk points).
  • The other treasure chest contained a Ring of Skulls design, this means we can purchase this item from now on.
  • The Brute seemed intent on killing demons, that looks a lot like his own Life Goal if I’m not mistaken… Have to keep this in mind.
  • Level 2: new card Icy Blast!