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:

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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!

Isaac’s adventures- II

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Me: You’ve reached the Rock Pillar, in the middle of the desert. There’s a giant two-headed vulture perched on the summit. It takes to the air and descend on you! What do you do?

My son: Vultures eat dead meat, dad… It won’t eat me!

Me: Yy-yer right! (whenever Isaac comes up with something, I try to go with it) It approaches, still in the air, its two heads start bickering:

Head # 1: Ya see, I told ya, the flightless is not nearly dead!

Head # 2: Just wait a lil’ longer, maybe it’ll die and then… We’ll feast!

My son: I feel fine!

Head # 2: Crap!

Head # 1: See ya next time!

Isaac’s adventures – I

I started something with my 5 years old son a couple of months ago. Each morning I walk him to school and we have a really good time together, chatting and all. And so, somewhere along the way I began telling him stories. Fantasy stuff. And oh boy! that’s the fun part, he fully goes at it and tell parts of his own. He’s amazingly good at it too. Now he asks for it every day and- I’m stuck with it not always in the mood- but he likes it  sooooo very much!

Of course, he’s a bit young and he doesn’t quite grasp what are the hmm… proper conventions of the genre… That leads to some funny bits.

  • Me: There’s a stair, made of stone, covered in dust. It’s going down and we can’t see very far, it’s very dark. What are we gonna do?
  • My son: I have a flashlight!

  • Me: The thief is going away with the labyrinth’s trophy! He’s very nimble and fast. How do we catch him?
  • My son: We take the car, we’ll be faster!
  • Me:`Oh! We have a car!
  • My son: Yes. And a driving license.
  • Me: Ha! We need a driving license?
  • My son: Yes daddy. If we want to drive the car we need a driving license.
  • Me: Uh ok! Makes sense.

    We’re talking about what else to add to our grand castle:

  • Me: We need a large banquet room. So we can invite a lot of people and serve them a lot of good food.
  • My son: Yes. And also there’s a mcdonald right next to the castle!

  • Me: There’s a door, with a message scribbled on it. It says: beware trespassers, great dangers awaits you ahead.
  • My son: …
  • Me: Probably traps and monsters, huh?
  • My son: It’s too dangerous daddy, let’s go elsewhere.

Here’s a list of unusual friends we have made while adventuring:

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  • giant spiders, ensnare our foes with their webs
  • a giant, intelligent lobster
  • a three-headed dragon
  • ogres, they were bad guys at first but we helped them out