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Is the answer just Gloomhaven?

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15 Jan 2021 15:00 #318047 by Jexik
In the 'top Eurogame' thread, I mentioned that I really like simultaneous action selection in multiplayer games, and I realized that I like it in non-Euros too, like in Yomi or X-Wing. Is there anything out there like Yomi but with a spatial component that is somehow not too complex? Like I think maybe one of those level 99 games was like that? I love X-Wing but never got on board with 2nd edition due to being busy with personal stuff when it came out, and now I fear that getting into it would cost a bunch to catch up or something. (Also gave all my 1 ed X wing stuff to a friend).

Every time I go through Target I see Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion, and wonder if it'd be worth it and fun. The fact that it's cooperative (and potentially solo-able) isn't a bad thing with my current gaming circle. Although the time saving aspect of it for solo is kinda not there anymore. How well does it work with 2 people each controlling 2 characters? Should I just spring for the whole big box instead... it's kinda massive.
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15 Jan 2021 15:20 #318050 by DarthJoJo

Jexik wrote: Is there anything out there like Yomi but with a spatial component that is somehow not too complex? Like I think maybe one of those level 99 games was like that?

You’re probably thinking of BattleCon. Exceed, also by Level 99 and BattleCon’s spiritual sequel, is also simultaneous, but I’m not sure whether it incorporates space.
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15 Jan 2021 15:21 #318051 by jeb
Replied by jeb on topic Is the answer just Gloomhaven?
I sprung for the big box a coupla days ago, but I won't be opening that bad boy for a few months. (Kid has to get 500 "Reading Counts" points). I also looked at JAWS OF THE LION and weighed that. It looks great, honestly. If I hadn't seen the big one at $100 I would have gotten the smaller one--it was even in my cart at one point.
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15 Jan 2021 17:25 #318054 by Count Orlok

Jexik wrote: Every time I go through Target I see Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion, and wonder if it'd be worth it and fun. The fact that it's cooperative (and potentially solo-able) isn't a bad thing with my current gaming circle. Although the time saving aspect of it for solo is kinda not there anymore. How well does it work with 2 people each controlling 2 characters? Should I just spring for the whole big box instead... it's kinda massive.


I've been a bit out of the zeitgeist of gamers and these big kickstarter projects, but one of my friends convinced me to try the Gloomhaven pc adaptation (one advantage: not a shelf toad and about $20) and I thought I'd share my opinion of that.

It's not fun. It's a boring slog dependent on a braindead ai system for the enemies wrapped around fairly dodgy level design. It's enjoyable enough fiddling around with your own character and their attributes, but other than the constant churn of new characters and stuff to try out, there really isn't much else to it. The card-driven idea behind the system is strong, but would be better suited for direct confrontation where you would at least have the challenge of matching wits with another player. Instead it feels either too easy or just unfair. Maybe the campaign will fix that in the pc version, but I'm not sure I want to wait around and find out.
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15 Jan 2021 18:08 - 15 Jan 2021 18:14 #318055 by Jexik
I had a similar experience trying out the digital version a little over a year ago...* which is why I think it might fail as a solo design when compared to other computer games like X-COM (2012) or Into the Breach, or even that Wildermyth game that I brought up a little while ago.

*I had a wonky class mix when I tried ( tinker and scoundrel with no front-liner) and had a less than amazing time. I tried to boot it up today and something got corrupted with my save file and I can't play at all... can't delete the save file either.

But maybe it's better face to face? I mean it is the #1 on BGG after all... could all these nerds be wrong?

Count Orlok wrote: The card-driven idea behind the system is strong, but would be better suited for direct confrontation where you would at least have the challenge of matching wits with another player. Instead it feels either too easy or just unfair. Maybe the campaign will fix that in the pc version, but I'm not sure I want to wait around and find out.


The main broad design idea that has been kicking around in my head for years is some kind of head to head battler with simultaneous action selection and a board... wasn't sure whether to go with programmed movement or some kind of Battleship style peg-board where you could reveal your move and do it. I also thought it might be neat to queue up some moves and have them take different amounts of time, and resolve kind of like the digging in Thebes, if you've ever played that. But that's kind of another thread entirely.
Last edit: 15 Jan 2021 18:14 by Jexik.

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15 Jan 2021 18:19 #318057 by jeb
Replied by jeb on topic Is the answer just Gloomhaven?
I don't really have an urge to play this one online--I feel like Dungeon Crawlers just aren't good on screen when I could just play DIABLO or PILLARS OF ETERNITY or whatever. Why hamstring the whole experience with board-gameyness? If I were to play it online, it would probably be to learn how to play, honestly.
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15 Jan 2021 18:21 - 15 Jan 2021 18:25 #318058 by dragonstout
I played one or two sessions of Gloomhaven 4 player, and decided it was definitely not for me. Way too fiddly (there are a million little decks), rulebook is a NIGHTMARE, setup is a NIGHTMARE. Too slow and long.

Over the summer, I nevertheless picked up Jaws of the Lion to play with my wife. Holy crap, SO much better.

#1 by far: the maps being in the book instead of made up of hundreds of tiles is a DRASTIC improvement. Setup changes from 20 minutes (that's IF you've bought an incredibly expensive organizer to make it easier) to 5. I would actually consider rebuying Gloomhaven at some point, but ONLY after they make a book for the maps.

#2: two player feels WAY better paced than 4 players. 4 players was a huge slog, there are just a shitload of monsters and it's exhausting just to think about getting through all those monsters, and there's more downtime and scenarios take longer. Games take 1-1.5 hours instead of 2-2.5.

#3: the slow-ish introduction of the rules over the first 6 scenarios is great. The overall reduction of all the crap (conditions, etc.) you have to look up is great. The reduction in number of monster types is great: yeah, it's awesome that all the monster types act differently, legitimately. But what makes that REALLY work is when you face the same type of monster more than once, so you're like "oh dang, it's the Blood Demons again! Well, now we know what types of things we can expect them to do, so we'll be better prepared this second time!" When you're facing new monsters every time, it all slurs together in a big mush instead of there being a smaller selection of distinct-feeling monsters.

It's been a while, so I don't remember everything that felt like too much in original Gloomhaven, but there are no summons in Jaws of the Lion. My memory is that the rules for summons (and in particular how monsters targeted them) were weirdly unintuitive and convoluted. Overall, the monster movement rules are way more intuitive in Jaws of the Lion.

It still has the problem that it's honestly a pretty repetitive optimization puzzle, and the whole "replay a scenario until you beat it" thing is truly just awful, because scenarios are NOT fun to replay.

I highly highly recommend against playing 4 heroes with two players. Just play one hero each, it scales, I cannot fathom wanting to play two heroes at the same time.
Last edit: 15 Jan 2021 18:25 by dragonstout.
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15 Jan 2021 18:24 #318059 by dragonstout
And yeah, BattleCon is freaking great. If you want all of the first three BattleCon sets, I'd sell them though (I realized I personally don't really have time for any asymmetric dueler other than Magic). Only problem is that they're super heavy (literal pounds-wise).
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15 Jan 2021 18:29 #318060 by Jexik
Now I'm torn, dragonstout. Your post was exactly the kind of thing I was looking for to justify some retail therapy. After Count Orlok's post I was ready to give my gut misgivings about the digital version the driver's seat.

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15 Jan 2021 18:54 #318063 by Michael Barnes
Don’t even consider “full blown” Gloomhaven. IMO it’s just not worth the extra everything. Jaws of the Lion is all the Gloomhaven most people will ever want or need.

Battle Con is really good, but Exceed is the best of those fighting game card games. The Street Fighter set is great.

If you really want that kind of gameplay with spatial stuff (and simultaneous combat action selection), Unmatched is absolutely the way to go.
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15 Jan 2021 21:07 #318065 by Jexik

Michael Barnes wrote: Don’t even consider “full blown” Gloomhaven. IMO it’s just not worth the extra everything. Jaws of the Lion is all the Gloomhaven most people will ever want or need.


Yeah, after dragonstout's post, that's kind of where I was.

Michael Barnes wrote: Battle Con is really good, but Exceed is the best of those fighting game card games. The Street Fighter set is great.


I'm less excited about the linear movement. That's very 2D fighting game ish which I can respect, but...

If you really want that kind of gameplay with spatial stuff (and simultaneous combat action selection), Unmatched is absolutely the way to go.

Played cobble and fog a bit. I liked all right, but it didn't really wow me. My theoretical magic dream game would probably also make terrain matter more, much like it does in something like Heroscape or games where cover matters. I guess the little fog tokens that the Invisible Man drops are something approaching that.

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15 Jan 2021 21:16 - 15 Jan 2021 21:16 #318066 by Ah_Pook

The main broad design idea that has been kicking around in my head for years is some kind of head to head battler with simultaneous action selection and a board... wasn't sure whether to go with programmed movement or some kind of Battleship style peg-board where you could reveal your move and do it. I also thought it might be neat to queue up some moves and have them take different amounts of time, and resolve kind of like the digging in Thebes, if you've ever played that. But that's kind of another thread entirely.


Have you played The Dragon & Flagon? Because it kind of sounds exactly like that you're describing. It's a programming game where you're in a fantasy bar brawl. Thought it was really fun, but couldn't get anyone to every okay it do it moved along. But check it out if you haven't.
Last edit: 15 Jan 2021 21:16 by Ah_Pook.
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15 Jan 2021 21:21 #318067 by Ah_Pook
Also look it's not a combat game at all but I can't be in a thread about simultaneous again selection games and not mention that Adel Verpflichtet is one of the best games imo. Obviously not for this particular moment in time, since it wants five players, but man. MAN! It's basically weird double think rock paper scissors the game, and it has never not been a blast.
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15 Jan 2021 22:15 - 15 Jan 2021 22:48 #318069 by Jexik

Ah_Pook wrote: Have you played The Dragon & Flagon? Because it kind of sounds exactly like that you're describing. It's a programming game where you're in a fantasy bar brawl. Thought it was really fun, but couldn't get anyone to every okay it do it moved along. But check it out if you haven't.


Come to think of it, I remember hearing about this and thinking it sounded cool. Never got around to playing it... and I'm guessing it's another one that would benefit from having more than just 2 players.

Edit: Watched Vasel's review of it... definitely looks pretty cool. He did kind of point out my fear that it might be best with 4 or more players though. (He said 5 might be the weakest). It definitely sounds like what I described earlier, right down to the Thebes-style timer, haha.
Last edit: 15 Jan 2021 22:48 by Jexik.

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16 Jan 2021 00:29 #318071 by charlest
Dragon & Flagon is very underrated. I culled it awhile ago but have come to regret it.

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