Gloomhaven Review

Basic Information

gloomhaven review

Number of Players: 1-4

Age: 14+

Time: 30 minutes per player (varies between scenarios)

Price: Very High

Introduction to Gloomhaven

Gloomhaven is the board game of this decade with its amazing gameplay and huge campaign. It’s a semi-legacy style game where each scenario impacts the overall game in small ways. You and your team need to work together the defeat monsters and loot treasure in this epic fantasy style board game. Its clearly inspired from the likes of the pathfinder board game and table top RPGs like Dungeons and dragons, but has its own unique style and story. For the avid board game enthusiast, this will be the crowing jewel of any board game collection.

How to Play Gloomhaven

Gloomhaven is quite a bit more complicated than the average board game, for a deeper look at the rules I suggest checking out this YouTube video by the creator and to also check out forums for niche rules that occasionally come up.

As a basic overview, each game is typically one scenario. A scenario is set up by combining the tile pieces together and placing door tokens over the joins. You then place your characters on the board in an pre-set area. The monsters that are in the first room are also placed along with any loot, treasure tiles, traps and so on, but do not place them for any up-opened room. Players then choose their turn using two cards from their hand. They are choosing a top action of one card and a bottom from another. You then announce how early you are going (without saying the actual number!) along with what you plan to do and your team mates will do the same. You want to try and work together, linking up actions and initiative order to try and do the most damage while also staying alive. Those cards you played are then out into the discard section (unless they were a lost card which are placed in a separate pile). When you run out of cards, you can choose to take a long rest, where you lose a turn but get to choose which card to become lost and gain 2 HP, or you can take a short rest, where you lose a card from your discard at random but do not lose a turn. Play continues until the winning conditions are met for each scenario.

Notes on Gloomhaven

Gloomhaven is my favorite game of all time. Its stellar gameplay, great story, and insane replay value (with over 90 scenarios) make it an easy win for me. The high cost point is quite a barrier for some people when looking to purchase the game, but when you compare it to the cost of a movie or even some video games in cost per hour of entertainment, it is great value for money. While not everyone will enjoy the sometimes brutal game play, it is by far one of the best experiences I have had playing a board game.

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