My sixth time playing, I headed to scenario #2: Barrow Lair after purchasing some more items in town (Gloomhaven). I will keep this short and try to not to give away too much for anyone reading who may be interested.
I will show you a couple pictures for those who say they won't purchase this beast... 😁
This (left) is a bit into the second room in Barrow Lair, but I wanted to show you the overall table setup (minus the map board). As Athena would say, "it's a table hog". However as you can see, I think my setup and use of space is becoming a lot more efficient. Which it had to be considering the layout of this map went from 3-tiles in the first scenario, to 6 in this scenario! 😀
Let's fast forward not so long after that picture (maybe a few turns at most)...
#$%@!!!!!!!!!!!........... (for non-"Gloomhaveners", the standees are the various enemies 😮 and my two characters are crapping their pants in behind them 😅)
I won't explain how this can happen (...or how bad it gets). Let's just say, only two scenarios in you may be absolutely bombarded!! You need to be smart. In my defense, this happened so quick and I didn't realize what (could) happen.
Here's a few things I wanted to share that I'm learning about the game as a whole, after 6-plays and having a much better grasp on it now:
1) This is not only my heaviest game (physical weight and complexity), but also the longest.
The box says 30min/player. Playing solo, I'm using two characters like a 2P game would be (which is actually recommended in the book, although you can play with one character... although I can't imagine how or why!? 🤣). Today from setup, play and take down it was 2.5hrs. I wouldn't say I'm totally proficient by any means, but I have a much better grasp on the rules. I think I pulled the book out 3-4 times total in that timespan which is pretty good. My opinion, the box should be more 45min/player. I can't even imagine playing this multiplayer with 4 people, where say 3/4 are new to the game...
2) Without spoiling anything- I'm really learning how your decisions play a major role.
Not that the book or videos I watched doesn't warn you about that... but wow I get it! What I love is how even if you don't succeed in a scenario, you learn how to approach it next time you play. You constantly have to learn to evolve/adapt.
3) Luck still kicks you in the face sometimes, even with a great plan.
Although as my last point says, your decisions play a major role, yet luck still kicks you in the face for sure! Today's game had at least a handful of times where my choices were actually quite good and the outcome would've been in my favour for sure. But if you draw a crappy attack modifier card, your plan goes right out the window! OR if a monster's initiative level (which decides each "round" what the turn order is) is lower than yours, meaning they go first... uh oh!
4) The incredible job Isaac Childres did making the monsters unique.
I'm saying this only two scenarios in, but so far each monster has their own uniqueness to them. Some have great attack range, some move very slowly, some are simply more of a pain in the ass than anything else 🤣. It's pretty neat to see unfold in front of you really. And as you learn these things, you can better prioritize your moves/plan.
I won't say anymore to not give too much away. Today taught me though, that unless I have that kind of time as I did today, I need to stick with something else at the table. I used to think Scythe was long, but now I can crack out a solo game in 40-45min. I don't see Gloomhaven ever reaching that point. 🤣 For me though, the time flew by! And I really enjoyed my time at the table today.
AND.... One of my characters has gained enough XP to level up!!!