"Welcome to Gloomhaven!"
Gloomhaven is a monster of a tabletop game developed by Cephalofair Games. Up to four players assume the role of one of six starting mercenaries that have arrived in the town to pursue one of several personal goals assigned at character creation. The primary gameplay involves euro-style, tactical combat in various scenarios. Players can collect loot, items, and experience to increase their capability and unlock new class abilities.
Gloomhaven is a fully cooperative game, and team synergy is encouraged.
The encounter setup changes based on the number of players. Each encounter can be run at one of eight levels of difficulty.
The game features a branching narrative, a persistent, changing world, and many secrets to unlock as the game's content is explored.
The core gameplay element involves playing a pair of cards each round and choosing to perform one top action and one bottom action. Each character class has a variety of unique abilities to blast through enemies and support allies. The monsters of the game are run by an AI-guided by rules in the book and a monster-specific deck of actions and abilities that are generated each round.
Gloomhaven contains examples of:
- Arbitrary Minimum Range: Attacking an adjacent enemy with a ranged attack causes Disadvantage, which makes the figure draw two attack modifier cards and play the worst one.
- Blocking Stops All Damage: Not exactly. Damage will frequently be mitigated by the Shield status, which reduces damage from attacks on a one to one basis.
- If tapped, the Heater Shield grants +1 Shield when the player is being attacked, instead of completely negating damage.
- The Piercing status can negate some or all of a figure's Shield status.
- Contractual Boss Immunity: Bosses will have resistances to certain statuses. In Scenario 2, the Bandit Commander cannot be stunned, immobilized, or cursed.
- Gadgeteer Genius: This is what the Tinkerer is. Their ability deck is alchemy and engineering themed, and they utilized many wacky gadgets to defeat enemies and aid allies. They can even deploy mechanical servants!
- The Medic: The Spellweaver and the Tinkerer are two starting classes equipped with decent heal options.
- Rock Monster: You can play as a sentient rock that failed to master an element. Mechanics-wise, it deals a load of damage, has quite a few area-of-effect options and may deal damage to its allies if the players' tactics aren't on point.