28 July 2018

Gloomhaven megapost! Review, pictures and player aids and accessories!

It has been weeks since I posted something, the warm weather has made pretty much put a halt to any creative efforts. However, we purchased Gloomhaven a couple of weeks ago and have been playing it like mad, we have probably played it more than 30 hours in total since we play for most weekends and almost every evening!

I was very skeptical about this game, but both Caroline and I are greatly impressed with how damn good it is. It warrants a megapost combining my review, pictures of painted characters and some information about valuable player aids that I highly recommend!

The game

Let's start with the game and what it is about. Gloomhaven is a legacy based tactical dungeon crawler. It is also a co-op game for 2-4 players.

This means that the game evolves during gameplay, characters level up and retire, new characters are unlocked, locations are unlocked on a map, stuff can be upgraded and things carry over from one game to the next. A large world map is slowly covered in stickers and you track your progress on several tracks and paper character sheets. Cards get added and removed from random encounter decks and parts of the game are removed forever after certain encounters or achievements have been performed.

The game is also a tactical dungeon crawler in the sense that most of the gameplay is about combat stretching over 95 written scenarios (half of which make up a branched narrative story, and half are standalone scenarios and personal quests tied to certain characters) and there are also endless random dungeons that are generated by a "dungeon deck". Players visit the various scenarios as they are unlocked, and  for the most part combat through them, though some scenarios are not about killing everything but rather performing a certain task. But combat is the core gameplay.

Combat in Gloomhaven is performed with action cards and a combat deck instead of dice. Each character can start at level 1 and can be leveled up to a maximum of level 9. The starting level comes with beginner action cards that are tied to your class  only and unique to that character. As you level up, you get two new cards unlocked and you pick one of them to add to your deck.

This simulates a computer roleplaying game where you have a branching character skill tree. Each character however, is limited to a set number of cards to be brought into each scenario. The barbarian "Brute" can have a hand of 11 cards at the beginning of a scenario, while the roguish "Scoundrel" is limited to a hand of 9 cards. The hand of action cards is never increased, but you are allowed to swap and change cards in your hand before each scenario begins to customize your character abilities.

Each of those action cards are divided into two parts, upper and bottom half. The bottom half most of the time has actions related to movement, while the upper half is most of the time related to combat.

04 July 2018

Painted Mansions of Madness investigators part 1

Having finished painting the miniatures for "This War of Mine: The board game" I continued painting up the first couple of investigators for Mansions of Madness 2nd edition. The miniatures are a mix of 1st and 2nd edition minis. I purchased clear 25mm bases from a Spanish company "Green Stuff World" which sells the bases in packs of 20 for an affordable sum.

I have 16 investigators left to paint. The quality of the sculpts is very mixed, but they are fun and easy to paint.

I will also soon be painting up a couple of Gloomhaven miniatures for myself and a friend from work. I'll post those when they are done.

01 July 2018

Getting into

Fifth and final part of my series about By Fire & Sword. In this final part I talk about the scenarios and various effects of force strength, reconnaissance level and additional effects that the defending player can use during scenario gameplay at the skirmish level.

Hope you guys enjoyed the series. It was quite a bit of work to put it together, or actually editing each episode was the most time consuming part.

Also don't miss out on browsing my Facebook page as I have been posting a bunch of painted miniatures for Mansions of Madness up there. I will be posting the miniatures on the blog in larger groups once I receive clear bases to put them on.

22 June 2018

This War of Mine painted characters

I finally finished painting all the playable characters for "This War of Mine: The board game". The models are simple castings and required a different approach from regular wargaming miniatures, but I enjoyed the simplicity and could focus on the colors instead of lots of details cluttering each miniature.

This was also a bit of an experiment, I have never painted board game miniatures before and I was very tempted to paint up the investigators from Mansions of Madness 2nd edition, but wanted to try out painting board game minis on a smaller scale first (there are fewer characters in TWoM than in MoM: 2nd edition).

All in all I'm very happy with the result. There are more miniatures in the Kickstarter edition that I got, with soldiers, kids, thugs, a dog and some farmers as well. At the moment I'm fine with the models painted up, the others I have barely touched during gameplay so they did not feel as urgent to paint as the playable characters. I may paint up the rest in the future, but I will likely focus on the investigators from MoM next instead.

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