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Pollux85

What can IA learn from Gloomhaven?

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With no new products on the horizon, this forum seems to have descended into full blown "Making the perfect IA home-brew game." 

This seems like a logical and perfectly reasonable development to me. 

I've not played Gloomhaven, but I've heard it is one of the most amazing campaign-style games you'll play, and the best dungeon-crawler out there right now. Has anyone on the forum played it? How does the story or RPG/character elements compare to IA? I've heard it is good for are board game, but that just means the RPG stuff has about as much depth as the original Diablo. Are there any gameplay elements do you think could be adapted or ported over to IA?

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Gloomhaven is indeed a better game than IA.  IA relies on dice for the meat of it's combat.  Not everyone sees this as a negative, but I do.  I don't hate dice as a core mechanic, but I definitely find it uninspiring.

 

Combat and movement in Gloomhaven are handled so elegantly.  I encourage you to look up Gloomhaven's system.  Each player has a different and distinct deck of cards with attacks, moves, heals, etc and this deck also functions as your stamina.  The system is just brilliant and creates interesting and fun decisions at every single point of the game.

If I could get an app assisted Gloomhaven style game with a major IP theme, I would snap it up in a heartbeat.  Fantasy Flight does good work with their games, but Gloomhaven is just pure genius.  I own WAY too many IA minis, and I have probably gotten IA to the table a total of 15 times?  Gloomhaven on the other hand has seen well over 50 plays, with a wider group of players.  It is just a more satisfying experience.  The overhead for the guy in charge of the game is more than IA though.  Not a ton more, especially before the APP they were basically equal, but with GH it wasn't 1 vs many.  Now with the APP taking away a lot of the overhead, I think IA is simpler to get to the table, but much less rewarding.

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Posted (edited)

I have played 5 missions of Gloomhaven this far.

The story hasn't revealed much of itself other than allowing different choices for missions. I'm not much invested in the flavor right now, it being generic fantasy.

We seem to get the most role-playing elements from the city and road events (simple choices between two options without knowing their consequencies). The starting characters have different niches, the biggest difference to IA is that you have your own XP and credits - although at least so far credits are not that important. Because characters have their "character", it doesn't induce role-playing as much as discover it.

Most of the mechanisms are quite different and cannot be ported without affecting a lot of other things as well.

(I like the action card and initiative systems. They provide challenge and need for creativity.)

(Negative: the enemy standees differences are so small that there is constant trouble seeing which is which, and their stats are very small text, so there's a lot of "how many hits does each one need again?".)

(Neutral: There are no decisions during Gloomhaven attacks - you have already made all decisions before the attack.)

Edited by a1bert

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I’ve played both, I love both.  They’re different enough that I don’t think they the mechanics of one could apply to the other.  

I’m waiting on my copy of Journeys in Middle-Earth, but with the deck based skill and combat checks I’m hoping it will be a good middle ground.

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IA can learn to stick to dice combat which is way better.

IA can learn that grinding the same enemies over and over again sucks and you should be able to select your units in a mission.

IA can learn to have interesting encounters during a mission.

 

Oh wait, IA does all of that which Gloomhaven does not. I guess best thing IA can learn from Gloomhaves is to stay away from it as far as possible. Yes, I do not like Gloomhaven at all.

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11 hours ago, a1bert said:

(Negative: the enemy standees differences are so small that there is constant trouble seeing which is which, and their stats are very small text, so there's a lot of "how many hits does each one need again?".)

Use Gloomhaven helper app. Either online, or android, or iOS. It makes all the difference to the micro management of the game! Seriously!

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I've played them both.  In fact, we're currently on our second play-through of GH and still having a great time with it.  I do think it's a better game than IA Campaign, but I can respect that others will think differently.  Personally, I would echo Conviction's post (the 2nd post of this thread) because I think he does a good job of capturing the main benefits that GH has over IA Campaign.  But as others have said, I'm not sure that the GH system would work well for IA, since the two games are so different at the core level.

The main draw for me with IA is the Skirmish mode, which IMHO is the best skirmish game I've ever played, bar none.  (IMHO, Legion is a yawn by comparison.) 

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Played both, and imo, in brief:

Gloomhaven's the better game because: the entire game is far, far (far, far, far, FAR) more balanced, in terms of heroes, maps, units, abilities, scaling, like just everything; it has scaling difficulty settings that actually work rather well; with dozens of optional sidequests available, each campaign can last pretty much as long as the players want it to; the maps rely much less on "gotcha!" moments; the card draw system is significantly less random with individual attacks; and RAW there's much less opportunity for quarterbacking.

IA Campaign's the better game because: just about every campaign's story is far, far better than Gloomhaven's generic fantasy setting; IA Campaigns are much less of a slog ("Oh look, it's our 287th Bandit Guard--only this one is level five!  Whee!"), the Rebels develop from zeros to gods far faster, and you can complete an entire campaign in as little as five sessions if you can get two maps in each session; there are tons of dramatic "gotcha!" moments in every campaign for the Rebel players; the dice inject a level of angst and uncertainty to every attack; there is soooooo much more flavour and style in IA; and of course: it's Star Wars (and actually captures that whole Star Wars "feel"--a plucky band of rebels fighting against the unlimited resources of tyranny--much of the time)!

The games scratch entirely different itches, imo.  I like both, for almost completely different reasons.

They're also almost completely incompatible with each other. ; )

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I play(ed) IA for the license. The intellectual property is what drew me to the game.  If Gloomhaven was in the Star Wars universe I would buy 8 copies.  As it is, I own nearly all the IA expansions.  Between solo play, the app, table top simulator, etc I’m into both for nearly 200 hours.  

 

IA is fine and works well in my current gaming situation.  I teach high school.  Each fall I recruit 3-4 kids to learn the game and work through a campaign after school every other week.  Inevitably, I play the imperial player and usually have to go easy on them. It’s a fun way to share the hobby with the younger generation, but I rarely feel “tested.”

 

On the other hand, my weekly gaming group is more experienced and features a couple of guys in the 30s some with kids.  Gloomhaven is perfect because no one is “stuck” being the imperial.  Most missions are close.  Unlocks and upgrades are exciting.  The fantasy genre and world building are alright for me, I know others rave.  The branching (non-linear) storyline is good.   It works great when one or even two of our foursome is out  and allows casual players to jump in.  The only major downside to GH is monster focus and movement can be clunky since the AI isn’t particularly easy to grasp.

 

Both scratch different itches for me, but if I could pick one, it’d be GH.  I’m fine with the dice and the modifier deck respectively.  Both work.  Porting it would be a bit of nightmare.  It is much more of a RPG than IA.  I’d highly recommend finding a buddy who’s interested and diving in.  I couldn’t recommend it more.  

 

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