Game Details

Game Sponsor Message:
Jack and Meryl Grant
Name Gloomhaven (2017)
Complexity 3.8717
BGG Rank 1
Player Count 1 - 4
Mechanism(s) Action Queue, Action Retrieval, Campaign / Battle Card Driven, Card Play Conflict Resolution, Communication Limits, Cooperative Game, Critical Hits and Failures, Deck Construction, Deck, Bag, and Pool Building, Grid Movement, Hand Management, Hexagon Grid, Legacy Game, Modular Board, Once-Per-Game Abilities, Scenario / Mission / Campaign Game, Simultaneous Action Selection, Solo / Solitaire Game, Storytelling, Variable Player Powers

Gloomhaven is a game of Euro-inspired tactical combat in a persistent world of shifting motives. Players will take on the role of a wandering adventurer with their own special set of skills and their own reasons for traveling to this dark corner of the world. Players must work together out of necessity to clear out menacing dungeons and forgotten ruins. In the process, they will enhance their abilities with experience and loot, discover new locations to explore and plunder, and expand an ever-branching story fueled by the decisions they make.

This is a game with a persistent and changing world that is ideally played over many game sessions. After a scenario, players will make decisions on what to do, which will determine how the story continues, kind of like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book. Playing through a scenario is a cooperative affair where players will fight against automated monsters using an innovative card system to determine the order of play and what a player does on their turn.

Each turn, a player chooses two cards to play out of their hand. The number on the top card determines their initiative for the round. Each card also has a top and bottom power, and when it is a player’s turn in the initiative order, they determine whether to use the top power of one card and the bottom power of the other, or vice-versa. Players must be careful, though, because over time they will permanently lose cards from their hands. If they take too long to clear a dungeon, they may end up exhausted and be forced to retreat.

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Lists with this game

Organization Year Ranker Rank List
The Dice Tower 2018 Tom Vassell 3 Top 100 Games All Time (2018)
The Dice Tower 2018 People's Choice 7 Top 100 Games All Time (2018)
The Dice Tower 2017 Tom Vassell 1 Best of (2017)
The Dice Tower 2017 People's Choice 1 Best of (2017)
Popular Mechanics 2019 Popular Mechanics 0 50 Best New Games
Board Game Anonymous 2019 Anthony 16 Top 100 Board Games of All Time – 2018 Edition
Board Game Squad 2019 1 Top 100 Board Games of All Time: Analyzing Your Favorite Reviewers’ Top Games Lists
Rahdo Runs Through 2019 Rahdo 3 Rhado Top 10
Sickledrips 2019 Tom Heath 1 Slickerdrops Top 50
Board Game Anonymous 2019 Anthony 42 Top 100 2019
The Dice Tower 2021 Tom Vassell 6 2021 Top 100