If you can't find a good DM for Dungeons & Dragons, or don't want to invest the prep time, Gloomhaven is a great alternative. The games are very different mechanically, but there is definitely a crossover appeal here. Ideally, you'll be able to play both because, as many have pointed out, they scratch a different itch.
Gloomhaven is also widely considered to be the best board game on the market, which is why it has been notoriously hard to find at retail without markups. However, today is one of those very rare occasions when you can score a significant discount on Gloomhaven if you act quickly. At the moment, Amazon has Gloomhaven in stock for $107.88 (23% off), which is among the biggest discounts that they've ever offered on the game. Historically, discounts on Gloomhaven have only lasted a few hours at most, so don't be surprised if you click on the link and it's back up to $130 - $140. Time is of the essence big time on this one, so reserve one with the discount while you can. The official description for the game is available below.
"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 travelling 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 legacy 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."
• For 1-4 Players
• 60-120 minute playing time
• Co-operative play Euro-inspired tactical combat
• Every turn a player will play two cards out of their hand. Each card has a number in the center, and the number on the first card played will determine their initiative order. 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
If you do pick up Gloomhaven, you might want to grab the removable sticker set for $12.99. The pack contains "a replacement for every map, achievement, and enhancement sticker in the core game, and also includes replacement seals for character boxes, secret envelopes, and the town records book."
An expansion called Gloomhaven: Forgotten Circles is also on the way. It's currently out of stock on Amazon, but keep tabs on this link for the pre-order to return. It includes 20 new scenarios that take place after the original Gloomhaven campaign.
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