Cephalofair, the little booth with the big boxes was once again present and showing off the recent Frosthaven, the Gloomhaven RPG, and a revamped Gloomhaven, 2nd Edition. Combined and shoved into your trunk, they will be sure to reduce your car’s overall range. On the other end of the spectrum (size and thankfully, price) comes a new Gloomhaven entry: Gloomhaven: Buttons & Bugs, which was shown still in a preproduction stage.
Gloomhaven: Buttons & Bugs
In a “Honey, I shrunk the adventurer” moment, you just walked into the wrong shop in Gloomhaven and have been miniaturized. You are now stuck as a tiny creature until you can convince the proprietor to reverse the curse. A miniature adventure deserves a miniature game, and Gloomhaven: Buttons & Bugs is a miniaturized (rules, not box & pieces) version of Gloomhaven that is played as a solo game. Even the play time is miniaturized, running about 20 minutes per session.
Everything about the game is slimmed down to make a faster playing game on a smaller footprint. Rather than a whole deck of cards, a player starts with just 4 cards to use. When used, however, they are flipped over to show a new card on the back. That means you better get what you need done in nine rounds.
There is no longer a map. Well, there is still a map but it is now shrunken down (by the same magic, perhaps?) to a single card.
Monster and hero attack decks have gone away. Instead, dice provide randomness (+,-,x) cross referenced with a table so one can see the possibilities as they start to come up.
The entire solo game runs through 20 different scenarios. Both the attack table and a player’s cards can be improved as they level up during the game. On the cards shown above, note how the green attack table has been improved using an overlay.
For those needing variety, there are a total of six heroes (from previous games) available to use. The hope is for the game to be available before the end of 2023.
Mid to late 2024 should see the release of the Gloomhaven RPG. Such a well developed setting is rife with possibilities.
Expect it to reflect much of Gloomhaven’s look and feel, including hex maps for combat, status effects, elements, and card based combat found in the boardgame.
Gloomhaven: Second Edition
Releasing mid-2024, the revamped edition of Gloomhaven has taken feedback from the community alongside additional game development to give the original game some new spit and polish. Along with rebalanced classes (some improved, some nerfed/adjusted), scenarios, and items there are updated miniatures, new art, and story development. Those planning to go through Gloomhaven for a second time will welcome additional content (both story/narrative and mechanics) and a new faction-based reputation system.
As a bonus to this episode, I wanted to call out Folded Space – a purveyor of build-your-own game organizers to (surprise) organize your games. Rather than putting together wooden pieces, Folded Space uses foam core that is punched out and glued together with standard (white) glue. New for them, they’ve begun producing their inserts in color. Not only is Frosthaven printed in a catchy blue color, but the bottom of each of the compartments also show an image of the things that are supposed to go inside.
I’ve bought a few Folded Space organizers and one thing I appreciate is the weight. I find they’re decently sturdy but far lighter than wooden organizers that I have seen.