Gloomhaven (continued)

Back in the day, I posted my first painted gloomhaven mini ever – the cragheart. In my first Gloomhaven campaign back then, I played this critter and loved it! The campaign lasted a dozen games or so and was discontinued later because of Corona.

Now Corona is finally (thank the heavens) on its retour here in Europe, we can start playing games again. In addition to Kings of War games, we also started a new Gloomhaven campaign.

Since I played the Cragheart last time, I wanted to do something new. Since my fellow players wanted to play the spellweaver, the brute and the mind thief, I had the choice between the tinkerer and the scoundrel. This was great, since playing the scoundrel has been on my bucket list for quite some time.

Hobby time

But first things first, hobby time! As the Brute was already painted (not by me), there were three white minis. As I do not want to play with unpainted minis (a Wargaming trope) these had to be painted.

While the Gloomhaven minis are not the most detailed minis ever, they are good enough to warrant some paint. The models have sharp edges so they warrant some sharp edge highlighting. I chose some sharp highlights on the spellweaver and the mindthief, the scoundrel is just shading over leather brown with softer yellow highlight.

I’m happy enough with the results! Now I hope that no one retires the character within a few games as I will have to paint a new mini once again! Not that it’s a chore, but stil….

Team composition

So, as mentioned in the introduction, our starting team is:

a) Scoundrel (yours truly)

b) Brute

c) Mindthief

d) Spellweaver

I love the team composition, As the scoundrel wants melee compatriots, teaming up with the brute AND the mindthief creates ample opportunities. The spellweaver should be the healer, keeping everyone alive and (time permitting) blast with her elemental spells from the back.

The team works in a classic way. Brute charges in and takes hits (as few as possible though) and the scoundrel and mindthief run in and hit the monsters. The spellweaver blasts from the back and keeps us alive.

What’s to love about the scoundrel

The scoundrel is a great character, but needs support to shine. She can do serious damage (the to-go-attack is 3 plus 1 and a bonus when flanking). When properly supported, the scoundrel can do the most sustainable single target damage of all starting characters.

The scoundrel can easily poison enemies, making all attacks even more effective. On top of that, she’s got many tricks that makes her even more hitty. For instance, she a cards on the bottom that has an attack on the bottom (making it possible to have two powerful attacks immediately at the start of the turn) and she has a loss card doubling the power of an attack after turning invisible the turn before.

The scoundrel has two more advantages. First, she is quick, very quick. She has many cards with a single digit speed, making it easy to go first in any given turn if she wants to. Ideally, the scoundrel wants to go last in turn one, dash in and hit. Then on turn two go first, then hit and move out. The combination of low and high speeds cards help doing this.

Finally, the Scoundrel has a lot of movement. Coming from the Cragheart, it’s great to have so many movement 5 and 6 cards which are not losses. It’s great to jump around, collecting all kings of shinies! The only disadvantage is not being able to jump, but that’s why you want the winged boots magical item.

Weaknesses?

Of course the Scoundrel has weakenesses, quite a few of them actually. First of all, she has average health (8 at start) and no defensive options. Combine this with melee range and quick initiative and you will be the target of a monster more than you’d want. The Scoundrel deck does have a heal option but it’s a top so you’ll lose valueable offensive power if you want it.

Nine starting cards for the Scoundrel is not a lot. This means that you will run out of stamina before everyone else, leaving you almost no options for losing loss cards.

The combination of lowish hit points, low stamina and melee range creates a very vulnerable combination. If something goes wrong (i.e. the wrong critter attacks you instead of the tank) this can easily means going exhausted immediately.

Also, the dependance on other characters for positioning makes it certain that you will miss out opportunities for maximum damage. Alas, such is the way of playing the rogue.

Magical items

The starting kit suggests leather armour as a defensive option. Don’t. The leather armour does not really help out that much and you don’t want to be hit in the first place. That said, there’s something to be said for risk management as you will be hit every so often which you cannot avoid. To avoid that nasty x2 card, an iron helmet is a cheap and fairly okay item. The single best defensive item for the rogue is the invisibility cloak.

For boots, you want the winged boots. Being able to add jump to a move 5 or move 6 allows you to go wherever you please.

On the matter of potions, you want both the stamina and the healing potion. Until you are level 3, it’s hard choosing between the two. If your party is okay with spending actions on healing you, the stamina potion is more effective, allowing you to reuse and effective combination of cards the next turn.

For weapons, I haven’t found something I really want yet. The poison dagger seems nice, but two of the standard actions also give poison, so I opted to spend the coins on other items.

As soon as one finishes the 3rd scenario, the skull ring is a nice addition to the Rogues’ armory as the skeleton can tank a hit (which you cannot) and can help out with flanking. It’s expensive, though.

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