Gloomhaven: The Spellweaver

I’ve talked about the basics of Gloomhaven, but I want to go a little more into my class and how to play the Spellweaver, or at least how I go about it.

As the name would suggest this character is a magic slinger – usually found behind the tank, sending out ranged and area-of-effect attacks while avoiding getting squished.

The real USP of the character is that they are the only class (so far anyway…) that can recover their cards once they’ve been Lost.

As these are the cards with the most fun effects and the most XP, this has made the Spellweaver very fun to play.

How to play the Spellweaver in Gloomhaven

If you are thinking of taking the character in your own game, here is my advice garnered from 20 or so games with her.

  • Manipulate the elements: Add elements to cards. Get a mana potion. Get your team mates to get one too – you don’t need to create an element to use it.
element system in gloomhaven

Certain effects create elements that cards then use up – they are vital to making the Spellweaver effective.

  • Think ahead: This class works best if you think several turns ahead to set yourself up with the right elements and buffs. Think about what the board might look like in a few rounds, and plan around it.
  • Pay attention to your team mates movements: The Spellweaver is VERY squishy. Make sure you know where your teammates plan on going so they get attacked, while you hide behind them.

The Spellweaver in her usual position – cowering behind the Brute.

  • Get something with pierce: The Spellweaver is mostly about low damage, but lots of it. This means that Shields – which discount the first few points of an attack – can be a massive pain in the arse. So I got a Piercing Bow that bypasses shields. It’s one use per game but it counts on ALL enemies targeted by an attack action. Time it right and you can take out three or four shielded nasties at once.
  • Invisibility is your friend: Grab the cloak of invisibility. That way you can jump right into the action, unleash hell, and then disappear to leave the enemy wondering why their liver is now char-grilled on the floor.
  • Running away is also your friend: The Spellweaver doesn’t have a lot of movement, so a pair of boots that help you run far and run fast is a must.
  • Use your Lost cards: The character can get them back so don’t be afraid of running down the clock by using them early. If you can make an epic attack on turn one, do it. It’ll make life easier. That said…
  • Don’t always use Lost cards: If you use two Lost cards every turn, the game isn’t going to last very long. I have a good mixture of reusable cards to play while setting up for a big attack.
  • Try to use Lost cards twice: Especially in your first few games. The faster you level, the faster you get to the fun high-level cards.
spellweaver solo mission

Each character has a solo mission. I attempted The Spellweavers one and died many, many times… she is not a character that does well on her own.

At first, the Spellweaver can play a bit boring as you have to stay out the way, only plinking off the odd hit point.

But now, I’m level 7. There’s nothing like the feeling that comes from setting up the perfect attack and taking out half a dozen enemies in a wave of burning/freezing/brilliant death.

I AM THE SPELLWEAVER! ALL SHALL LOVE ME AND DESPAIR!

Gloomhaven: The Basics

The box weighs 9.8kg. I make the others lift it.

I’m one of the lucky people who have managed to get their hands on a copy of one of the hottest boardgames of the moment: Gloomhaven.

As I’m around dozen games in I thought it was probably time I started talking about it here.

But before I get into my thoughts: What even is Gloomhaven?

Gloomhaven is essentially a miniatures wargame with legacy elements that comes in a literally massive box.

Every game you set up a scenario using a set of hex boards, then move around miniatures representing your characters as you explore and eliminate enemies.

From the end of our last session

Every round you play two cards, doing to top action of one (usually an attack) and the bottom action of the other (usually a movement).

Overtime, these cards become Lost which controls how long the game goes on for as well as forcing you to make a lot of complex strategic decisions.

You chose which cards you are going to play each round in secret, though you can talk about what sort of thing you are going to do.

(Some wise soul has made it a rule that you are not allowed to discuss specifics at this stage, which stops the game from completely seizing up with analysis paralysis.)

What cards you have depends on what character you are.

The unused cards and miniatures are currently still sealed away…

You start the game with six characters to choose from, but there are 17 in total and the rulebook assures me that over the course of the game the other 11 will become available.

Most missions you go on are part of an overarching story.

As you complete them new locations are revealed and you have to make choices about where you want to go and who you want to support.

Your characters gain XP over over time, which lets them level up to gain access to new cards (though how many you take on missions is always fixed), and you all have a private quest that you need to complete in order to let your character retire.

Each of these characters has a class and a race.

With the exception of humans all of the races and classes are unique to Gloomhaven, which is a nice touch, though some of them might look quite familiar to the veteran role player.

The initial six you have are the Brute, the Cragheart (both tanks), the Spellweaver (elemental magic), the Mindthief (status magic), the Scoundrel (rogue) and the Tinkerer (who I haven’t played a game with, so I’m not really sure what they’re like).

So, that’s the game in a nutshell.

I’ve had a lot of fun over the last 13 games, and I think we’ve barely scratched the surface of it so I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next!