Gloomhaven is a big game; 22lbs to be exact. I’ve owned it now for 3 years and played it weekly for almost 2. Gloomhaven, in addition to being an expansive and in-depth game with a ridiculous amount of content, is infinitely replayable. Yes, infintely replayable even though it’s generally considered a Legacy game.
Is Gloomhaven replayable? It is definitely replayable and as I said above, infinitely replayable. First it has a large amount of content, and user generated content, which will keep most gamers happy for a long time. Next it has a reusable sticker set that you can buy and it has a function called dungeons that allows you to generate random scenarios.
Let’s talk a little bit more about the content in Gloomhaven and how you can keep playing it for years and even decades to come, should you so choose!
Gloomhaven has 95 campaign scenarios and just playing those will take you a long time. So long in fact that, depending on how long it took you to complete, you could probably go back to the beginning after you finish and play it again and you wouldn’t remember much of it.
It took me and my group almost 2 years to get through the campaign and by the time we were at the end I had forgotten the beginning. Maybe my memory is worse than yours but the point is that it has so much content that it will keep you entertained for a long time. We played 65 of the 95 scenarios so still had 30 more to play if we went back and did it again. Note to Isaac Childres: A Story summary, based upon choices so that you could easily review the story, would be a great thing.
User Generated Content
Gloomhaven has built a large following, and for good reason. Because the overall system, and especially the combat, are so great the game really lends itself to user created content. One of the benefits of having such a large following is that when you run out of original content you can move onto the user created content, which includes scenarios, characters and more. Here is a link to Reddit user created scenarios and here is a link to BoardgameGeek custom created classes! You’re Welcome!
Maybe your regular Sunday night board game group has decided to betray everything you stand for and play Sea of Thieves together instead of driving across town to meet up and play a beautiful board game. True story, although I actually do like Sea of Thieves, just not on board game night.
So instead you have recruited your cousin Randy and his new girlfriend to come over and play. Or maybe you have just played all of the regular scenarios and you want something new. Either way dungeons allow you to create custom one-off scenarios.
The rulebook covers this pretty well so I won’t get into a long winded description but essentially you combine 3 room cards and 3 monster cards 1 pair at a time and it will generate a random, custom scenario. For fun you can also add penalties on to make it even harder!
Dungeons are generally considered quite hard because it can stack some pretty serious modifiers against you and there is no mastermind making sure it is a finely tuned scenario. That being said, they work pretty well and allow you to play Gloomhaven until your fingers bleed or your significant other forces you to stop!
Gloomhaven uses stickers to manage the current world-state. First you have them to designate which scenarios you have opened up and which you have played on the map. Then there are world state stickers which modify which quests you can take based upon your past decisions. Lastly there are enhancements for cards which you unlock part way through the campaign.
For a low-low price, see amazon link for current pricing, you can get a reusable sticker set. This one from Sinister Fish on Amazon is by far the best and most popular choice. This will allow you to play campaign after campaign of Gloomhaven without worrying about permanently marring the beautiful map.
The Sinister Fish set also has enhancement stickers, secret envelope stickers(to reseal them after opening) and a host of useful things to make resetting Gloomhaven to its original, pristine state easy.
Pro tip. If changing a board game permanently makes you cringe inside, then you should buy the stickers right away and not use the provided stickers! The original stickers are not reusable, they are standard paper stickers. Give them to your kids, nephews, nieces, whatever you want but don’t use them if you want to reset your game.
Personally, I just used the original sticker set. At some point I will finally get around to properly framing the map in it’s current state as I probably won’t play the campaign again. I will then proudly hang it up on my wall to remember my favorite game!
Road and City Events
This may seem redundant to some but I am going to include it anyways just to be thorough. Road and city events sometimes have a symbol on them that shows a card being ripped. Do not physically destroy the card as it is going to be a pain to get a new one if you want to play through again.
In Pandemic Legacy you are supposed to rip up cards so I believe that mindset carried through to Gloomhaven players and there are forums of people who actually ripped up the cards and are looking for ways to replace them; or at least find virtual copies so they can use some sort of placeholder.
Sleeving Your Cards
If you do plan on playing through Gloomhaven multiple times you can expect some regular wear and tear. If you have friends like i do you can expect copious amounts of soda, bonbon, chip crumbs, candy, chocolate and probably even bonbon residue on your cards.
For this reason I would definitely recommending sleeving your cards to make sure they can last as long as you need them to. I would recommend this set on Amazon. They will guaranteed fit properly and also they have smaller sleeves for the items, which is great!
For a more in depth look at sleeving your cards check out my guide on sleeving Gloomhaven. It will help you so much with deciding what cards you actually want to sleeve!
So there you go, Gloomhaven is a Legacy game but with a little preparation and forethought and a little extra money you can play Gloomhaven as many times as you want!