Founders of Gloomhaven board game
Founders of Gloomhaven board game

Founders of Gloomhaven

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Overall Rank: #779 | Trending Rank: #1799
This is a Stand-Alone game. This is NOT an Expansion for Gloomhaven.

Founders of Gloomhaven is a competitive tile-placement, worker placement, city-building game where each player controls a fantastical race working to build the city of Gloomhaven and gain influence over its residents. This is a stand-alone game set in the same universe as Gloomhaven. The events, however, take place hundreds of years before Gloomhaven and depict the original construction of the city.

In Founders of Gloomhaven, players will use worker-placement mechanics to place resource buildings on the map of the city, use these resources to create more advanced resources, and then deliver them to proposed building sites to earn influence. An individual player, however, cannot do everything on their own, because they can only import a small number of resource types, depending on their race. To create more advanced resources, they will have to work with other players.

The game also features an auction mechanic where players will vote at the beginning of each round to determine what new building proposals come out and where they are placed on the board. Players can even add workers to their vote to increase its strength, but they should be careful. Workers added to the vote cannot be used for the rest of the round, and the more workers a player bids, the worse position they will get in the turn order.

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User Ratings & Reviews

  • Heavy and needs a rules update to make it a little easier to digest. Challenging solo experience and excellent multiplayer interactions.
  • Fiddly. AP-prone. Massive timesuck in computing the consequences of the tedious trickle-down scoring mechanics results in many-minutes-long turns. Adjacency rules are fiddly and slightly different for different buildings.
  • Uffda. Not sure about this one. The idea of Concordia + Terra Mystica, etc seems great, but this just seemed overly complicated. With so many good games, and such little time to play, this is destined to be a casualty of our collection.
  • Not too confusing as some might say, just play a practice session and everything will click by the end. Me and Wife had lots of fun! Will play with 4 players soon, cant wait to see how that makes the game different. Fun Game!
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How Alexander Elichev Illustrated the Highest Ranking Game of 2018 (Gloomhaven) image
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Rulebooks can help and hurt a game. #Founders of Gloomhaven jumps out to me a game that suffered somewhat because the rulebook was unwieldy and could have been written better.  But what makes it that way?  That I think is the quest rules writters and editors have to consider.  I think writting the rules and teaching a game are similar in that there are different ways to do it and different styles of learner as well making the process not so cut and dry.  Here are a few principals I go by:

1. Frame up the end-game context. I have found that talking about how points are scored in the end helps a lot before going into other details.  I've seen rules and heard teaches that start with components and move toward the end but honestly most of that info gets missed because players don't know how they connect with the end-game.  It woun't be perfect describing the end-game context first, but I have found that more information gets 'caught' and remembered when rules start with this.

2. Walk through components with context in mind. Now that you've explained the endgame context the components will make more sense.  A lot of game have a lot of components so I don;t go into great detail hear but each component needs to be uniquely described enough that it cannot be comfused with another component easily.  

3. Walk through round structure with end-game in mind.  I think a good rule book walks through the round/turn structure in a sequence that mimics gameplay.  When players play the game they should be easily able to reference the rules and find what they are looking for because the rules follow the gameplay structure.  Lots of rulebooks jump all over the place or try to explain the rules with the components.  

4. Walk through turn structure with end-game in mind.  When relevant walk through the turn structure as you did the round structure.  These can be overlayed and sequenced differently from game to game because each game works differently in this regard.  

5. Keep things as simple and clean as possible!  This might be the most important piece.  Stonemaier might be one of the best companies at doing this.  I think they put a lot of time and effort into streamlining rules.  This goes the same for teaching the game.  Remember, you're not teaching strategy, just the game!  Examples are very good and helpful as are pictures.  

I am not a rule book editor nor have I written a rule book so all these thoughts should be taken with a grain of salt.  Most of my experience comes from teaching games and trying to teach fast, teach simple, and teach with enough detail to help players engage the game well (but not perfectly!).  Everyone has a friend or family member who tries to unlock every...single...little...detail...before they are willing to take their first turn.  I don't cater to these players but will give turn advice with a 'why' for the first couple of rounds. 

Hopefully this helps.  I am working on a game myself and will need to be thinking through these things soon :) 

On Monday we were able to get #Anachrony , #Founders of Gloomhaven , #Wingspan , #Root , and #Heaven & Ale to the table.  I recorded our playthrough of #Anachrony but the rules explanation I had set up live didn't take as my kids were doing school online at the same time and being in the garage the signal was limited.  I'll post the rules and playthrough as soon as I can.

We had a lot of fun and I'll give more feedback on the modules we played with once I get the video spliced and uploaded :)

Fairly slow weekend but managed to play #PARKS, #Jaipur, #Founders of Gloomhaven solo, & two scenarios of #Gloomhaven via the multiplayer mode on Steam.  I played Founders 2-3 times and will post a video soon.  

Hmm, #Founders of Gloomhaven is in competition for heaviest. #Anachrony is fairly heavy as well.  It's probably a tossup between those two.  I've played through #Gloomhaven and some might say that's heavy but I don't tend to think of it as heavy.

I think #Founders of Gloomhaven is underrated.  I like the game and would like to see it hit the table more.  It's heavy and that makes it a bit challenging but the gameplay is fun and I like the hand management aspect.

Founders of Gloomhaven
What about this game? I thought that supposed to be something like causal Gloomhaven :) I don t know the game though, onle heard about it.
$40 seems to be a good price, the main game you can get used for around $80, could be a good introduction and then step up for the main game.
The big Gloomhaven box also scares me, it s like the size of 3-4 normal sized game :o
Maybe once when I can sell my Alhambra Bigbox I ll have half the space :D

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