Update (December 14, 2020): The beginning of an epic adventure stirs in the north! Frosthaven preorders at Three Kings Loot now available here.
Here at Three Kings Loot, we are so, so excited about Frosthaven. On May 1st, 2020, the game finished its incredibly successful crowdfunding campaign, with the 3rd highest funding total in all of Kickstarter’s history. After 31 days it managed to acquire $12,969,162 USD from 83,188 unique backers – during a worldwide global health crisis no less. So, what is up with this game that has us and that many other people so pumped?
Simply put, it’s the sequel to Gloomhaven. The brainchild of developer Isaac Childres, Gloomhaven is a cooperative, dungeon-crawling legacy game that released in early 2017. Over a campaign made of many missions, groups in Gloomhaven went on a collective journey from zeroes to heroes. They became stronger, acquired gold to purchase powerful items, made allies that eventually became playable classes, retired adventurers after accomplishing great feats, and eventually formed new heroes to take up their party’s mantle.
Since its release in 2017, Gloomhaven has regularly kept its spot as the #1 game on BoardGameGeek.com and won many awards, including the Origins Awards 2018 Game of the Year. Speaking from experience, the hype that has surrounded Isaac Childres’ creations is well-deserved. At first, I only knew that it was a great product I couldn’t keep on my shelves. Eventually, however, I decided to see for myself what the big fuss was all about. And somehow my group and I ended up playing through the entire campaign non-stop. Gloomhaven was a delight every minute of the many hours spent on it; we were excited to meet again week after week. We had set our eyes on conquering Gloomhaven: Forgotten Circles next… until COVID-19 forced us all into our homes. T_T
While several related products have either come out already (Gloomhaven: Forgotten Circles) or will be released later this year (Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion), Frosthaven will be a true, full-fledged sequel to the Gloomhaven. It follows a new band of brave souls, risking their lives in frozen lands north of the original game. In Frosthaven, your fellowship will rebuild a devastated town, defeat frightening threats, and unravel new mysteries. Like its predecessor, it promises to be an engaging, unique experience that no two groups will tackle the exact same way. Man, oh man – I really don’t have the words to express how ready I am to fall in love with this game with my friends.
New Developments in Frosthaven
Fresh Heroes Rise to the Challenge
There will be a grand total of 17 new classes coming to Frosthaven. However, at the start of the game, you will only be able to select one of the six starting classes. From left to right in the top picture:
- The Inox Drifter is a tanky survivalist that fiddles with the different buffs it can play, letting you get more use out of the persistent abilities that best suit the situation.
- The Quatryl Blinkblade is a temporal, technological assassin with modal abilities that can either store up energy by doing things slow during a turn or using that stored energy to fight at blazing fast speeds.
- The Aesther Necromancer is a dark mage that spends its own hit points to summon hordes of undead minions, as well as to restore the health of allies.
- The Human Banner Spear is a tough, cooperative warrior whose power increases when she positions herself in certain formations with her allies and can place banners to both apply area effects and fulfill her own formation requirements.
- The Valrath Deathwalker is a ninja-like naturalist who uses summoned shadows to deal damage at range in one moment and teleport around the battlefield in another.
- The Harrower Geminate is a swarm hivemind that has developed two different identities, which will have you juggling between a ranged playstyle and a melee one during each adventure to avoid early exhaustion from mental instability.
Building a Town of your Own
At the start of your story, the town of Frosthaven is a small settlement struggling to survive. Its success will soon become entwined with yours as you decide which types of buildings to construct with your hard-won resources. These buildings will give you different bonuses and options during the campaign. Walls and towers to defend the town. Specialized workshops to refine your resources into powerful items. Inns and temples to attract more adventurers. As Frosthaven grows under your direction, it will face attacks and you will take up arms to protect the home you built in the north.
Changing with the Seasons
The harsh environment of the north will play a vital role in Frosthaven. Your campaign will begin in the relatively calm summer seasons, getting the town back on its feet. After that, time passes and the season eventually turns to winter. Deadly and difficult, the winter will see your buildings close as the nights grow long. You will spend precious resources in a struggle to stay warm. And dark shapes skulk in the shadows, gathering the courage to eventually assault your town. Each season will last 15 completed scenarios and have their own event decks. Ultimately, dealing with a dark northern winter every year will be an interesting challenge and enhance the game’s playability.
In Frosthaven, your enemies will drop loot from a random deck of cards, including money, items, and resources. Some items like the green mushrooms below will go into your alchemical experiments. Combinations of ingredients will make unknown potions that might have fantastically helpful effects. Or could give you a case of indigestion… We’ll find out! On the other hand, lumber and metal resources will turn into the party’s arms and armors. Or maybe you’ll need them to build, upgrade, and repair your town’s structures. Don’t have a use for a resource? You can add it to the party’s pool and save it for future needs.
Getting Frosthaven: The Bottom Line
Now that Frosthaven’s been funded, Cephalofair Games is going to be hard at work for its release in March 2021. According to what the company has told us, the retail prices of the associated products will be as follows:
- Frosthaven – $160 USD MSRP
- Frosthaven Replaceable Stickers – $20 USD MSRP
- Frosthaven Solo Scenarios – $15.00 USD MSRP
- Frosthaven Collectors Pins – $60 USD MSRP
- Gloomhaven Collectors Pins – $60 USD MSRP
If you’re as hyped as us, you’ll need to make sure you can secure your copy. During Gloomhaven’s first retail-printing, I remember stores everywhere were scrambling to get copies for their customers via their distribution companies. However, many distributors themselves had been short-shipped and each store’s orders were reduced. In fact, I only got one of the three that I ordered. That’s how just much demand there was for Gloomhaven all across Canada.
However, with Frosthaven, we’ve made sure to avoid all short-shipping issues by entering a retailer’s agreement with Cephalofair Games. This time, we’ll be ordering directly from Cephalofair Games and we can 100% guarantee every preorder. By the looks of things, I think there’ll be just as much, if not more, demand for Gloomhaven’s sequel and I am really glad that we’ve secured this agreement.
Didn’t make it in time for the campaign? Excited as we are? Our preorders for all items associated with this incredible game have already begun.