Eventually, any board game can become tedious when you’ve played it often enough.
And even hardcore and passionate veterans with hundreds of hours of game time will tell you that sometimes it’s important to switch things up.
In this article, we’ll suggest the best board games, like Gloomhaven, that you and your party can enjoy together (you’ll also find some familiar names here).
Dungeons and Dragons
Suggested players: Three to six players (including the DM)
Average session time: +/- Two to six hours (although some campaigns can last as long as a few months)
Created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson back in 1974, Dungeons and Dragons has inspired the creation of many roleplaying turn-based table games.
And as the original tabletop game, it’s undoubtedly worth exploring.
That’s why we’ve put it on top of the list of games like Gloomhaven.
In DND, each player creates a character of a specific race: dwarf, elf, human, gnome, or other.
The dungeon master (or DM, for short) organizes the game and runs the adventure for the players.
Courageous heroes embark to survive a journey through exciting but perilous lands and dark dungeons.
They’ll fight monsters, collect loot, and do their best to survive.
Each character can also choose a class, which determines their available abilities and skills, and the type of combat style they’ll adopt.
In addition, players will also have to select their alignment, varying from entirely evil characters to neutral, all the way to priesthood-level good.
All of this will affect character progression.
What’s interesting about DND is that you don’t use a board to play it, although some may want to use battle mats and minis of their characters and opponents to visualize scenarios.
They may also opt to use region maps, world maps, and “blocked” maps of local areas to help them better engross themselves in the world.
Buy the D&D Starter set at:
A Game of Thrones: The Board Game
Suggested players: Three to six players
Average session time: +/- Two to five hours
This board game is based on the best-selling books by George R.R. Martin and the TV series adaptation, which grew immensely in popularity from 2011 through 2019.
The “A Game of Thrones” board game is a fun and highly nostalgic experience for fans worldwide.
And like the books and series, conquest is set as a theme, will the ultimate goal of claiming the Iron Throne.
The game is divided into rounds, further divided into three phases.
These include the Westeros phase, the planning phase, and the action phase.
The ultimate goal of this fantasy world game is to secure total dominance through either politics or combat.
After ten rounds, the player that’s been most successful and has claimed the most areas containing either strongholds or castles is called the winner.
Either this or the game ends if a player controls seven regions at any time.
Although the board game isn’t precisely like Gloomhaven, considering it doesn’t have campaigns, it’s a nice mix-up from it and something that GoT fans will thoroughly enjoy.
As for games like Gloomhaven, it’s certainly worth a play-through.
Buy A Game of Thrones: The Board Game at:
Star Wars: Imperial Assault
Suggested players: Two to five players
Average session time: +/- Two to four hours(campaigns may take a few months)
The game system is a lot like Gloomhaven in that the player characters develop over time throughout a campaign.
Each campaign has the empire going up against the rebels in various tactical missions.
Star Wars fans will love this game.
The board game takes place after the destruction of the Death Star over Yavin 4 and is offered in various game modes, such as a skirmish game, which lets you and your friends go head-to-head in combat.
It’s an exciting experience and the perfect game to use to geek out about Star Wars; it even has minis representing the various troops.
And while missions don’t last that long, the campaign may take months.
Buy Star Wars: Imperial Assault at:
Mice & Mystics
Suggested players: One to four players
Average session time: Around two hours per session (campaigns can last a few weeks to a couple of months)
After being transformed into mice, players must survive to warn the king of the evil Vanestra’s plan.
Players have a choice between different characters, such as:
- Maginos: an elderly mouse and a mystic with a staff.
- Prince Collin (found in the Sorrow and Remembrance expansion):the son of King Andon turned mouse, a versatile character and a sword fighter.
- Lily: the daughter of the mayor of Barksburg and the wielder of an effective bow (also a mouse).
- Ansel: a great frontliner and the warden of the Downwood.
- And others (subject to whether you have only the core game or the expansions as well).
The world has become dangerous, much more than before, but together, using ingenuity and tactics, the players, as humans turned mice, must venture further and survive.
Adventurers will encounter a variety of foes, including spiders, cockroaches, and rats.
They’ll also encounter one of the most daunting challenges: the castle’s housecat, Brodie.
The game has a rich storyline that is enjoyable in groups.
Its uniqueness is why we felt it was worth adding to the list of games like Gloomhaven.
Buy Mice & Mystics at:
Suggested players: One to five players
Average session time: One to fours hours
As an immersive board game, Nemesis is a lot of fun to play with friends.
So while solo play is possible, it’s not the best experience.
The plot is this: as the crew, you wake up from hibernation in a ship only to find it’s under critical system failure, and it’s your job to repair it and bring it back to earth.
Sounds simple enough?
Well, one of your crew has been taken out of their pod and is dead.
You and the crew are also sure you can hear noises in the ship – how will you survive and get back to earth?
Unlike the roleplaying games on this list, Nemesis is set not in a fantasy world but a sci-fi one, potentially attracting fans of the genre.
Groups will have to use their unique skills and tend to their weaknesses.
In addition, each crew mate has their own agenda, and players can use bluffing and backstabbing to meet their own ends.
And because the combat, enemies, objection, infection, and room layouts are random in each game, this game also boasts a lot of replayability.
Buy Nemesis at:
Is Gloomhaven just DND?
Gloomhaven, although similar to DND, is not exactly like Dungeons and Dragons, and it’s a tactical combat game.
Gloomhaven has a limited roleplaying element, whereas DND has roleplaying as a primary focus.
What type of game is Gloomhaven?
Gloomhaven is a tactical combat game driven by a campaign.
It boasts an ever-changing world in which players are challenged to battle monsters and other opponents.
Is it fun to play Gloomhaven alone?
Gloomhaven is fun to play alone; however, you’ll have to take control of two characters when playing alone.
You can even opt to take control of three or four, which makes the game more challenging.