Let's discuss our favorite CAB (Complex/Co-Op Ai Battler) games.

by kickedoutofbyui. Posted on Jun 30, 2020    2    16

(I'd describe CAB games as any co-op game where you fight against AI opponents/bosses)

So I'm newish to boardgames but I've been watching a lot of videos online and ones I'm interested in are Kingdom Death: Monster, Gloomhaven Jaws of the Lion (ordered this already waiting for it to arrive), and the one game I do have like this is Marvel Champions LCG.

So I love Marvel and Marvel Champions scratched that itch of feeling like a superhero, but I wanted something meatier. If my group likes JotL, I'll think about getting Gloomhaven or just waiting on Frosthaven (Because I've heard quite a few negatives about Gloomhaven so I'm still on the fence about whether it truly is good or not). I've been watching OnTableTop's campaign of KD:M and it looks amazing. I know the price is crazy and I'll probably never buy it, but it is enjoyable to watch.

What games do you like of this genre and why? I know this category is a bit broad, but I'm interested


reversezer0 1

Keeping with Marvel Champions game, the modular sets really do spice up the behavior of the villain deck. Tuning up the game to heroic difficulty levels and you have quite the challenge and will be trying to more thoroughly tune your decks to meet them. One challenging example for me is Rhino in Expert with Masters of Evil and Power Drain (from Green Goblin) on heroic level 1. I’ve had a challenge with that.

luxh 1

The Hoplomachus and Too Many Bones series from Chip Theory Games have similar combat systems and play great solo or co-op. Hoplomachus in particular creates some amazing solo combat puzzles (Too Many Bones has more of a focus on character development instead of pure combat tactics).

Beware: both series are total money sinks, but worth it. If you're interested, I would start with Too Many Bones Undertow or Hoplomachus: Origins, simply because they are cheap(er) small(er)-box options.

Iamn0man 2

I’ve not tried Marvel Champions. I’ve got nothing but love for Sentinels of the Multiverse, though you have to get a couple expansions for it to really shine - not that there’s anything wrong with the base box, but the combinatorics help it a LOT.

zacharylky 1

Sentinels is great for a start - lovely theme, beautiful art and story, cool way of playing co-op.

However, it’s really not so meaty at all until you get some expansions, and even then the gameplay is pretty similar throughout. My sentinels box is rotting in my cellar now.

Aeons end is a little better with a dominion-type deck building mechanic and much meatier.

OP could try both and see which one plays better for him and his group. Though, I’m a gloomhaven/KDM fan all the way - been playing with my group every Sunday for 1.5 years of the same gloom campaign!

CatTaxAuditor 2

I want a Monster Hunter board game done in the spirit of Kingdom Death Monster. I would pay ludicrous amounts of money to get the whole thing with a huge Rathalos figure, figures in various armor sets from the game, being able to use the different weapons, maybe have a Deviljho expansion. It would be the only game I play.

  kickedoutofbyui 1

Primal the awakening Kickstarter is later this year and it’s supposedly exactly that

CatTaxAuditor 1

Well you have my interest.

Alvinshotju1cebox 3

Aeon's end is fantastic.

wildestnacatl 3

Yeah Aeon’s End is great and has a similar feel to Marvel Champions, though it is only slightly more complex, so might not fit what they are looking for.

Alvinshotju1cebox 1

That's true. AE does have a difficulty modifier that may give them the challenge they're seeking.

wildestnacatl 2

(For benefit of the OP) AE has easy and difficult mode for the bosses, similar to MC, but you can further modify the difficulty with semi and true random markets.

Robotkio 4

I quite enjoy Mage Knight with the Lost Legion expansion. More recently it's felt too long to take out on a regular basis but I still like it now and then.

thewells 8

I’m not sure what problem you’ve heard of in Gloomhaven, but I can almost guarantee that if there’s a problem you would have with Gloomhaven it’s also in JotL and will be in Frosthaven. The differences in JotL are pretty much entirely small fixes for corner cases (many of which Isaac has said could be backported) and a couple small tweaks to the campaign that are required due to the shorter nature of the campaign. JotL isn’t a lighter version of Gloomhaven, it’s just a version with a smaller scope and a tutorial

hproffitt36 3

The maps in the scenario book for JotL could make all of the difference for some.

Derelicte226 2

100% this. I've seen multiple posts from people jumping on JotL because they loved the actual gameplay of Gloomhaven, but the setup and tear down time meant it never hit the table.

Plus, it has the added benefit of each map looking/feeling more unique, instead of having 1 of 2 tile sets, lol.

thewells 1

Having played both, I honestly don’t understand why people are raving about “how easy the map books are”. Yeah they’re easier, but it’s taking like 15 seconds off of a part of setup that takes like 30 seconds, I usually spend more time deciding which mission to do than setting up the tiles. And there are much more impactful changes to setup like reducing the number of enemy types to 2-3 types on average rather than 3-4 and it also requires maps be much smaller, so there are fewer things that need to be placed.

Also, I’ve found it really frustrating reading text during the scenario since now I can’t move the text to a convenient reading.

Isaac has said he’s thought about at least adding map books as an optional replacement for the tiles, although he pretty much dismissed it as the default for FH (so much comment that any problem you would have with GH will be in FH still stands), I’m skeptical, because I can think of at least 2 scenarios in GH that would require at least 3 books because of the size of the map, and maybe even 4 books if he includes the text. JotL can get away with it because of the smaller scope, but I doubt if it were ported to GH that people would actually see a substantial reduction in setup and teardown.