Frosthaven is the sequel to the enormously popular (and enormously heavy) Gloomhaven, a eurogame-inspired dungeon-crawler from Isaac Childres that’s still ranked the best board game of all time on BoardGameGeek. Frosthaven takes the series’ combat-heavy campaigns to the frozen city of the same name. It promises over 100 new scenarios, a party of new playable classes, and plenty of minis.
The hype for Frosthaven has also been enormous – the Kickstarter campaign raised nearly $13 million / £12 million, making it one of the most successful Kickstarter board game campaigns ever. We are, however, talking about the Kickstarter campaign that was funded in May 2020. The global Covid-19 pandemic brought the game’s manufacture and shipping to a standstill, and, after over two years frozen solid, Frosthaven still hasn’t hit hobbyist or retailer shelves.
Don’t be disheartened, though – in the year 2022, the cogs of publisher Cephalofair are turning much faster. Shipping appears imminent, and we might even have a proper Frosthaven release date someday soon. Keep an eye on this guide for all your Frosthaven updates and news, as we’re keeping our chilly ears close to the snow-covered ground.
Here’s what we know about the Frosthaven release date so far:
Frosthaven release date
Production of Frosthaven is officially complete, and freight shipment began on August 31. A Kickstarter update from August 12 says Cephalofair’s goal is to get backer’s Frosthaven copies in their hands by Christmas 2022.
For any who pre-ordered after the campaign ended (which you can still do, it seems), these pre-orders will apparently be fulfilled once backers have received their copies. The pre-order page says this is the last opportunity to get Frosthaven before its second printing.
When it comes to a Frosthaven retail release date, things get a little more complex. If your friendly local game store backed the original crowdfunder by purchasing a retail backer pledge, then their Frosthaven copies will arrive at the same time as those for individual backers. As for everyone else, Cephalofair says a traditional retail release won’t be happening until 2023 when the game gets a second printing. This means you might be able to buy Frosthaven in a brick-and-mortar shop this year, but copies won’t be widely available for some time yet.
While Christmas 2022 feels so close you can almost taste it, beware sticking your tongue to Frosthaven’s frozen lamppost too soon. Cephalofair has been very transparent about the potential for further delays. Factory output, quality control, freight problems, and even more unexpected world events could all push the release date back even further.
The Kickstarter page says Frosthaven’s gameplay is largely the same as Gloomhaven, but some extra mechanics are thrown in. Firstly, looting works a bit differently in Frosthaven – rather than collecting coins from the dungeons you crawl, you trade loot tokens for a card from a customised scenario deck. You could find raw resources instead of money or even a random item.
Secondly, you can construct buildings in Frosthaven. Adding to the infrastructure of this icy town gives you bonuses, opportunities, resources, or even new character classes. Frosthaven also has summer and winter seasons that change how the game is played – and how challenging it can be.
Lastly, Frosthaven offers a puzzle book. Decipher this, and you’ll discover clues to help you unlock the secrets of the game’s setting. “Only by searching every last nook of the game will you reach the end of your journey”, the Kickstarter page says.
Frosthaven promises 16 new character classes, plus one extra from a completed stretch goal. The original Gloomhaven classes will be compatible with Frosthaven, and new characters can also reportedly be used with the original game.
Six of these will be starting characters, and the rest can be unlocked as the game progresses. Given the Kickstarter page shows off six characters, we can probably assume these will be our starting options.
The Inox are horned goliaths who are blessed with incredible strength. This wasn’t enough to prevent their settlements from being destroyed or absorbed by humans, though. Those who aren’t part of human society are known as the Drifters, as they choose to wander and rely on only themselves to survive.
The Inox Drifter mini looks absolutely armed to the teeth. We’ve spotted a spiked club, dagger, and bow and arrow, so there should be plenty of combat options for this class.
Quatryl Blink Blade
Quatryls have always been known for their affinity with machinery, but Quatryl Blink Blades are particularly skilled assassins. They don’t waste their natural talents, though – it seems they’ve devised temporal drives that let them use the flow of time to their advantage.
Human Banner Spear
Banner Spears never stop looking for glory and honour, even when the going gets tough (and the weather gets cold). Frosthaven isn’t as welcoming as the capital city of White Oak, but humans have always been a hardy race. The mini Banner Spear has brought plenty of spears, swords, and a hawk – so they’re clearly ready for anything.
Like the Inox Drifter, the Valrath Deathwalker knows solitude well. Their main role is to help the dead find peace. The mini sports plenty of potions, a dagger, and a particularly imposing spellcasting staff – and we’re very interested to see what kind of necromantic nonsense the Deathwalker’s action deck will get up to.
While the Valrath Deathwalker sounds kind of necromanc-y, the inter-planar Aesther have been sending actual, literal Necromancers to Frosthaven. This class restores life by imbuing a body with energy from the planes, but the Aesther loses some of their own life force in doing so. The mini’s hair and robes are seen flying wildly about the place – no doubt as the Necromancer sacrifices some of themselves to pull off a particularly powerful stunt.
The hive mind of insects that make up a Harrower creates a Germinate when its collective consciousness cannot agree on a single mind-state. The Germinate looks like a two-headed humanoid on top, and its mini shows some particularly horrifying insectile legs poking out from under a cloak.