Gloomhaven is full of items and treasure that can seem confusing and difficult to use well.
The Horned Helm is an object that has great power if used effectively.
The Horned Helm allows the equipped character to move over a large distance and then execute a strong melee attack. It maintains its attack ability even if the character finishes its move in the space where they started it, as long as there is a free hex to move through.
Watch this video by Paul Grogan to see how a Gloomhaven scenario plays out and where you might think about using a Horned Helm.
Without giving too much away, the Horned Helm is an item of treasure that can be picked up after one of the scenarios in Gloomhaven.
As its name might suggest, it is a helmet and one of your characters can equip it on their Head slot, and it would replace anything that they might already be wearing.
The text on the Horned Helm card says “After moving 4 or more hexes on your turn, add +1 Attack to your next melee attack this turn.”
Earlier printings of Gloomhaven triggered the ability after moving 3 or more hexes, but all the later editions have the new text.
As with so much in Gloomhaven the key to understanding and using the Horned Helm correctly lies in a proper understanding of what the card tells you to do.
So, in order for the Horned Helm to activate:
- Your character must move four or more hexes
- You must make a melee attack
- The melee attack must occur this turn
The best way to think of it is as follows:
- Have you moved four or more hexes this turn?
- If yes, the Horned Helm’s ability has been triggered and will activate in your next melee attack
Once it has been triggered on your turn it does not activate again until the next turn, so use it wisely.
Often in board games you’ll eke out an advantage by realising that certain rules give you more leeway than you had originally thought, and that is definitely the case with the Horned Helm.
Notice that the text on the item begins “After moving 4 or more hexes on your turn…” but does not specify that you need to end up in a different place from where you started.
However, you do have to be able to move and execute a move action.
This means that as long as you have a free hex next to your character you could theoretically move there and back twice and then execute your melee attack because you will have moved.
Also the four or more hexes of movement do not have to come off a single action, so they could be triggered by a +3 move followed by a +2 move, for example.
So while the Horned Helm is most readily imagined as helping your character to make a charging attack, they can also run rings around their opponent – dodge and weave, maybe – and then land a blow.
Hopefully we’ve shown you that the Horned Helm can be really powerful if used imaginatively.
Like so much in Gloomhaven, getting the right objects and characters to trigger in the right order can be the difference between success and failure.
This video by Neural Net Games is worth a watch as it details twenty of the most common rules mistakes in Gloomhaven, but it might also give you some hints about what you could be doing better.
Apply our advice to the Horned Helm and other objects you find and you’ll be well on your way to success in your adventure.