The Grizzled: Cooperative Gaming at its Finest

After its release in late 2015, I started seeing The Grizzled pop up everywhere. It was on all my news feeds; I was seeing it in blog posts, tweets, and Instagram photos. It seemed everyone was playing it and I had to see what all the fuss was about. Well, I was given it as a gift for Christmas last year, and I have played almost 10 games since!

The whole point of the game is to overcome all the trials before all of your team mates perish. And it is not as easy as it may seem.

The game box is small, and there are only a few pieces. Which makes it nice and portable. I also really like small boxes for games. There is something classy about it. And of course smaller boxes, means fewer pieces, and fewer pieces makes for an easier game to learn.

The rule book is a quick read, and the game is very straight forward. Afterwards I found myself thinking: "That's it? This will be easy!" And I could not have been more mistaken.

To get started, everyone picks one of the characters and gets one left, one right, and one random support tile (Coffee Cups). Then the hairiest player gets the Leader Token signifying they go first.

My first impression on opening the box was how much I loved all the art in this game. The classic French newspaper comic style lends itself so well to the era portrayed and the designs are simple yet elegant. Also to add to the games feel, it says in the rules that the characters you can choose from are based off of ancestors of the game's creators. Very cool, and a great homage.

The game is played over a series of battles, where each players draws a number of cards equal to the intensity of the battle (which is set by the leader) from the Trial deck (the one on the left). Players then play cards from the their hands, either onto the battlefield to the left of the Trial Deck. You can play two types of cards: Trials and Hard Knocks. Hard Knocks go on the player's character and have a negative effect on the game. Trials can be played in the battlefield area to the left, and are battlefield effects that you must get rid of in order to win the game.

The game continues like this until all players have withdrawn (Chosen to leave the fight), or until there are three identical symbols showing...

If this happens, you loose the battle, and all the cards played on the field are return back to the Trial Deck To be drawn again. However, gf everyone is able to withdraw before three identical effects are on the field then the battle was successful and played cards are discard, getting you closer finishing the Trial deck; which is your ultimate goal.

After you withdraw, you can help other players out by removing Hard Knocks cards they by lending support with your support tiles. If at least two players support another player, that player may remove a Hard Knock, or refresh their ability if it has been used.

After the support phase, The leader takes a card for each card in all players hands from the Moral deck (the deck on the right) and puts them onto the Trial deck (the one on the left and the one players draw form at the start of each battle). This makes it harder to finish the trial deck. So it is important that players play as many cards as they can.

If you are able to clear the Trial deck and all the cards in each player's hand, then you win the game.

However, If the Memorial Card under the Moral deck is revealed, then the game is over and you lose.

Similarly, if any player has four Hard Knocks after the support phase, then you also lose.

The Grizzled is one of those games that will seem quite easy at the start and will quickly spiral out of control, as the game goes on. It is a challenging cooperative game that is a wonderful and thoughtful homage to the war and those that served in it.

I recommend it for any game group, casual or serious.

Written by: Andrew Gregory
The Grizzled: Cooperative Gaming at its Finest The Grizzled: Cooperative Gaming at its Finest Reviewed by JADE Gaming on 2/02/2016 02:05:00 pm Rating: 5

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