We enjoyed other Cool Mini Or Not games like Zombicide and XenoShyft: Onslaught, so we were very much looking forward to doing a The Grizzled card game review. Read on to find out if it is a game worth putting on your shelf.
What is The Grizzled?
The Grizzled is a unique cooperative card game in which you are trying to simply survive World War I with your fellow soldiers. Your job isn’t to fight, but instead to outlast the fighting that is going on around you without giving in to your fears. The game is an homage to all of those who fought in World War I and is truly a co-op game unlike any other.
The Grizzled Gameplay
In the beginning of the game, each player is given three support tokens that they can use later on to help their teammates. There is a deck of 25 Trial cards that are placed on top of the Peace card, and the remaining 34 Trial cards are then put on the Monument card. If the players can get through the deck on top of the Peace card and have empty hands, they win. If the Monument card is ever revealed, the players have lost and have not survived the war.
The Mission Leader (first player) starts out each round by deciding how intense he/she wants the current round to be; this is when they choose how many trial cards each player gets. You want to draw as many cards as you can, but you run the risk of losing the game if you have too many cards at the end of each round. The total amount of cards left in the players’ hands after each round are drawn from the monument deck and put on top of the peace deck.
During the main phase of the game, players will attempt to discard as many cards as they can onto the middle of the table (“No Man’s Land”). Each card can have one or more of six different “threats” on it: Rain, Snow, Night, a Bullet, a Gas Mask, or a Whistle. Players lay down one card at a time and try to avoid ever matching three of those threats, which will result in an immediate loss.
When a player doesn’t have any more cards or simply doesn’t want to risk playing one, they end their turn by secretly playing one of their support tokens. Once everyone has chosen a support token to use, the player who has the majority of them gets to either use their special ability or remove up to two Hard Knocks cards.
If anyone has four or more Hard Knocks cards at the end of a round, everyone loses. These cards all have negative effects and are pretty tough to remove.
At the end of a round, the Mission Leader gets to take a Speech token. These tokens are very powerful if used correctly since they allow the player to choose one of the six threats and anyone who has one of those cards can discard it.
That’s just a rough overview of The Grizzled, but definitely take a look at the official rulebook on BoardGameGeek if you want a more detailed write-up of the rules.
Check out The Grizzled at Amazon
- The Grizzled is a cooperative game through and through. There is absolutely no way that you can beat this game without working together and figuring out a way to survive. Obviously, that is something that we want every co-op game to have, but most of them don’t have this type of cooperative experience.
- This game is also perfectly difficult. You can definitely pull off some wins, but you have to have a good feel for how your teammates are playing to have a chance. You can’t communicate what’s in your hand or who you’re supporting, which ups the tension and forces you to really pay attention to everything that’s going on in the game.
- Our group has been very impressed with the theme in The Grizzled because it is so different than any other co-op tabletop game we’ve played. It forces you to work together because you really want to make it out of this war. There’s certainly a team puzzle aspect to it, but you’ll have a hard time not imagining that you’re in a terrible war when you’re playing this game. It’s a very impressive accomplishment by the designers.
- The Grizzled is a game with a war theme, but it is not a game about fighting in a war. We knew that going into it, but some people will be surprised to find out that there is no fighting in this game. While it is a very good game for what it is, it might not be for people who prefer fighting games or traditional war games.
- The two-player game isn’t nearly as satisfying as the 3+ player games. The dummy player doesn’t really make up for the missing third player.
The Grizzled isn’t for everyone, but most of the people in our group think it is an excellent card game since it is a tough challenge and very thematic. While it isn’t considered a family game, this one can be enjoyed by gamers of pretty much all ages.
There is a ton of game in this small box, but even more is being added with the excellent The Grizzled expansion, The Grizzled: At Your Orders! , which adds in better two-player rules, a solo mode, and new mission challenges.
The Grizzled Links
BoardGameGeek | Amazon | CoolStuffInc | eBay
Thanks for taking the time to read our The Grizzled review!