Gameday First Play – The Grizzled

Surviving the trenches in the Great War.

Give a quick speech then have a coffee.

The Grizzled is a cooperative game about survival in the trenches during the first World War where players win or lose together.

Another co-op card game where you can’t talk about your hand.

You’re simply going to try and survive missions which are players playing cards into the play area. Each card has several symbols on it known as Threats which are either environmental effect of Snow, Rain and Night. There are also more obvious War type threats of a Bullet, Gas Mask or Whistle (incoming attack). These 6 threats play a big part in the game.

When playing cards, if any of these threats appears 3 times, you fail the mission.

The Grizzled Cards

What you’re trying to do is unveil that Peace card with the Dove and empty all players hands. The Peace card starts with trials 25 cards on it. The rest are on the Monument deck.

At the beginning of each Mission, the leader will determine how many cards each player gets.

Then to pass a mission, the players need to either play all their cards from their hand or have all ‘withdrawn’ before 3 identical threats come up.

If you Pass a mission, the played cards are discarded and a number of cards equal to the total number of cards in all players hands are moved from the Monument deck to the Peace deck. Making the Peace deck larger. (There is a minimum of 3 cards moved over this way.)

If you Fail, the played cards are shuffled back into the Peace deck  as well as the cards a number of cards equal to the total number of cards in all players hands are moved from the Monument deck to the Peace deck.

Ouch!

To make it easier… Each character has a four leaf clover ability where they can flip over their role card and remove one card with a matching symbol of that character from play.

Also, as the Leader token moves around the table the previous leader gets a speech token. You can discard this to name one of the six threats and other players can discard a card with one of the matching threats on it

Easy right? No!

Some of the Trials cards have a trap symbol that forces you to play the top card of the deck blind…

Also, there are Hard Knocks.

The Grizzled Hard Knocks

These are mixed into the Trials deck and give a penalty to the player. For example, Hardheaded prevents you from withdrawing if you have a card in your hand. What if that card will cause you to fail the mission? Oops! You have to play it.

If any one player gets 4 of these, everyone loses but again you may be forced to play them.

Luckily, you can get rid of these. When you withdraw you put a support token on your card. These point either left or right but you can’t discuss which one you’ve picked. These tokens have a mug of coffee on the back to show you’ve withdrawn from combat to have a well earned rest.

When everyone has withdrawn (or the mission fails) everyone who has a support token gives it to the player the token is pointing at. If one player has more than everyone else they can either remove 2 Hard Knocks or flip their card back up to get their ability back if the mission was a success.

If it’s a fail they can remove one hard knock card.

This game is fantastic with amazing art. We played it 3-4 times (mostly due to getting minor rules wrong) and enjoyed it each time.

It gets the balance perfectly between tension, frustration and fun and each success is celebrated and each failure has your head in your hands.

Looking forward to playing this a lot more, and with 4-5 players.

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