In anticipation of an upcoming Twilight 2000 RPG campaign which I will be chronicling here on Haunted MTL, I am reviewing the game The Grizzled for January…
Let’s face it, War kills.
And you and your friends want to come out on the other side of World War I together. So you have to help each other out until Armistice is called. Play cooperatively and strategize to make that possible. Or fail and have a monument erected in your honor for what all that’s worth since you’re dead and gone so you won’t be around to see it…
The game is played as a series of missions that you and your hapless best buddies are thrust into. The Leader, who changes every mission and is marked by the 3D token, declares how many cards are to be dealt on their mission. Cards are then dealt from the Armistice deck. The goal is to play as many cards from your hands as possible while still succeeding at the mission. If you make it through, the Leader gains a speech as you prepare for the next mission. Three matches in play at once and you fail, and those cards are integrated back into the Armistice deck. The total number of cards that aren’t played from the players’ hands are moved from the Memorial deck to the Armistice deck to start the beginning of the next mission. You have to work diligently and wisely to whittle away at the Armistice deck before the Memorial deck runs out or someone dies or else the whole team loses.
If all of this seems overly complicated, War is hard, like a rock to scissors.
It leaves a lot of bent metal and sharp pointy edges in its wake. But you get the hang of it as you go, gaining hard knocks along the way that make War even harder. And those traps will spring the most inopportune draws at the most inopportune times… Because some days really are deadlier than nightshade, and the shells whistling through the gas attack during the coldest darkest rainiest night will be written into your worst nightmares forevermore.
War is also brutal.
You have to stick together and support each other so you don’t go down. You learn to signal your friends in whatever ways you can so you can all live to see another day. You hint at what speeches could help or whose luck to use or who needs support most. Because you’re all in this together and you have to collaborate to make it out alive.
I give The Grizzled 4.5 Cthulus.
This is one of our favorite games and one we tend to get out when we aren’t sure what to play. It has a good run time and everyone gets involved in helping each other out and taking the Leader role so it doesn’t get weighted heavily towards any one player unless the cards stack up against them. Once you get the hang of it, it’s challenging but can be won as opposed to some of those more stacked decks where it is virtually impossible to succeed.(4.5 / 5)
Designed by Fabien Riffaud and Juan Rodriguez with beautiful art by Tignous, you can find the original French version of the game on their website here. There is also an expansion. An English version of the game, expansion and a campaign boxed set are available through CMON and can be found on Amazon. I have only played the original game but am looking forward to checking out the campaign boxed set soon.
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