More cooperative games! This one is a little bit darker - definitely in its theme at the very least. Themed around the horrors of trench warfare during World War I, The Grizzled is a challenging game to win as players try to play the correct cards while overcoming burdens and trying to survive the war.
At the start of the round the players will decide how many cards to deal out to each person. The goal of the game is to get through the whole deck, but any of the cards that remain in players hands at the end of the round punish the players. Players always want to find the happy middle between the goals of getting all the cards in the deck played and all of the cards rid of all the cards in your hands.
The general rule is you can never have three of the same threat in play or that mission fails. On your turn you decide to either play a card or retreat. There are two types of cards - ones that show one or more threats and some that are negative effects imposed on yourself. You might notice that neither of those sound like happy cards, which is probably a part of the message of the game. There is only a single card in the entire deck that is helpful to the players. The rest of the cards the players just have to survive through.
While we do try to take the atmosphere somewhat seriously there is always some amusement at some of the conditions that people get. Especially when I am teaching players so we are talking strategy and i get the negative card the makes it so i can no longer communicate. At the end of the round there is a chance to heal negative conditions but surprisingly there are some that are even worse than not being able to communicate.
The Grizzled is a tough game, but fairly easy to understand and quick to play. It is a lot about understanding the weaknesses that the players inherit and trying to understand what cards people have in their hands. Even when they can communicate players can never directly tell people what they have in their hands. That lack of knowledge is what makes Grizzled both a difficult game and also lots of fun.