The Grizzled: Armistice Edition
French foot soldiers
Endure the Great War without getting shell-shocked, or simply shelled.
"This game is supposed to take place during World War I. You are normal soldiers trying to work together to survive until Armsitice Day."
"By the time I played The Grizzled the first time, my parents had mastered the basic strategy, and were able to walk me through it. I think it would have been a lot harder to win that first time if none of us had played before. The 'hard-knocks' cards SUCK but they make the game really interesting. You have to pay close attention to what other people are doing to know the best course of action. For example, it’s absolutely crucial to remember which Support Tokens the other players have used. The game comes with little plastic minis, which are very cute, but as far as I can tell, not actually used in the game."
"The Grizzled is a cooperative game about six regular jeun hommes (French for ‘young men’) who are pressed into service in World War I, and rely on their friendship to help them survive the horrors ahead. The true brilliance of The Grizzled Armistice comes not in any particular point of intricacy of game play, but in the peculiar feeling the game engenders. While playing this game and experiencing the terror, the pain, the speeches, the gifts, and traumas of bad weather and battle, you actually get a taste of what it might feel like 1) to be in a chummy French regiment; 2) to hate the war you’re asked to take part in, and 3) to see victory come tantalizingly closer and closer, only to ebb further away just when you think it’s within reach. You never want to let down your mates, and you’re encouraged to deliver actual inspirational speeches with actual gusto. What a unique experience for a card game!"
"It is worth mentioning the differences between the original Grizzled and the Armistice Edition we are reviewing today. The original game is very hard to win. We played with a group of four adults, and I think we lost the first 10 times we played. I know the game sets out to teach us that war is an exercise in learned helplessness. Consider that lesson learned, and my faith in society weakened!"
"The Armistice edition is a legacy game, of sorts, insomuch as it throws in a new rule or two every time you play, and many of these new rules are special abilities that favor the players. The game’s difficulty in this edition is now balanced so carefully that it always seems victory hangs upon one choice, one chance, the lack of a card or the addition of one, and the human consequences of your actions always feel real."
"Finally, no review of the Grizzled is complete without mentioning that the gorgeous artwork, with lovely attention to detail, was done by the French cartoonist Tignous (real name Bernard Verlhac), who was killed in the terrorist attack on the offices of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo in 2015. Tignous delivered his last drawings for this game a week before being murdered, making the game’s tagline, 'Can Friendship be stronger than War?' resonate even more deeply."