Boardgaming 2022: the year of "point salad really isn't very filling"

Might not be your thing, Tom, but you could have any future folks who want to try the game watch Rodney Smith’s awesome teaching video.

I have not played the game, but your post at least intrigued me.

When we get together to play boardgames, that’s one of the first steps for attendees beforehand. Watch-it-played videos are uniformly thorough and clear. Also, Rodney Smith is an all round nice guy.

Yeah, no one explains games better than Rodney. His pace and clarity are excellent.

Rodney is the best at explaining light-to-midweight games for sure. For heavier stuff, I actually like Paul Grogan, and for some games, a rule explanation just isn’t enough and you kind of have to watch a playthrough to get a feel for how the game’s rhythm goes. Rahdo is the best for most playthroughs and Heavy Cardboard’s teach-and-plays are great for the really heavy stuff.

Nithrania’s how-to-play videos for heavy games are excellent.

I appreciate the gesture, but I would never ask someone to watch a video to learn a game I’ve asked them to play. If I’m willing to play a game with someone, I’m willing to teach it. I consider that my responsibility as the guy wanting the play the game.

That said, I watched a few videos looking for helpful ways to teach Grizzled. I didn’t find any.


Agreed. Paul Grogan and, for some more niche games, Nithrania are 2 of my other go-to’s. All excellent choices we use in our groups.

So I’m late to party on this one but has anyone played the Company of Heroes board game? It looks really good.

I have it and have played half a dozen or so games. I hesitate to recommend it right now, because they’re about to do a Kickstarter for the 2.0 rules and it’s definitely the case that the rules you get in the box are a bit lacking (though you can print-and-play the draft 2.0 rules. The main issue with the 1.0 rules is that it’s too easy to lock down the map with MGs and games can degenerate into a bit of a VP stalemate where nobody is able to decap points, so whoever gets the early lead wins by attrition.

The 2.0 rules (and to a lesser extent the 1.5 rules) definitely address these weaknesses, though, and also speed up XP gain so you get to the “endgame” vehicles and abilities faster. They also have a new system that makes turns less predictable by varying the number of command points, which I haven’t tried yet

Thanks for the heads up. I keep seeing people talking about playing with the 2.0 rule book. Good to know they are at least addressing it. Other than that, did you find the game fun? It definitely looks more like an RTS than a typical WW2 combat game.

Hopefully the new KS will handle early adopters like Awaken Realms handled Great Wall with their reprint, an adjusted rulebook and replacement cards for minimal cost. Not necessary, but there if you want them.

I do like it, especially with the new rules. I don’t do a lot of wargaming though, so I don’t have much to compare it to.

We’ll see about the cost, but they have said there’ll be an easy upgrade option.

The Grizzled is one of the few games I’ll recommend outright when somebody asks if a game can evoke emotions apart from the usual contenders — in Plutchik’s rubric, those would include trust, joy, and sadness in addition to the more commonplace anticipation, anger, and surprise. It’s also, as @tomchick points out, one of those rare cooperative games that’s far more than a solitaire game with multiple players. I grow morose thinking about it. Or maybe I’m just feeling old. It doesn’t feel like it’s been seven years since I wrote about it!

Hopefully this stimulates a mass exodus from Kickstarter for game developers. I hate Kickstarter with a passion. Backerkit, however is pretty awesome and it splitting from KS is probably the best gaming news of the year.

Wait a minute, @DT, are you Space Biff?

Just five minutes ago I was reading through this thread on BGG wherein the OP rails against video reviews and asks for more written reviews. Which prompts this reply:

Then I jumped over to this thread, click on your link to your Grizzled review, and I see you’re the aforementioned Space Biff!

Sorry to derail, but that was just a little bit of fun synchronicity for me. Now back to our regularly scheduled discussion of The Grizzled.

Guilty! I made my profile ages ago — “DT” is just my initials. I have no idea why I made it that way, nor any idea how to change it now. Half of the reason I began writing was because I was so enamored with Tom’s work. I’m trying to be more active in the places I lurk!

Very nice! I just subscribed to your blog to get notified of news posts.

Great podcast here: Space-Cast! #3. Critic vs. Critic | SPACE-BIFF!

Mage Knight continued.

I decided to try Tovak for the second time. I watched some of Ricky Royal’s videos again. Then I lowered the city levels from the standard 5/8 to your suggestion of 4/7.

This time I won with my highest score so far of 190! I had a blast this go round. I hope to get in another game in the next few days. Thanks to all of you for your suggestions!

I played my first game of Lost Ruins of Arnak tonight (solo).

Above someone said it doesn’t really replace Clank!.. But I did get a very similar feeling in just atmosphere and design. Yes, Clank! Doesn’t have worker placement, but something just felt similar to me as I was playing.

It is a nice medium weight game, and I personally didn’t find it too fiddly. Did work the brain a bit as you tried to optimize main actions. The theme was fun as well!

The solo AI was great because it was dead simple to run. It did a decent job clogging up worker spots, and also kept items and artifacts moving through the supply. It definitely wasn’t challenging, but more of a roadblock. (I did play on 0 for my first game, so that is also a part of it).

My only complaint was that you don’t cycle the deck enough in only a 5 round game. I went with a ‘buy a ton of items’ strategy, and by round 4 any fear card penalties were meaningless because they were so diluted into my deck.

I may have also misplayed a rule on the solo AI, where I passed them for the round after their deck ran out. For the final round I probably ran 20 (maybe more) main actions to the AIs 10. I had so many items, including a variety of +1 card actions and currency swaps that I was able to both fly up the research track and buy high value items/artifacts to drive up my score at the end. I will need to double check some rules.

All that being said, I thought it was super fun and look forward to playing w the expansion.