Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Grizzled: At Your Orders (Cool Mini or Not)

It is April 4, 1916, and the war is still waging. Each day brings new difficulties and new hardships. However, you and your band of friends are still persevering. There seems to be something occurring that is different than the past two years. The higher ups keep sending you on missions, some more challenging than others. This is The Grizzled: At Your OrdersThe Grizzled: At Your Orders is the much anticipated expansion to The Grizzled. It is designed for 3-5 players (with 1 and 2-player variants), ages 14+. It retails for $14.99 and takes approximately 30 minutes to play. Normally, I would tell you how to set up the game and the game play, but you can read about that in my previous review. Instead, I am just going to tell you about what's changed and what I think of the changes.
What's New in the Expansion
The first thing I noticed in the box was cardboard cutouts of every character. I like this, because it adds more theme and makes you feel like an actual soldier and not just a card. It also serves to remind your fellow soldiers when you are in a mission and when you are out.

The biggest changes are the Missions cards. There are 40 Missions cards in the box. (13 easy, 13, medium, 13 hard, and 1 Final Assault/Last Stand) Before the game, you decide your difficulty level and seed the Missions deck. The active player then draws two Missions cards, picks one, and puts the other back on the top of the deck. These cards tell you how many Trials cards each player gets, a bonus or a penalty for this mission, and how to get rid of the Mission card. I really like these Missions, because it gives you ways to tone down or amp up the difficulty. The Final Assault/Last Stand card really drips with theme, as its an optional final turn to end it all. You either win, lose, or win but die in the process.
Other nice, little changes in the game are as follows:
1. Speeches don't go away once used.
2. Support tokens always give you your Good Luck Charm back and can remove Hard Knocks.
3. The first player may perform a Strategic Withdrawal which lets him take one card from his hand and put it on top of the Trials pile.

Apart from a few things in the rule book that could have been clearer, I am finding very little to complain about with this expansion. It adds new mechanics and a little more immersive theme. There's also just enough tweaks to the rules to make a very good game even better. Lastly, you can fit both of them into one box, so you don't have to carry around both boxes. I can't imagine teaching or playing The Grizzled without this expansion.

This expansion was provided to me for free by Cool Mini or Not in exchange for an honest review.