The Short Story: It’s Okay
Prepare your army, spy on your enemies, and charge into battle in this 2–4 player Goblin strategy game. Will stacking your battlefield or engaging enemy armies directly, lead to your success? You decide in this Stratego meets War party game!
Build a goblin army to defend against other players attacks. This game has similar feel to the old card game war. Players draw a cards and decide to wether to build their army (a deck face down on the table) or to attack another players army with a card in from there hand. The highest goblin wins… most of the time. A King is the highest card with an 8, but an Assassin — which is a 2 — will aways beat a King. Players also have Defenders — which are 1's — which a player can sacrifice to save a goblin about to be lost in battle. The goblins won in battle are placed in the Garrison, a face up deck on the table, until a player has 21 points in their Garrison, which ends the round and player tally the points in BOTH their army and garrison. The first player to 100 points wins.
Cards are not linen, but they are a nice thick card stock. To be fair, we reviewed a promotional copy so things may changes. Additionally, we received the Kickstarter exclusive which comes in a wooden storage box with the Goblin Grapple logo engraved on the lid.
Whimsical and fun goblins, excellent font and color choices, and an engraved wood box. The art work is the real winner of this game.
The game itself is not difficult, there are only a few rules. The layout of the rules is slightly confusing and very tiny.
My rating: 6.5 by Aaron Klaser
Looking at my score you might think this is a bad game, but it’s actually pretty all right… I think. I could be wrong, we might be missing something and that something might swing my rating up or down. What I’m trying say I guess is that this is a great game but missing something.
It’s a very easy game, too easy honestly. That’s partially why I feel like we might be playing it wrong. It feels a lot like the old card game War. Playing the game is actually A LOT of fun, and there is some strategy in stacking your Army and when to attack.
But, my issues with the game are how the rounds end and then add your army and garrison scores together. It makes it really easy to cheat the system. Most players will only attack with a 5 or 8, and because you can add as many cards to your army that you want, you just bank up some 3's in your hand until you get a king then just pile five or six 3's under an 8 and you just guaranteed yourself 15–18 points. Do that a couple of times and can easily score 60–70 points a round making the game only last 2 rounds.
Personally, I don’t think the Army should count towards your score, just Garrisons should score because that’s what was earned. Also, players should only be able to do one actions with one card, instead of any actions any number of cards, this combined with Army scoring make it too easy and takes away from the fun and strategy of the game. And lastly, just do away with the rounds and make it the first player to get 100 points in their Garrison or something. #Hack
This is a good game, that is a lot of fun to play, but the scoring and some of the mechanics need work. It’s definitely worth backing or purchasing.
My rating: 7.2 by Beth Klaser
It is important to mention that Goblin Grapple has not made it’s way to Kickstarter….yet. When we received Goblin Grapple it was in a very nice, Kickstarter Exclusive, wooden box with the art burned into the top. When Aaron and I started playing there was a little confusion as to what a garrison actually was. It wasn’t until I reached the very last page of the rulebook that a garrison was defined. A little bit of rule re-arranging and the rule book would be perfect. A little small but otherwise perfect. My suggestion is to the move the definition just before they start discussing a garrison.
The game itself plays similarly to War but with amazing art. Each player starts with five cards. Players take turns choosing goblins to add to their army. At any point the other player can challenge. The player with the Goblin with the highest points wins, with the exception of the Defender and Assassin. The winner adds all goblins fought into their garrison. The player to 21 points ends the round. The player with 100 points wins the game.
We played Goblin Grapple a handful of times. It doesn’t take up too much real estate on the table making it a fantastic purse candidate for when we go out for dinner. It can also be played on your standard size coffee table. I would definitely suggest backing Goblin Grapple in May 2018. I can’t wait to see how well they do!
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A copy of Goblin Grapple was provided to us free for review by the developer.