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Subject: Single play review of Grifters with 2 players rss

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Reed Dawley
United States
Delmar
New York
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I wish I could play more games.
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I think, and I may be wrong, but I am pretty sure the Geico Gecko said "Greed is good". In Grifters greed is indeed good. The game starts out with each player having three mastermind cards, one of each color and three random cards from the deck, a Hideout board with three night areas and a refresh spot and 3 million space bucks(the tokens are 1 million each), I mean ISK.

The simple overview:
1: At the beginning of your turn you advance your cards in your Hideout, night 1 goes to night 2, night 2 goes to night 3 and night 3 goes to the Refresh area
2: You can play a card for it's effect or play a team of cards to take a job card which gives its own benefits
3: Pick up any cards in the Refresh area back to your hand

End of game is determined by all the money in the coffer being taken, all the job cards being taken or the draw deck running out and someone being unable to draw. Bonuses are given for completing jobs of the same color, complete 2 of the same color and get 2 million, 3 nets you 4 million and all 4 gets you a cool 8 million. Total up your liquid assets and your bonuses and determine the winner.


It is a simple game to jump into and I like that as I oftentimes am teaching new games to people. The game itself is really straightforward (we played without the Kickstarter extra cards), just read the cards and you know what they do. The only rules reference we had to check was to see if cards in the refresh area were considered in the hideout, I missed a comma and thought it was but the Snitch card said Refresh area is not in the hideout and then I checked the rulebook again and that sneaky comma was there. The friend I was playing with really likes to understand a game and asks a lot of questions normally, which I like because he wants to get the game fully, but in this one the only question was "This is the specialist deck, right?". This boded well for the game.

We got right into the game and each completed a job in the first couple turns and then the game took a turn from there in which he got The Wheelman and was able to get his teams back quickly, he used it well and was just crushing me on jobs. So I changed my strategy to stealing every ISK he had while trying to complete jobs if I could. He swapped a job card to have a full set of blue and by the end of the game I had 3 jobs of 2 different colors and he had the other 9. I managed to steal a little over half of his cash but he won by 7 million isk. We both had a great time playing and I showed him the Kickstarter cards afterwards and we talked about how they change the game a bit.

The art on the cards is top notch and drawing new cards was fun every time even when I had to discard 2 of 3 withe the Blue Masterminds power. The choices are great as well when you have those three cards and one has a great power that fits what you want to do but one has a color you need for a job, do you go for the now or for the future? I liked messing with my opponent and having him swap those job cards to make a full set was a stunner, I did end up picking up that swapping card later in the game and was going to use it to take my blue back when he grabbed the last job and the game ended. It would have only penalized him 2 million ISK but would have been a feel good take that move for me.

The only downside that I saw, and this is only one game, was that he got two wild cards and those helped him take most of the jobs he got. Now the tides could have gone the other way and I could have picked them up and that is the nature of a deckbuilder with a draw pile so it was not that big of an issue. I got Femme Fatale early so I was moving cards back into my hand quicker and it did feel in the early game that I was cycling quicker and grabbing more cards then it turned around. My strategy changed midgame and I was able to get cards that helped that, steak 2 ISK from another player, steal 1 ISK for each non team specialist in opponents area (which was more fun when he used The Wheelman to get his team back) so I did not feel pinned down by his card draw. I had to adapt and I did not adapt quickly enough but with a couple more turns I could have turned it around. I think the cards felt balanced enough that I could have won if I had just gone for the jugular earlier.

All said I enjoyed this game immensely. It is a light game but with enough variety that I saw a few different paths to victory with differing levels of poke my opponent in the eye to win. This will not be for everyone but I like it a lot. Lost Cities and Patchwork are great fun but sometimes I want to win AND thumb my nose at my opponent while lifting his wallet and leaving a tablespoon of milk in the carton in his fridge. This is that game. I look forward to playing it with more people and seeing how the dynamics evolve but I can definitely say it plays well and quick with 2 and I will hopefully be playing it more.
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Srdj
Croatia
Vancouver
British Columbia
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Just got mine in the mail today along with the promo cards! Can't wait to try it.
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Reed Dawley
United States
Delmar
New York
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I wish I could play more games.
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Collecting games is not playing games.
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It is a lot of simple fun. Simple take that fun. I have played with a couple of non-gamers now and they took to it pretty quick, enojy!
 
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