Goblin Grapple

Goblin Grapple

Game by

Silver Gaming.

A Preview by


2-4 Players

What is Goblin Grapple?

  • Is it a wrestling game? No.
  • Is it a new type of apple? No.

Goblin Grapple has you trying to strategically build an army of Goblins before your opposition. Can you get your armies strength to 100 before the other factions? Put you strategy hat on and come with me.

What is in my Box?

The review copy of Goblin Grapple I received came in a tuck box style deck box with a deck of cards and a small rules booklet. The deck of cards were broken down into different groupings of,

Spies, Defenders, Assassins, Mages, Knights, Raiders and Kings.

Each of these classes of Goblin has its own lovingly created artwork that is very evocative of the role that character plays.

How does it work?

The gameplay with Goblin Grapple is fairly straightforward. You can take one or all of the following either once or as many times as you want or are able to.

  • Play a Goblin to your Army – Place a card face down in front of you to your “Army Stack”
  • Play a Goblin to challenge an opponent Army – Opponent reveals top card from their Army, highest number wins (assassin always beats king regardless of number) and cards go to victors garrison.
  • Discard a Spy Goblin – Steal a card from an opponent hand.

Once a garrison has 21 points in it the round ends. Each player totals their Army and Garrison cards. If neither player has reached 100+ points then play a second round.

Sounds simple?

Yes Goblin Grapple is a very simple to play game with easy to access gameplay. It is not however bereft of strategy. Making choices every turn over which card to play into your Army, Do you attack? How strong is your attack going to be? What cards do you use this turn or do you want to save them for another turn? All of these decisions and more can make a difference to your chances of victory.

Strategy really?

OK so maybe I should say Strategy-lite gameplay. This is because the better you know your opponent or the better you are at reading them, the more chances for success you will have. The careful use of the few cards with ‘abilities’ can help you make educated guesses as to best tactics each turn. They did however feel to few and far between. Otherwise you are just boiling it down to luck of the draw each time and that would be no fun at all now, Would it?

Who is it for?

Goblin Grapple is a game for families with younger players. Simple rules and gameplay makes this an ideal gateway game for the younger player. Minimal card text and large clear numbering all add to this. I cannot honestly see this making an impact at meet-up or game group play being far to lightweight for both of those settings.

My thoughts.

Goblin Grapple, interesting idea, simply executed. Unfortunately too simply for this gamer. Not enough interaction from card abilities take this from just about OK down to a luck of the draw style game more than anything else. A shame because the artwork is nice but the gameplay just needs something else to make it gel. If there was a ‘player life count attack option’ or some extra mechanic to play alongside it could have helped this gameplay. The base gameplay does not have enough for me to recommend.

  • For my shelf – No
  • For a friend – No
  • Play again – No

I Was provided a copy of Goblin Grapple for review through the Board Game Exposure Group. This game will now be passed onto another reviewer. I have tried to make this review as impartial as possible. No recompense was provided or sought for this review from the publisher.

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