Expansions are no rare thing in the gaming world, and this certainly holds true for physical games. Card games such as Cards Against Humanity and Magic: The Gathering are no stranger, and now Gruff is establishing itself as a long-lasting card game too. In their newest expansion, Rage of the Trolls, players must take on a single very powerful troll that threatens the world of Sheperds and Mutated Monster Goats. Can you survive this hulking menace?

In 2016, Studio Woe released the base game of Gruff to huge support on Kickstarter. You can check out Gamer Assault Weekly’s interview of the creator Brent Critchfield here. Using the immense support from the first campaign and the overall love from fans, they created their first expansion in Clash of the Battle Goats. Now, Brent and his wife Virginia are embarking on a third campaign to launch Rage of the Trolls. However, unlike ClashRage is completely standalone. Players will be able to pair it with all of the previous releases, as well as enjoying Clash on its own.

What’s Good is Great

When it comes to the core mechanics of Clash of the Battle Goats, everything is still the same. There are a few small updates that modify some aspects though, primarily new Fury and Fester cards. These bring an even greater challenge and depth the already challenging and deep game. I found myself having to keep track of a lot of different pieces in order to be able to play the game correctly. In the early turns, it wasn’t a big deal. However, the further in the game and the more modifiers, mutations, and attacks there were, the more difficult it was keeping everything in mind.

In addition to the Fury and Fester cards is obviously the addition of Trolls. In the current build, there is one major troll named Gildfisk, and he is a tough sucker. Quite unlike normal Gruffs, which have been mutated to gross extents, Trolls are even bigger and badder. They are controlled by specific cards instead of a human, yet somehow the cards defeated my plans several times. At least twice in one game, I had a kill shot all laid out, and as luck would have it Gildfisk avoided the damage somehow. It’s a testament to how well designed the troll and his cards are. Outsmarted by a card game AI…never thought I’d see the day. If for some reason the base version needs an additional challenge, you can modify the rate at wich the troll gains rage, it’s source of power.

That’s Gildfisk…pretty, isn’t he?

Come, Join Me!

Overall, playing Rage of the Trolls alone is quite enjoyable. Single player is fun, but you can still enjoy with a friend if you’d like as well. When engaging in multiplayer, turns go back and forth attacking the troll. It’s quite interesting to be discussing tactics with a buddy as you attempt to best take out the enemy. Adding to the fun is the vast difference in available tactics. Since the early game isn’t too bad, you can set up and get prepped for the fight. Or, begin an all out attack as fast as possible. Either way, be aware each time the troll attacks in the late game, as it could one shot your Gruff. There’s even a point when planning to sacrifice one of your six Gruffs is a viable option.

More is Better

If by chance you’ve already purchased the base game of Gruff, Rage of the Trolls will fit nicely with any of the other portions you have. Rage of the Trolls adds 2 new shepherds and 6 new Gruffs to the foray. Now, decks can grow to even larger variety and thereby increase the difficulty that other players can present. Between the new Gruffs, the new Fury and Fester mechanics that only these new Gruffs bring, and the exponentially larger number of combinations, you won’t have any trouble with seeking a new challenge. All the Shepherds can control all the Gruffs both new and old, but you should still keep in mind how well they interact with each situation. Yet another interesting addition is the new Gruffs may be better or worse suited to fight Gruffs rather than Trolls. With each update, the game keeps getting more and more in-depth and challenging!

Kicking it Off

If you’re interested in getting your hands on the standalone expansion of Gruff: Rage of the Trolls, it is launching on Kickstarter on May 30th. There will be an initial goal of course, but if they get enough funding there will be up to 4 extra Trolls that will be created for your battling pleasure. The page isn’t live yet, but keep on the lookout come May 30 to back and get ready for the fun! The original Kickstarter page is here.


About The Author

Bobby C
Director, Editorial/Reviews

Bobby C is a veteran FPS and adventure gamer, starting with the NES and Super Mario Bros. The game that really started his love for the FPS Genre was Goldeneye for the N64. Since then, the love grew. From casual, to semi-pro COD with Modern Warfare 2 and 3, and back to casual, it’s a bad week when there isn’t at least 15 hours of games played.