The Grimm Forest

The Grimm Forest: A Guide to Building, Bluffing, and Winning Strategy


The Grimm Forest is a strategic tile-based board game that invites players into a world of fairy tales where they compete to build three houses – one made of straw, one of wood, and one of brick. Inspired by that classic story of the Three Little Pigs, we take on the roles of builders who are nieces and nephews of the famous pig trio, aiming to be the best in the land. The game was released in 2018 and quickly gained popularity for its gameplay blend of resource gathering, bluffing, and strategic decision-making, which I find makes a pretty engaging combination.

In The Grimm Forest, you’re not just up against other players but also against the fabled creatures of Grimm’s fairy tales. The game is designed for 2-4 players and typically lasts between 40 to 60 minutes. It’s a mix of luck and strategy, with players drawing cards that can either help them or hinder their opponents. The game’s history is relatively short, but it has made a significant impact on the board game community with its engaging gameplay and high-quality components.

Given it’s short-lived popularity, I’ve had a couple of readers ask about similar games. If you’re looking for games like The Grimm Forest, I recommend checking out Hoity Toity, which I’ve also written a guide on!

Quick Tip for The Grimm Forest

Always keep an eye on your opponents’ resources and house sections. It can give you a clue about their next move and help you plan your strategy better.

Rules for playing The Grimm Forest

The Grimm Forest rules are straightforward once you get the hang of them. Each player starts with a set of resource cards and a player board. The game is played over a series of rounds, each consisting of two main phases: the Gather Phase and the Build Phase. During the Gather Phase, players secretly choose which location they want to visit to collect resources – the fields for straw, the forest for wood, or the brickyard for bricks. If you go to a location alone, you get all the resources there, but if others join you, you have to share.

The Build Phase is where you use your collected resources to build house sections. You can build a wall, a roof, or a foundation, and each type of house section requires a different amount of resources. There are also Fable and Friend cards that add twists to the game by introducing special abilities and characters from the Grimm fairy tales.

The game ends when a player successfully builds three complete houses of any type, or if the resource decks are depleted. The winner is the player with the most points, which are earned by building houses and collecting bonus points through special cards.

Equipment and Setup for The Grimm Forest

To play The Grimm Forest, you need the game box which includes resource cards, Fable cards, Friend cards, player boards, and house tiles for the straw, wood, and brick houses. There are also miniatures for each player and the various creatures you can encounter.

Setting up the game is easy:

  1. Place the main board in the center of the table.
  2. Shuffle the resource cards and place them in their respective locations on the board.
  3. Each player chooses a character and takes the corresponding player board and miniatures.
  4. Shuffle the Fable and Friend cards and give each player two of each.
  5. Players start with a set number of resources based on the player count.

The types of tiles in The Grimm Forest are the straw, wood, and brick tiles that represent the different sections of the houses you’re building. Each type has a different look and point value.

How to Play The Grimm Forest and Game Mechanics

The key game mechanics in The Grimm Forest involve resource management, bluffing, and strategic planning. Here’s how you play:

  1. Setup: Follow the setup instructions above to prepare the game.
  2. Gameplay: Players take turns in clockwise order, starting with the Gather Phase and then moving to the Build Phase.
  3. End of the Game: The game ends when a player builds three complete houses or the resource decks run out. The player with the most points wins.

Gameplay phases include:

  1. Gather Phase: Choose a location to gather resources secretly, then reveal your choice simultaneously with other players.
  2. Build Phase: Spend resources to build house sections or use special cards to influence the game.

How to Win at The Grimm Forest

Winning at The Grimm Forest requires a balance of strategy and adaptability. Beginners should focus on understanding the resource management aspect, while intermediate players can start incorporating bluffing and predicting opponents’ moves. Advanced players will need to master the use of Fable and Friend cards to create powerful combinations and disrupt others’ strategies.

It’s important to build a variety of house types to keep your options open and to pay attention to the Gather cards you and your opponents are using. Sometimes, it’s worth it to share a location if it means getting the resources you need for a critical build.

Best Strategies for playing The Grimm Forest game

The best strategies for The Grimm Forest involve careful planning and timing. You want to gather resources efficiently, build your houses at the right time, and use your Fable and Friend cards to your advantage. Here are some strategic plays to aim for:

  • Bluffing your way to gather more resources by misleading your opponents about your intended location.
  • Building sections of your houses when your opponents least expect it, taking advantage of the resources you’ve accumulated.
  • Using Fable cards to set traps or gain bonuses that can turn the tide of the game.

Sneaky tactics can also include hoarding resources to prevent others from building or using Friend cards to gain continuous benefits throughout the game.


Common scenarios in The Grimm Forest include being blocked from gathering resources, facing a sudden shortage of a particular resource, or dealing with an opponent who has a powerful Friend card. To turn these scenarios to your advantage:

  • Adapt your strategy and consider visiting a less popular location to gather resources without competition.
  • Trade or bluff your way to the resources you need.
  • Use your Fable cards to neutralize the effects of powerful Friend cards held by your opponents.

Frequently Asked Questions about playing The Grimm Forest game

Here are some common questions and answers:

Q: Can I build more than one house section per turn?
A: No, you can only build one house section per Build Phase.

Q: What happens if two players finish their third house at the same time?
A: The game ends immediately, and you tally up points to see who has more.

Q: Can I hold onto my Fable cards and use multiple in one turn?
A: You can hold onto them, but you can only play one Fable card per Gather Phase.

Additional Tips and Tricks

Here are some extra tips for The Grimm Forest:

  • Keep track of which Fable and Friend cards have been played. It can inform your decisions about future rounds.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of building straw houses. They can be built quickly and can lead to a surprise win.
  • Balance your resource gathering with your building. It’s no use having a lot of resources if you’re not turning them into points by building houses.

For more information on The Grimm Forest, check out these links:

Official The Grimm Forest Page

The Grimm Forest Review [Video]