Saturday, 6 October 2012

Risk Legacy

Risk gets really slated by a lot of serious board gamers. I can see why - while there's plenty of strategy it is heavily dependent on the luck of multiple dice rolls, and when a place is doing badly it can be nigh on impossible to get back into the game, unless he can hand in a major card set. Still, I've got a soft spot for Risk, it was the first board game I ever really thought 'Wow, I really love this game'. I can still remember the first time I played it, New Years Eve 1999 at my student digs...

Anyway, I haven't played it in a few years now, and kind of miss it. So I was really excited when a new version of Risk came out, pitched at serious board gamers. This however was unlike any previous version of Risk, in fact it is unlike almost any other board game that is out there, quite a claim to fame. So what is different about it? Well this is a campaign style game, where the gameplay develops as you work through the game, not unique in itself, but what is virtually unique is the fact that you have to write on the board, rip up cards, stick stickers on the board, name continents, found cities etc. As you play more games, the Risk world map changes, the different races get new special attributes and abilities and even new rules get added. The game box has a number of sealed envelopes in it with things like "open after game 7", even one that says "do not open under any circumstances. ever".

Five of us in my game group bought the game between us: me, Neil, Simon, Connor & Sam. Wednesday was our first game. We had to start by signing the back of the board, a sort of contract. Before we started the game we had to choose a race, choose one of two special power stickers for that race, discarding (ripping up and putting in the bin) the other. Painful, but we did it. Anyway, Simon started in Australia as he had first pick. Given there's only one way in or out that's a classic choice. Sam picked next and went in Japan & Asia. I chose South America, Connor chose North America and Neil chose Europe.

The Risk Legacy Board after the first game.

Anyway, to cut a long story short I won. I did so by beating up on Connor in North America, stealing his HQ off him, and then a quick expendition  from Alaska to Asia allowed me to sneak up on Japan, take Sam's HQ and win the game. I think Neil might have won in the next turn or two, but I got there first. The victor gets to choose a reward: name a continent, found a major city, get extras... I chose to create a major city called 'Steveville' - sad I know - in Central America. It gives me a sort of preferred starting position in a good strategic location.

Overall, everyone thought the game was great, and we can't wait for the next instalment.

Risk Legacy is available on &