Now we have all played Risk at some stage. For many of us it was one of our first tastes of strategy board games. While it might be a bit superfluous to review a game which everyone knows I thought I’d tell you of probably the best version I have seen; Risk Legacy.
Some friends and myself picked this up recently. With all the various… well, variations of standard Risk that are out there, what makes this stand out? Well, while other Risk games work as single games which have no bearing upon the next one you play, this one works far more as a campaign. As you win you gain bonuses to help you in the next game and can end up reshaping the world in your own image.
Unlike standard Risk, Risk Legacy feature five different factions, each with their own various play styles and bonuses. Players have to choose a faction each game, which means they often have to try out a variety of tactics and styles as the strengths of the faction they use change from game to game.
Risk Legacy can also appear far more challenging in the early stages of play, as players are restrained to one starting country which they must then spread out from. I really like this dynamic as it means that you have to be far more careful regarding your resources and how you use them.
The best part about Risk Legacy is the way the games affect the board.
As certain things are achieved, such as someone winning two games in a row (the envelope we have already opened in our own games, blast you Gary and your Risk genius), you will open envelopes which then add to the cards being used.
These can range from new scars to place on the world map, making it more difficult for those holding certain countries, or even new abilities for factions. This can help to keep the game on equal footing, as those who might find themselves winning repeatedly will end up facing a number of detrimental effects. Not to mention the ire of every other player.
In Risk Legacy, you get a real feel of your games affecting the board you play upon as each game adds new scars and bonuses to take into account. The most obvious of these is the fact that you are able to place cities around the map. Whenever you survive a game you can place a minor city.
Winning gives you the chance to place your capital city, which essentially claims one country as your starting location. I have already established the capital city of Samarkand in South Africa, a location I’m starting to regret slightly as it does make it a bit harder for me to spread out and defend my borders.
The one down side to Risk Legacy is that changes to the board are supposed to be permanent. When cards are used, they can’t physically be used again as stickers are removed from them and on occasion they are called to be torn up. You will also end up writing on the board, signing your wins and naming continents.
All this means that if you ever want to start a new campaign you have to pretty buy a new copy. The upshot is that should you and your friends ever wish for a bit of nostalgia you can return to the board and play in a world which you truly shaped. Of course, you will have to put up with the fact that the winner of the campaign gets to name the world, but hey that’s just more incentive to beat them.
All in all I would definitely say give this game a go. Whether or not you were a Risk fan before now it is definitely a fun game to get playing with a regular group. And of course there is a reason why Risk is considered a board gaming classic.
Do you fancy giving world conquest a go? Will you join the Glorious Peoples of Samarkand?