24 January 2012

Risk: Legacy

Lisa and I bought Josh Risk:Legacy for Christmas. This weekend was our
first game.
Gist: Risk gameplay, but player actions permanently alter the game,
including subsequent games.
Super impressed at all the ways the game changes permanently. Whoever
designed it seriously took that concept and applied it at every level.
Players get to pick a race at the start and immediately have to pick
one of two race powers that give the race a bonus. The other power is
destroyed (we burned ours). This happens before players even see the
game for the first time! Crazy stuff.
The core Risk gameplay is updated and basically solves every problem I
had with Risk.  It's still possible to win by eliminating all other
players, but there's more of a built-in timer now. Players must
collect 4 "red star" points. As soon as any player gets a 4th, the
game ends immediately.  There are a few ways to acquire them and no
visible way to reduce the # of red stars in the total game pool. So
players start acquiring and stealing stars and it's truly only so many
turns before the game must end on stars. This solves my biggest
problem with Risk: the lengthy play time.
The other problem I had with Risk was the tendency for players to
turtle, amass huge armies, and get fucking backstab the first player
to make a move. Terrible. In this game, players are rewarded for
taking risks, as it is technically possible to capture 2 red stars in
a single round. But, if you fail and get wiped out because of it, it's
possible to come back into the game, rather than sit it out. Great
changes that make the game fun and playable for me.
Last comment is about the unlockables. The game has sealed packages
inside that are only opened when certain in-game conditions are met.
So the players don't really know about all the game rules until they
play it a few times. The mystery of what's in those packs... it's
super enticing. It's a board game with secrets. Secrets I want to
unlock...
Great game and totally recommend if you have 3-4 friends you can
consistently play it with. I recommend it even if you don't like Risk
that much.