RISK LEGACY GAME REVIEW
Writing a review for this game is difficult as it would be a shame to spoil the 'surprises' that await players throughout the campaign. So to avoid spoilers, this review is brief and gives you a little insight into play.
"What’s done can never be undone.” This is the warning on the seal of the box that emblazones every copy of Risk Legacy. You know that this game is going to be something completely different than your normal game of Risk after reading those immortal words, so take heed, as a decision made in game 1 could come back to haunt you in game 10. Victories and defeats affect not only the current session, but every future game as well. Players place stickers representing cities or hazards on the board; they name continents in permanent ink. Territories become more or less valuable based on the strategies and whims of their faction.
Further game-altering goodies are hidden inside sealed packs, not to be revealed until certain in game conditions are met. The construction of the last minor city, the first person to put down 30 troops in one reinforcement phase, or the first battle in which three or more missiles are fired, will trigger events that drastically change the way all future sessions are played.
Our board was stamped with a serial number. We would be battling over Earth #00066360.
At the start of each game you get to choose from 1 of 5 factions, each faction has uniquely shaped pieces, and more importantly, different rules. At the start of the first game, each of these factions gains the ability to break one minor rule, such as the ability to move troops at any time during your turn, as opposed to only at the end. The factions are as follows...
- Die Mechaniker - Heavily armoured and highly defensive. Die Mechaniker rely on surviving what their enemies throw at them.
- Enclave of the Bear - Savage and primal, the Enclave of the Bear are genetically altered humans who terrify their enemies with their ferocity.
- Imperial Balkania - Pure humans who are organised and diligently trained. The Imperial Balkanians want to spread their vision to this new planet.
- Khan Industries - Well-armed but not well-trained, Khan Industries is overpopulated with members from all genetic backgrounds. Their motto: people and guns are cheap to make.
- The Saharan Republic - Savvy warriors who fight with old equipment and guerilla-like tactics. The Saharan Republic exists to be mobile and hard to find.
Risk Legacy is essentially a campaign game, something that is a rare concept to boardgaming. The campaign is set out over 15 games. After 15 games the changes stop and the game is complete, although still perfectly playable in a one-of-a-kind world shaped by its inhabitants. The game plays like a regular game of Risk regards combat but there are quite a few changes. When powers are chosen, players must choose one of their faction's two powers, affix that power's sticker to their faction card, then destroy the card that has the other rule on it, yes, and we mean DESTROY it...tear it up and cast it aside, it takes no more part in the game! This key concept continues throughout the game. Some things you do in a game will affect it temporarily, while others will affect it permanently. These changes may include boosting the resources of a country (for recruiting troops in lieu of the older "match three symbols" style of recruiting), adding bonuses or penalties to defending die rolls to countries, or adding permanent continent troop bonuses that may affect all players.
The winner of each of the first 15 games receives a "major bonus," such as founding a major city (which only he will be allowed to start on in future games), deleting a permanent modifier from the board, destroying a country card (preventing it from providing any resources towards purchasing troops in future games), changing a continent troop bonus, or naming a continent, which gives that player a troop bonus in future games. They also get an additional missile to use on subsequent games (these give dice modifiers). Players who did not win but were not eliminated are allowed to make minor changes to the world, such as founding a minor city or adding resources to a country, thus giving them some input into the the shaping of the planet.
To win a game you need to gain 4 Victory Point Stars. You gain these by completing various missions, such as taking another factions HQ or trading in 4 resource cards. Later on in the game 'mission' cards may appear, which is another way of gaining a Victory Point star.
The rule book itself is also designed to change as the game continues, with blocks of blank space on the pages to allow for stickers with rule additions or changes to be afixed. Entire sections of rules will not take effect until later in the game, or not at all depending on how your games pan out. The game box contains different sealed packages and compartments, each with a written condition for opening. The rule book indicates that these contain the rule additions, additional faction powers, and other things that should not be discussed here for 'spoiler' protection.
Initial games take approximately 30-90 minutes to play, but as you progress further and more game changes and unlocks appear, some of our games had to be played over two sessions.
Original Risk was designed in 1957, so this new take on the game has certainly gave it an up to date turn around, making it unique and very addictive. The board becomes very personal, each win or named continent handwritten on the board, every sticker, every greasy mark from snacks or spilt beer can take me back to those nights before everything changed. It's not just a board game, it's a time capsule, a historic progression of evolution of how your armies shaped this world!
Bored? Game! rating 10/10