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Published on June 11th, 2012 | by Greg


Risk: Legacy Reimagines The Board Game

Risk is a classic. Plenty of board gamers got their start playing Risk, bringing in friends and family to battle it out over continents and countries. Some of the staff take it seriously enough to design their own boards on huge roll-out maps, and most everyone has grown frustrated of the Australia gambit, or left a game in frustration when it dragged on and there was nothing you could do to change the inevitable.

We saw a few board games last week, including one of our current favorite strategy games, Lords of Waterdeep. Today, we take a closer look at a new version of Risk that really does take some risks, throwing much of the formula for board gaming out of the window, and pushing your comfort level a bit. In fact, the game itself is meant to be destroyed, damaged, and irreparably changed as you play, meaning that the lifespan of the board itself is not indefinite. Risk: Legacy (from Hasbro, which appears to not have the game on their site) requires that players make decisions that will effect future games- whether they are around the table or now. It’s a difficult feat, but it’s well-balanced here, and makes each copy of the game unique, as players sign their names, tear up cards, and add stickers to the board itself that alter the rules in some interesting ways. It also means something new to board games, a mechanic that is pretty much impossible to recreate digitally.

Made for three to five players, much of the basic rules are still in place- each player still controls armies, attacks and defends with die, and you can still win by eliminating opponents. But now there are factions, which are distinctive. You can also win by gaining key tokens, and this new victory condition means that games are quite a bit faster- maybe an hour and a half but even quicker on occasion. It’s a rare board game that has spoilers, but sealed envelopes are only to be opened in the case of, say, a player winning twice- and they change the dynamics quite a bit. There are nuclear weapons too, which add an interesting twist.

With the right group of folks, this is a great game to play regularly for a few weeks. It’s still Risk- people who dislike the original aren’t likely to be won over, despite the many twists. But for those who like the strategy, and want something a bit faster, more accessible, and less likely to end in a screaming match and broken friendships, Risk: Legacy is a lot of fun. Just don’t open that secret envelope. Available now, online and in stores, for around $50.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Appleā€™s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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