War is our life. It is passed on from generation to generation as family heirlooms. But it’s not just about fighting and death, because you have to compete with your mind as well. From time to time, our armies set forward and try to acquire new territories. Country is transformed with every shot and we leave it different behind. Changing the names of cities and borders of states is only beginning. Nothing is permanent, just the desire of man to dominate, win and defeat others.
In fact, we are all the same. We want to win. A battlefield with this unique option is given to us by Risk Legacy board game, whose world will be on us to develop. We should create a personal relationship with our copy during the game and it will be impossible to leave. Also new version of Risk comes from Hasbro, but with new ideas and concepts added by Rob Daviau a Chris Dupuis. This all happened back in 2011 and we had a slight delay in testing it here.
But that does not mean we should have less fun out of it. Whole box is snow white with pictures of troops on it. It is conceived as a case, with upper part simply opening up. But before your eyes will look down, you will notice four tempting trays attached to the underside of the lid. Each part is sealed with yellow stickers and wearing a short English inscription. Some surprises are contained withing these enveolopes, but they will remain hidden to you for now.
But the bottom is no less full. There is a folded game board with a world map, which will become divided under the domination of the five factions. There are robotic Mechanics, well-armed Khan Industries, guerrilla Saharan, wild Enclavians and ordinary people of Balkanie. According to the type of their combat, miniatures are then done and carry their national colors. There is together nearly 300 of them, waiting for players, available in three types for each side (common unit, 3-unit piece and a headquarters). Each party possession includes a large faction cards, which themselves have a record sheet on their bacak. This will be filled over multiple games.
But back to the big board, which contains a number of cities and borders. Most places have also indicated a population bonus on them, giving its rulers an addition in recruiting soldiers. In the lower left corner, there is a leaderboard for signing winners of individual matches. Such statement of your name is the greatest reward a general can receive in Risk Legacy.
Along with a large map, there is another smaller board, which will be used to distribute all the cards in the game. There are a total of 175 and while some correspond to territories and show the amount of resources provided, there are also individual cards with coins or scars. These give players power to completely change their world. In the box, then there is also a sheet of stickers, that players can use during whole game. List is closed by five dice – three black are offensive and two red defensive.
Many of the changes in this game are non-reversible. At the beginning of the first game of your journey, that will change the world of Risk Legacy beyond recognition, begins by turning to people. Each faction in the box has special abilities to choose from in the beginning. There are two. Players select for each side together (yes, its still unknown, who will play who) one ability and stick it on the reference card, while the second should be properly destroyed. Likewise, player also change income of some territories before the first game, by sticking twelve bonus money symbols on their respective resource cards.
Players work together to prepare a support board, where card of territories and money are shuffled and placed. Later in other matches, it will contain also missions and events. Four top cards are then rotated and create offer on the boxes with the numbers 1-2-3-4.
Other preparation depends closely on how your previous games have developed. If the player still does not have a victory, he starts with one red star token. Otherwise, he gets one missile for every victory, that is written on the table (= his signature). Fantastic is, that even rulebook may change during the game and some rules will expire!
Only now, players can choose, which side they will be playing. You can choose according to your taste one of the parties (note, that each is unique!) and get all units and headquarters for their color. Eight units and headquarters are then moved to map to a location of players choice, but it should not contain any scar or city. Then the players note their choice with their name on the back of the faction card in the line corresponding to serial number of the game played (number of winners on the board plus one). Now the game can begin.
Players will do mainly three activities during their turn. First step to victory is to recruit. It is important to determine the number of units, that can be added by a general to his side of the battle. For each controlled territory, city and continent, player gets some recruitment points. They may even be increased by surrendering resource card from his hand. Resulting number is then divided by three and result of this equation is number of new squads ready to be placed on board. It can never be less than three, so lower value is always rounded up.
These units can then be placed in any area, that player has under his control and even split into multiple locations. In the case, when a general is left with no units from former turns, he may place at this stage half of basic starting power to any neutral territory instead of usual recruitment process.
Then comes chance for active player to expand. During his raid, he must always leave at least one soldier behind to defend a territory, he is leaving. Combat consists of small battles, which may always involve a maximum of three attacking and two defending units.
To determine the outcome, then simply apply the dice. Attacking player takes black ones, while the defender red dice up to number of soldiers they want to comple in this part of battle (up to that dice maximum). Both rolls are sorted according to results from highest to the lowest number, and these series are then mutually compared. Thus players create pair of black-red dice. Higher always takes everything, while lower number indicates defeated unit, which has to be removed (tie goes in favor of defender). Different bonuses might be involved from city ramparts, special skills or other influences, which increase results of the dice.
Soldier free territory can be captured without a fight. Exceptions are free cities, where players have to fight their militia first. This means losing so many units as is population of the city (no real fight this time). After one battle has been played, if there are troops from both sides still present in target territory, fighting continues until one side prevails. It acquires (or succesfully defends) immediate control over the territory.
It is not until just before end of the turn, when players may move their units on the board freely, but over territories under their own control. Player is allowed to perform (according to basic rules) only one movement, but with any number of units from one territory.
At the end of the turn, certain scars activate and prescribed event happens. These cards (stickers) can be played by players at the beginning of their or their opponent’s turn and they apply from then on. Just before player looses his word away, he can still get resource cards. This privilege but comes only to those, who successfully attacked someone thsi turn. Player can only choose from the current offer and only territories he controls. If there is no such card, he must take a coin instead.
Game is played until someone collects four red stars. These are obtained for all headquarters under players control or they can buy one (in the form of a token) for four resource cards. Whoever is not signed and therefore has won no game until now has a distinct advantage, when he starts with such a star. Whichever player achieves this goal first is the winner, even in case he is left alone on the board. Each participant writes result on card of his nation.
Risk Legacy goes a different way, than all the others successful board games. It takes time-tested mechanism and adds something, that has not yet been seen. Timeline. History. Personal relationship not only to game itself, but also to the world, in whose creation you participate.
But since it is still same game, all the reasons, why Risk is disliked generally by a lot of people are there. The first and biggest shortcoming is players elimination during the game. While this is solved by rules, allowing players to regenerate, but they usually return with no chance of winning. Nevertheless, they can at least make revenge on their liquidator.
And then of course, there is that repeatedly mentioned random battle experience. They are heart of Risk game family as such, so we did not expect anything else. They are thrilling and comparing dice lined up against each other is quite fair. Fighting is certainly not lengthy, which is good.
Game time is definitely an improvement over the original Risk, which could easily take more than two hours of your time to complete. Legacy is often able to squeeze into one hour, because of its victory conditions are rather loose and count with your return to the game.
Later missions and events will come into play and further enrich the game. But we will not spoil the experience and reveal to you, what to expect. This is also the reason, why we took pictures at the beginning of the time, before we have even played the game, when it contains no inscriptions and hidden secrets. It would be a shame, if you were prepared of surprise, when it comes to contents of sealed pockets.
At the end of every game, players irreversibly alter their gaming environment. Winner has the right to name one continent, establish a town, fortify a city or even destroy territory card! But even losers can contribute to the change, by improving one of the location cards or add a small town to the territory, which was under their control at the end of the game. Each such action is followed by bonus in the next game.
After the fifteenth game, game board is filled. The world has changed with your wars, but only the one, who won the most battles, can now name the entire planet! But players will continue to reside in a world they created, because its personal and unique compared to all other boxes of games sold around the world.
Its not a problem, that more players participate on the overall transformation of the world, whether in one game or more. But it is certainly better to do this with a stable group, that enjoys the game development for first fifteen games. Tha is definitely better. As the number of players is concerned, freer map in a smaller number of players gets a little wild, but game quickly gets going. The more opponents the more dynamic game, although you have to wait a little longer to get back to your turn.
Beautifully crafted game components, including piles of miniatures, is one of the main reasons, why players are immediately captivated by this box. But most important are those hidden pockets, that are carefully closed and only clumsy players can get to them sooner.The box contains also one hidden secret envelope, that will test your patience.
Risk Legacy is nothing less, than an emotional experience. And as such, it will leave deep impressions in all players. Where are the days, when you sat down with a map and start again from the beginning. This world has history now. One, that you gave it yourself. And it is more, than all other board games can say about them. For some, it will still be dicey Risk and another will mind destroying, taping and irreversible inscribing their games. But all the rest will be simply thrilled by playing Risk Legacy!
Risk: Legacy is an amazing game, that has a true personality. Each case is unique, because modifications happen during first fifteen games, citites are added, named and players even note result of each game on faction cards and board. Each race is unique with their special skills. Because of that, game remains fun even after first fifteen matches, when all fundamental changes get exhausted. The game mechanism is simple and revolves around a troop movements and struggles for dominance over the territories. Battles are resolved by means of dice, that decide the victory and luck together with them. During the game, players create deep relationship to the game and affect its appearance, which is already very good in the beginning, thanks to the included unit miniatures. Risk: Legacy is a unique experience, that should be tried by every lover of board games, because its something, that has never been done before.
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development of the first fifteen games
changing the rules
each player has a chance to influence the game board
personal relationship to the game
each box is unique
players write on the card, put stickerson board and destroy permanently some cards