Risk Legacy Makes Your Board Game Decisions Matter

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Risk Legacy Makes Your Board Game Decisions Matter


Risk Legacy, a new addition to the venerable Risk board game family, will use stickers, throwaway cards and even sealed spoilers to create a persistent world in which decisions will have a permanent and far-reaching impact on future games.

Risk [http://www.amazon.com/Parker-Brothers-45086000-Risk/dp/B0017RXZO8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1314140231&sr=8-1] always starts from zero. You might remember patterns of behavior that your fellow players fall into in particular situations or how they screwed you over the last time around but the actual starting conditions are the same, each and every time. But what if they weren't? What if, instead, the actions you take in today's game will be felt in tomorrow's, and next week's, and next year's?

"The design started with an attempt to make a game decision matter, to up the ante, to maybe make you sweat a bit before you do something. We all make plenty of decisions every day. Many are meaningless. Some stay with us forever," designer Rob Daviau explained on the Board Game Geek forums [http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/690270/designer-notes]. "We can move on from these or try to atone or learn from them or even enjoy who we are because of them, but there's one thing we can't do: we can't take them back. There are no do overs in life. Some decisions just make you who you are."

"This led us to wondering why games always have to reset," he continued. "Movies and books are static forms of entertainment meant to be viewed but not altered. Games, by nature, demand that the user create the experience. We wanted to push that boundary to have lasting effects. Now you really create the experience. This game is not art to be hung on a wall but a leather jacket to be worn around until it has its own unique story."

Risk was chosen for the experiment because "nothing happens by accident," Daviau said. "You don't accidentally take over South America from your friend. You don't accidentally drive your brother from the game. It involves choices. And few people approach a Risk game without having the preamble of discussing past betrayals, of alliances broken, of tactics favored by the victorious."

Risk Legacy takes that aspect of the game one step further by embedding all of those past victories, defeats and betrayals into the game itself. Permanent stickers will be affixed to the board to reflect the actions and outcomes of prior games, while cards are intended to be played and then ripped up and thrown away, although Daviau acknowledged that he doesn't expect anyone will actually do that. There's even "sealed stuff" which will have an impact on the game - although what or how that impact will be is a mystery.

"We're going to ask reviewers not to talk about the hidden contents. I guess I'm asking all of you to be careful with this as well," Daviau said. "Some are small things. Some bigger. Will the game work if you know everything that is going to happen? Yes. You can certainly go back and watch The Sixth Sense [http://www.amazon.com/Sixth-Sense-Blu-ray-Toni-Collette/dp/B001BRZ5J2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1314140497&sr=8-2] again. But that first time you saw it? That was special."

The nature of the design means that the first few games are "fast and light," as conventional Risk tends to be, but then get heavier as more and more games are played. "You are setting the stage and creating the early history of your world. The focus of those games is getting used to changing things. We wanted all the attention on that, not on new rules," he said. "But, by the end of the evolution? There will be a LOT going on. Lot more strategy and rules and decision making."

This is a brilliant idea, although it's obviously best suited for regular gaming groups rather than random pick-up sessions or the once-a-year sit-down on New Year's Eve. But how well it succeeds will depend entirely upon how closely people are willing to cleave to the concept; if you're not prepared to vandalize your game board, then you're probably not going to get much out of it.

There's no hard-and-fast launch date yet but reflecting the nature of the game, Daviau said it would be released in specialty hobby stores but not big-box outlets, hopefully by the end of the year. More information about Risk Legacy is available at BoardGameGeek.com [http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/105134/risk-legacy].

via: Twitter [http://twitter.com/#!/phopkins/status/106081073166958592]


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Yoshisummons

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Aug 10, 2010
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Yep I intended to roll fifteen snake eyes in a roll at the risk parties I went to as a kid.

Why mess around with the stickers and dirty up a board and etc. when you have the wonders of the interactive experience. Either way this sounds real fun to have my teeth sink into
 

scotth266

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Jan 10, 2009
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Risk has actually been one of the few board games with a decent sense of change. Compare traditional Risk with Risk: 2010 for instance... they're sort of the same game, yet play completely differently. Alas there doesn't seem to be a computer version of either of them, at least not a modern one.

Anyway, looking forward to it, it'll probably be one of the few board game things I purchase.
 

Saviordd1

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Jan 2, 2011
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This sounds really freaking awesome. Hell my friend and me already try to make the game more interesting by adding supply lines and random invents (including zombies, which actually one the game by themselves one time) so having professionals do it for me.


On that note, if there are no zombies, I will be disappoint.
 

Saviordd1

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scotth266 said:
Risk has actually been one of the few board games with a decent sense of change. Compare traditional Risk with Risk: 2010 for instance... they're sort of the same game, yet play completely differently. Alas there doesn't seem to be a computer version of either of them, at least not a modern one.

Anyway, looking forward to it, it'll probably be one of the few board game things I purchase.
The only problem I have is that a computer can easily cheat and make the dice go in its favor, thus killing the luck part of the game when a computer can make the die go in your favor or its favor to make the game more interesting.
 

Otaku13

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Feb 4, 2010
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Being a big fan of Risk, this interests me. Epically seeing as i have several versions of the game. LOTR and Transformers being two that i remember having some interesting changes to the game.ill make sure to look out for this one.
 

BabySinclair

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Apr 15, 2009
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Saviordd1 said:
scotth266 said:
Risk has actually been one of the few board games with a decent sense of change. Compare traditional Risk with Risk: 2010 for instance... they're sort of the same game, yet play completely differently. Alas there doesn't seem to be a computer version of either of them, at least not a modern one.

Anyway, looking forward to it, it'll probably be one of the few board game things I purchase.
The only problem I have is that a computer can easily cheat and make the dice go in its favor, thus killing the luck part of the game when a computer can make the die go in your favor or its favor to make the game more interesting.
The computer one has same time turns and after playing it for four years exclusively I can't go back to the turn based play of standard risk. Computer can try to cheat but superior stratagem will still usually win.
 

Trogdor1138

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May 28, 2010
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This sounds like it could be very interesting. I'll be keeping an eye on this. I keep meaning to play Risk more with people, it's really fun, I bought an early 90's version too, not the new ones. It seemed more traditional and fun.
 

SenseOfTumour

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Jul 11, 2008
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Gawd, I remember having cut out snakes and ladders that we'd use to make the game more interesting and other such 'additions' to boring old games when I was a kid, roll two ones in a row, you got to add a snake to the board from the cut outs, two sixes and you got to add a ladder (but not on squares someone was on :D ).

Stickers or pieces you can place on a country to affect how they work, interesting, Australia's been nuked you say? Lose two troops per turn from radiation while in that territory for the next 5 games.

Sure sounds like it'd liven the game up.
 

drakythe

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Feb 10, 2011
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I see FedEx/Kinko's Stores getting a lot of use out of this. Some people will NOT screw with their games in any permanent way. That said, this does look hella cool.
 

King of the Sandbox

& His Royal +4 Bucket of Doom
Jan 22, 2010
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Dude! I'm getting this as soon as possible! My friends and I have been Risk'n it up for years and this sounds perfect for us.
 

Dango

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Feb 11, 2010
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Will I still be able to build up in Australia and take over the world from there?
 

darkfire613

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Jun 26, 2009
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This honestly sounds really damn cool if implemented well. I'm gonna have to get my old board game group back together when this comes out. Also, from the cover, this looks like it'll be a nice setting with the mech and all.
 

Jaegerwolf

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Sep 29, 2010
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Regular gaming groups were mentioned, but what about conventions? Either as part of one specific con's library or taking it from con to con, this could create some very interesting stories and setups.
 

coldfrog

Can you feel around inside?
Dec 22, 2008
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The only thing that worries me is, will a regular group that has been playing a huge variety of games want to play through the early stages? What I mean is, lets say your group is so hardcore that they refuse to play Agricola without every expansion and the K deck, and Dominion games take an average of 10 minutes a game. Is the early history of the world complex enough to keep them playing until it becomes more complex?

Barring that slight concern, it's pretty exciting to see the big boys actually taking part in a very innovative concept. I wonder if they just dug into their barrels of Risk earnings and said Hey, there's enough here to blow on something Risk-based, why not do something crazy? I anticipate seeing what this game has to offer.

Also, nice to hear BGG getting mentioned as well. Gooooo geeks!
 
Feb 13, 2008
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I never was a great fan of Risk. Possibly because one of my "friends" knew the Australian slimy build-up rule, and always played against at least one person who didn't. Games where you're playing against the board like Pandemic, Dominion, Junta and Ticket to Ride always appealed more.

But it's an interesting idea. Hardcore mode for board games. I just don't know if anyone will want to go Hardcore properly...let's face it, it's worth a lot more sealed.
 

Skeleon

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Nov 2, 2007
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This does sound very interesting and considering I've played a few Risk games with buddies of mine, I might give this a shot. You can bet, though, that I won't destroy any of the equipment. Instead, I might create a, say, list where we keep score of the things we did, of the long-term effects we had and the alliances we made and broke. As for the sealed stuff, hopefully there are more than one per event so that we can re-seal them and shuffle them around for additional goes. I like the idea of a long, consequence-driven Risk game, but I don't like the idea of playing the game just once. Hell, their comparison to videogames doesn't even work that well, at least in my case, because I almost exclusively play games with high replay value.