The Board Game Fanatic | Risk Legacy

Ohhh, boy. Risk Legacy has been a board game I’ve wanted to review for quite some time now.

Based off the original Risk, a classic (and hated) tactical war game, Risk Legacy introduces a couple of changes that both shorten a match and bring both variety and unpredictability to the equation. It all adds up to one of the most unique and enjoyable board game experiences around.

The price of starting over with a blank map can get costly pretty quickly, however.

Let’s begin by discussing what’s different in Risk Legacy. First and foremost, colors are no longer meaningless. Each color is actually a different faction. Each faction has one of two possible starting traits. Before the very first game, players will choose one of two possible traits for the faction to have the rest of the campaign. You’ll pick one, place the sticker on the faction card, and then throw the other trait out. You better hope everyone is satisfied with that pick, because there’s no turning back.

That’s a pretty common theme with Risk Legacy: no turning back. As is the case in wars, you’re forced to live with the decisions made. Unlike traditional Risk, which features a stale map, Legacy’s is ever-changing. Choices you make in one round can easily come back to haunt you in the future. Decisions made by opponents can just as easily aid your future endeavors.

If this sounds like a video game review instead of a board game review, then don’t worry. That’s how Risk Legacy plays out: like a video game, changing based on your actions. You’ll write on the board as you claim cities, tear up cards as disasters happen, and help shape your own individual world.

Seriously, it’s your own personal individual world with its own identification number.

risk_legacy_setup

The game’s meant to be played as 15 round campaign, where the winner is the person who has the most wins. Once the campaign is over, the board can still be played, but admittedly some of the novelty has disappeared. There’s no more sense of discovery to see what’s hidden in those sealed packages. There’s no more shaping the world based off your actions: everything’s been decided and it’s just a simple game of Risk. Granted, it’s a much more streamlined game of Risk that won’t end after the eleventh hour, but much of the joy that comes with Risk Legacy is the discovery. After the fifteenth round of the campaign, that discovery is gone.

Regardless, this is still an incredibly fun variation on traditional Risk, one that was beyond enjoyable even when we started a new board. While the surprises were gone, we began calculating how to manipulate events to our advantage. However, a new board meant dropping $60 on a new copy of the game. That’s not exactly the most consumer friendly price in the world. Granted, the hit on your wallet is much nicer when you split that price with five people, but I’d honestly prefer another way to reset the board and start from scratch. That’s really the best way to play Risk Legacy: with a blank canvas to shape the world as you see fit.

 

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