Product Type: other board games
Newest Review: ... you are with dice rolls, you will only be delaying the inevitable. So to sum up the board game Risk, I would definitely recommend it to al... more
All praise Emperor FDH
Member Name: freediveheaven
Advantages: Great strategy game
Disadvantages: Can take a long time
In the short term however I have to satisfy myself with ruling the world through the more genteel game of Risk although anyone who has witnessed the FDH family playing the game will realise that genteel is not the right word. Any family where each player has their own victory dance which they perform with every victory however small cannot be called genteel.
Risk is a highly successful board game made by Hasbro that has been in existence for many years. Anything from two to six players can take part and for two player games there is a slightly different version otherwise it would become a little boring. The ideal number in my opinion is four players as this means that you do not have to wait too long for your turn and also with this number there are enough players to ensure you will be defending territory quite often and also the possibility of forming alliances exists even if they are not encouraged in the rules.
The objective of the game is simple, world domination. To achieve this you need to control all of the territories on the playing board. The board itself is basically a map of the world with a set number of territories marked out in each continent e.g. in Europe you have Western Europe, Great Britain etc.
Each player then has their own coloured army which is made up of units. An infantry man is one unit, cavalry officer is equivalent to five units and a cannon equals ten. Initially it is the single units that you will have and the number you get at the start depends on how many players there are in the game. Other equipment includes three attacking red dice and two white defending dice and a pack of reinforcement cards which you collect during the game. Once you have decided the running order by a shake of the dice the first player puts one of his men on a territory which effectively claims it for them. The rest of the players then take it in turns until all of the territories have an army on them. Players then take it in terns to add their remaining pieces one at a time to the board to boost their strength in certain territories until all of the pieces have been deployed.
This is very much a game of strategy, where you place these pieces and the territories you control have a major impact on the game that follows, the dice do introduce an element of luck when it comes to the battles however a good strategy should still be able to overcome even the worst vagaries of the dice unless you are me, when even the combined might of two cannons and three infantry men will fail to claim Iceland which was defended by only four units. FDH your boys took one hell of a beating.
Each players turn can be made up of four different stages. The first is that you get to add reinforcements. There are a number of ways this is done. Firstly you add up the number of territories you control and divide that number by three. The remaining whole number is the number of units you get. If you control a whole continent then you get extra units as well depending on the size of the continent and finally as the game progresses and you win territories you get territory cards which can be exchanged for more units. Once these have been deployed the second phase is to decide whether to go into battle. You can only attack a neighbouring territory connected either by land or a sea route. You can attack with anything up to three units but must always have at least one unit left behind to defend the territory. The defending player can defend with up to two units at a time. Each battle then involves shaking the dice dependant upon the number of units each player has. The highest dice roll wins the battle and to fully invade a country you have to remove all of the opponent’s pieces in that country. Once achieved you take over the territory and pick up a card which is phase three. Finally you can fortify your position by moving forces between connecting countries.
It is safe to say that this is by no means a short game; it can go on for quite a bit of time and can become quite heated and competitive. The thing that I love about it is that you constantly have to be thinking about you next four or five moves ahead of time and then adapt your strategy when things go against you. Aimed at those 10 and above despite its military overtones it is a good game for children as it teaches them to think strategically and plan ahead. I have noticed that my 13 year old is getting better with each game and is clearly learning to change the way he approaches the game.
The version that we have is the basic standard version, there are a number of collector’s editions on the market and featuring models from different eras or themed versions such as a Star Wars version. One thing I would say is that the plastic models are quite small and need to be looked after however if they were too big it would make the board very cluttered. The instructions are set out in a Command Manual which is well written in plain English. A couple of reads were enough for us to get a good understanding of the game and once you start playing it I found that we all picked it up really quickly. I also like the fact that within the manual there are a number of examples to explain the different scenarios that can occur.
Definitely a game I would recommend and currently at Amazon it is on sale for £9.99 which is £10 off the rrp.
Emperor FDH thanks you for reading and rating his review may the rain from his loins shower down on you in golden drops of nectar.
Summary: Excellent strategy game for age 10 and above.