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
Prepare to be conquered!
Member Name: The Daz
Advantages: Great fun, engaging gameplay
Disadvantages: Can lead to Maniacal Tyranny
12 Armies against Kamchatka! Watch my glorious Green troops sweep across Asia, knocking aside the feeble Pink and Blue forces of my opponents!! *insert Imperialist cackle*.
My first experience of Risk was as an innocent 10 Yr old, well versed in the arts of such entertaining Family Games as Monopoly and Scrabble, but na´ve to the all conquering tyranny of my Father's game play at this new and exciting game. After losing rather shockingly the first few dozen times we played, I resolved to hone my tactics and would spend hours of my summer holidays from school playing alone, monster 6 player games where I controlled each Army individually. I learnt the Arts of the game, Feint Attacks, Continent Bagging and other dark secrets.
I digress - I'm much better at Risk now, and although this sort of warmongering is, I'd imagine, primarily a male reserve, it is a game that the whole family can enjoy. It's certainly fun when you take turns to gain and then lose territory, the balance of power seesawing between players until the decisive break comes - and then your younger sibling chucks a wobbly and stomps off declaring that it's unfair, and he never wanted to play the stupid game anyway. (We've all been there...).
When you unfold the map you see an array of colour coded continents split into sizeable countries. There are 40 countries in all, some are parts of a larger country (Western and Eastern United States), and some represent more than one country (Argentina is Argentina and Chile).
The countries are linked both by land and by sea where dotted black lines adjoin - for instance the sea route between Brazil and West Africa.
The basic premise of the game is to control all the countries on the map, or until your feeble enemies give in. The two options of the game are: multiplayer - where more than 2 players compete, and the 2 player game, which has a third Neutral player that can't attack. There are Mission Cards included to create shorter games, whereby your mission might be to destroy all Blue Armies or control 25 Countries.
Ok: to begin. There are 40 cards dealt out equally between players. These cards tell the player which country to place his armies in. The number of armies a player starts with depends on the number of players, but varies between 20 and 40, and the forces can be taken in 1, 5 and 10 army units - these neat triangular, pentagonal and hexagonal plastic blocks. Once you have at least one army in each Country, you are free to spread the rest out according to where you plan to attack/defend. If you had been dealt 3 of the 4 South American Countries for example you might choose to attack the fourth and cluster your troops accordingly.
Each player has a chance to carry out attacks each turn, until he runs out of armies to attack with (you must attack with at least 2 armies, as one must remain in each country you own). At the conclusion of the turn you receive a card which will help with new armies later.
Attacking involves upto 3 red dice, and defending up to 2 blue ones - the odds are in the defenders favour though as a draw is to their benefit (arguments do ensue). The skill in winning a new country is not to overextend yourself and leave weak single army flanks that an enemy can march straight through next turn.
On your second and successive turns, you will receive reinforcements - 1 for every 3 countries owned, and also a number of armies for each continent completely controlled by your forces - Australasia is worth 2 armies, and Asia 7 for example, and also armies for a set of 3 cards (the ones you received at the end of each turn) - each card contains a symbol above the country: Artillery, Infantry and Cavalry, and a set of 3 of each or 3 mixed will give you either 4,6,8, or 10 armies respectively. The reinforcements help you plan your next round of attacks.
It sounds complicated. It isn't really once you get the hang of though, and its immense fun sweeping away your opponents hard owned gains, and the stupid smile on his face too. The most important tip is: Slowly! Just win a few new countries each turn, and defend your borders well. By picking off the continents one at a time, you will build up an unstoppable force within a handful of turns and be ready to strike!
Overall: with fairly few rules (the instructions, including diagrams and variant options only stretch to a handful of pages), a colourful map and playing pieces and an addictive playing method this game is great fun for all the family. After all, we all know only Dad ever wins Trivial Pursuit (even if he has to cheat!).
Summary: The best fun you'll have on a family caravan holiday!
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