Mike came by early on Sunday so he and I played one of my BGG Secret Santa games, Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. I had tried it a couple of times solo but having a partner to go questing with added a lot to the experience, as well as making some rules pertinent where they have no meaning when playing solo. We were doing pretty well, Mike taking the Leadership deck and me playing the Tactics deck; he added most of his characters to the quest and I had the big-hitters to take on the enemies… except the Encounter deck was too busy spitting out Locations to give us anything to fight!
With one location as our current quest and four sitting in queue, we were adding at least one Threat to our Threat Level each turn. The couple enemies we did encounter didn’t give us much trouble but then… dun-dun-duuunnn… OMG! Double whammy! Mike had put out a very large contingent of allies and sent them all questing with a total of about 31 Willpower. Whoa, I thought, do we really need all that? (There was about 9 threat in the staging area.) Then we drew our two cards: Driven By Shadow which adds 1 Threat to each enemy and each location! Whew, it’s a good thing he sent all of his guys questing then; we were safe. But wait! We also drew Ungoliant’s Spawn who subtracts 1 Willpower from each character committed to the quest. Oh, nooooo! That was our undoing.
And now for the main event of the day, Mike’s newest purchase, the reason you’ve all come here today: Risk Legacy! There should be no spoilers here since it was our first game and no new rules or rules changes were made, no hidden components were revealed.
The box arrived at the table unopened, the seal stating, “NOTE: What’s been done can never be undone.” Now if you’re like me, you’d want to try whatever you could to play the game but still leave it so you could start fresh, undoing what choices and changes you’ve made; not Mike. He was determined to have this be the one and only way it would be played. So… make your choices good ones!
On opening the box, we found 4 packets stickered to the lid with instructions on when they could be opened. Lifting the board from the box revealed two rather large compartments also with instructions. On the back of the board is a form for the players to sign and date stating, “We, the undersigned, take responsibility for the wars we about to start, the decisions we will make, and the history we will write. Everything that is going to happen is going to happen because of us.” Then at the bottom, “The wars started on the following date.” Fun! We all got that tingle of excitement–something cool has begun.
The basic Risk rules apply but the set up is different; you only get one area from which to begin your takeover. The story is about humanity leaving all of the nastiness on Earth and landing on a pristine planet to start anew. Uh-huh, we can live in harmony. Sure. Anyway, everyone chooses one spot as their starting location as long as it isn’t adjacent to another player, and spreads out from there. Each player chooses a faction and customizes it using one of the two stickers provided for each.
I chose the Enclave of the Bear because one of my cats’ name is Bear. Oh, like none of you would do that!! I chose the attribute that lets me conquer a territory if I roll a natural 3 of a kind and defeat at least one defender. Cool but tough to do. The other choice was for the defender to subtract 1 from the lower defense die in the first territory I attack. Might have been more useful but not nearly as cool!
Richard took the Saharan Republic– I think he liked the hot chick with a gun! He chose the ability to maneuver to any territory you control even if it’s not connected. The other choice was to make the maneuver at any point during your turn. Oh, that might have been useful if you’re not sure which front someone is going to attack. Alas, tis done.
Dave liked the military outfits of the Imperial Balkania and chose to give them the ability to round up rather than down when dividing your territory and population for new recruits. His other option was to be able to draw a card even if you didn’t conquer a territory but you have to have expanded into 4 or more territories. That can be tough to do except at the beginning of the game when almost everything is empty so I think he made a good choice.
Mike was surprised that no one had taken Khan Industries so grabbed them for himself. He made a good choice, giving them the ability to add a troop at the beginning of his turn to each territory with a headquarters they they control. Nice. The other option seemed just as good though: add a troop to the territory you just drew a card for if you control it.
The final faction is the Die Machaniker. We group chose to let them have their starting base be fortified if they are defending it. The tossed ability is that your territory cannot be attacked again this turn if you defend it with two natural 6s. I think we made the better choice and I would be happy to get them the next time we play.
We rolled and Mike got to start. He chose to start in one of the southern territories of the US. I chose North Africa, Richard took Australia, and Dave settled for a spot in Europe. During the course of our 45 minute game, Dave was attacked from all three directions at one point or another. I came very close to winning when I took his base and then headed towards Mike’s all in one turn. If Mike hadn’t put up such a good fight in the one territory between me and his HQ, I would have made it. Instead, depleted, I watched as Richard took the win. He got to be the first person to sign the board and he created a major city and named it.
We have added a couple of “scars” to the board, two Ammo Shortages which makes the defender subtract 1 from his higher die, and a Bunker which lets the defender add 1 to his higher die. And Mike has added a minor city, naming it for one of his two sons. we really enjoyed this and all look forward to whatever changes we will see in the future. You noticed that the factions have spaces for 4 more large stickers and a smaller one just under the name– can’t wait to see what those will be! Unfortunately, that probably won’t be until after the new year.
Until then, Happy Christmas and a game-filled New Year to all!