Risk Legacy Board Game Review

Risk LegacyRating: 4.5/5.0

Lead your conquering army and leave your lasting mark on the world in Risk Legacy, a campaign-style offshoot of the iconic Risk board game. Customize your army with special abilities, strategically place bunkers, fire missiles at your enemies, and name cities and continents as you wish. Develop your campaign to conquer the world, and cement your Legacy!

The Risk strategy board game of world conquest has had a very successful run in the more than 5 decades since it was first released. It also spawned lots of variations and licensed versions, with games that focus on historical eras or specific regions, and plenty more that feature the worlds of popular brands such as the Transformers and Lord of the Rings. Risk Legacy is another variation that alters the game in a whole new way, turning it into a campaign of 15 games, with permanent changes made to the board as the campaign progresses.

 

The base Risk game is played on a map of the world, separated into the six continents, each of which contains multiple territories. Each player takes control of an army, and basically attempts to conquer the world by eliminating all other armies. There is some strategy to the game, in that the amount of troops you get each turn depends on the number and location of territories you control. Also, certain territories are more easily defensible than others. However, the actual result of all attacks comes down to the roll of the dice.

Risk Legacy adds a whole new dimension to this. In a campaign of 15 games, permanent changes are made to the board during and between games, slowly shaping the world as a direct result of the players’ actions. In addition, you no longer lead a characterless army, but actually control interesting factions with abilities that also evolve as the campaign progresses. There are 5 factions in the game, each of which has specific niche areas that they excel in. Examples include the Die Mechaniker faction that focuses on defense, and the Saharan Republic that excels in maneuverability. There are also faction-specific game pieces, and the Enclave of the Bear faction’s combat vehicle is an actual bear!

Risk Legacy

” …the ability to shape the world
as you play are fantastic ways to
get players hooked and invested
in this world they are playing in. “

Customization/evolution of the game already happens even before the first game is played. Each faction has two starting abilities, and players must choose which ability to stick on their faction card. The other ability gets destroyed permanently! Players also get to customize the resource cards that represent the territories on the board. These resource cards are obtained each turn you make a successful invasion, and can be redeemed for troops. At the start of the game, players take turns adding resource stickers to their choice of territory cards, making their chosen territories more valuable than others.

Each player usually also gets a scar card every game. These have a once-off use, and are actually stuck onto a territory on the board. They are used to make permanent changes to the territory, providing effects such as defense boosts and other more destructive effects.

The actual gameplay is like the basic Risk game. Players take turns to perform the following actions. You recruit troops to your army, depending on how many territories you control, and whether you managed to hold on to entire continents. Later on in the campaign, cities will be added to the game, increasing the value of their respective territories. You can also redeem any territory resource cards you own in exchange for additional troops. You then get to attack as per the traditional Risk rules, and then end the turn by maneuvering your troops.

The goal of each game is to gain control of 4 Red Stars. Each faction’s headquarters is counted as a Red Star, and you can trade in 4 territory cards for a Red Star as well. This actually makes the games faster than the traditional Risk objective of conquering the whole world. A strategic and lucky push can end the game really quickly. Also, players who have not yet won a game also get an additional Red Star, kind of like a consolation prize and a handicap rolled into one.

After a game is won, the real fun starts. The winning player gets to make some potentially huge changes to the game, starting with signing their name on the board. Then they get to choose one of a few cool choices, including naming a continent, founding and naming a major city, and even tearing up a territory card! If you lost but held on till the end of the game, you get to make some minor changes such as founding a minor city or upgrading a territory card. If you got eliminated from the game, tough luck.

Risk LegacyThat’s not all though. There are a few secret packages in the game box that can only be opened once specific conditions happen, such as when the 9th minor city is founded or when a player manages to win 2 games. These packages contain various cards and instructions to change the game further. Some of them will even change the game rules, and the rulebook even contains special blank areas you can stick the new rules on!

Risk Legacy is definitely a very impressive game. Adding a campaign progression and letting players actively shape the world is nothing short of genius. You now feel much more invested in the game and the game world. Winning a game will let you name continents, and losing might result in your valuable territory cards being torn up. It’s also great that you get to identify with the 5 factions, each of which has a different character and style.

The production quality of the game is also excellent. The board and cards are high quality, and game pieces are beautiful. I especially like the giant bear mounts! Other little things also grab you, such as the design of the secret packages and how they are taped to the inside of the box. The box itself even has a handle that lets you carry it like a briefcase!

While the game is admittedly still very luck-based due to the combat relying almost entirely on dice rolls, the addition of the campaign rules and the ability to shape the world as you play are fantastic ways to get players really hooked and invested in this world they are playing in. Risk Legacy is definitely a must-buy, especially if you like Risk-style games or other world conquest games such as Small World.

Complexity: 2.0/5.0

Playing Time: 1 to 1.5 hours

Number of Players: 3 to 5 players

 

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Get more information on the game at Board Game Geek
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