Customer Review

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Space-themed game without the spaceships (where are the Terran Battlecruisers, Protoss Carriers, Zerg Mutalisks?), October 24, 2012
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:1.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: RISK: StarCraft Collector's Edition (Toy)
Pros
+Hundreds of StarCraft pieces representing two types of the Terran, Protoss and Zerg ground units. Like most Risk games, these game pieces represent 1 and 3 armies respectively.
+Territory cards have the option to be used for unique attack or defense abilities instead of just cashing them in for more units like in standard Risk.
+Large, StarCraft-themed map board

Cons
-No pieces representing "flying" spacecraft units. Unlike the two versions of the "Risk: Star Wars" board games where cards could be exchanged for supporting spacecraft like X-Wings, Star Destroyers, etc. there are no supporting spacecraft in this game. This is a disappointment since the StarCraft computer game has a plethora of signature spacecraft units to choose from. Where are the Protoss Carriers? Terran Battlecruisers? Zerg Mutalisks? As it is, this remains a "ground forces" game despite the "space theme" of the source material.
-The Hero pieces look different but all play the same: Add 1 to die rolls when attacking or defending. It would have been nice if more of a StarCraft theme had been applied here to distinguish the difference between the SC races. For example, it would have made it more interesting to play as a certain race if the Heroes were more varied like so: Terran Heroes add +1 to their attack die rolls, Protoss heroes add +1 to their defensive die rolls, Zerg subtract -1 from an enemy's defensive die roll, etc. Even more strange, if killed, these Heroes reincarnate during your next reinforcement phase. This seems to somewhat cheapen the Heroes as you can be as reckless as you want with them and they will be back on your next turn if they "die". The only penalty being that you cannot use your Hero for defense until your next turn.

Minor defects
-My map had problems laying flat. The middle of the board kept sticking up and the cardboard tore in the middle once I gently pushed it flat. Seeing as how this is made of heavy cardboard I was surprised at this quality control problem.

Final Comments
I would have appreciated the Risk: StarCraft Collector's Edition set a lot more if USAopoly had wholeheartedly embraced the StarCraft theme. As it is, the set feels like little more than a visual swap-out. If you already own Risk or one of the many variants, know that the main differences you are buying here are: 1) The planetary space map, 2) The special abilities listed on the territory cards and 3) The Hero pieces. Everything else is simply a variant of on standard Risk: The Nexus/Temple/CommandCenter "base" pieces replace the Risk capitals and the mineral fields replace the Risk city tokens. Even the gold/silver achievements and their respective bonuses are the same as the 2008 revised Risk edition.

Perhaps something extra like: Vespene Gas bonus territory markers, supporting StarCraft spacecraft pieces or even something simple like StarCraft-themed dice instead of the standard red/black would have give this reviewer something to get excited about.

Customization Suggestion
Try this out, to give your game a tiny bit more of a StarCraft feel (note: these were adapted from Risk rules implemented in Risk: Legacy):

Zerg Players: "At the start of your turn, add one army to each HQ (any race) that you control." Representing the Zerg's low-tech but prolific "win by numbers" from out-of-the-hatchery mentality.

Terran Players:
"You can make your 1 troop maneuver at any point during your turn (instead of at the end)." Representing the Terran siege tank drop and overall "lift-off" and adaptability of the Terrans.

Protoss Players:
"The defender subtracts 1 from his lower defense die in the first territory you attack during your turn." Representing the Protoss energy shields, which are great in the beginning but you're in real trouble when they are gone you have to fall back on pitiful Protoss armor/health (unfortunately there's no micro-ing units in Risk!).

As mentioned above, you can also add the following rule:
Terran Heroes add +1 to their attack die rolls, Protoss heroes add +1 to their defensive die rolls, Zerg subtract -1 from an enemy's defensive die roll.
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Comments

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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 11, 2013 11:30:17 AM PST
Gabb says:
Concerning your customization suggestions, I would like to use them but I am worried they aren't balanced? Can you elaborate more on where you got them in Risk Legacy? Thank you

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2013 10:16:32 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 12, 2013 5:30:10 PM PST
Jim Woo says:
Sure. Risk Legacy (sold separately) is a customizable Risk game. What I mean by this, is that the game comes with a selection of race attributes that you can select for each race.
If this photo is still up by the time you read this, you can see one example of a race attribute here: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iw1hoS1xTbs/T6qCAIC15tI/AAAAAAAAL_g/EcSyp-yZS4U/s1600/pic1295751_md.jpg

This is an example of the peel-off stickers that you use to give a race an attribute. Since I felt StarCraft Risk did not really give one race any more of a "feel" than another, I suggested that the race attributes used in Risk Legacy could be adapted in StarCraft risk. As any StarCraft player knows, Terrans play very differently from Zerg and Protoss and vice versa. I felt that USAopoly didn't translate this part of the computer game into StarCraft Risk.

Risk Legacy can also be purchased on Amazon here: Risk Legacy

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2013 4:45:47 PM PST
Gabb says:
Thanks for the information it is much appreciated I just have a few follow up questions:

1. According to the Protoss customization suggestion does the "subtract 1 from his lower defense die" last for just 1 attack ( roll of 1-3 attack dice ) on the first territory or does it last for the attack duration on the first territory ( meaning they can do multiple attacks with the bonus but just on that 1 territory )?
2. A lot of people complained that there is no penalty for the Hero dying and people could be careless with the Heroes. Does imposing a cost of 1 reinforcement army before the hero is allowed to "respawn" sound like a good idea to imploy?
3. Are heroes allowed to maneuver from 1 territory to another as long as 1 troop moves with them? Or can they literally only move when attacking.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2013 1:06:19 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 20, 2013 12:40:35 PM PST
Jim Woo says:
Good questions.
1. In Risk Legacy, the text phrases it as: "The defender subtracts 1 from his lower defense die in the first territory you attack during your turn." I have interpreted this to mean that the ability lasts for the duration of the Protoss attack but only in that specific enemy territory for this turn. This rule is from Risk Legacy so it should be balanced but if you think that this is overpowered, you can always select another ability to use for Protoss instead. Check here for the full list of race attributes from Risk Legacy: http://boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/5943/which-faction-power-will-result-in-the-greatest-bonus-troops-and-or-fewest-troop.

2. I have not used this replacement rule, but I can see how it can be used to give the Hero more "loss value". This also means that you cannot add a hero to a territory with only 1 army since Heroes must be assigned to an existing army.

3. I have always played the Hero as a bonus to an existing unit. The Hero can move with a successful attack into a captured territory or as part of a reinforcement. However, the Hero just impacts the die rolls. Heroes cannot attack or defend on their own. Hopefully this helps!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2013 4:42:37 PM PDT
Jim Woo says:
Another suggestion for the Hero penalty is that when the Hero re-spawns, it must be at the player's original Command center/Nexus/Hive. In addition, if this original "base" is lost, you cannot respawn your hero.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2013 8:10:05 PM PDT
Gabb says:
I like the hero respawns only in the base suggestion a lot!

It seems that with a lot of play throughs certain faction cards are a bit imbalanced particularly the Protoss feedback one. Taking away 5 units in an opponents resource pool is especially devastating particularly in a 6 player game, the pain isn't felt so much in a 3-4 player game. Lastly for the protoss psionic storm card, is it take away this many units you roll ( six sided dice ) on a planet in total or take that many units off per territory? The card doesn't really specify.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2013 2:14:51 PM PDT
Gabb says:
Also based on your link - http://boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/5943/which-faction-power-will-result-in-the-greatest-bonus-troops-and-or-fewest-troop.

evaluating the various faction powers that you suggested ( zerg with +1 troop on each HQ they control, protoss shield -1 to defenders when attacking first territory, terran can manuever at any point in their turn ), it would seem like Zerg get the strongest benefit ( especially in 6 player games ) with Protoss getting 2nd place and Terran dead last. To help boost Terran powers slightly in addition to their maneuver at any point bonus I would give the Terran HQ a +1 to the lowest defense dice ( represented by the planetary fortress, bunkers, high defense bonus they have in SC ) which is essentially a lesser version of the bonus the Die Mechaniker gets from Risk Legacy. What do you think?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2013 3:00:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 10, 2013 3:01:34 PM PDT
Jim Woo says:
Nice one, Gabb! I think this addition could work pretty well. If you want, you could also switch them and play as below. Note: I haven't play tested these changes but hopefully it will even out some of the card powers you mentioned earlier:

StarCraft Risk Race Bonuses
Protoss psionic shields: Add +1 to your lowest defensive die roll. This ability can only be used once per territory when attacked.

Terran irradiate/EMP shockwave: The defender subtracts 1 from his lower defense die roll in the first territory you attack during your turn.

Zerg rush: At the start of your turn, place one troop (zergling) in each territory that has an HQ you control.

If the three rules above help add flavor and even out the game, I suggest you print out six card-sized copies to include in the box for easy reference.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 11:18:08 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 11, 2013 11:20:21 AM PDT
Gabb says:
The way you wrote it, the Terran power is technically worse than the Protoss power since they are forced to use it on their first attack compared to the Protoss which can use it when they see fit.

I like the asymmetrical nature of the races and feel the faction powers should be as different as possible. The way you set it up when Terrans are fighting Protoss their faction powers will most likely cancel eachother out.

I'll play with this setup and let you know how it goes in terms of balance:

Modified Starcraft Risk Race Powers:

*Protoss psionic shields: The defender subtracts 1 from his lower defense die in the first territory you attack during your turn.

*Terran bunkers/Planetary Fortress + Dropships: You can make your 1 troop maneuver at any point during your turn (instead of at the end). Also your HQ has a +1 to it's lowest defense dice when defending against attackers.

*Zerg extra larva: At the start of your turn, place one troop (zergling) in each territory that has an HQ you control.

based on the Risk Legacy this should be relatively balanced.

One last question: When you play and Heroes with an army attack another Hero with an army do you add their dice modifiers or just cancel them out? I'm not sure math wise that cancelling out the +1 to attack and +1 to defense is the same as adding the +1 to attack and defense.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 15, 2013 1:40:29 PM PDT
Jim Woo says:
Whatever works, Gabb. Like I said, I haven't playtested this modified version yet but let me know if it works out in your games and my group will give it a try too. Technically though with this version, the Terrans have more powers than were allowed in Risk: Legacy.

Regarding the use of Heroes: We always play with all Hero powers in full effect regardless of whether it is a Hero vs Hero battle. The reason for this is, that the Hero is there, so the ability is in effect regardless if there is a mathematical impact or not. We have also tried the modified Hero powers mentioned in the review as well. Have you tried those out yet?
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