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Risk: The Game of Strategic Conquest
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- With an updated map and all-new playing pieces, increased rewards for bold moves, and easy to learn rules
- Test your nerve with the basic training game--a quick and easy way to play
- Finally prove your courage in World Contest-an updated edition of the classic Risk game
- Bottom line: 3 ways to play, faster game play, and updated map and playing pieces
- Includes game board, 7 dice, deck of 42 cards, 5 sets of colored units, 5 capitals, 15 cities, parts sheet and instructions
- You'll be ready to take on whatever lies ahead
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From the Manufacturer
Can you accomplish the military objectives before your opponents? With an updated map and all-new playing pieces, increased rewards for bold moves, and easy to learn rules, you'll be ready to take on whatever lies ahead. Test your nerve with the Basic Training game--a quick and easy way to play. Or, see if you have what it takes to dominate in the fast-paced and strategic Command Room game. Finally prove your courage in World Contest-an updated edition of the classic Risk game. The decision is yours. The time is now. Do you have what it takes to win? Bottom line: Three ways to play, faster game play, and updated map and playing pieces. Includes game board, 7 dice, deck of 42 cards, 5 sets of colored units, 5 capitals, 15 cities, parts sheet and instructions. For 3 to 5 players ages 12 and up.
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|Are Batteries Required||No||No||No||No|
|Item Dimensions||15.75 x 2.5 x 10.5 in||15.75 x 1.97 x 10.51 in||1.6 x 11 x 23 in||10.6 x 2.7 x 15.8 in|
|Item Weight||2.85 lbs||0.85 lb||3.38 lbs||2 lbs|
Top Customer Reviews
We were all quite excited when we recently saw a commercial on TV for a new version of Risk. It had a fresh new look to it and had new rules for playing that promised to speed up the game. So I bought it. Some of the new rules are the same as the rule variations from original Risk. The new guide book doesn't mention anything about "Commander Roll" but it does have new objectives and a very unique reward system that compliments the objectives. Rewards range from an extra attack dice, extra defense dice, an airfield, a guaranteed country card at the end of your turn, extra strategic maneuver at the end of your turn, and my personal favorite, an extra strategic maneuver at the START of your turn (can you say surprise attack!?).
Visually, the new game board is dramatic. Everything is a little darker but very bold. Gone are the soothing blue oceans and seas. They're now blood red with subtle stripes radiating from the bottom corner. Most of the countries have remained the same but a few names have changed. There also appears to be a few extra land bridges connecting some territories, which is helpful (unless you reside in that territory!). The playing pieces have changed. Gone are the diminutive soldiers, cannons, and horses. They are replaced with simple flat arrows, a short one indicating one troop and a longer one with three stripes on it indicating, that's right- three troops. They're roughly the same color as earlier versions of Risk but they are a lot harder to pluck up off the board during skirmishes and I don't think there's enough of a difference between the two arrows. This new version of Risk also has cities that are randomly placed about the board at the start of the game. If you control a territory with a city in it, you get to add a "+1" to your territory count before you divide by 3 to see how many troops you draft at the start of your turn.
Another change I really like is the country cards you receive at the end of your turn (if you defeated a neighboring territory). They no longer have soldiers, horses, or cannons on them. Instead they have either one or two stars. When you have at least two stars you can turn them in for troops. You can also collect as many cards as you want and turn in a larger number of stars for exponentially more troops. (2-stars=2 troops, 3-stars=4 troops, 4-stars=7 troops, etc).
There's a few other minor differences, but overall we all loved the new and improved Risk. I can't say that the game went any faster. It still took 4 of us over 2 hours to finish a game. Granted it was our first time playing this version and it will probably go faster next time. I think that next time we'll add some of our older rules to the mix which will help speed things up. Here's one of our favorites--the Country Card Re-Roll: when you receive a country card for winning a territory, if you later attack the country on the back of one of your country cards, you are allowed to re-roll one of your attack dice on each roll. It doesn't work when defending, but it can really help you overcome the defender advantage. And in case you don't have original Risk and have never heard of the Commander Roll, you must try it at least once! Once PER TURN (not per attack) you are allowed to change one of your attack dice to a six. This is kinda symbolic of your commander being present at that particular battle and helping deliver a more decisive defeat. It's great when you just wanna pop over to a neighboring continent and take one of your opponent's territory so they don't get the continent bonus at the beginning of their turn!
For more info on this new version of Risk, be sure to click on the "Watch it in action" link at the top of this page to see a great Flash overview.
UPDATE: Having played this new version of Risk many times since I wrote this review, I have to say I'm still a big fan! The game does go a lot faster (especially using our rule variations described above) and it's a lot more fun. Still don't like the little arrow pieces presenting soldiers. We still pull out an old version of Risk and use the soldiers, horses, and cannons from it. Parker Brothers: please change the army pieces!
2. The prototype version was known as Black Ops. This is the same game with different colors.
Relative to the enormous number of games that have been published, there are a rare few that have enjoyed popularity for fifty years. Risk is one of the rarities. Originally introduced in 1957 (in France) it was published in the United States, by Parker Brothers, in 1959. Since its inception, the game has grown in popularity and is now published around the globe in more than 20 languages. There have been several computer and console renditions as well as a variety of play-by-mail or play by email groups. There are Risk clubs and leagues and even a World Championship held in October of each year.
From 1959 to 1999 the only variation to the classic version of Risk was Castle Risk introduced in 1982. Beginning with Risk Napoleon in 1999 there has been a new variant introduced almost every year. (These include: 2210, Godstorm, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars: Clone Wars, Star Wars the Trilogy Edition, Warriors (the card version), Narnia, Transformers and Express. (This does not include the various versions published either by small/self publishers or the variants published in Italy where Risk has a substantial following.) Each version is different enough from the other publications that no two versions are interchangeable. With the exception of Knizia's Risk Express the only feature that all of the games share is the basic combat system. These are not simply themed games where the play of the game remains the same but a new theme is tacked on; these are unique. The complexity of the games range from the vary basic (Express) to the fairly complex (Napoleon).
I have played the various versions of the game for many, many years (Moses and I even played a few - he is a poor sport). Classic Risk was my introduction to the world of sophisticated gaming and what a ride it was. As with so many gamers that have played a substantial number of games of Risk, there are tales to tell, memories of games that will never be duplicated. This is an area at which Risk excels. The game generates a story as you play; it has an initial stage, a middle game and an end game. It is an aspect of gaming that so many other games fail at. The game unfolds as a novel or movie might. Many classic games (Chess for example) posses this trait and there are several modern games that have managed to include it (Diplomacy, Civilization, Imperial, Struggle of Empires, etc.) These are rare games; games that afford the memorable moments.
Another aspect of Risk games is the emotional response generated during the game. Few other games produce this affect. One can play hundreds of other games, that while interesting, fun and challenging, simply do not ignite this fire in the player. Risk does this and does it very well. All Risk players have encountered the normally reserved player that becomes overly aggressive during a match. Though I cannot explain this with certainty, I suspect that it is the result of the simple rules and player elimination in the game. Consider that the rules to most Risk games are minimalist, so basic that even non-gamers can easily absorb them allowing the player the opportunity to concentrate on strategy rather than remembering the rules. When this is combined with the possibility of elimination, the result is a do-or-die game experience. (Add in a dose of testosterone and the mix can be explosive - as well as entertaining.)
The final common thread in all Risk games is the nature of the contest itself. Each of the games represents an epic battle of some sort from conquering the world to establishing control over a galaxy. It is this bigger than life theme that pulls so many players into the games. If one considers the theme in relation to that of movies it is simple to see that it is the epic films that are remembered, the films in which good versus evil in some near apocalyptic form is described. When suggesting a film to a friend, which is the most likely topic to interest him/her; world domination or planting fields? Theme plays a significant role in all Risk games.
So what of Black Ops? As I mentioned earlier I have been playing Risk for a long, long time. When I first played Black Ops, I was disappointed; this did not feel like Risk. I deliberately waited to write about the game until I had played it a few more times. First impressions are not always accurate especially in gaming. Since that first game I have played Black Ops a significant number of times; more than any other Risk game this year. Unlike classic Risk with its relatively straight forward strategies, Black Ops is far more subtle without sacrificing the simplicity of the rules set. It has all of the elements of a typical Risk family game. Transformers and Narnia have simple rule sets but lack the depth of Black Ops. This is a game where repeat play will reveal additional strategies and opportunities for play. It is a mix of Mission Risk, Capital Risk and the classic game with a few tweaks incorporated. It surpasses the original in the variety of routes to victory.
Similar to many Eurogames, the set up almost insures that no two games will be alike. Locations for the cities and the objectives will be different in every game. (I can foresee player designed objectives increasing the variety.) Retaining player elimination adds a level of tension to the game that is not found in so many others. In a four or five player game, player elimination becomes a vary viable option for victory. The playing time is short enough that elimination will not result in long periods of wandering about the room; most often, when a player has been eliminated, the game ends. As with the classic version of the game, familiarity and experience are rewarded. The dynamic is such that new players may win but the experienced player has an advantage.
I would be remiss if I did not mention a few of the changes incorporated in this new version. As with many home rules and several of the newer published versions of Risk, moving armies at the end of a turn is not limited to an adjacent space. A player is permitted to move armies along any connected chain of territories. This eliminates the problem of trapped armies and allows for surprise movements. The second and most significant change is with the determination of reinforcements. Cities, capitols, territories, continents and cards are included but the value of the cards has been completely revised. The new method introduces another level of strategic choices. It is a wonderful addition that presents the player with more control but tougher decisions as the opportunities have expanded. It is worth playing for this change alone.
Finally Seinfeld fans will be disappointed to discover that the Ukraine has been replaced with Russia. (Sorry Kramer.)
I have read in several articles that this version of the game will replace classic Risk. Originally I was disappointed believing that Black Ops just wasn't up to the task....I was wrong. While retaining the introductory nature of the classic game this is a far superior version of Risk. It is quicker and offers more `gameplay' without sacrificing the critical elements of Risk family games. Being totally honest, I have not bothered with the world domination version of classic Risk in years. When we play the classic board it is with the 2003 edition of Mission Risk. If I were to devote the time required for the classic game, I would rather play 2210 or Godstorm. Black Ops however, is a game that will come off the shelf often. It is a superb revision of the classic game.
If some version of Black Ops replaces the original it will not only introduce new players to more advanced gaming (as the original did) but may drag in some of the Eurogame crowd. As an introductory game, the variety of player decisions and options far exceeds that of Ticket to Ride or Carcassone and rivals that of Settlers of Catan.
Black Ops is the real deal.
The game takes many of the rules from the original risk and twists them just a bit to make the game go faster. For example this variant adds cities to the game and when you draft troops these cities add to your total number of possible troops.
Also you can hold an infinite number of cards, but each of these cards has a number on them and when you think you have collected enough of the cards your turn em all in for a number of troops based on the total of the numbers.
The game also adds rewards and objectives which can range from near impossible to not so bad.
The game is extremely fun to play and I would recommend it to any gaming enthusiast.
I would say this is a must own for any board game fans out there.