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Subject: Risky Business - Throwing a Tech Commander in to the mix (4 player) rss

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Gary Ambrose
United Kingdom
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April 5th 2014, aka International Tabletop Day.

My group - 'Veterans' of 5 previous RISK 2210 games. Risk 2210 had in fact our gateway in to the world of board games.

Our first game, a 7 hour drawn-out affair almost a year ago to the day, had taught us to start early so we kicked off at 2:30 p.m. Our group of players is static we try to mix things up as best as possible. I suggested introducing the 'Tech Commander' from Frontline Season 2 http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/31727/risk-2210-a-d-front..., one of the official expansions for the game.

SETUP: 4 Player - Risk 2210 Rules + Frontline Season 2 Tech Commander
PLAYERS: Me (Black Army); Lee (Red Army); Matthew (Green Army); Justin (Blue Army)

DEVASTATED TERRITORIES:
1) Andorra, Europe (land bridge between Europe & Africa)
2) Imperial Balkania, Europe (2nd land bridge between Europe & Africa!)
3) United Indiastan, Asia (water bridge from Indian ocean to asia severed)
4) Sakha, Asia (had little effect on the game)

I'll pre-face this report by saying that Myself and Justin had an agreement not to attack each other from the outset, as Lee had won the last 4 games in a row and we were fed up of losing.

Clearly, Europe was prime territory. We rolled to decide who got to place the first mod and Green got first dibs. He decided to plump for America, Blue got to go in to Europe and due to the aforementioned alliance, I decided to forgo Europe to avoid conflict and opted for Australia. Red put his mod in to Africa and on we went.

After placement of initial mods, commanders, and stations:
Red was positioned with a base in Africa (opposed in two territories by black and blue) and a small presence in Asia.
I (black) had 3 of the 4 Australian territories, along with a heavy presence in South America and a small part of Europe.
Green went for North America.
Blue started with his base in Europe and part of North America

YEAR ONE: I (black) bid 1 energy to go first. I Forgo commanders, buy 1x land command card and 2x diplomat cards. Luckily I manage to pull a scout forces card for Nuevo Timoto (which I controlled) and bolstered my forces early. I easily took Australia in the first turn, and managed to take South America giving me two small continents on the first turn + 1 extra energy and 1x card. Blue takes Europe and fortifies. Red buys a naval commander and takes control of Indian and South Atlantic naval territories, whilst heavily threatening my border on Australia and South America but has some bad luck against 2 mods I'd left in Africa and expends a lot of his forces to defeat me. He eventually manages to control Africa. Green in an obviously telegraphed move goes last, purchases a space commander and takes the majority of his forces to the moon, managing to control every territory up there. His shrewd planning leaves him with enough energy to bid to go first in year 2.

YEAR TWO Green gains a huge haul of energy (13), purchases 4x space command cards and bolsters his forces on the 3x landing zones. Blue buys a Tech commander and Nuke commander and takes over the entirety of North America, gaining Greens space station in the process and cutting him off completely from Earth! I (black) receive 8 energy and opt for a Tech commander and 2x tech command cards. Bad shuffling results in me getting the same 'Technical espionage cards' which let you look at your opponents cards and discard one of your choice. I chose to play one of these against Red and discarded his Frequency jammer. I took 3x more territories in Asia, collecting a free Land card (colony influence) and 1x energy in the process, leaving just two territories left in Asia that were not in my control. Red went last and collects 10x energy and attacks me from Africa to South America on land and Naval fronts, In the process I lose my space station and half the continent.

Memory gets hazier here due to drink/lack of photos

YEAR THREE Green goes first again, purchasing tech and nuke commanders and space command cards. Finally he plays an invade earth card, which nets him an easy route in to Africa defended by just 2x mods, but in a move I still can't understand, decides against an invasion and instead fortifies, thus losing him the option to invade in to Africa! Blue buys a naval commander and takes the North Atlantic, then attempts to invade in to Reds new space station defended territory in the Amazon desert however, the attack is not very successful. On my turn I only receive 6 energy due to my previous loss of South America and decide to sacrifice South America (despite it housing my Tech commander) in favour of defending my Australian border and taking over Asia. I spend precious energy on a nuke commander, buy a nuke command card which assassinates Reds land commander and manage to take the rest of Asia, and also take Egypt, losing Red his Africa bonus in the process. Red goes last and takes over the remainder of South America.

YEAR FOUR Green goes first, again but fails to do anything remotely interesting. Blue makes inroads in to South America from the sea, Red loses a huge proportion of his mods in Saharan Empire to a land death trap. Despite going last, I have managed to hold all of Asia and Australia (Thanks to the alliance with blue) and buy back my Tech commander, buy a naval commander and purchase 2 nuke cards. I play a scatter bomb land, two of which hit Red but only take 1 mod from each territory. The third land card pulled is one of mine, but the person pulling the cards misinterprets the rules and pulls out a forth card. Unfortunately this card is placed back in the pack at the top, despite people making a note of where it was (Ukrayina).

This mistake has a big impact on the game from here on out....

YEAR FIVE Green bids to go last, but blue has a 'Time Dilation' tech card allowing him to swap turn order place! Knowing this, I bid to go first and Green ends up going second and Red goes 3rd. I receive 15 energy and purchase a naval commander, space station and Tech command cards. My (secret) ally blue, encourages me to attack from Australia in to Red's Indian ocean, but Red has a naval commander there and a considerable build up of forces. I also fear he has a water death trap. Instead I finally break the alliance with Blue and attack from Asia into Europe (Ukraynia) with my Nuke & Land Commander plus a considerable amount of mods. I also attack in to a poorly defended North America from Pevek (Asia) and manage to secure one of Blue's space stations in the process. At this point I have taken away 10 of Blues bonus points. I use a redeployment and then my Fortification and hope I've done enough to hold on. Green plays a zero-cost Frequency jammer on me, but that is a big mistake. I use a 'Mind Control' Tech card to cancel it's effect. He then plays an Invade Earth card. At this point I played a second Mind control tech card and BAM, Green was shut out of the game completely, having sat on the moon the entire time. This caused controversy because Green claimed I only played my Mind Control card against him because I knew the next Land card was Ukraynia (the one territory in Europe that I now controlled). I maintain that at this point I had forgotten what the card was (again, drink involved) and played the card because there was a RISK of the land card being something I controlled. Red then attacks me from Indian Ocean with a Naval commander and approx 12 mods. I thought that Australia was well defended as I had a Space station, Diplomat, Naval commander and approx 10 mods, so regardless everything defended with 2x 8 sided dice. But my luck here was terrible and Red managed to take a territory in Australia! This was hugely annoying for me, not because I lost a bonus (it was only 2) but because my diplomat at this point had 9 potential extra points from Colony influence cards, to play at the end of the game. Blue went last but due to my previous attacks he didn't receive much in the way of energy and mods. However he opted for 2 nuke cards and this is where the second controversy happened. He had a choice between using a rocket strike land or a scatter bomb land. We all knew at this point that the next Land card was Ukraynia, which I had recently taken and currently contained my Land and Nuke commander and 9 mods, so he decided to spend energy on the Scatter bomb land card knowing that Ukraynia would instantly lose 5 mods. This allowed him to take back Europe. He then attacked me in North America with 6 of his mods vs 3 of mine (with a space station) but again the rolls of the dice were against me and not only did he take back North America, he also managed to take Pevek in Asia from me, so I lost all my continent bonuses on the last go.

After the nuclear fallout had settled and all was done, Blue won with a victory of 40+ points, Red came 2nd with 30ish, Green came 3rd with 17 and I came dead last with just 12 points .

Ultimately the alliance had done it's job and prevented Red from winning another game of Risk 2210 but the game did not go well for me.

In summary I really liked the Tech Command cards, but our group is split 50/50 about using them again. Matt (Green) understandably never wants to see them again as they made his game null and void (though I would argue it was his own fault for not attacking in to Africa when he had the chance...) and Justin (Blue) didn't particularly like them either. Lee forgot to add the bonus from a 'Combat enhancer card' (+1 to all dice rolls) even though he played it, so that could have completely turned the game as well.

I suggested maybe using them every-other game in future, but I would recommend them to Risk 2210 players, especially as it's a simple matter of downloading them from here: https://risk2210.net/expansions/tech-commander and printing/cutting them yourself.

We had to make do with Carcassone meeples as Tech commander pieces but I guess you could use anything of comparable size.

Total game time. Approx 4.5 hours.
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mar hawkman
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For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory
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Tech commander is great IMO. Also... it's kinda necessary for using factions. I use colored flat marbles for my Tech commanders. They're about the right colors.

I would point out to your group that one play isn't enough to get a good feel for it.
 
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I M
Finland
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A good game

Question,

Quote: "Red went last and collects 10x energy and attacks me"

What does the RED army control in the beginning of year 2 to get 10x energy?

Makes me think we have had the rules wrong with my friends :o
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