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Subject: Take a Risk on this Version of Risk? rss

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myles
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I own the previous two versions of Star Wars branded Risk as well as several other variants and also classic Risk. That said, I will say this is not your run of the mill Risk format. That turns out to be quite a good thing. I like the idea of Hasbro developing their games beyond their original roots. Keeping the Risk brand lets people know it will be a confrontational game, but it is not really like the continental conquest you may have grown up with. I generally only play and buy Hobby games, and would normally play X-wing, Star Wars Armada, Queen's Gambit, or Star Wars Imperial Assault, if were wanting to play something from the Star Wars universe. Evenso, when the mass retailers do something right like this, I am certainly willing to give them a look. This game plays best with 2 players, but has team rules for four players, 2 per team. I will say upfront that upon initial plays, it seems the Empire has the more difficult path to victory. It might take some house ruling to balance out, or if you're playing one of your children, maybe take the Empire and let the kid be the hero. Really seems like a great Dad and son game, but really anyone who doesn't mind a confrontational game should be able to play and enjoy.

The gameplay centers around the final scenes from Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi. The battle occurs on three fronts. The main battle is in the center of the board centering on the Death Star. At the same time, Luke and Vader face off on the Death Star, while Han, Chewie, and Leia are on Endor trying to take the shield generator down.



The rebels win by destroying the Death Star, but first have to disable the shield generator on the moon of Endor. Meanwhile, Luke confronts and attempts to redeem or destroy his Father, which reaps many bonus actions for the victor. The rebel fleet is also enduring withering fire from the Death Star, Super Star Destroyer, and seemingly endless tie fighter sorties, trying to hold out until the shield finally comes down so they can blow up the Death Star.

On the other side of the force, the Empire player wins by eliminating the rebel fleet. It sounds simple, however, I don't think the Empire can totally ignore the other fronts in the battle, or they Risk granting the rebels an easy win.

Inside you'll find:

- Scads of ships. There are dozens of plastic miniature Tie Fighters, X-wings, Y-wings, B-wings. I'm glad they went this route. The detail for the scale is just fine and looks much more fun than if everything had been card board. I always think of plastic troops when I think of Risk, so I think this was a great way to keep the game linked to the parent branding.



- Three part game board. The board forms the silhouette of a tie fighter approaching. The space battle is featured in the center, Endor generator battle on one side, and The Luke and Vader confrontation on the other side.



- Two Card Decks. One deck for each player/team. These cards show the orders available for each commander. Cards are thin, and don't look like they will hold up to rigorous shuffling. I'll probably try to find star wars themed card sleeves for these and only shuffle over hand.



- Card board tokens. These include markers for Luke and Vaders health, progress of the rebel commandos, storm troopers, Millenium Falcon, Super Star Destroyer, and rebel capital ships (where the fighters waiting to launch are deployed at game start). Most of these, I'd have preferred to have been miniatures also. Hopefully, a deluxe edition will sprout from their Wizards of the Coast company to produce a collector's edition with the quality of "Queens Gambit", which this game shares many design elements.

- Five Red Dice. Used in combat, these dice are all you'll ever need, since you never get to roll more than five in an attack. Also, unlike traditional Risk, the defender gets no dice to roll. As such, it's going to be to your advantage to attack more than defend.

- Instruction booklet. It is adequate, in full color, and seems to cover everything. A summary of all the order symbols on cards would have been nice to include on the back cover, so new players don't have to flip through the manual too much.



Overall, while some components seem cheap, with plastic minis I think this was a good value priced game. Game plays quickly, probably 30-45 mins, even with slow players. Decisions are there, but not so agonizing you'll spend all day on them. If you're a fan of the original Star Wars and gaming at all, this is a must buy. Rules are easy to digest and understand, so I didn't bother repeating them here. I'd be happy to answer any questions, if you need to know something more specific.

EDIT:
I decided to go ahead and add some detail about the gameplay so you can better see if it sounds like something you would like or not.

Players start with 6 cards and choose 3 for their turn. Rebel player starts. At the end of a turn a player draws 3 more.

Cards show 2-3 symbols corresponding to units on the board or available actions on endor and the Vader/Luke battle.

The two side battles, Endor and Vader/Luke battle, are primarily dice rolling affairs. On Endor the rebels roll five dice and compares results to an escalating difficulty number corresponding to the spaces they are attempting to enter. The Endor battle is only a progression track with dice rolling. The Empire's only counter is to increase the die difficulty requirement by +1 by placing up to 3 stormtroopers in the spaces directly in front of the rebels for each order.

On the Luke/Vader battle. Rebels have order cards to battle (roll 4d6, 4+ hits, defeating him grants 3 bonus actions) and a redemption order (convert Vader to gain 5 bonus actions) that can only trigger when Vader is down to 3 - 1 health. Empire also has two orders, one is battle (also 4d6, 4+ hits) and Emperor's Lightning attack does 2 automatic damage to Luke. Empire gains 4 bonus orders for defeating Luke.

Bonus orders are placed blindly in order behind already planned or played orders and used during the same turn. Bonus orders are also gained by defeating the Falcon (2 bonus), and clearing a space sector (1 bonus). Bonus orders can stack and really cause a surge for one player who manages to chain them.

In the center, rebels have orders for each of 3 types of fighters (rebels) and the Falcon. Empire has orders for Tie fighters, Executor Super Star Destroyer, and the Death Star. Any combination of ships on a players' side may occupy a space, but only one type, in one sector activates. Fighters may only move one space into unoccupied sectors (deploy new squad of four from the Destroyer) and attack adjacent sectors with 1d6 per fighter (max 5d6). Falcon and Destroyer move 2 and attack adjacent. The Destroyer Attacks with 4d6 and has 8 hit points. The Falcon attacks with 2d6, and has 6 hit points. Ships are damaged based on attack rolls. Fighters and Death Star only require one damage, and the Destroyer and Falcon have damage counters to track damage. A 3+ hits Ties and X's, 4+ hits Y's, a 5+ hits B's, Falcon, and Destroyer, and a 6 destroys the Death Star, but only once rebels reach the end of battle on Endor track can they attach the Death Star.

Regarding game balance: Gameplay seems to skew towards favoring the rebel player, so keep that in mind in your decision to buy. We are going to play again and allow ties to attack the turn they are deployed. Rules seem to imply you either move and attack with ties, or deploy. All I know is the Empire needs....something, either the rebels roll less dice at Endor, make Death Star more difficult to destroy (maybe require a 5+ and 6 to destroy for example), or deploy 5 ties rather than 4 per action. We'll find some happy medium. I'd love to see more depth and better bits, but I'll take this for what it is and especially continue appreciating the short play time for when I don't have several hours to commit.

Any pictures are linked from BGG gallery. Thanks to all for posting!
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Josh Buchanan
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Agree 100 percent. I think it is just about perfect. I really wish there were a version with high quality components. I know there's a Black Edition coming but I believe it's just 3 extra models.

I do find the X-Wings to be an eye sore. Wow those are ugly. I'll get them off the board first!!!
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Michael Tagge
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Great_Mazinga wrote:
I will say upfront that upon initial plays, it seems the Empire has the more difficult path to victory. It might take some house ruling to balance out, or if you're playing one of your children, maybe take the Empire and let the kid be the hero. Really seems like a great Dad and son game, but really anyone who doesn't mind a confrontational game should be able to play and enjoy.

I don't think this can be emphasized enough. I like it just fine when I play Empire and one of my boys plays Rebels. Would I let them play against each other? No chance! Play balance wasn't a consideration in Hasbro's mind.
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Scott Rogers
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Black version also has stormtrooper minis.
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Josh Buchanan
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mtagge wrote:
Great_Mazinga wrote:
I will say upfront that upon initial plays, it seems the Empire has the more difficult path to victory. It might take some house ruling to balance out, or if you're playing one of your children, maybe take the Empire and let the kid be the hero. Really seems like a great Dad and son game, but really anyone who doesn't mind a confrontational game should be able to play and enjoy.

I don't think this can be emphasized enough. I like it just fine when I play Empire and one of my boys plays Rebels. Would I let them play against each other? No chance! Play balance wasn't a consideration in Hasbro's mind.


My son decided after 3 straight wins as Rebels that he was the freaking Bobby Fischer of this game and played Empire. Not pretty...

Back to rebels for him.
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myles
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NinjaGigolo wrote:
Agree 100 percent. I think it is just about perfect. I really wish there were a version with high quality components. I know there's a Black Edition coming but I believe it's just 3 extra models.

I do find the X-Wings to be an eye sore. Wow those are ugly. I'll get them off the board first!!!


I think the X-wing is basically reused from the also just released Star Wars Battleship. I think that's why it's so much bigger than the other fighters. That makes them difficult to fit on Fleet ships and some spaces.

Saw that about the Black Edition. Wasn't really what I was hoping for. For a $20 upcharge, I'll keep my improvised micromachines and candy tin Death Star and be happy with this version. Maybe the models are nicer in person than in photos, or card stock/boards improved.
 
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myles
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Scott Rogers wrote:
Black version also has stormtrooper minis.


That's right. I saw those. They look just like the ones from Star Wars Risk, Original Trilogy, except the color is more appropriate in the new one.


 
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Tor Iver Wilhelmsen
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I think I will buy this game, write "Luke's Gambit" with a sharpie on a piece of paper and paste that over the misleading "Risk" name.
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JadedGamer wrote:
I think I will buy this game, write "Luke's Gambit" with a sharpie on a piece of paper and paste that over the misleading "Risk" name.


I agree, the name of this game bugs me. Someone suggested "Emperor's Gambit", I like that as a replacement name.
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Don Alexander
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Wicket's Gambit. Lol.
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Josh Buchanan
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KlydeFrog wrote:
JadedGamer wrote:
I think I will buy this game, write "Luke's Gambit" with a sharpie on a piece of paper and paste that over the misleading "Risk" name.


I agree, the name of this game bugs me. Someone suggested "Emperor's Gambit", I like that as a replacement name.


Perhaps it's called Risk because it has to be due to licensing. FFG owns rights. Maybe Hasbro can only make Monopoly and Risk
 
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myles
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No, I think Hasbro has the board game rights, and FFG has rights to miniatures and card games, hence no really good board games from FFG with the license. Imperial Assault apparently skirted through, being classed as a minis game.

I guess it's sort of like the opposite of their license with Games Workshop, where they cannot produce games with minis that could be proxied into 40K.

I'd sure like to see a FFG quality game on this subject or the assault on Hoth. Sadly licensing and the lawyers are getting in the way. I think there is market space for Hasbro to make mass market games like this, and FFG to bang out top notch quality board games. If anything their releases would be likely to generate more crossover purchases than cannibalistic ones.
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Michael Tagge
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JadedGamer wrote:
I think I will buy this game, write "Luke's Gambit" with a sharpie on a piece of paper and paste that over the misleading "Risk" name.
I think the name "Risk" is highly appropriate. There was no balancing to the game at all, very little strategy involved (none for the Rebels), and it all comes down to one player rolling a single 6 during a death star run.

Oh and the rules, short as they are, are very poorly written and ambiguous. This is a slightly above average mass market game (like Risk), but as far as a board gamers game it is well below average.
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Freddy Dekker
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Thanks michael.

Then I first noticed this game I expected something like my Original risk, with armies conquering Europ as we all kwow risk.

But looking at this it ofcourse obviously was not risk.
my first response on watching a video was that it's not for me.

It all seems very much like a luck/dice fest and nothing much to do with planning, strategy etc.

Than I got into a star wars mood, thinking yeah it's star wars, you have fleets, you fight Vader, you attack the death star. This surely must be fun or....
Maybe I should buy it.

The father/son game argument was also tempting, but than I wondered upto what age your son would still enjoy this.


Your response than woke me up. Indeed it is all about dice.
It is all about luck.
So it might be better to invest the money in Imperial Assault.

soblue
Oh yeah, that's just what I need, another money pit after x-wing.
But so hard to resist.....


 
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Mike Romeo
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sagitar wrote:

So it might be better to invest the money in Imperial Assault.

:soblue:
Oh yeah, that's just what I need, another money pit after x-wing.
But so hard to resist.....




Why not try Armada and the LCG as well? :)
 
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Freddy Dekker
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KingAnus3 wrote:
sagitar wrote:

So it might be better to invest the money in Imperial Assault.

soblue
Oh yeah, that's just what I need, another money pit after x-wing.
But so hard to resist.....




Why not try Armada and the LCG as well?


Why not sponsor me and I'll be happy to oblige..
 
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NinjaGigolo wrote:
mtagge wrote:
Great_Mazinga wrote:
I will say upfront that upon initial plays, it seems the Empire has the more difficult path to victory. It might take some house ruling to balance out, or if you're playing one of your children, maybe take the Empire and let the kid be the hero. Really seems like a great Dad and son game, but really anyone who doesn't mind a confrontational game should be able to play and enjoy.

I don't think this can be emphasized enough. I like it just fine when I play Empire and one of my boys plays Rebels. Would I let them play against each other? No chance! Play balance wasn't a consideration in Hasbro's mind.


My son decided after 3 straight wins as Rebels that he was the freaking Bobby Fischer of this game and played Empire. Not pretty...

Back to rebels for him.


You all seriously need to read my posts in the STRATEGY section of this game... it is disgustingly unbalanced towards the EMPIRE if everyone is playing as best they can. Only a sick rush against the Executor in the opening moves will give anyone a chance against my Imperial domination! devil
 
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Martin Underwood
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I have bought both versions (Standard and Black Series) and my family loves them (even though with a wife and 2 daughters none of them are into Star Wars - unlike myself)!

The only suggestion I can come up with to balance the game out would be to give the Rebels 2 bonus Order cards for taking Endor. Not sure if that helps much (particularly against a strong Executor) but we've found that the real balance of the game is swung on the Vader and Emperor/Skywalker battle.

Looking all the time for games played on You Tube to see if anyone else has their own house variants.

MTFBWY - Always,


Obi Wan 'PCofTQY' Kenobi
 
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gary rembo
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Although they probably look lie snowmen lol.
I wonder if they will be up to the standard of starwars rebbellion storm troopers?. NOT lol....
 
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