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Subject: Limey Man Reviews - Risk rss

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Joe Seaton
United Kingdom
Milton Keynes
Buckinghamshire
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Long time board gamers regularly flock to Risk and lick its boots as their lord and saviour and forgive this jaded old cynic but I never understood why. Beyond nostalgia the game has very little going for it, essentially being babies first Axis and Allies with very little of a payoff on a map designed by someone with the geographical knowledge of the average Californian.

Nevertheless, Risk is a game of world conquest, and I use that sparingly since very few games ever get further than the first continent you stay on, played in some variant of the 18th Century where imperialism got well out of hand and five random bellends decided to take over the world. As in all of it. At once. Now I’ve never taken over the world, except for that one time, but that seems like the kind of project that you’d want to stagger out, especially when your greatest piece of technology is little better than a pimped out pea shooter.

Regardless, you begin the game at the head of one of the major continents of the world, and if you’re lucky you get impenetrable Fortress Australia with its vast army of suicide koalas and if not the world sees fit to use you as its own personal toilet by making you have to defend Russia with what I can only assume to be an army that capitulates faster than a Snowman in Miami. You can forgive me for thinking Risk is a little unbalanced, if by a little unbalanced you mean comparing a mouse to the pile of excrement coughed up in a U.K.I.P. Manifesto.

You begin your armies with Infantry, later to be exchanged for Cavalry and Artillery pieces and to me this game mechanic is silly. Surely your Cavalry, Artillery and Infantry Battalions should serve different functions, making for a wealth of tactical options, similar to other better games like Axis and Allies, but sod that goes Risk as it snorts more glue, we’re going to have our Cannons do the exact same task as our infantry and build entire armies out of them! ‘Doesn’t that mean they would be entirely vulnerable?’ asks a passing sane person, inaudiable over the game shouting ‘Big guns go boom’ Yes. It does.

Worst of all is the combat system in Risk in that it makes literally no bloody sense. First you can’t leave a territory unoccupied, even to take advantage of a nearby corridor? I’m sure that will be an easy one to explain back at the barracks that a big old army walked past unopposed because the people of Eastern Europe couldn’t go five minutes without a Cavalry Brigade! And then once you get into combat the dice rolling system is so arbitrary that trying to explain it to a new player starts to involve a Rosetta Stone.

In the end, it’s pretty clear to see that I don’t like Risk, and despite the fact that it’s many fanboys are doubtless clamouring to tear my arms and legs off I can’t force myself to either. The game is a boring, senseless, unintuitive mush and if you’re playing this over Axis and Allies then do tell how you managed to find a small enough computer to read this from the womb.
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Adam L
United Kingdom
Gravesend
Kent
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Have 5GG for making me laugh so much. My Rant-o-meter detected life threatening readings in this post, but the basic facts are right.

Your "from the womb" comment made me laugh out loud... thanks!
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zoran
United Kingdom
London
Middlesex
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This piece is from the Charlie Brooker School of Journalism!
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Nicholas Hjelmberg
Sweden
Saltsjö-Boo
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If I were a mad world conqueror, I'd certainly want to leave at least one army behind in the territories I conquer.

Try logging your games in a RISK Campaign Book and it'll be more fun (or maybe not).
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Ross T
Australia
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Well may you jest, but you've never known true fear until you come face to face with a kamikaze koala.
 
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