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Subject: Risk (2016) rss

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Dave Shapiro
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly. - Thomas Paine

Hasbro has been tinkering with Risk for many years. The last significant change occurred in 2008 with the introduction of the Black Ops version. The game was altered from the classic conquer the world to an open mission game with capitals. The additional reinforcements by submitting a set of cards was dropped in favor of ‘stars’ that provided reinforcements based on the number submitted. These changes shortened the game substantially and introduced a debate over which was the better system. Now eight years later, Hasbro has re-introduced Risk with, once again, many changes to the system

It appears that in the debate between the Black Ops adherents and the classic game supporters, it is the latter that carried the day. Risk (2016) returns to (almost) the original 1959 edition of the game with certain refinements and additional ways to play. (Even the whales and ships found on the original map board have returned.) All of the map connections from the original game are there. For anyone who has played the classic game, this will feel very familiar - very comfortable.

The artwork on everything from the box ,to the map, to the containers to hold the units is possibly the best looking of any of the standard editions. (The ugliest is probably the Black Ops version with the red colored seas and arrows for units - the only proper way to describe that map is...grotesque.) Each of the player units is housed in a ‘chest’. Though not necessary, it indicates the detail Hasbro has introduced into this edition. The map is colorful with each of the territories actually being colored rather than a colored outline for territories. The only ‘missing’ item from the map is the Continental Value Legend. Rather than the box in the corner of the map, adjacent to each continent is a medallion that lists the value for the reinforcements for complete control of that continent.

Over the decades, there have been three methods for determining the reinforcements from the territory cards submitted: the infinitely increasing value, the stars and the set value method. The method that had been most popular in the North American versions is the ever increasing value of the sets. The first set is worth 4, the second is worth 6 and so on. La Conquete du Monde (the original design for Risk) had established values for each set - a set of infantry was worth X, a set of cavalry was worth Y and so on. This method is still employed in games produced outside of North America. Parker Brothers altered the original method in order to speed up play - with ever increasing values, it was inevitable the game would end quickly (usually five to seven turns). The most recent method has been the ‘stars’ method. Every territory card had one or more stars on it and these could be submitted for additional armies. This method appeared in almost every version of Risk from the Black Ops introduction until now. Risk (2016) returns to the classic, ever increasing system.

Two other items that have been eliminated are the open missions and the surprise end of the game card. This is a mission version of Risk but it is the secret mission version. Though the secret mission version of the game is popular in games outside the North American production, it saw only a very short stay in the Hasbro version before it was replaced with Black Ops.

In the last revision of Risk there was a card that could be shuffled into the territory deck and when the card was revealed, the game ended. This is completely gone from the game (and it should be).

The rules provide four methods for play. There are rules for the classic version - conquer the entire world. Rules for the secret mission version and a version of Capital Risk that has been a bit streamlined. Finally there are rules for a two player version. Two player versions have always been a problem in Risk games. Both Balance of Power and Plants versus Zombies were specifically designed as two player versions. The rules for two players now are basically the classic rules with the inclusion of neutral armies. The only change is that a player need not defeat both his opponent and the neutral armies to win - just his opponent. It is probably a moot point as neutral armies are usually the first to go.

All of the goofy attempts to change Risk into something it is not have been removed - the purists should be delighted. Personally, I find it the most attractive edition of the classic game to appear in decades.

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David Dawson
United States
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Excellent rundown of this edition and how it compares to previous versions. I wish there was a way to play the 2008 open mission/capital version in this printing, as that would be a truly definitive Risk game to have. But I'm glad they returned to having the secret mission cards, at least.
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Christian Kalk
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I may have to buy this edition.
 
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Ryan Falzon
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My favorite edition of risk so far! The map is very well made! Fixed a few issued that really bugged me. (Italy touching egypt).

The sculpts are sweet and actually stand up well(the previous edition had annoying foot soldiers that kept falling over)

Rhe cards FINALLY use a standard size(Standard american) and can be sleeved easily. The cardboard boxes are a very nice touch!

Bought it kuz of your review, and I highly second for peeps to get this edition.
 
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