The design started with an attempt to make a game decision matter, to up the ante, to maybe make you sweat a bit before you do something. We all make plenty of decisions every day. Many are meaningless. Some stay with us forever. We all have the girl (or boy) who got away, the job we should or shouldn’t have taken, the night out that ended badly, the girl (or boy) we should’ve let get away. We can move on from these or try to atone or learn from them or even enjoy who we are because of them, but there’s one thing we can’t do: we can’t take them back. There are no do overs in life. Some decisions just make you who you are.
Another one of these threads back from the dead, eh?
I should mention that, after playing Tide of Iron, you *don't* need to destroy components (or gamble, or lose a card, like Magic used to) to "make you sweat a bit". If you have critical units (or resources, as in Revolution) that you risk losing, that adds quite a bit of tension. Heck, in a good Eurogame, nearly every decision is an opportunity risk, and the tension of knowing that you must make *every* decision correctly adds tension to the game.
Finally, of course, Risk Legacy would work even better as a computer game. Not only could you reset the game after 15 games, but new content ("sealed stuff") could be added to the game -- for only a small fee!