The Legacy Begins – Risk Legacy!

Risk Legacy board game

Let’s start our own Legacy!

The Risk Legacy wars have begun!

Not only are my boys and I ready for the epic Risk wars that will ultimately produce our own unique version of Risk, but we’ve already started. This past weekend we played our first 2 games of Risk Legacy and we’re loving it!

Check out our video at the bottom of the post to see our first encounter with Risk Legacy – what’s included, how to start, and the changes that take place.

What is Risk Legacy?
Most people are familiar with Risk. Whether it be the original version of Risk (over 50 years ago) or one of the themed versions of Risk (like Risk Star Wars), most people know about Risk. Whether they’ve even played it or not, they know about it.

Risk is widely accepted as the first mainstream wargame. Players use their little armies on a world map to conquer other countries and ultimately take over the world. There’s a lot of dice rolling – for attacking and defending – which means a lot of luck, but there’s enough strategy of when and where to attack or build up a defense that it’s a lot of fun to play.

Risk Legacy board game

Ready to open the game box?

Over the years, a ton of version of Risk have been created. While they all have a unique twist, they’re nothing compared to Risk Legacy.

In Risk Legacy, players permanently change the board, the factions, and the rules as they play. During the game and at the end of each game, players place stickers on the board, on their faction cards, and in the rulebook. There’s also a place on the board where the winner gets to sign their name! After 15 plays and multiple changes to the game, what’s left is a custom playing experience from then on out. What’s done is done. Thereafter, every time you play Risk Legacy you play under the new world conditions.

Didn’t Appeal to Me
As I wrote about last year, when I first heard about Risk Legacy, I was turned off from it. Permanently changing the game – no way! Tearing up cards – no way! Placing stickers and writing on the board – no way!

Risk Legacy board game

Lots of cool and hidden stuff!

But then I thought of the playing process, the experience, the end result, and the Legacy that would be left behind if my boys and I created our version of Risk that will be played for generations. Then all of a sudden it sounded awesome and I added it to my wish list.

But there’s a lot of games on my wish list and it became one of many.

Until I realized last month that Trevor’s going to be leaving home in a year. He turns 18 this Fall, will finish high school next Spring, and then will be heading off into the world. And our family dynamics will never be the same again.

That’s when I realized that I couldn’t wait any longer on Risk Legacy. If I wanted to have this experience with my boys, then now’s the time!

So I bought a copy for Father’s Day (nice self-gifting, eh?) and got geared up to create our own Legacy!

Bring on our Legacy!

Risk Legacy board game

Start out by signing the board.

When I showed the boys the game and told them all about it, they started getting excited as well. The only challenge was with business travel, scout camps, and Pioneer Trek, we couldn’t get to playing it until just a couple days ago.

So this past Sunday night, we broke the seal on the game and dove in!

One of the big differences in Risk Legacy over other versions is that there are objectives/victory points that you achieve during the game. The first player to achieve 4 victory points, wins the game. That’s the goal – get those points. Sure, players can also still win by taking over the world, but most of the time victory will come through victory points.

This win condition shortens each game tremendously – which can be good and bad. It’s good from the perspective of being able to unlock special elements of the game sooner. But it’s bad in the sense that we’ve still got gas in the tank when all of a sudden the game ends.

But we can handle that “bad” because it also means we can play more games in the course of a day/evening/night. And on our first night we got in 2 games. We started about 9pm and ended around midnight. (Yes, Caleb had plenty of energy to stay up that late battling it out.)

Permanently Changing the Game

Risk Legacy board game

Bye-Bye cards!

Changes to the game in Risk Legacy happen right from the beginning.

One of the first things you do when setting up the game is tear up some cards!

That’s right – tear up cards and toss them away. Ouch.

There are 5 factions in the game and each faction is presented with a choice of 2 unique abilities. Pick one of the 2 abilities, put that sticker on the faction board, and tear up the other sticker and throw it away. And you get to decide how to pick the ability for each faction that they’ll have forever more.

In our case, we rolled dice to see who got to choose a faction first. Trevor picked the first faction and received the ability card for that faction. Then we rolled again to see who got to pick next – Jaden. Then rolled again – Caleb. Leaving dad to pick between the last two remaining factions. Even though we ultimately let each person choose which ability they wanted to use for that faction we did read them all to each other. For the 5th faction, we made a group choice on what ability it would have.

Risk Legacy board game

This territory now has a permanently reduced defense.

Then we set up our armies and Headquarter bases and started battling.

At the start of the game, each player also receives a Scar card. A Scar card is a sticker that gets placed on the board when used. And I was the first player to use my scar card and place a sticker on the board. No turning back now!

I played my Bunker scar when Jaden attacked me in the Middle East – helping with my defensive dice roll. And now forever after, the armies in the Middle East get to use this ability. Game on!

But Scar cards aren’t the only thing that change the game…

More Game Changing
Although we had some tough battles, I came out victorious in the end and was the first to sign our game board as victor!

Risk Legacy board game

The first victor – Dad!

Winning also has its benefits. The victor of each game gets to choose one of the following:

  • Name a Continent
  • Name and Found a Major City
  • Cancel a Scar
  • Change a Continent Bonus
  • Place a Fortification on a City
  • Destroy a Territory Card

While all of these can be cool things to do, some will be more tempting in later games. For the first round, I was torn between Naming a Continent and Founding a Major City. The powers that each grant are pretty cool. But in the end I decided on Founding a Major City in Central America.

Risk Legacy board game

More scaring on the board with much more to come!

And the victors aren’t the only ones to have some fun at the end of each game. Every player that still has armies on the board also gets a chance to change the game. Those that “Hold On” can either Name and Found a Minor City or Upgrade a Card.

So after our first game, we had 1 Major City and 3 Minor Cities named and founded on the board as well as 3 Scars!

With the changed landscape, choosing our factions and starting locations for the second game took a little more thought.

It was also obvious that I wasn’t going to last long as all 3 boys ganged up on taking me out!

Risk Legacy board game

First secret packet of cards to open. Being eliminated isn’t so bad now.

While I couldn’t hold on to survive until the end of the game, being eliminated meant that we were able to open one of the special secret card packets included in the game. So no big deal there – more cards! And thus, more choices!

Trevor took the victory for game 2 and decided to Name a Continent. Looks like the Australian area of our game board will now and forever be known as “Excelcior”. And any time Trevor controls that region he’ll get 1 additional troop. Not too shabby.

More to come…
I’ve already written more than a typical game review post, but hopefully we’ve provided a great taste of what the game has in store. There’s a lot more that we haven’t described (like what cities do) and there’s a lot more for us to discover ourselves. The great thing is that we’re all super excited to do it!

With the fun we’re having so far, I anticipate this won’t be the last you’ll hear about our games of Risk Legacy.

And while we’ll enjoy being in “the moment”, the other part of me is already excited for years down the road when we pull it out to play with grandkids. Playing with my boys’ kids will also be great fun as we’ll all relive the fun we’re enjoying now – playing and changing the game as we go.

Now that’ll definitely leave a fun Legacy!

Here’s a video overview of our first foray into Risk Legacy:




 

Comments: 4

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Coincidentally, I just opened and played Risk Legacy for the first time last night, just a few days after you all did. We played two games, and I really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to open up some of those secret packs!

 

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    Jamey – How’s that for timing? We all love secrets – so the allure of diving into those packets does create a lot of anticipation.

     

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Great review! So tell me, do you advocate playing this with the same group throughout the evolution of the game, or doesn’t it matter?

 

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    Frank – We’re definitely going to be playing it with the same group through the whole evolution. While I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to do so, I think the experience sounds more engaging if it is the same group. They’ll have more invested in the game playing from one game to the next.

     

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