Board Games
WDR Gold Essential
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Risk Legacy

by on July 2, 2014
The Good

Introduces the Legacy system.
An amazing gaming experience to unlock all this games secrets.

The Bad

It's still Risk.
Combat is still a random roll of the dice.
Best played with one group so make sure everyone is in for the haul.

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Summing Up

The big selling point here is the amazing Legacy system, and its a doozy. You really should give this a go even if you are not a fan of Risk.
If you can get past that hang up you will be rewarded with an amazing one of a kind board games experience, something that no other format can hope to compete with.


For me the original Risk is an enjoyable light war game, when my group began playing on a semi-regular basis again this and its Lord Of The Rings variant saw plenty of time at the table. Sitting back in my armchair some years later having now devoured my fill of what modern board game design has brought to the gaming banquet its easy to dismiss the simple pleasures of Risk. You see Risk’s biggest strengths and subsequent weakness is its a fun and easily grasped game, making it the go to gateway for armchair generals in training who will move onto bigger and deeper things as their hunger for a more strategic experience takes hold. My biggest issue’s with Risk in all its iterations be it Star Wars or the countless other licenses that have been applied, sometimes sensibly other times less so is that games will often rattle on for hours past where anyone really cared who won or lost anymore. And then there’s the randomness and luck driven nature of the combat. Whatever the grand tactic that you will embrace that evening and no matter how many troops you have mustered to your cause over long periods of stockpiling and trying not to get noticed, all of this posturing can quickly unravel before your eyes in a series of terrible dice rolls that leave your blitzkrieg across Europe stuttering just outside Paris. Its painful and the agony is further extended when one of your opponents then sweeps through your undefended lands to sink a flag in the swiftly cooling remains of your empire, don’t you wish you had some way of getting back at them, I mean you’ll remember that, why shouldn’t the game?

Risk Legacy open box

Well now it does. So the first thing to get out the way straight off is that Risk Legacy while not reinventing the wheel has gone some way to making it all a much smoother ride, it also includes one incredible feature the Legacy mechanism.

Legacy is something that should be applauded and its a shocker that it has taken three loong years for it to be even contemplated as happening again, the brain child of Rob Daviau its a mechanism that see’s not just the rules, but the board and the components being altered or removed completely from the game. All of your actions and decisions can have ramifications for the rest of the life of your copy of the game. For me the invention of this system is probably the single biggest development to happen to board games since dice.

As soon as you open the box a decision in itself (there’s a big label there to make sure you are aware of the enormity of whats coming) and begin playing you have further decisions to make after which your version of Risk legacy will be the only copy like it. To prove this point the first action you should take will be a ceremonial signing of the plate attached to the rear of the board, that’s another thing if you are intending to play this game through with a group, make sure everyone is in for the ride, because trust me no-body is going to want to miss whats coming.

Risk box seal

Upon opening the box you are faced with sealed compartments and envelopes, its like being in some gamer’s Aladdin’s cave of possibility’s. At this point you need to exert self control and leave these mysterious artifacts alone or you’ll ruin what makes playing this so unique.

The more you play the game the more it changes and you will only open the envelopes or compartments when the game dictates, it may be within a game or two or maybe five or six. The thing is every time you open a box or envelope it changes things maybe some simple rules tweak or possibly an option to penalize a foe, whatever it is you will want more. Your mind will start to spin with what else could be concealed away awaiting to delight, and trust me there are some stand up and push the chair aside, mouth slackening moments of gaming joy in this box. Opening the sacred artifacts becomes a moment that your’e group will treasure for years, it can turn a bunch of old and jaded gamer’s into a gaggle of dizzy seven year old’s on Christmas morning, if you could bottle this stuff it would be illegal in most countries.

Now i don’t want to ruin the surprise here, and word of warning if you’ve not played yet, don’t go seeking spoilers or you’ll rob yourself of probably one of this gaming generations most amazing experiences, but just to tantalize. The main rules will be significantly altered throughout the whole campaign it will allow you to upgrade the games factions, you can also track those factions wins and loses on the card. You will write on the board, tear up cards, city’s will be built and destroyed you can even name continents giving you a perk. By the time you have run through the fifteen game campaign your board will be a unique one of a kind artifact, something to gaze upon and tell of mighty clashes and sad stories of battles fought and lost. An experience that you shared with good friends that no-one else will ever repeat, something to treasure.


If you’ve not ordered this already then there is probably very little more I can do to convince you. For me I feel sadness that you are robbing yourself of a one of a kind unrepeatable experience. And if its because its a Risk game then more fool you.

So to sum up, yes its still Risk but with some great new twists, its easy to teach and you can be up and playing in a short period of time. If you are new to the hobby or looking to convert some non-gamer’s then this may very well be the single greatest decision you can make. And you are getting in at the ground floor because Rob Daviau is as we speak, right now, designing two new legacy games. Seafall is a game completely of his own design that will encompass the Legacy system and Pandemic Legacy which will work similar to Risk did by layering the mechanism on an existing game system. These are exciting times people and whilst Risk Legacy maybe didn’t make the splash that by all rights it should have these next two are going to change things forever.

Times they are a changing people and very soon so will our games.

Podcast Episode 1 dug into Risk Legacy’s secrets. We strongly suggest not spoiling this game before you play. “You have been warned”

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