Risk: Legacy-The best game you’ve never heard of

Risk: Legacy: The best game you’ve never heard of

I don’t make board game recommendations very often. Outside of the classics (sinister Monopoly alliances and dealings, FTW), I don’t care much for modern board games. Call me a traditionalist. I love chess! But no one will play with me. I’m like the sad kid on the playground swing at lunch, sitting alone on his soggy peanut butter and jelly sandwich while all the other kids tease him because his pants are too tight. And now? Tight pants are all the rage! Why couldn’t my tight pants make me friends?!

Sitting on a bridge clutching his aching heart. A typical Friday night for me.

But I digress. Back to my initial point: no modern game has Taylor Swifted me off my feet. That is, until now.

DRAMATIC TRANSITION

Risk: Legacy. If you’re looking for the best board game to come out in the last 20 years, look no further.

Now, traditional Risk is already about as addicting as games come. And I don’t mean it in an “aw, this game is so fun,” sense of the word. I mean it as the “we need to have an intervention because you won’t stop eating meth,” way.

Legacy takes this addiction to a whole new level. Allow me to explain:

Change the world

The single most unique, groundbreaking element in Legacy is your ability to permanently change the world. This is done is a variety of ways.

Prepare to have your life changed.

Faction powers

Faction powers-Instead of choosing generic armies for which to fight your wars, Legacy provides five starting factions to choose from. At the beginning of the game, players choose one of two starting abilities for their factions. The chosen one gets selected and placed on the faction card, never to be removed. The one not chosen? Ripped up and thrown away. As per the rules of the game. It’s not often a game asks you to throw away its contents, but trust me when I say you need to buy in and abide.

Yeah, those guys are, in fact, riding bears. And yeah, you’re f*****.

World scars

Scars are stickers dealt out to players with various effects that you can play on a territory, including fortifying defenses, or making an area less defensible. These stickers are placed on the board permanently, and can only be removed in certain conditions. Some stickers are fairly tame. Others, that I won’t get into now (cough*nuclearfallout) will directly affect the map permanently.

Your own influence

Winners at Legacy get more than just bragging rights; they are offered the choice to directly affect the game board forever, including founding and naming major cities (for which they receive a bonus), naming entire continents, and so on. Even losers, as long as they are not eliminated, are allowed to found one of five minor cities. Where you found the city, and what you name it, guarantees wildly different game boards. For example, in the games I’ve won (and lost) I’ve been able to create a North America dominated by Metagross, including Metagross Vegas and The Metagross Seaboard. Although, it’s not actually North America anymore; it’s Shining Metagross Nation to you.

When you win the game, you also get to sign the board, so that generations to come can witness your tactical greatness. And, finally, as icing on the cake, whoever has won the most after 15 games gets to name the entire planet. Unfortunately in my group’s game, it’s mathematically possible but highly improbably that I’m going to pull it off. But as long as the victor doesn’t name the planet “Ball Sweat” or something, I think I’ll get over it.

And then there’s that.

“The War Progresses”

Another great factor that contributes to Legacy’s greatness is the way the game evolves. New mission cards change the directives for all players, and entirely new packs wait to be opened and implemented until specific conditions are met, such as “using three missiles in one battle,” or Spawn 30 troops at once.” And trust me when I say the effects are not minor. And here’s why.

WARNINGSPOILERSOHMYGODTHEY’REEVERYWHEREIT’SINMYEYES

Using three missiles at once creates a nuclear fallout zone, killing all the soldiers in the battle and permanently designating that territory on the board as death for the human factions…and I say human, because the pack unlocks an entirely new faction, the Mutants, who benefit from the fallout and provide their own unique strategy and exclusive win condition.

Then, of course, there’s the “spawn thirty troops” condition, which introduces the Alien faction. While lacking the potential for advanced abilities like the other factions, the Aliens can decimate entire cities, reducing your hard work to a desolate ruin. Opening these packs is a dynamic, exciting experience every time.

The spoilers are over. Keep reading

My strategy is better than your strategy

What grants Legacy more compelling gameplay than traditional Risk is the added layer of strategy. The original Risk game incorporates some surprisingly deep mechanics for being such a seemingly straightforward board game. When do you bunker down and gather resources, and when do you go on the offensive? Do you exchange resources now, or hold out for the big counterattack? Do you bother holding the three boarders of North America, or turtle in Australia?

Legacy retains all those elements, but deepens the strategy with alternate win conditions. In Risk: Legacy, a player wins by eliminating the other players, OR by collecting four star tokens, of which there are various ways to attain due to numerous “Mission” cards drawn at random at the start of each game. This means that you not only have to keep track of you and your opponent’s soldiers, but also keep an eye on the win condition, and what position your opponents are in. In the nine games my group has played thus far, the winner conquered the game by surprise in about half of them, satisfying a win condition without the other players even realizing until it was too late. It’s the fun nuances and various possibilities that make each game exciting and different.

And thus concludes this advertisement for Risk: Legacy. I hope you’ll take my advice and give it a shot, because I can guarantee with great confidence that it will be the most fun you’ve ever had in your life doing anything ever. That’s my promise, and I’m a man of my word.

Shining Metagross Nation. Where you get nuked for causing traffic jams, among other things.

And now, for the Shining Metagross Nation National Anthem.

OH SAY CAN YOU SEEEEE

BY THE METAGROSS BLIGHT

WHEN THEY FLYYYYYY TO YOUR HOUSE

THEY WILL BLOT OUT THE SUUU-UUUN

_______________________________

DON’T PRAY YOUR GOOODDDDDS

BECAUSE THEY ABANDONED YOU

MAYBE IFFFFFFF YOU’RE LUCKYYYY

YOU CAN BEEE MINDLESS SLAVES

__________________________________

AND THE ICE BEAM’S BLUE GLARE

FIRE BLASTS BURSTING IN AIR

GAVE PROOOOOOF, THROUGH THE NIGHT,

THAT WE’RE ALL F****** SCREWED

___________________________________

OH SAY DOES THAT STAR SPANGLED BAAAAAANNNNERRR YET WAAAAVE

NOOOO IT DOEEEEESN’T ANYMOOOOOOOORE

BECAUSE METAGROSS

NUKED THE PLLLLLLLAAAAAAAACE

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