5.06.2009

RISK 2210 A.D.


The classic boardgame Risk has players sometimes negotiating and always battling to conquer the world. Risk 2210 A.D. changes and, yes, improves the original game with a futuristic battle to conquer a drastically different world -- in five years or less.

The world has changed quite a lot -- and by "world" I mean the board for you to conquer. Traditional nations have been replaced with such places as the Australian Testing Ground, Amazon Desert and United Indiastan. Underwater colonies provide new territories to conquer -- and more paths to continents than were available in the original game. Even the Moon waits for conquest!

While combat remains basically the same as the original game -- players roll 6-sided dice, then compare the highest numbers to see whose troops win -- the main innovations are energy and Commanders. Energy, collected at the start of the turn, can used to bid on Turn Order (to see who goes first), build Space Stations, hire Commanders, and buy Command Cards. There are five Commanders in the game -- Diplomat Commander, Land Commander, Naval Commander, Nuclear Commander, and Space Commander -- and they let you purchase and use their Command Cards. Also, you need the Naval Commander to send troops to undersea colonies and the Space Commander to send forces to the Moon. Every player starts with a Land Commander and Diplomat Commander.

Command Cards are a great random element in Risk 2210 A.D. These cards can do anything from give you more troops to destroy an attacker's troops to giving points at the end of the game. But you can only buy these cards if you have the appropriate Commander in play, and the Commander has to be alive to use them. (If a Commander is killed you can rehire them.) Since all Command Cards have to be purchased at once, you can't keep buying them one at a time until you get what you need. And players who focus on different Commanders will have very different strategies to winning.

Oh yes, each game of Risk 2210 A.D. lasts a number of turns equal to the number of players. (So much for spending dozens of turns amassing a giant army in Australia and then sending it out to run rampant over the world.) It's not impossible to eliminate one's opponents in that time, but it is trickier. You're more likely to focus on taking and holding territory than pure aggression. There are some other small changes in Risk 2210 A.D.: Space Stations help you defend, and four random land territories begin the game nuked and impassable.

I love how Risk 2210 A.D. keeps what works from the original Risk and adds new elements to create a game of future conquest. Both the future map and the Machines of Destruction (MOD) pieces -- a soldier in battle armor, a squat machine, and a Battletech-like 'Mech -- bring the players into this new world to conquer. There's a lot of strategy involved, but the luck of the draw for Commander Cards and the roll of the dice make every gam eunpredictable. Play Risk 2210 A.D. and prepare to make the future yours!

Overall grade: A
Reviewed by James Lynch

1 comment:

Lane Trahan said...

Hey this is a great review. I'm an avid Risk 2210 A.D. player and I agree with the grade and the praise you gave the game. I have a blog all about strategies and tips for the game, too. Thanks!
-Lane