Rainy Day Game's Board Game Review of Risk: Lord of the Rings:
Risk: Lord of the Rings in Summary
The marriage of two great teenage loves of mine: Risk and Lord of the Rings! What could be better? The Risk: Lord of the Rings board game was greatly anticipated by our group. With new units, a new map and some interesting new twists on the system, the Lord of the Rings theme helps Risk rise above its simple attack-and-roll, attack-and-roll roots.
Risk: Lord of the Rings Gameplay
This is Risk, and you're probably familiar with the RIsk mechanic. You'll amass armies and invade surrounding terrtories. The battles are decided by dice rolls, and you collect sets of territories for points. Risk has a long history with the Rainy Day Games team, but even those who loved it back in the high school days are looking forward to a refreshed version of the game.
So what does the Lord of the Rings theme bring to the game? Of course the game is played on a map of Middle Earth (although the map is currently only from the Western Sea to the Dead Marshes). Players' pieces reflect the races of Middle Earth and are split into good (human, elf..) and evil (orc, troll..). This affects the starting position of players, with the good side starting to the West and the evil playersstarting to the East.
Another major change, this version of Risk has a timer mechanism. We were very impressed when we opened the box to find the heavy metal One Ring which comes in the box. Not just decorative, it represents the Fellowship. It'll start in the Shire sector and make its way across the map. And when it leaves, the game is over. Usually it advances forward one space a run, but it can get delayed on the way, so the ending of the game is a little variable.
There are some other changes to the basic Risk system that take it beyond what you remember. And they create some chances for some more advanced strategy. For example, players now have a leader piece which gives them attack bonuses if they can manouver it into a battle. But, the map contains Sites of Power where leaders can pick up special cards which give you missios to accomplish, or other special events and powers.
So.. Risk: Lord of the Rings isn't the same old Risk. Although the basic battle resolution is the same, there has been so much added to the game that it's really different experience.
Who should buy Risk: Lord of the Rings?
Risk: Lord of the Rings appeals to two groups: gamers and fantasy fiction buffs. The RDG team has a litle of both. We've played Risk more times than we can count. And at least one of our crew has read the Ring series 5 times and even bulled throught The Silmarrilian twice! For all of us out there who love the old game, here's a great reason to pick it up again. To be honest, we're not going to play the original any more. But with the new theme and the more advanced game mechanic, there's another chance to enjoy Risk.
We also know there's a lot of you out there that never liked Risk. For everyone that loved it as a kid, there's another that didn't care for it. With the updated game system, Risk: Lord of the Rings can appeal to a whole new group of gamers. (ed. - For an even more advanced version of Risk, check out Risk: 2210A.D.)
And of course there's the whole group of kids and adults out there who aren't involved with board games that much before, but love the Lord of the Rings. We love that this game can bring a whole group of people into the board game community. Risk: Lord of the Rings speaks to so many people it's destined to be one of our most popular games.
The Manufacturer's Board Game Review of Risk: Lord of the Rings:
In this special edition of the game of RISK you decide the fate of Middle-earth. Choose to command a Good or an Evil force and bring them to victory. Unite your armies and battle your rivals in a bid to control the land! Choose to play by Classic Risk game rules or add in special The Lord of the Rings twists.
To immerse yourself in The Lord of the Rings, you can:
Play on a highly detailed gameboard depicting middle-earth, drawn by an official The Lord of the Rings cartographer.
Go into battle with specially-sculpted characters representing Elven Archers, Raiders of Rohan, Orcs, dark Riders, eagles and Cavetrolls.
Maximize your powers before the Fellowship leaves the land.
Use your Leader to aid you in battle.
Uncover ancient Sites of Power scattered around Middle-earth and gather Adventure cards for additonal bonuses.
Feel what it's like to hold the power over Middle-earth with your own replica of The Ring!
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