I got to play a new version of RISK on Friday night. I definitely liked the changes they have made (other than the color choices — they should have hired a color blindness consultant — perhaps I’ve found a new business….).
The game is set in the future, after the moon and oceans have been colonized. The game begins by randomly placing 4 nuclear wastelands markers on the board (draw 4 cards from the deck and place a marker on each spot — these countries are essentially removed from the game. In our case, since part of Africa was destroyed, if you took South America and an adjacent water colony, you only had one border to protect for both (not each, 1 border to protect both). Initially the moon and water colonies are uncontested — you can move into them freely.
The other major addition is Commanders. You need to have a water commander to attack to or from water colonies, and space commander to attack the moon. Besides those two, there is the land commander, the diplomat, and the nuclear commander.
The entire game only last 5 turns for each player. You bid power each turn to determine the playing order. You get power based on how many countries you own plus continent bonuses, etc. You also use power to buy commanders and cards, and to use cards.
That’s enough on game basics. Anyway, we had 5 players (the max allowed – some I knew, some I didn’t), plus some spectators. We go through the initial placing of armies and I realize that I can’t tell two of the colors apart — one of which is mine. Someone immediately offers to switch colors. Since everything is in place, I switch seats with him and we leave the armies where they were. Not being able to tell the colors apart, i don’t realize what a big advantage I am giving him — first turn he takes over South America and a water colony (as discussed above). With his early advantage, he buys a card that allows him to kill any commander. After much table talk, he decides to kill one of mine.
Later, I get a card that allows me to get even. Rather than read the card out loud, I set it on top of 6 of his armies, roll a die (get a 6), scoop his armies up and toss them to him. He gets pissed. He tells me that I’m lucky he doesn’t jump across the table and that I better never play a contact sport with him. I smile and laugh, and continue to rub it in. He gets more pissed.
What a fun night. I ended up in third, my in-game nemesis ended in fourth. Bollini should have won (in fact I said on my last turn – “I’ve decided that the winner will be Dan”, and used my turn to improve his position). He missed a rule and made a critical mistake on the last turn (then again, knowing Bollini, he did it intentionally to get back at me for tainting his win).