Risk Strike Review
Risk Strike forgoes the massive game board and miniatures for a more intimate and paired down experience. Game time is also significantly shaved down, as this 2-5 player game will take you 20 minutes on average to play. The goal of the game is to be the first one with 2 Domination Coins. Sounds simple enough right? Nay, we say, nay.
To set up, shuffle both decks, then everyone draws 3 random white continent cards, three random black tactics cards, as well as a handy reference card. Put both remaining decks in the middle, plus the red and black dice and domination coins. Everyone except for the first player (determined through a simple highest die roll) draws one additional tactics card.
Now, each continent requires a certain number of cards in your possession to seize a domination coin, three for South America, eight for Asia, and so on. On each turn you draw any two cards of any combination and then either Pass and draw another tactics card, or Attack, an action that consists of three phases.
- First you declare who you’re attacking and from where. You can only attack from a continent you have at least one card for, and the target must be a continent adjacent to yours.
- Next, both attacker and defender deploy troop cards.
- Finally, the dice rolls begin. Attackers total their continent cards and troops, rolling that many dice, up to a max of 3. Defenders do the same for a max of 2. Die are lined up from highest to lowest and then compared.
The higher roll negates a troop card or in the absence of troop cards, takes a continent card in the case of the attacker, or forces a card surrender if you’re a defender. Ties go to the defender. Attackers can choose to attack again and again until resources (be it troop cards or continent cards are effectively exhausted. Other kinds of tactics cards can be played in appropriate situations, such as the Bombard card which changes a die roll to a 6, or the Sabotage card, which instantly ends an attack. Surrendered continent cards from the attacker are placed in the middle of the playing field and can be picked up by other players on their turn. Once you gather the cards necessary, take a domination coin. You keep this coin even if you lose cards, but careful, if another player earns the amount necessary, they can take the coin from you. Be the first to two coins to win the game!
RISK Strike is a very different feeling game than traditional Risk, but retains the same spirit if risk/reward based gameplay and cunning plots. There are no limits to the tactics cards you can hold at one time. Do you bide your time and amass resources, or go on the offensive as soon as possible to catch players off guard? The choice is yours.
Should I get it?
RISK Strike is very fun, and should please everyone. From ardent RISK fans who enjoy the strategy and competitive nature of the original, to people who want to like RISK classic but can’t stomach the complexity and length, everyone should give it a try!
- It has a lower play time than Risk classic, and is a bit easier to wrap your head around.
- However, there’s plenty of room for strategy despite the simpler mechanics, thanks to the unique Tactics cards. They keep things interesting and dynamic.
- Small detail, but the box is very pretty!