by Matt Brennan

Improving Risk with a little Legacy

I’m at chez Brennan for Christmas, and we’re playing Risk again. Which means I’m trying to improve Risk again.

Risk is really, truly awful:

But! There’s a core of a good game in there. The territorial reinforcements and dice rolling mechanic are fundamentally okay! So I’d been thinking about what you could minimally change about the non-core aspects of the game.

Separately, I’ve been playing Risk Legacy with a few friends. The game is basically still Risk, but in each game you make changes to the board, to your faction, to cards, that permanently change the game. And it turns out Hasbro had also put some thought into the design of the base game. The core is the same, but there are a few changes to setup, reinforcement, and victory conditions that go a long way to addressing the problems I outlined above, especially the late-game slog.

So I thought I’d borrow a few of them for regular Risk.

And it worked! The game we played was far shorter and more tactical. Mum won, with a sneak attack on my Icelandic headquarters that nobody saw coming.

Modified Risk rules

Follow the original Risk world domination rules, plus the variant Fortifying your position. You’ll need some extra tokens to represent Headquarters and Victory Points; we used buttons.

Setup

Expansion

Scoring & Winning

Elimination

Reinforcements