Risk sits in an odd place in the world of board games. Apart from Chess, it is perhaps the most well known wargame out there and it’s certainly a household name. Since its debut in 1959, this simple game of world domination has gone through a great many changes and variations. It’s to the credit of the game’s simplicity, that it can be altered and changed so easily.
For those who haven’t had the pleasure; Risk is a map based strategy game. Put simply, you stack up units in regions on the map, slowly building strength and territory over time. The more territory you have, the more units you gain. You gain territory by invading your opponent’s territory, and conflicts are resolved by both sides rolling dice, matching up the results and deducting units as appropriate, until one side has no units left. The Skirmish version of Risk is even simpler, with players duking it out until a card telling you to stop playing is drawn, or until all but one nation on the board is destroyed.
The violent conflicts in the Game of Thrones seem an obvious fit for a wargame like Risk, though it’s worth remembering that this is Risk first and Game of Thrones second. Risk – Game Of Thrones Skirmish Edition comes with some lovely pieces, robust cards and a great board with a map of Westeros.
What we essentially have here is a very, very pretty looking map on a very robust board, and a collection of playing pieces themed by the various Houses. Lannisters get Lion heads; Starks get Wolf heads and so on. Changing the map is pretty much the most basic way to change Risk and it’s all they’ve done with this set.
It is, however, a good map and changes the strategy just enough. As this is the skirmish set, the map has clearly been adjusted to encourage fast play and an aggressive style. If you’re looking for something closer to a simulation of the books or the TV show, then there are more involved and more complex Game of Thrones themed games on the market, but they typically take much longer to play. Risk – Game Of Thrones Skirmish Edition moves quickly for what is. This is a fun, fast and simple to pick up wargame, and a good way to introduce non-gamers into the wonders of dice and battle.
RISK – GAME OF THRONES SKIRMISH EDITION / PUBLISHER: HBO / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW