I’m a big fan of board games. I used to be babysat by a young woman who brought a new board game every time she babysat me. So even with such distractions as video games, movies and such, I really enjoy sitting down with some friends on a Friday night to a board game where I can really match wits and use my brain.
Back in 2001, Avalon Hill came out with a revamped version of risk called Risk 2210 A.D. I had seen this in game shops and was continually tempted to buy it. I saw it last month, and even though it was Christmas yet, thought to myself, “Okay, I really want to see if this is at least as good as the Original Risk” but the game was a whopping 39.99! So I decided to wait.
Well, patience paid off. AFter Christmas, my best friend found it on clearance for 50% off and bought it. The game is AWESOME. IF you liked Risk, this is a great step up. It has all the addictive properties of Risk, plus plenty of stuff that really streamlines the game.
In addition to land territories (they’re broken up in the same way they are in Risk, though it being the future they all have cool modern names and some geography has, ahem, shifted a bit). They also have underwater colonies you can fight over, and even the MOON is a battleground! The game takes place over 5 years, (after everyone’s turn one year passes) so its not a huge time-waster; a game can be played fully in 90 minutes to two hours, the same amount of time spent watching a movie. There are also command cards that can give you armies or fudge up your opponent’s plans, and whats more they give you BLANK cards so you can make your own!
MY favorite part of the new ruleset is turn order. Everyone earns ‘energy’ tokens that they can spend towards command cards and abilities. But they also have another use- During the beginning of each year, all players ‘bid’ energy tokens to see what order they go in. The person who bid the most goes first. So sometimes its worthwhile to save your energy tokens to ensure you get to go first. This can cause some unusual situations- a person who went last in Year 1 but goes first in Year 2 essentially gets two consecutive turns Or, if a person went first in year 1, but winds up going last in year two, they are having to defend against all the opponent’s invasions twice over. Of course, it all depends on how badly you want to go first. The more territories, continents, and colonies you control, the more armies and power tokens you get each turn. However, the benefits of controlling a whole continent don’t happen until the beginning of your next turn, so often a player will control the whole continent, but have 1 or 2 territories lost before they can benefit on their next turn!
Avalon HIll also came out with a revamped version of Stratego, another game my friend and I really enjoy. I’m really looking forward to checking that out.