Reviews of select games in the Risk family
Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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Recently, I completed the series of reviews I undertook of the eight games of the Risk-family of games which I own. The reviews treat these games from a view-point similar to my treatments of tafl and Petteia games. The thing this family of games all share is the Risk combat system. Yet the games themselves can in play quite different in many ways.

I've confiend my collection to these games of the series because 1. I dislike knock-offs generally and so prefer the canonical games of the series unlessa knock-off is particularly exceptional and 2. I don't like to buy the same game merely re-themed or insignifcantly changed from what I already have. If I've missed something that I should consider getting, please feel free to let me know.

Please note that some have enquired about my opinion of related computer games. I'll just confess an odd quirk of mine; I HATE playing games on computer. Idon't want to play BSW or anything of the sort. When I play games, I want to turn my computer off. I don't claim this is anything but a personal choice and preference, but there it is.
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1. Board Game: Risk [Average Rating:5.59 Overall Rank:18863]
Board Game: Risk
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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In this review, I discuss the game so much denigrated here on BGG, the classic original Risk. My own opinion is that this game is one every gamer's collection ought have-- like Chess, Go or Checkers.

My primary case for this is that the game is a semi-abstract game which forces players to learn how to accomodate the controlled randomness of dice comparisons [they're Gaussian] into strategy. EVERY wargame I've ever played with dice I play better for being able to play Risk well-- full stop. The game also taught me how to minimize vulnerable borders and how to systematically annihilate enemy forces in a game.
 
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2. Board Game: Castle Risk [Average Rating:5.46 Overall Rank:18994]
Board Game: Castle Risk
Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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This is the first game I ever systematically analyzed the strategy of. I was fascinated as a boy to realize that strategies that work in Risk well DON'T work in this game and vice-versa in spite of the commonalities. The difference between this and the original game in the series is like day and night. In Risk one has to take all territories and each one matters. In this one, only whole regions are even helpful but only those territories with castles on them actually matter.
 
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3. Board Game: Risk: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Edition [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1958]
Board Game: Risk: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Edition
Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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Here I discuss a very different game in the series. One side has a moving target while the other has to protect that target till it gets to a certain point on the board along a prescribed path. Actual conquest of territories is a means to an end and little else.
 
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4. Board Game: Risk: Édition Napoléon [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:6299]
Board Game: Risk: Édition Napoléon
Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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In this review I discuss the only Risk game I know of played for VPs and in a series of prescribed stages. For strategic depth, I think this game the best in the series.
 
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5. Board Game: Risk: Godstorm [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:2908]
Board Game: Risk: Godstorm
Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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As described here, this is my second least favorite of the series-- just above Risk 2210 A.D. and below Risk. Yes, I think this a less good game than "vanilla Risk" for the reasons explained in the review. It's not a bad game but neither is classic Risk if you know how to play it.*

*Most people don't.
 
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6. Board Game: Risk: Star Wars Original Trilogy Edition [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:2364]
Board Game: Risk: Star Wars Original Trilogy Edition
Moshe Callen
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Jerusalem
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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Here I describe this well-balanced three- or five-player game which has three faction each with different victory conditions.
 
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7. Board Game: Risk: Star Wars – The Clone Wars Edition [Average Rating:6.02 Overall Rank:4610]
Board Game: Risk: Star Wars – The Clone Wars Edition
Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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This review for some reason was not as well received as some of the others. Yet the game described (as mentioned in that review) is quite well designed and offers a fairly unqiue strategic problem to both sides.
 
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8. Board Game: Risk 2210 A.D. [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1258]
Board Game: Risk 2210 A.D.
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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Here to the apparent shock of some, I describe why this is in my opinion the least well designed game of the series. Yet, it seems to have a number of fans.
 
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9. Board Game: La Conquête du Monde revised [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
Board Game: La Conquête du Monde revised
Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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I just reviewed this game here and wanted to add it to this list, even though it was not written for the series.
 
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Family: Misc: Risk-Like
Moshe Callen
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Jerusalem
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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For convenience, I'm adding an entry for the game family itself for ease of reference.
 
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