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Board Game: Risk: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Edition
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Chris DiLeo
United States
San Diego
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So I had the pleasure of playing Risk Lord of the Rings trilogy edition
this past weekend. It was most certainly different from traditional
Risk. The host a had a few house rules that made for an interesting

Basically, it was good versus evil. To start the game, there are
several territories in good land and several in bad land that must
start in possession of the appropriate side. After doling out 8 of
these at random to the respective players, reinforcement placement
continues until all other properties are claimed. There are 64 in total
on the board, so at the end of the day, each player had 16 territories.

Here were some of the features above regular Risk I liked:

- Certain territories were fortresses. These gave defening armies a
defensive advantage as well as an automatic batallion each turn for
holding the territory.

- Redeployment at the end of a turn was limited to one moving one set
of troops from territory A to territory B, but you could redeploy along
any contiguous chain of territories. In effect, your big army marched
along and conquered several territories, after the march, you could
bring your army back along the supply chain for rebuilding or defensive

- The concept of leaders was also added. Armies with leaders get
certain attacking and mobility advantages. Each side gets 2.

- Impediments to mobility such as mountains and rivers made for
interesting defensive positions.

- Action Cards. At certain junctures, these action cards could come up.
There are also 2 flavors, some that are play immediately and usually
either wipe out forces on a particular territory or add a bunch. The
other flavor are for play during battle adding or removing advantages
or to cash in for extra troops.

Here were some of the features I did not like so much:

- Setting up took a long time. Because you are not allowed to treat
your partner as an ally for the sake of mobility, carefuly strategy
needed to be discussed ahead of time to ensure that troop would not
have to fight allies, but rather the enemy. However, because of the
random nature of the initial territory set up, I wound up very tangled
with my partner and had to fight him often.

- The board was very dark. It was a beautiful representation of middle
earth done up with the faux calligraphy and stuff, but it was really
hard to read the board.

- Action cards. You just finished whaling on an opponent and your well
laid plans are coming to fruition. Action card is drawn: "Shining Eye
of Gandalf! Add 10 troops anywhere you want!" DOH! It's great a great
way to keep fading players in the game, but can be heartbreakingly
difficult if you are the aggressor.

Overall, it upped the complexity of Risk to a decent level. Obviously
the territory is what requires the strategy in this game. The learning
curve is a bit lower than Shogun so is good for a quick start,
especially if folks are familiar with traditional Risk. The duration of
the game though, was about as long as Shogun (we played for 4 hours and
while we did not finish, there was an emerging victorous side). Just
make sure to leave your cape and glowing staff at home lest yea be
considered a complete geek.
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John Culp
United States
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i played this with my little brother and sister last week, so i didn't really get a chance to play through the mechanics of the game. i gotta agree with the what you said about the board. it's really pretty, but alittle 'busy' for this game.
some of the territories were small for the number of troops that end up there. and due to the subject matter it felt like some of the territory names were bigger than the territory themselves!

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