Sunday, April 5, 2015

Risk Legacy - Session Report - Game 6 (spoilers)

** Warning: This session report contains major spoilers for the sealed packages listed below. If you have any desire to play Risk Legacy in the future and don't want to be spoiled by the surprises it contains, then please read no further. **

Spoiler Checklist - New packages opened: 
> Pack 1 - Open when 9th Minor City founded.
> Pack 2 - Open when a player is eliminated.
> Pack 2 - Open when a person gets to sign the board a second time.
> Pocket 1 - Open as soon as 3 Missiles are used during the same combat roll.

Date: Saturday June 15, 2013
Location:  Rosny Children's Choir Hall, Bellerive

Draft Details:

Jeremy

  • Turn Order: 1st
  • Placement Order: 1st
  • Faction: Mutants
  • Starting Troops: 6
  • Starting Coin Cards: 0 

Carl

  • Turn Order: 2nd
  • Placement Order: 3rd
  • Faction: Imperial Balkania
  • Starting Troops: 10
  • Starting Coin Cards: 2
Mark

  • Turn Order: 3rd
  • Placement Order: 2nd
  • Faction: Die Mechaniker
  • Starting Troops: 8
  • Starting Coin Cards: 0

Trent

  • Turn Order: 4th
  • Placement Order: 4th
  • Faction: Saharan Republic
  • Starting Troops: 8
  • Starting Coin Cards: 1

Ben

  • Turn Order: 5th
  • Placement Order: 5th
  • Faction: Khan Industries
  • Starting Troops: 10
  • Starting Coin Cards: 1

The first, and most important thing of note, is the absence of Nathan from the draft details above. That is because our good friend Nathan returned to his home in Western Australia and can sadly no longer take part in our Risk Legacy campaign. Fear not, however, for Nathan has been replaced by Carl who, while having big shoes to fill, will no doubt carry Nathan's legacy with honour.

Nathan left us with one win under his belt, more than can be said for Trent, leaving him equal with Ben and Jeremy. Mark leads the way with two wins, and as Game 5 saw him become the first player to get a second win, we got to open a new secret pack.

This secret pack contained new events to add to the event deck and added Missions and Homelands.

Essentially, a mission is an extra challenge that rewards the player who completes it with a Red Star. At the end of a turn, a player who meets the criteria of a mission can either take the mission card reward (with a new mission then replacing it) or take a resource card.

Homelands are the continent in which a faction has started most often. If there is no one continent with more starts then that faction does not have a Homeland. Having a Homeland means that, when drawing a Territory card after a conquest, if a card from your Homeland is one of the four cards on display, you can take that card even if you do not currently control that territory.

For this game, Trent's Saharan Republic Homeland was South America, and Mark's Die Mechaniker Homeland was Asia.

Additionally, as Nathan's parting gift was the all out nuclear war in Game 5, the Mutants became a playable race in Game 6, and you may have already noticed they were drafted by Jeremy.

_____________________
Initial Placement

Jeremy placed first and chose Indonesia. This not only allowed an easy conquest of Halitosia, including the fallout zone to which the Mutants are immune, but also prevented Mark from starting in the neighbouring Southeast Asia which housed his Major City Red Tide. As this was the Mutant factions first game, it also created a Mutant Homeland in Halitosia.

Mark's Die Mechaniker started in Don't Cry For Me, Argentina; Carl started in New Nate City, Eastern United States; Trent placed his HQ and eight starting troops in South Africa; while Ben chose to begin in Great Britain, creating a Homeland for Khan Industries in the process.

The first Mission card was then drawn. Called "Superior Infrastructure", one Red Star would go to the first player to control 6 or more cities.

Initial Placement
_____________________
Round 1

The first round moves were predictable fare: Jeremy took all of Halitosia; Carl took Western United States and Central America; Mark took all of South America and lined his troops in "defensive" (read: "threatening") formations in Brazil and Venezuela; Trent decided to spread across the whole of Africa, placing four troops in North Africa to match the Brazilian threat; Ben (after placing a Mercenary scar in Russia (which meant whoever controlled Russia at the end of their turn would gain an extra troop in that territory (well, except the Mutants who lose a troop to Mercenaries (nested brackets FTW)))) expanded across the whole of Europe.

Despite this being a war, we can be magnanimous from time to time. We realised part way through Ben's first turn, that no one had explained Imperial Balkania's special expansion power (take a Resource card for expanding to 4 or more territories on one turn) to Carl. We therefore let him take extra territories in North America (he chose to take three more: Alberta, Ontario, and Eastern Canada) as part of his first turn.

End of Round 1
_____________________
Round 2

Prior to the start of Round 2, Ben and Carl shook (literally) on a non-aggression pact between North America and Europe. This involved a certain amount of naivety on one player's behalf. I won't say who quite yet.

Jeremy finally benefitted from the continent naming bonus he was awarded for winning Game 2, and took three troops for controlling Halitosia at the start of his second turn instead of the regular two. He moved into Southeast Asia and India, losing troops to the resistances in each country.

Carl then completed his set of North American countries, before he ducked for cover hoping that his thinly spread troops would not be attacked. He was then reassured by Trent who reminded him that the name of the game was not "Careful Strategy Legacy".

Mark's idea of the game was more like "Let's Kill Trent Legacy". He began amassing troops one by one in Brazil, with Trent using ever more crass expletives as he watched on. The Red Tide did then cross the South Atlantic and mount an attack on North Africa, but not before Mark placed a Bunker in Brazil as an extra line of defence in case of repercussions.

With twice the numbers, and one of his two starting missiles thrown in for good measure, Mark's attack was successful without losing a single troop. Mark then decided that Ben's impending 5 troop bonus for holding Europe was just not on, and more blood was spilled in Southern Europe as Die Mechaniker took the territory then retreated to North Africa.

With his army in tatters, there was little Trent could do (other than be majorly pissed off). He decided to get an easy Resource card, and took care of Mark's single troop in Southern Europe. But that wasn't enough for Trent. In a mood what one might charitably describe as "on tilt", Trent launched a two troop revenge attack on Mark's six troops in North Africa. It was a short lived battle for the attackers I'm afraid, which also describes the status of those Saharan troops - the victims of their commander's lunacy.

Finally in Round 2, Ben lost no time in recovering ownership of Southern Europe before he too tried to put a dent in Mark's army in North Africa. The red army were well dug in however, despite an ammo shortage, and saw off the attack without loss.

End of Round 2
_____________________
Round 3

The Mutants scouted northward into colder climes, sending a few troops via China into the bunkered city of Gulag, Siberia.

Imperial Balkania, perhaps hearing rumours of strange glowing creatures and seeking to investigate, also sought the subarctic lands of northern Asia and crossed the Bering Strait into Kamchatka.

Die Mechaniker were starting to get worried at the recruiting power of Imperial Balkania (currently 10). Even as the ink still dried on an earlier negotiated peace treaty between the two factions, Mark reneged on the deal and sent his Venezuelan contingent into battle in Central America...and won, leaving Carl somewhat (read: "very") peeved.

Trent was up next, and leading with the words "F*** you, it's personal", launched another attack on Mark's Mechanikerians in North Africa. Personal it may have been, but it lasted only one roll of the dice and the loss of two Saharans. Trent managed to see the futility of continuing and called it quits...for now.

Khan Industries managed to recruit a handy dandy 9 troops to commence Ben's third turn. Ben then sought to achieve what Trent had failed to do, and what he himself had failed to do on his last turn, attacked North Africa, and succeeded. Trent was rather pleased by this. Ben ended his turn, and the round, with his bonus Mercenary recruit in Russia.

_____________________
Round 4

Jeremy decided it was time for the Mutants to taste battle. He moved into Afghanistan and launched an attack on Ben in Europe. He succeeded in conquering the region, removing Ben's Europe bonus, then manoeuvred all but one troop back to Vindaloo - leaving that solitary Mutant to die due to the Mercenary scar.

Carl traded in cards totalling 5 coins, adding 10 troops to his 5 normal recruits. All 15 troops were placed in Western United States and Imperial Balkania headed back into Central America with revenge at the top of their to-do list. Both factions played a missile during the battle, with the Balkanians ultimately winning.

With Trent imploring Carl to keep going, the purple army continued their attacks into South America. He added Venezuela to his tally then um'd and ah'd about whether continuing into Peru would leave him too thin to defend North America. He decided to attack, but after losing one troop to Die Mechaniker called it off.

Mark was now left with only three territories: Brazil, Peru, and Argentina, each with only one troop. He traded in 3 coins giving him 7 new red troops in Peru then took back Venezuela without the loss of life, and split his army between there and Brazil.

The Saharan Republic was up next. Trent activated their start-of-turn manoeuvre and finally took control of North Africa - from Khan Industries - once more.

With an even number of coins appearing on the next card drawn from the Territory deck, the game's first event was triggered: If no human faction has a continent bonus, the Mutant faction collects one Red Star token. Unfortunately for Jeremy, Carl controlled North America and Trent controlled Africa, so no star for the Mutants.

Europe came fully under the control of Khan Industries during Ben's fourth turn. He collected a card for killing the lone Mutant in Afghanistan, and that was that.

_____________________
Round 5

The Mutants were continuing to play a relatively quiet game. Jeremy assured himself an easy card by defeating Carl in Irkutsk and then moved one troop into the empty Yakutsk in order to claim the two-coin Yakutsk Territory card.

Carl's Imperial Balkania managed to recruit 10 troops. They all went straight into battle after being deployed in Central America. Venezuela was, of course, the target. Despite the ammo shortage, Die Mechaniker put up a great defence. Two consecutive 6's gave the last red troop a temporary stay of execution before he was finally overrun.

Despite having the numbers to wipe Die Mechaniker from the map, Carl played it cautious once again and withdrew to the bunkered safety of Central America. This left Mark to reclaim Venezuela and hang on...for now.

The hanging on was looking ever more tenuous as Trent then brought the Saharan Republic into Brazil aided by a missile launched from Europe by Khan Industries.

With the continental bonus for Europe taking effect once again, Khan Industries had the luxury of spreading their recruits all over Europe. Ben took the easy option for a card by dispatching the lone Mutant in China, moved one troop into the Middle East, and Round 5 was over.

End of Round 5
Note the Mutant HQ in Indonesia that Jeremy forgot to place at the start of the game!
_____________________
Round 6

Round 6 kicked off with the Mutants reclaiming China from Khan Industries and taking Mongolia from Imperial Balkania. Jeremy considered taking two more territories off Carl to deprive the purple army of a recruit on Carl's next turn, but Kamchatka was too well defended, and the Mutants remained where they were.

An Event card was triggered at the end of Jeremy's turn, and once again it was the event that would give the Mutants a Rd Star token if no human faction held a continental bonus. Also once again, it wasn't to be for Jeremy, with three of his four opponents holding continents.

For the third straight turn, Imperial Balkania attacked Venezuela from Central America. Once again Carl was victorious. Once again, Carl's lack of temerity caused him to consider halting the attack there.

If it had not been for the urging of Mark and Trent, the two people who had the most to lose from Carl attacking further, Imperial Balkania may well have stopped to have a cup of tea and a biscuit and decide that the weather was looking a wee bit overcast and perhaps today wasn't the best day to be out on the battlefield getting cold and muddy. As it was, however, Carl was convinced into pursuing the South American continental bonus - not to mention the star for controlling the Die Mechaniker HQ in Don't Cry For Me, Argentina. He safely won the battle for Jezeru, Peru but hit a stumbling block when the +1 defensive bonus provided by Mark's HQ proved to be enough for the single, solitary, lone red troop to be the hero for three rolls...until a missile blew the little bugger to smithereens.

Die Mechaniker were finally wiped from the board, and with Mark knocked out, Carl took possession of his Resource cards. Despite not now having the numbers to conquer Brazil, it had still been a good turn for Carl. The turn got even better when he ended his turn in control of six cites: Brass Monkey (Alaska), Nimbin (Greenland), B.F.I. (Western United States), New Nate City (Eastern United States), Jezeru (Peru), and Don't Cry For Me (Argentina). This meant he fulfilled the criteria for the Superior Infrastructure mission, and he was awarded with a Red Star, taking his tally to three.

The new Mission Card was then revealed: Amphibious Onslaught: Conquer 4+ territories over sea lines this turn. The reward was one Red Star token.

With no empty territories remaining on the board, Mark was officially eliminated, so Trent was next up. He led the Saharan Republic into Argentina and became the third owner of the former Die Mechaniker HQ in as many turns. Peru and Venezuela also fell to the Saharans giving Trent full control of South America.

An evil cackle from Trent then sent an ominous warning to the other players as he perused the new Event Card triggered at the end of his turn. "Fallout," he read gleefully, "Roll one dice for each territory connected to the Fallout Territory by land and remove that many troops from it."

With only Western Australia connected to the irradiated Eastern Australia, only one territory could be affected. Unfortunately for Trent however, the Mutant faction is immune to Mutant Event cards, and wouldn't you know it, this was a Mutant Event card and Western Australia was home to a Mutant. So no joy after all for Trent. Summarises his entire Risk Legacy experience so far really.

The excitement of Round 6 grew even more when Ben signalled his intentions for Khan Industries at the start of his turn. He traded four cards for a Red Star and the rest of his cards to claim an extra 4 recruits. With 13 new troops, Ben apologised to Carl and then invaded North America.

With the Amphibious Onslaught mission up for grabs, and four juicy sea lines connected to Greenland, Khan Industries had one thing on its mind: victory. With two Red Stars already in its possession, only two more were needed. The mission would provide one, and a poorly defended Imperial Balkanian HQ would provide the other.

To be fair, Carl learned a very important lesson: even if you have a non-aggression pact between two territories, leaving just two troops on your side of the border is not a good idea. Ben rolled his way into Greenland. Northwest Territory was the next to fall, followed by Ontario.

Just Eastern Canada stood between Ben and the Mission card. It looked like a done deal until a sterling defence by the final purple troop kept the territory in the hands of Imperial Balkania.

All was not lost for Ben however, and Plan B came into action. He mobilised his troops in Western Europe and conquered North Africa followed by Brazil, and the Mission card was his.

The win was now just one successful attack away, and the beleaguered Die Mechaniker HQ was the location for the final battle. One roll later and Trent's Saharans were vanquished and Ben was crowned the winner of Game 6.

End of Round 6 - the Final Board

For winning the game and joining Mark as a two time winner, Ben chose to found the Major City of Diddly Dee Potatoes in Great Britain. For holding on, Jeremy, Carl and Trent placed extra resource stickers on Western United States, Eastern Canada, and Afghanistan respectively (and yes, two of those were placed incorrectly, but in Jeremy's defence he simply saw the word "Western" and thought he was adding a coin to Western Australia; no such excuse for Trent, but then no one else picked up on the error either).

Victory!




Thursday, June 20, 2013

Risk Legacy - Session Report - Game 5 (spoilers galore)

** Warning: This session report (and all future reports for this Risk Legacy campaign) contain major spoilers for the sealed packages listed below. If you have any desire to play Risk Legacy in the future and don't want to be spoiled by the surprises it contains, then please read no further. **

Spoiler Checklist - New packages opened: 
> Pack 1 - Open when 9th Minor City founded
> Pack 2 - Open when a player is eliminated
> Pocket 1 - Open as soon as 3 Missiles are used during the same combat roll

Date: Thursday November 8, 2012 (yes, this was over 7 months ago)
Location:  Trent's house

Draft Details:

Ben

  • Turn Order: 1st
  • Placement Order: 1st
  • Faction: Die Mechaniker
  • Starting Troops: 6
  • Starting Coins: 0

Mark

  • Turn Order: 2nd
  • Placement Order: 5th
  • Faction: Khan Industries
  • Starting Troops: 10
  • Starting Coins: 1

Trent

  • Turn Order: 3rd
  • Placement Order: 2nd
  • Faction: Enclave of the Bear
  • Starting Troops: 8
  • Starting Coins: 1

Nathan

  • Turn Order: 4th
  • Placement Order: 3rd
  • Faction: Imperial Balkania
  • Starting Troops: 10
  • Starting Coins: 0

Jeremy

  • Turn Order: 5th
  • Placement Order: 4th
  • Faction: Saharan Republic
  • Starting Troops: 8
  • Starting Coins: 2

Our reward for founding our ninth Minor City in Game 4, was to open the envelope containing draft cards. Now we have a draft at the start of each game where turn order, placement order, faction, starting troops, and starting coin cards are all up for grabs. Each player may only choose one card from each category.

_____________________
Initial Placement

You can see the results of our first draft above. Ben managed to score himself first placement (of HQ and starting troops) and first turn. It came as no surprise to anyone that he plonked his HQ and six Die Mechaniker troops in Bento, Eastern Australia.

Trent, who scored the least favoured Enclave of the Bear as his faction, found a home in Argentina.

Nathan then placed his Imperial Balkanians in New Nate City, Eastern United States.

Jeremy placed fourth, and decided the Saharan Republic needed to stay far away from everyone else in South Africa.

Mark placed last, and decided that his Major City of Red Tide, founded in Southeast Asia in Game 4, would be a great place to start.

Yes, the game was all set up for Mark v Ben Round 3. The two had squared off for control of Halitosia in Games 3 and 4, with one win apiece. Who would win this time? Well, things didn't quite go the way you might expect, but we'll get to that shortly.

Initial Placements
_____________________
Round 1

To start the battle, Ben made the incredibly cunning and deceptive move of going absolutely nowhere. His  troops had a nice cup of tea and a sit down while they waited to see what Khan Industries would do.

They didn't have long to wait. Mark went second and immediately launched the invasion of Halitosia. He moved into New Guinea and attacked into Eastern Australia. The gloves were well and truly off, because Mark used a missile on his very first attacking roll to turn one die to a 6.

Ben retaliated in kind, and launched his own missile into the fray. At this point the tension rose even higher because everyone new a third missile played to the skirmish would result in another new envelope being opened.

Nathan decided to be that guy. He launched a missile from his North American HQ and landed it squarely in the midst of Ben's red army. The devastation was unheralded. The new packet was opened and revealed that Eastern Australia had become a fallout zone, damaging to all factions except the new Mutants who can be selected as a playable race from the next game!

The city of Bento was no more. The red army was no more - it's HQ obliterated. The Eastern Australia territory card was destroyed. Mark 2 - Ben 1. Sort of.

Fallout Zone!

Imperial Balkania, as the faction that had fired the third missile, earned the Bringer of Nuclear Fire scar, giving that faction an extra two missiles at the start of each future game, and earning them the wrath of the Mutants.

With the fallout zone causing players to lose half their troops when moving into the territory, and one troop if holding the territory at the end of their turn, it just wasn't worth Mark trying to hold Eastern Australia and gain the Halitosia bonus. He settled for placing one troop in Western Australia and returning the bulk of his army to Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile, there were some other folks on the board. Trent moved to claim South America and placed an additional contingent in Central America. Nathan, despite being the Bringer of Nuclear Fire, then negotiated a peace deal with Trent that split the Americas between them, and spread his forces across the whole of North America, leaving only the Enclave-held Central America between himself and a juicy continent bonus.

This left Jeremy to expand across all six African territories, despite the threat from South America following the peace deal with North America.

So, three quarters of an hour in, and one round down.

End of Round 1
_____________________
Round 2

It was déjà vu for Ben as the armies at his command got to practise their parachuting skills into a new, empty territory.  He chose Great Britain from where to begin his new campaign.

Mark looked upon the vast expanse of Asia and moved into China, India, and Afghanistan.

The end of Mark's second turn produced the first event of the game. The mystery envelope opened at the end of Game 4 had, along with the Draft cards, added Event cards to the game. Each time a Territory card with an even number of coins on it is drawn at the end of a turn, an event occurs.

This particular event saw riots in every Major City. With one of the three Major cities on the board having been wiped out by a nuclear disaster, that left only Red Tide and New Nate City. Unfortunately for both Mark and Nathan, the riots resulted not only in the loss of some troops, but also in the destruction of both their HQs!

This left just two HQs on the board and a major strategic rethink for all players. No longer would conquering HQs be enough to win the game by itself - stars would have to be obtained by trading cards as well.

Trent decided that North Africa looked inviting for his army, and launched an invasion across the Atlantic. Jeremy's Saharans had an ammunition shortage, with the top die being reduced by 1 each roll, and failed to stop the Enclave taking North Africa.

Trent decided that that was enough attacking for now, but given the recent devastation in Eastern US, Trent also decided that this was sufficient excuse to renege on his deal with Nathan. He thought that central America was quite a nice spot for his troops to remain thank you very much, and he manoeuvred an extra couple of troops to Central America just to rub it in.

Nathan could do little about Trent's betrayal for now, so simply placed his new recruits in Eastern United States and left it at that.

Jeremy wasted no time on his turn taking North Africa back. He succeeded, but only just, and Africa was his again.

_____________________
Round 3

Another quick turn from Ben started Round 3, with Die Mechaniker simply claiming Iceland and Western Europe.

Mark decided Khan Industries needed to enjoy some African sun, and moved en masse into the Middle East before attacking into Egypt. With only one defender in Egypt it was no contest, and having earned a card for a successful attack, Mark then manoeuvred back to the Middle East leaving a lone guardian of the pyramids.

A new event then came along allowing Nathan, with the largest population under his control, to add two troops to BFI, Western United States and Nimbin, Greenland.

With six more Imperial troops in North America, Trent knew he had to reduce the threat. He placed all his Enclave recruits in Central America and attacked Western United States. The purple army would not be defeated though, so after both sides were whittled down a bit, Trent called it quits without conquering a territory.

It actually turned out to be a good thing Trent stopped his attack when he did, for the next event was then revealed. All Minor Cities containing one or two troops lost one troop. Nathan lost his sole Alaskan, but he had enough troops in BFI and Nimbin to be unaffected. Jeremy's single Saharan in Fried Rat, Central Africa also became a victim of the resistance, as did Mark's troops in Vindaloo, India and Gulag, Siberia. The resistance also reached Jezeru, Peru with Trent's unit vacating that region. Only Ben, who held no Minor Cities, came away unscathed.

Nathan's third turn saw the Battle of the Americas continue. The attack on Central America failed with all of the attackers wiped out.

Finally, to end Round 3, Jeremy took Egypt back from Mark for a card and manoeuvred back to East Africa.

End of Round 3
_____________________
Round 4

Round 4 was another war of attrition, this time in Africa. First, however, Ben's long awaited return to the battlefield took place with an invasion of Greenland. Unfortunately for Ben, Nathan's troops saved Nimbin from changing hands.

Another fortify event occurred next, with Nathan once again earning extra troops in BFI and Nimbin.

The invasion of Africa then commenced. Mark traded in 6 coins for 13 troops and commenced the slaughter of poor little innocent Saharans. Mark took control of the Saharan HQ, but stopped one territory short of taking the whole of Africa. Wary of Trent's forces in Brazil, Mark left a single member of The Saharan Republic in North Africa.

Unfortunately, at this point, a major error occurred which no one noticed. When a player is knocked out, the rules state the successful attacker receives all of the defeated player's resource cards as a reward. Had Mark remembered this, he doubtless would have killed that last remaining unit in Jeremy's army and claimed Jeremy's cards.

Instead, it was left until Trent's turn for Jeremy to be  knocked out, and as no one else remembered the rule either, Jeremy kept his cards when he should have passed them to Trent.

Having earned a card from taking North Africa, Trent manoeuvred back to Brazil.

Nathan's Imperial Balkania repaid Ben's earlier aggression by returning the favour, but his troops had grown soft in Nimbin and the status quo remained.

Jeremy should have started his fourth turn cardless, but instead he had four, and he traded them in for a star token and earned a new missile power for The Saharan Republic. Yes, this should not have happened, but it did so and the world carried on anyway. Jeremy parachuted his four new troops into Yakutsk ready to start again.

End of Round 4
_____________________
Round 5

To start Round 5, Ben moved into Northern Europe and successfully attacked Trent in North Africa, before he was relieved of North Africa by Mark.

Mark wasn't done and also took Brazil and the all important Argentina from Trent, giving Mark control of both HQs on the board.

On Trent's turn he traded 3 coins for 4 extra troops. He successfully attacked Brazil from Venezuela but then failed to take his Argentinian HQ back while muttering something about Mark being an "unbelievable bastard".

Nathan's determination to take Central America from Trent was finally successful, though he was still two territories (Western United States and Alaska) short of controlling the whole of North America.

Round 5 ended with Jeremy moving all his troops (bar one of course) into Siberia, and then defeating Mark in China to earn a card before retreating back north.

End of Round 5
_____________________
Round 6

Egypt was the first conflict of Round 6, with a one-on-one contest between Ben and Mark. A roll of 1 did not help Ben, and he ended his turn without taking a resource card.

Another event then occurred allowing Nathan, who still oversaw the greatest population, to add a handy five troops to the city of his choice: B.F.I.

Mark was in the strongest position at this point in the game, and sought to cement his lead by completing his take over of South America. He did so without losing a single troop, and it was bad news for the Bears as Trent became the third player to be knocked out this game.

Trent commenced his next turn with a new enclave for the Enclave founded in Kamchatka. He took Yakutsk from Jeremy to earn his fourth card (having kept his other cards when he was knocked out because the knock out rule was missed again).

Nathan then finally achieved his goal of taking all of North America, while Jeremy placed three more troops in Siberia and remained put to end the round.

_____________________
Round 7

Die Mechaniker was now in a much stronger position than it had been after the nukes fell in Round 1, but Ben decided not to attack anyone in Round 7.

Mark now had 15 territories, two Minor Cities, continental bonuses for Africa and South America, as well as the faction ability giving him one extra troop in each of the two HQs he controlled. This amounted to 11 troops to add to Khan Industries' might. Well, that and the four troops he also received for trading in 3 coins.

After reinforcing his borders, Mark threatened a rampage through Asia. He followed through on that threat and conquered all of north eastern Asia. This was good for Mark, but especially bad for Trent. Not only had Trent now been knocked out for the second time this game, but there was nowhere left on the board for him to restart.

As Trent was the next to go, with nowhere to place his troops, he became the first player to be eliminated.

Eliminated! No more Bears :-(

This meant another new envelope was opened, and as the eliminated player, Trent did the honours. He revealed new scar cards and comeback powers that factions earn when they are knocked out or eliminated. And then he swore.

Four players remained, and Nathan started the new-look work world by conquering Ben in Iceland, and Mark in Kamchatka, Venezuela, and Brazil.

Trent swore a bit more.

Jeremy had a cunning plan forming, slowly but surely, but for now he took just one territory off Mark for a resource card.

_____________________
Round 8

The game now moved into its eighth round, in which the final event card was drawn following Ben's turn. There was more resistance in the Minor Cities, causing Mark to lose his continent bonus in South America. It didn't matter too much to Mark, who was talked into trading cards in for a star at the start of his turn rather than spending coins for troops. He then took Brazil and Venezuela back from the purple army.

Nathan did not try and take Venezuela back, but settled for replacing the lost troop in Western United States. Jeremy kept growing slowly and took only Irkutsk for a resource card.

Eight rounds were now completed after two and a half hours - a far cry from the 45 minutes Game 2 took to complete. And the game still had some way to go.

End of Round 8
_____________________
Round 9

Ben's next move was to take Iceland back from Nathan; Mark took Alaska off Nathan and Russia off Ben; Nathan failed to reclaim Alaska; Jeremy took Yakutsk from Mark. And that was a very quick Round 9.

_____________________
Round 10

Round 10 was almost as quick. Ben tried but failed to take the city of Smeg Head back from Mark, then Mark, knowing he only had to take two more resource cards to win, attacked Nathan in Central America. Khan Industries was successful and continue into the United States, taking over control of New Nate City and BFI.

Nathan placed some new troops in Greenland and left it at that. Jeremy continued his build up of troops in Siberia, and took over Kamchatka, gaining his fifth resource card.

_____________________
Round 11

The end game was approaching, and for what it was worth, Ben reclaimed Russia.

Mark placed another bazillion troops on the board and set his sights on Europe. He marched into Western and Southern Europe and claimed the final resource card he needed.

Mark now had four resource cards. All he had to do was hold on to the HQs in Argentina and South Africa, and he would win at the start of his next turn.

Nathan couldn't do much about Mark, but he thought he'd have some fun anyway. He attacked from Greenland into Iceland, and then moved Imperial Balkania across Europe through Scandinavia, Russia, Northern Europe, and Great Britain.

The victim of this invasion was Die Mechaniker, though victim might be the wrong word. Ben was more than happy to be eliminated from the game at this stage because this allowed him to add a new power to the Die Mechaniker faction card.

Mark's victory was only one turn away now, but Jeremy had one final play up his sleeve, and he put his cunning plan into action. He traded in four cards for a star, loaded up Siberia with an extra three troops and set off south west.

He move through Ural, conquered Nathan's lone purple troop in Russia and Mark's grey troops in Southern Europe, then marched the Saharan Republic into Africa intending to reclaim the land they had been removed from earlier in the game.

North Africa fell first, followed by Central Africa and then South Africa. Having reclaimed his HQ, Jeremy activated the Saharan Republic's special power and manoeuvred his whole army back into North Africa.

With two stars and an HQ in his possession, Jeremy just had to take Brazil and Argentina (where the Enclave of the Bear's HQ still stood) to win the game. The trouble was, only a few Saharans remained and the outcome could go either way.

The battle for Brazil took its toll on Jeremy's army, and he was left with just two troops to try and  defeat Mark's lone defender in Argentina. That still gave Jeremy a 75% chance to win the final territory.

The atmosphere was tense. The first rolls were made, and went Mark's way. The attackers lost one  troop, and it was now one on one with the odds now in Mark's favour. The whole game hinged on one final roll.

Another 5 for Mark was enough to win. Jeremy's audacious plan was thwarted right at the very end, much to his disappointment and Mark's immense relief.

_____________________
Round 12

As Ben had been eliminated, Mark then started his final turn. He traded four cards for a star and took South Africa back to finally win the game!

Victory!



The Winners

That made it two wins in a row for Mark, and with him signing the board for the second time, another secret pack was opened. I'll leave the discussion of the contents to the next session report.

For his winner's reward, Mark chose to found the Major City of Don't Cry For Me, Argentina. For the  "held on" rewards, Nathan added a coin to the Eastern United States card and Jeremy added a sixth (!) coin to the Siberia card.

It was a well deserved win for Mark, especially as he may well have won much earlier had the rules regarding player knockouts been followed correctly. Mark would have knocked Jeremy out in Round 4 and claimed Jeremy's four resource cards, which would have made a huge difference to the outcome.

For the record, it was also discovered late in the game that the Resource cards had been cycled every turn instead of only when a player earns a card through conquest. This meant that events occurred more often than they should have, but in the greater scheme of things, it didn't influence the final outcome significantly.

For now, Mark could bask in the glow of victory, until the battle for supremacy began again in Game 6.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Risk Legacy - Session Report - Game 4 (no spoilers)


Date: Friday June 1, 2012
Location:  Hobart Games Society Games Night, Lenah Valley Community Hall

Turn Order and Faction:
  1. Nathan - Imperial Balkania
  2. Mark - Die Mechaniker
  3. Ben - Khan Industries
  4. Trent - The Saharan Republic
  5. Jeremy - Enclave of the Bear
Mark and Trent were the only two winless commanders coming in to Game 4, and were keen to have their name on the board this time. The other three were not going to sit idly by and let this happen of course. Well, actually, for the most part, they were. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.

_____________________
Initial Placement

Nathan won the roll off for first choice of faction and starting location. He decided it was his turn to claim the Purple Tide (TM), and he placed them in Ontario. He then set out to intimidate his opponents by arranging his tanks in a threatening formation in the South Pacific Ocean.

Mark sought to cut Halitosia off from the rest of the world and placed the red Die Mechaniker HQ in Southeast Asia. Surely no one would now be silly enough to place in Halitosia...

Cue Ben. In a moment of what some might favourably call “misplaced self belief”, he took the grey armies of Khan Industries and placed them in Eastern Australia where he had earlier founded his Major City of Bento. Round two of the Mark v Ben battle-a-thon was all set to begin.

Trent’s choice of faction was a no-brainer, and he placed The Saharan Republic in Brazil.

Jeremy was once again left to go last and scored the dud faction. He placed the Enclave of the Bear HQ in South Africa.


Game 4 Begins

_____________________

Round 1

With no immediate threats, Nathan commenced the game with a standard expansion across North America, leaving only Eastern United States and Central America without any purple troops.

Mark then made the first move against Ben and plonked all bar two of his troops in Indonesia. 

In response, Ben took Khan Industries into Western Australia and then declared war on Die Mechaniker. The battle for Indonesia was long, arduous, and bloody, as Ben fought to the bitter end. 

Mark held firm, however, and was left with five valiant troops holding on to Indonesia while Ben had just three troops on the board altogether: one in Western Australia and two guarding his HQ in Eastern Australia.

Far from the Halitosian conflict, Trent’s first turn saw him expand across South America and into Central America, sending a warning to Imperial Balkania that North America would  not be a solely purple continent.

Jeremy’s Enclave was next and put caution before conquest, expanding across Africa, but leaving North Africa and Egypt unclaimed.

_____________________

Round 2

In to Round 2, and Nathan was also cautious as he reinforced his current holdings but decided not to expand.

With Ben on the ropes, Mark went in for the killing blow and eliminated the remaining members of Khan Industries. That left Mark with the Halitosia bonus, and Ben needing to find somewhere to start again.

Ben parachuted his four new troops into Irkutsk and immediately moved three of them into Siberia, with one falling to the local Gulag resistance.

Trent then came to the conclusion that his biggest problem was that he hadn’t been overextending himself, so he decided it was time to change that. He placed all five of his reinforcements in Central America and went on a rampage through North America.

The Saharan Republic cut a swathe up the west coast of North America, taking Western United States, Alberta, and Alaska. He also tried a 1v1 battle for Northwest Territory, but Nathan’s troop was victorious.

With the Saharans less of a threat, Jeremy ended round two by claiming the last two territories in Africa.


End of Round 2

_____________________

Round 3

Round 3 was relatively benign with Nathan and Trent exchanging Alberta, while the other three reinforced and expanded to one or two empty territories.

_____________________

Round 4

The action picked up again in Round 4. Nathan garrisoned his troops in Ontario in preparation for the battles to come. Mark eyed off the Enclave troops amassing in the Middle East, and moved a large contingent of his own troops in India.

Needing an action fix, Ben decided that Alaska looked like an easy target and easily conquered Trent’s lone troop in that territory.

Trent then bolstered the Saharan numbers by trading in two cards to earn four more troops. This gave him an attacking force of 12 troops against Nathan’s 8 defending the Imperial Balkania HQ in Ontario. The resulting battle was a massacre, and Trent then continued in the same vein and eradicated the purple troops altogether.

This left Jeremy rather nervous, with Trent to his west and Mark to his east, both seeking one more star to win the game. He wasn’t in what you might consider a fantastic position either as he was the only player yet to earn a card, and attacking anyone right now would leave him vulnerable. Jeremy therefore ended round four by just moving a couple of troops into vacant territories in Europe.


End of Round 4

_____________________

Round 5

Nathan reestablished the Imperial troops in Japan to open the action in Round 5.

Mark then moved north in to China and launched a successful attack on Khan Industries in Siberia.

Ben attacked Alberta from Alaska, but it left him with only one troop remaining in the Canadian province. He then retook Siberia from Mark.

With Ben extremely light on for troops in North America, Trent took the chance and grabbed a second continent. With the Americas fully under his control, Trent stood to receive 13 reinforcements on his next turn.

With nowhere near enough troops to keep the Saharan Republic at bay, it was now or never for Jeremy. With Nathan and Ben in no position to weaken Trent, and Mark building up for a win himself, Jeremy was left with no choice but to go all-in.

The Enclave of the Bear reinforced in North Africa and pushed into Brazil. The attack was a success, but Jeremy wasn’t content to leave Trent with North America either. He took Venezuela but failed in his bid to invade Central America.

With no avenues remaining on the western front, Jeremy had just one desperate move left. He’d just taken the Saharan HQ in Brazil, and with the majority of Mark’s troops in India, this left Southeast Asia open to attack from China. From there it would be a hop, skip and jump to Eastern Australia for a fourth HQ.

Jeremy put his new plan into action and took his troops through Afghanistan into China and attacked the Die Mechaniker HQ. Unfortunately for him, the dice bonuses granted by the red HQ had a devastating effect, and while the attack was ultimately successful, only two Enclave troops remained to occupy Southeast Asia - not enough to make it to East Australia. With an unlikely win now impossible, Jeremy left it at that.


End of Round 5

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Round 6

As you can see, the Enclave of the Bear was now spread so thin it was practically translucent. This left Mark and his red army in prime position to take victory. The only thing that could possibly scupper his chances was a strong move by the Imperial Balkania army currently residing in Japan.

Nathan wasn’t prepared to take on Mark, however, and he just spread through Asia with a token attack on Jeremy in China.

Mark then had is sixth turn, and took the obvious path to victory. He firstly removed the two pesky green troops in Southeast Asia and then marched virtually unhindered into South Africa to claim his third HQ to go with his star token and claim the win!


Game 4 Ends



Victory!

Mark’s win left Trent as the only winless player after four games. For his prize, Mark chose to found the Major City of Red Tide in Southeast Asia. This was quite a cunning move as it meant only Mark could start future games in that key location.

For the minor rewards, Ben chose to add a third coin to the Eastern Australia card; Trent placed the ninth and final Minor City in Greenland and named it Nimbin; Jeremy added coin number three to the Central Africa card; and Nathan placed one more coin on the Japan card.

As a result of having nine Minor Cities on the board, we could finally open the first secret envelope. With great excitement we looked inside the envelope to see....

...well, you’ll have to read the Game 5 recap to find out. :-)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Risk Legacy - Session Report - Game 3 (no spoilers)


Date: Sunday April 29, 2012
Location: Christine’s house

Turn Order and Faction:
  1. Mark - Imperial Balkania
  2. Trent - Khan Industries
  3. Nathan - The Saharan Republic
  4. Ben - Die Mechaniker
  5. Jeremy - Enclave of the Bear
Due to the speedy Game 2 (about 45 minutes), the commanders immediately regrouped to play again. This time, there was no high die roll for Jeremy. In fact, he went last after Mark won the roll off. 

_____________________
Initial Placement

The faction selection went almost the same as last time, but the outcome of the game was anything but. Mark picked first and opted for Imperial Balkania, having seen Ben and Jeremy use it to great effect in their victories in the first two games. He also chose to further emulate the other two, and placed his HQ in Western Australia.

Trent reacquainted himself with Khan Industries and decided he’d give Africa a try. The grey army gathered in East Africa.

Nathan chose the third most popular Saharan Republic and founded a base in Alberta.

Ben then made a key move that basically scuppered Mark’s plans to use the expand-to-four-or-more-territories tactic, by placing the fortified HQ of Die Mechaniker in Southeast Asia. This would make it very difficult for Mark to move out of Halitosia; however that turned out to be the least of Mark’s problems.

Finally with the vast open expanse of Europe and Asia beckoning, Jeremy chose to place the Enclave of the Bear HQ in Great Britain.

_____________________

Round 1

Mark had the first opportunity to expand the territories of the purple army, but with Ben threatening him from Southeast Asia, he decided to only claim New Guinea and Indonesia. Claiming Eastern Australia would have been beneficial, but with the Major City of Bento located there, Mark did not want to lose the two troops just yet.


 The Stare Down

The next four turns saw all four players take control of a continent. Trent claimed all of Africa, then Nathan claimed all of North America, spreading himself thin, but only threatened by Jeremy in Great Britain.

Ben then made his move. He brought the full might of the red army’s 10 attacking units against the 9 purple defenders in Indonesia...and won. Easily. Ben completed dominated the battle, allowing him to take the rest of Halitosia including Eastern Australia. For the second straight game, Mark’s forces had been wiped out by Ben.


Red Wins Halitosia!

Having seen everyone else grab a continent, Jeremy, who was already one star down on everyone except Ben thought he’d get in on the action, and he claimed all of Europe. This was a strategically stupid move. He could easily have kept his main army together and knocked off the lone sand person in Greenland to stop Nathan’s 5-point continental bonus, but instead he chose to spread the green army all over Europe and make a very easy and inviting target for Khan Industries and The Saharan Republic.

_____________________
Round 2

It should come as no surprise, then, that that is exactly what happened. Boosted by their continental bonuses, Trent and Nathan both started heading in to Europe, with the Enclave’s HQ in Great Britain as the grand prize. Jeremy could do nothing but look on and clump together the few remaining troops he had.

Meanwhile, Mark had come back on to the board in Irkutsk and decided to lay low and not spread out, while Ben also wanted a piece of the tasty Europe pie, and came up through Afghanistan into Russia.

Trent was the first commander to lay claim to another faction’s HQ when he conquered Great Britain. Nathan immediately decided that that just wasn’t on, placed all his new troops in Iceland, and attacked southward. The die rolls were not good for the aggressor however, and after losing half of his army he pushed east into Scandinavia instead where a single Bear was ruthlessly butchered.

On his next turn, Jeremy tried to at least gain a card and take back Russia, but his demoralised troops were no match for the disciplined Die Mechaniker unit who obviously wanted the Smirnoff all to himself.

_____________________

Round 3

Round 3 began with Imperial Balkania eyeing off a return to their old HQ. Mark attacked into China and then marched towards the border with Southeast Asia. He paused for a moment while considering the strength of the fortified Die Mechaniker HQ, but decided to press on anyway.

It didn’t work out too well for Mark. The purple army was repelled and would have to wait for a future turn to try and reclaim Halitosia.

Trent took advantage of the extra troop for the newly acquired HQ in Great Britain, but it would only be used as defence for now as he mobilised the Khan Industries army in Egypt and attacked the Middle East. Trent’s plan was to succeed where Mark had just failed by taking Ben’s HQ and winning the game.

Unfortunately, his Egyptians proved to be piss poor fighters and went nowhere. It was then pointed out to Trent that he could also use the troops he had stationed at his HQ in East Africa to attack the Middle East. With renewed hope he gave it another try, and finally won the battle. His tired and depleted forces could do more for now, and Trent’s turn was over.

Now it was Nathan’s turn to go for the win. The ladies of The Saharan Republic first conquered Great Britain to wrest ownership of the Enclave’s HQ from Khan Industries, and then the quietly amassed Alaskan troops crossed the Bering Strait and started marching towards Southeast Asia.

For the third straight turn, Ben found himself on the defensive protecting his HQ. This time, the die rolls did not favour him, and Nathan made a winning roll to claim his third HQ and victory!

...Not...So...Fast...

Just as Nathan’s victory cry was in full force, a missile fired by the Enclave of the Bear landed amidst his troops. Ben’s defensive roll turned into a 6 and his final unit had a reprieve.

Nathan still had a troops left, but the die rolls went against him, and the red HQ remained in the hands of Die Mechaniker. With no attackers left, and silently cursing Jeremy for ruining his moment of victory, Nathan had to call it quits.

So we played on. Ben reinforced his HQ, then Jeremy succeeded in taking Russia and finally receiving his first card of the game.

_____________________
Round 4

The fourth round then commenced with Mark adding troops to Siberia and taking Ural off Ben.

Having lost Great Britain last round, Trent was down to two Red Stars. He decided to take the heretofore unclaimed territories of Brazil, Argentina, and Peru and then knocked off Nathan’s troop in Venezuela to add a second continent to Khan Industries’ holdings.

Nathan then had another crack at winning the game. He placed all his recruits in Great Britain and set off on the war path again. This time, his eyes were set on Trent’s HQ in East Africa. The Saharans wasted no time in slicing through the Khanians in Western Europe and the ammo-deprived North Africa. All eyes then focussed on the battle for East Africa. 

There were no missiles left to influence the battle this time and the Saharan Republic proudly marched in to claim their third HQ, and Nathan won for realz.


Game 3 Ends



Victory! 

Nathan added his name to the board as the winner of Game 3 and then added the world’s second Major City when he founded New Nate City in Eastern United States. 

The hangers on all founded Minor Cities. Jeremy showed what he thought of his own performance in Game 3 by building the city of Smeg Head in Russia; Trent’s contribution was Fried Rat in Central Africa; Ben added Vindaloo in India; and Mark placed the city of Gulag in Siberia.

That brought the total of Minor Cities to eight. The sealed pack that is opened when the ninth Minor City is founded is almost certain to be opened at the end of the next game. We can’t wait to see what is inside.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Risk Legacy - Session Report - Game 2 (no spoilers)


Date: Sunday April 29, 2012
Location: Christine’s house

Turn Order and Faction:
  1. Jeremy - Imperial Balkania
  2. Mark - Khan Industries
  3. Trent - The Saharan Republic
  4. Nathan - Enclave of the Bear
  5. Ben - Die Mechaniker

Initial Placement

Jeremy started first for the second game in a row, and having seen Ben pull off the win with Imperial Balkania last time, chose that faction. He deliberately placed his HQ in Western Australia in order to (a) claim a continent as easily as possible, and (b) ensure Ben could not place his HQ in his Major City of Bento in Eastern Australia.

Mark took Khan Industries with its one unit bonus per controlled territory with an HQ, and claimed Eastern United States.

Trent was third and chose The Saharan Republic, starting them off in Brazil.

Nathan, having played as Die Mechaniker in Game 1 decided upon a change and chose Enclave of the Bear as his faction. That was enough change for the time being though, as the familiarity of northern Asia called to Nathan, and he settled in Yakutsk.

That left Ben with Die Mechaniker, and he chose the haven of Great Britain from which to launch his empire.


 Initial Placement

_____________________

Round 1

The war then began with Jeremy taking Australia (losing only two troops to the Bento resistance) and leaving the bulk of his army in Southeast Asia, allowing him to take his first card.

Not wishing to lose any troops of his own, Mark left the minor city of B.F.I. in Eastern United States alone and settled in the territories around it.

Trent also started cautiously as the desert people took control of Peru and Argentina. Perhaps the ammo shortage scar in Venezuela turned him off from taking the continent too early.

Nathan then made the boldest move of the first round. With his eyes on the prize of the 3-coin Siberia card on the sideboard, he mobilised the Enclave army and marched them from Yakutsk though Alaska and Alberta and launched an attack on Mark’s troops in Ontario. The attack was successful, and Nathan maneuvered  back to Alberta while basking in the glow of a plan well executed... Except for one small, teensy weensy flaw. He’d forgotten to claim Siberia. With no spare troops left in Yakutsk to cross the border, the Siberia card remained on the sideboard taunting him.

Ben then took the final turn of round one. The red army of Die Mechaniker claimed Southern Europe and Iceland, then moved on in to North America via Greenland. But Ben wasn’t done yet; he smelled blood. With Nathan’s Enclave having battled Mark’s Khan Industries, Ben also wanted a piece of the action, He became Ontario’s third owner for the round and then retreated to Greenland.

_____________________

Round 2

That was just the start of the North American conflict. After Jeremy shot north through Asia to snaffle the Siberia card, Mark reinforced his North American holdings and retook war-torn Ontario for the resource card.

Trent then tried to get in on the North American action as well, but just like in Game 1, the Saharan Republic had trouble overrunning the bunker in Central America. Trent did finally claim that territory from Mark’s Khan Industries, but not without taking significant casualties.

Nathan was up next, and decided to conquer...wait for it...Ontario! Not content with sitting there, the Enclave of the Bear upped the anti again and attacked the Khan Industries HQ in Eastern United States. The attack was successful giving Nathan his second HQ and therefore third star of the game. 

The weakened Khan Industries were left with just three troops in Quebec, and keen to open the first secret envelope for eliminating a player, Ben thought he could do so by defeating Mark’s Quebecers. He did so, and took Mark’s only resource card, but unfortunately the rules state that a player is only eliminated if they have no legal starting territory to place their troops in at the start of their next turn. As there were still empty territories on the board, Mark lived to fight another day, and the envelope remained sealed, much to everyone's disappointment.

When his next turn began, Mark contemplated where his four troops would start. Despite Africa remaining relatively untouched, Mark couldn’t abandon his claim to North America, so Khan Industries started out anew in the previously unclaimed Northwest Territory and took a little revenge on the Enclave by claiming Alaska.

The blood continued to be spilled in North America as Trent attempted to take Eastern United States (and the former Khan HQ) from Nathan, but his attack was repelled.

_____________________

Mid Game

While all this action was taking place in North America, Jeremy continued to spread across Asia and Africa unchecked, and claimed his fourth resource card of the game without having initiated a single attack.

You probably won't believe this, but Ontario then changed hands for the umpteenth time in the game, this time being reclaimed by its original occupants controlled by Mark. Mark refrained from trying to retake his HQ however.

This was a wise decision as The Saharan Republic also had their eyes on the prize, and they took over control of Eastern United States from Enclave of the Bear. This put Trent into the lead with three red stars.

_____________________

End Game

Despite Nathan claiming a few northern Asian territories from Jeremy, and Ben settling the whole of Europe, nothing was going to stop Jeremy. The Purple Tide’s game plan was executed flawlessly, and the first turn of the fifth round brought Game 2 to a close.


End of Round 4

Jeremy traded in his four resource cards for a star, and then placed his seven starting troops in Japan. From there he strolled through Kamchatka into Yakutsk and claimed his fourth Red Star by conquering the three troops defending the Enclave of the Bear HQ.


Victory! 

For his victor’s reward, Jeremy decided to name the former Australian continent. The continent would henceforth be known as Halitosia. The Minor Cities of Brass Monkey (Alaska) and Potville (Eastern Europe) were also founded, the Brazil card gained a third coin, and the Siberia card gained its fourth coin.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Risk Legacy - Session Report - Game 1 (no spoilers)

Well here I am back up the vacuum thingy after a lengthy hiatus with a series of session reports for Risk Legacy. Due to the nature of the game, there will be spoilers, but not for the first few games.



Date: Friday April 20, 2012
Location: Trent’s house

Turn Order and Faction:
  1. Jeremy - The Saharan Republic
  2. Trent - Khan Industries
  3. Ben - Imperial Balkania
  4. Mark - Enclave of the Bear
  5. Nathan - Die Mechaniker
The game sat sealed on the table at Trent’s house, with the players appreciating the box and anticipating the goodness that lay within. Then the game was opened and the minimalist board was revealed, ready to be adorned with stickers and scribbles, and to play host to war.

The game was set up, the extra money allocated to twelve random territories, and each Faction received a random starting power.


_____________________
Initial Placement

The Commanders were now ready to begin. The dice were rolled, and a 6 from Jeremy gave him the honour of being the first to choose a race and a starting location. He chose the Fremen Saharan Republic who had the ability to take their manoeuvre action at any time during their turn. The eight starting units were placed with their HQ in Argentina,  a strategic choice that would hopefully allow easy capture of South America and give the versatility of expanding into North America or Africa. Jeremy would find out that things were not going to pan out quite as he had hoped.

Trent sat to Jeremy’s left and was the next to choose. He took control of the blue/grey armies of Khan Industries and ambitiously set up his base in Great Britain. Khan Industries’ power would allow Trent to place on additional troop in each territory he controlled with an HQ. 

With the easily defended south eastern continent still up for grabs, Ben could not resist placing his Imperial Balkania in Eastern Australia. With the special ability of collecting a card for expanding to four or more territories, Ben sought to take an early lead in the quest to earn red stars.

Ben was followed by Mark who, whether because they were in his favourite colour of green, or because he just had a Dothraki fetish, chose the Enclave of the Bear. Mark placed his HQ in Alaska with an obvious eye to settling North America, but also allowing easy access to Asia. Mark was also hoping to benefit from the Enclave’s power that allowed instant conquest of a territory if he rolled a natural three of a kind and defeated at least one enemy troop. Unfortunately, with such low odds of rolling three of a kind (approximately 1 in 62) Mark was to be the only player who did not get to use his faction’s power during the game. 

Nathan was the last in line, and faced with a choice of Die Mechaniker or Die Mechaniker, he wisely chose Die Mechaniker. With only the continents of Africa and Asia without an HQ, Nathan chose to place his troops in Siberia. While of no real benefit through the early to mid game, the red team’s power of a fortified HQ (giving +1 to both defensive dice) would prove valuable in the late game.


_____________________
Round 1

The first turns panned out pretty much as expected. Jeremy took all of South America as well as North Africa to allow for future expansion in to Africa, his faction’s natural home. Trent split his forces between Northern, Southern, and Western Europe, already worried about the potential threat of the sand people.

Ben claimed the Australian continent and placed the bulk of his army in Southeast Asia, allowing him to claim the game’s first Resource card for expanding to four territories. Mark then pushed east and west from Alaska taking Northwest Territory, Alberta and Kamchatka. Finally Nathan split his troops between Yakutsk, Irkutsk, and Ural.


End of Round 1 

(And I'll just add my apologies now for the low quality of some of the pics in this and future session reports)

_____________________
Round 2

The Saharan Republic aren’t a greedy bunch, and were content to move into Central America while reinforcing the deserts of North Africa. Unfortunately, the paranoid and greedy Khan Industries weren’t too happy with their southern opponents sitting just across the Mediterranean, and initiated the first aggression of the game.

Not only that, but Trent pulled out the first scar of the game: an ammunition shortage which he placed in North Africa. With his high die roll reduced by one, Jeremy’s unfortunate Saharans were decimated, leaving him with no eastern defence. Trent took full advantage of this and moved in to Brazil to deny Jeremy the continental bonus. 

The Saharan Republic’s HQ in Argentina was ripe for the taking with only one unit defending it, but Trent did not wish to risk further depletion of his forces, and left his units in Brazil.


Khan Industries take Brazil. The Saharan Republic plots revenge.

Quietly content to see battles taking place elsewhere, Imperial Balkania spread themselves across southern Asia, earning Ben another Resource card. 

Meanwhile an agreement was forming between the Enclave of the Bear and Die Mechaniker. Mark withdrew all bar one of his troops from Kamchatka, and a non-aggression pact was made between Kamchatka and Alaska. The two new friends thus continued expanding into their own continents.


_____________________
Round 3

The Saharans then had their revenge and retook Brazil. It was not a pretty battle, and both sides paid dearly for this war. Khan Industries licked its wounds and decided that consolidating its hold on Europe may well be the better option.

This continued to be good news for Ben’s faction as he continued to spread into unclaimed territories in Africa and gain another card without having to engage in battle.

Eyeing the continental bonus for North America, Mark’s Bears pushed southward, and decided to take Central America from Jeremy’s beleaguered Saharans. Despite placing a bunker in Central America, the Saharans defences were once again overwhelmed. Jeremy not only lost control of Central America but also suffered the indignity of another ammunition shortage scar played against him in Venezuela, losing his continental bonus once more.

Left mostly alone in northern Asia, Die Mechaniker quietly continued to amass troops. Confined to just a few territories, Nathan wasn’t seen as much of a threat by the other players - a fact he was using to his advantage.


_____________________
Mid Game

The mid game settled into a semi routine. Mark claimed North America; Trent claimed Europe and also became the first player to trade in four cards for a red star; Jeremy kept losing the bulk of his troops to either Mark or Trent;  Ben continued to reap the advantage of troop bonuses from holding so many territories as no other player wished to make themselves vulnerable by taking out Ben’s thinly spread troops; Nathan continued to trade Mongolia with Ben, build up his forces, and cajole the other players (rather successfully) into waging war upon each other.


_____________________
End Game

Then the end game was upon the world.

The first major push to attempt to win the game was Trent’s. Except he didn’t realise it. He decided that he wanted to deprive Mark of the North American bonus, and pushed into Greenland. With three red stars in his possession (two star tokens plus his HQ in Great Britain), Trent only needed to capture one more HQ. All he had to do to win the game was take his ten or so troops in North Africa and defeat Jeremy’s two units in Brazil and one unit in Argentina. 

But he didn’t. Being too worried about defending Europe and not seeing the game ending move right in front of him, Trent ended his turn.

This proved to be a great relief to all the other players, and to Nathan in particular. There was a good chance he was about to take the win on his next turn. He was planning to trade four cards in for a red star and then break his treaty with Mark by taking the bulk of the Die Mechaniker army across to Alaska to capture the Enclave of the Bear’s HQ.

However this also failed to pan out when Nathan’s plan was unwittingly thwarted when he was attacked by Ben.

Trent may still have had a chance to win on his next turn, but the Saharan Republic were not going to be defeated so easily. Jeremy traded in seven coins on his next turn to claim 17 bonus troops to go with the 3 regular reinforcements and the 2 bonus troops for holding South America. Most of those 22 troops went into Brazil, and with blood on their minds, the Saharans engaged in a bloody war for North Africa, ending Khan Industries’ immediate chance of victory.

From then on almost every turn saw one faction or anther have a tilt at victory. Mark’s Bears pushed into Europe through Iceland and then captured Trent’s HQ in Great Britain. Mark’s influence could go no further however, as he was unable to break the Saharan's hold on Venezuela.  

Other than Trent, Ben was the only other player to trade in cards for a red star, so he too was seeking just one more HQ to conquer. The path of least resistance was through Africa to South America, but he failed in his bid to conquer Jeremy in North Africa.

Trent recaptured Great Britain and looked to the red menace in the east. The battle for Siberia became perhaps the most one sided large battle of the game. Die Mechaniker’s faction bonus kicked in big time. Not only adding one to both defensive dice, but having the added bonus of a bunker in Siberia, Nathan’s troops cleaned up the attackers with ease.

The game could not last forever though, and Ben finally managed to put together enough troops to take North Africa from Jeremy before pushing through the token resistance in Brazil and Argentina and capture the Saharan Republic’s HQ, thereby earning his fourth star and victory.



Victory!

It was most definitely a hard fought game that had plenty of chances for victory. It was Ben, though, who became the first to sign his name on the board. For his prize he chose to found the Major City of Bento in Eastern Australia. 

As all other players held on, each chose a lesser prize as well. Jeremy and Mark chose to add Minor Cities to the board (Jezeru in Peru, and (B.F.I (don’t ask) in Western United States), while Trent and Nathan chose to add a third resource sticker to two of the Territory cards (Great Britain and Siberia respectively).

All players throughly enjoyed the game and no doubt learned a thing or two about the mechanics of Risk Legacy. Expect a tougher battle for the world in Game 2.