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:


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


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


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


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


  • 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!


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.


Anonymous said...

Double checking but when you have placed cities and resource coins have the "held on players" placed them in territories they control.

Also great games

Jeremy said...

Yes, the cities and resources have gone to territories controlled by the held on players...mostly. :-)

The Minor Cities have certainly gone on territories controlled, but I know that at least once a coin has gone on a card for a territory not under the player's control at the end of the game (I know because I did it at the end of Game 6 (session report still to come) - I noticed immediately after I had done it. Oops!)