Risk Strike translates the broad strokes of the board game everyone turns to next after Monopoly into a competitive card and dice game that plays in less than half an hour - and it completely eschews that big world map.
Published by Avalon Hill, Risk Strike plays with far less pieces than its larger predecessors but still attempts to distil Risk’s classic strategy warfare into something suitable for a group of two to five people that can be played in rounds that apparently last about 20 minutes. That’s a far smaller time investment, but it comes at the cost of those tiny horses and cannons.
This is still very much a Risk game at its heart - players will compete to conquer as many of the 42 continents as possible, although these are represented on cards. Once someone controls all of the countries in a single continent, they earn a domination coin. In a standard game, only two domination coins clinch victory for the would-be conqueror so destabilisation is the name of the game.
Battles see opposing sides committing troops to a skirmish by playing cards depicting their conquered lands. Once all troops have been fielded, each player rolls six-sided attack and defence dice to determine the outcome. Twisting this time-honoured Risk formula is the addition of tactics cards that feature battle actions, such as surprise deployments, rallying, sabotage, spycraft and bombing runs. Each of these manoeuvres might tip the tide in your favour, or at least scorch and salt the earth beneath your enemy’s feet.
Looking at images of the bite-sized board game on its Amazon store listing reveals the relatively tiny size of Risk Strike and just how un-Risky the atmosphere can be when that massive Mercator-projected world map is removed. Plus, what am I supposed to flip when someone lets my brother once again turtle down in Australia for half the game before sweeping through my stretched-too-thin forces throughout the Asia supercontinent, huh?
Risk Strike is available to purchase now from most major online retailers and should be stocked on hobby shelves soon. Avalon Hill has been inviting a number of other studios into the Risk household to spruce up the place. Renegade Games Studios will be responsible for three licenced spinoff versions featuring pop culture properties. Meanwhile, Avalon Hill recently rescued the Heroscape revival project from a second trip to publishing purgatory.