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Building Upon Risk

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Matt201
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Joined: 12/29/2010

I am a big fan of the Board Game Risk, as is my family and a lot of my friends. But I feel it's starting to get a little bit "stale" now, and it's based too much on luck and what not, and I could sit here and point out all it's flaws, but you get the idea.

I am wanting to make a "new Risk", but add my own twist to it, if that makes sense, and I have quite a few ideas, but I need help sorting through the good ones and the bad ones, and of course I am always looking for new ideas to add to my own.

Basically what I have so far is that instead of territories, the map is split into three categories: Capital Cities (eg. Washington D.C, London, Tokyo, Ottawa, Moscow, Beijing, etc.), other Cities (eg. Perth, Vancouver, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, etc.) and empty territories (spaces without a city). There are also more "spaces" than the original 42, and the regions (from largest to smallest in terms of territories) has changed to North America (12), Asia (11), Africa (7), Europe (7), Oceania (6) and South America (4). I may add more if I see fit though.

The basic premise of the game remains the same. You get reinforcements at the start of each turn basd upon the amount of land you own, with bonuses being awarded for each region you own. However, this is where it changes...

There are no more cards, instead you are given money to build your army. And you aren't limited to troops. You can also build artillery (tanks, barges/armoured transports and AA guns), an airforce (fighters, bombers and transports) and a navy (battleships, submarines and Aircraft Carriers). Each of these obviously have their advantages and drawbacks, and can go a long way to aid your war effort if used effectively.

Obviously the navy implies that you can now take the battle to the seas, and that in order to travel between continents and between islands. You can also use artillery (in particular tanks) to improve your chances in battle. I'm not sure whether to keep the same fighting mechanic as in original risk, in which case tanks add to your dice roll, or give you an 8 sided dice or something, or to implement an entirely new combat system (suggestions?)

You can also go for bombing runs using your airforce. I'm unsure whether to keep this or not, because I love the idea of being able to bomb your enemy, but I'm unsure how to implement it into a game like this. How does it work, can it just rip right through your enemies forces? How many territories can you bomb over? How much damage does it do? etc.

The other "innovation" to the game I want to make is the use of buildings. You can now construct buildings on territories to improve your army. You can build cities (on territories that are city spaces) to gain economic bonuses, colonies to spawn extra troops, and docks, airbases and factories to enable the construction of ships, planes and artillery respectively.

You can buy military officers to enhance your chances of victory:
Lieutenant -- Captain -- Commodore -- Admiral or
Lieutenant -- Captain -- Colonel -- General or
Lieutenant -- Captain -- Colonel -- Air Marshal

Each time you promote your officer(s) (which costs a lot of money, and the idea is that you're unable to reach the higher ranked officers until later in the game), your army is enhanced. For example, Lieutenant is allowed an 8 sided dice, Captain give an 8 sided dice to himself and every other man in his attacking force (eg. if you attack a territory with 3 men [with one being the captain] you get 3 8 sided dice). The Commodore gives an advantage to the ship he occupies, and the admiral gives the same advantage to all ships you have on the board (same for general with artillery and air marshal with planes).

I also had the idea of being able to buy politicians to "spread your influence" but I'm unsure how/if it's possible to implement something like this in this game. If you can, then I also had the idea of being able to build a "Capitol" (on a Capital City territory) which spawns a King, having a similar advantage to a politician.
Not too sure about it though...

So any thoughts and suggestions are welcomed. Is the idea even any good. Please be harsh (to a reasonable extent). I'm not gonna bother if it seems like a bad idea. Also, sorry for such a long post, but there's a lot going on in my head.

Thanks a lot,
-Matt

Horatio252
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Joined: 03/13/2011
"Some are. Some arn't"

Hi Matt,

Here are my thoughts, moving from broad to specific. If you want more detail just ask.

- I see three sets of ideas: Cities/more spaces , diverse unit types, and characters (generals, admirals, etc).

- First question you need to ask yourself is what you want out of a new Risk. You seem to be going in several different directions at the same time. Possible answers are:
---greater economic/resource management element
---more strategic combat
---deeper gameplay

- I think Risk is already a slow game, and other seem to agree since much has been done in the more recent editions to provide missions and objectives to keep the game shorter. What you suggest will slow the game down more. That's okay, it just has to be worth the increased time investment. It also limits your player base to have a longer game.

-In my opinion you have too many unit types. You are veering towards Axis & Allies IMO. That is a valid choice, just know you are doing it. Simpler would be adding just one kind of artillery, planes, and ships. Artillery are 1D6 for each, and are rolled and resolved before the real battle die are rolled. They remove an enemy unit on a roll of 6. Planes are the same way but don't happen as part of a land battle. If opposing planes enter the same region, then they battle as normal. Ships can fight over sea spaces the same way land spaces are fought over. A string of ships can then be a kind of bridge for moving your land units around.

-I don't like the buildings idea. Seems an unnecessary level of complexity to add to Risk. It makes the reinforcement mechanism clunky, I think. you'll need to add quite a few rules to handle it.

-The ranks are going to add another layer of complexity. I would suggest the ranks provided something more like +1 to your die, and then +2 either to one die or +1 to two dice. Changing dice is unappealing to me personally.

-I would put the politics idea on hold for now. Try the other things, get them working and then revisit politics. My intuition is that politics is a very different direction to take in modifying Risk. It might work, but it really needs a lot of elements, and it probably won't work well with the rest of your changes.

Those are my thoughts. Think about what you want to achieve by changing Risk (deeper? better combat? more economics? more building? ). Also as you go, think about the amount of complexity you want to add, then only add that much. Best of luck.

Maaartin
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Joined: 05/15/2011
Change the fighting mechanic

Matt201 wrote:
I'm not sure whether to keep the same fighting mechanic as in original risk, in which case tanks add to your dice roll, or give you an 8 sided dice or something, or to implement an entirely new combat system (suggestions?)

I'm quite sure you should change the fighting mechanic: Risk takes too much time for such a game and the reason is: dice throwing, dice throwing, and dice throwing. The results are very random and it takes a lot of time. Have a look at Mare Nostrum for something much faster and not as random: All units have 5 HPs, normal units make 1d6 damage, fortresses make always 6 damage, and there are some bonuses. Simple, random but more fair than Risk. And also much faster.

Matt201
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Joined: 12/29/2010
Thank you

Horatio252 wrote:
Hi Matt,
- First question you need to ask yourself is what you want out of a new Risk. You seem to be going in several different directions at the same time. Possible answers are:
---greater economic/resource management element
---more strategic combat
---deeper gameplay

I think that it's a mix of all those things. I s'pose I was looking to make it more strategic and deep, and saw economic/resource management as the best way to do this...

Horatio252 wrote:

You are veering towards Axis & Allies IMO. That is a valid choice, just know you are doing it.

To be completely honest, I was sort of going for that. I say "sort of" because I've never actually played the game (only seen it being played) and so was basing it off how I imagine those pieces would work. Risky I know, but I liked the idea of expanding combat into the air and ocean. Perhaps not the best idea for a Risk style game?

Horatio252 wrote:

-I don't like the buildings idea. Seems an unnecessary level of complexity to add to Risk. It makes the reinforcement mechanism clunky, I think. you'll need to add quite a few rules to handle it.

Duely noted. I guess you're right. I s'pose the most practical aspect of the buildings is that it gives bombers something to target (as opposed to enemy infantry). I guess the way Risk works makes it redundant to have "spawning" points.

Thanks a lot for all your feedback, it really helped :D

Maaartin wrote:
Have a look at [Mare Nostrum](http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/3931/mare-nostrum) for something much faster and not as random

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll look into it

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