I finally played Risk: Star Wars last night, after hearing mostly positive things, having not read any reviews about it and giving a copy away on this site, my interest had been piqued for quite sometime. One thing I heard often was that it plays like Queen’s Gambit, an out of print game themed after Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, published by Avalon Hill, a very good game by all accounts and very sought after; there is currently a copy of the game selling on Amazon for the low low price of $564.99, anyone interested? Nobody? Ok… moving on. Since I have never played Queen’s Gambit I will just have to take their word on that one.
Have you played Risk: Star Wars Edition? Tell my what you thought in the comments below.
Buy Risk: Star Wars
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The board is very cool, it is shaped to look like a Tie Fighter. In the center of the board you have your play area, the space battle at the end of Return of Jedi with the unfinished Death Star smack dab in the middle, which just so happens to be that destroying said Death Star is the win condition for the Rebel player, only catch is that you have to destroy the shield generator before you can attempt to take a shot at the weapon on mass destruction. The left wing is your Battle of Endor track, which as the Rebel player you need to complete in order to attack the Death Star, the Imperials have Storm Troopers they can play the hinder your advance by adding +1 to the required die roll which gets harder the further you advance. The right wing has a bit more going on, not necessary for meeting the win conditions for either side but if completed grant you significant aid; Luke Skywalker hit track and Darth Vader hit track, which I’ll touch on a bit later, Millennium Falcon hit track and Executor Class Star Destroyer hit track. At the bottom of the board, on the Rebel side, there are six slots that are starting areas for six of your squads, outside the play area on the game board, which also happen to be the first targets of the Death Star when activated whether or not there are any ships on them or not. Once all the slots have been destroyed the Death Star may then target any space region on the game board the Imperial player chooses, so it acts as a kind of timer. The Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader battle is straight forward enough, you take shots at each other until you deplete the other’s track. If you, as the Rebels get Darth Vader down to 3 or less you may redeem him (an action that must be performed by selecting the appropriate icon on your order card), if you do your reward of extra order cards for that turn is higher than if you were to just outright kill him.
The Rebel player distributes all of their ships onto the board as described on the board itself, there are no reinforcements, once your ships are destroyed they are gone for good. The Imperial player keeps a reserve of Tie Fighters for they do get reinforcements, although they only have a limited supply as they are destroyed they are out of the game for good and if the Star Destroyer is destroyed they get no more reinforcements as it’s what poops them out in the first place. The Imperials get Tie Fighters which hit on a 1d6/Tie 3+, Star Destroyer which hits on 4D6 4+ and the Death Star which can target a region roll 2D6 5+ and if hits destroys everything in that region, yeah it’s brutal. The Rebels get 4 squads of 5 X-Wings which hit on 1D6/X-Wing 5+, 4 squads of Y-Wings which hit on 1D6/Y-Wing 4+, 5 squads of B-Wings which hit on 1D6/B-Wing 3+ and the Millennium Falcon which hits on 2D6 5+ which sounds terrible but it can take considerable damage before biting the dust, unless of course it’s hit by the Death Star.
Everything you do in this game is controlled by your orders, which are cards that have several icons on each, those icons correspond to different actions you can take on the board or the different tracks. You start out with 6 cards, out of those 6 cards you select 3 and put them face down, you must play them in order from top to bottom so pay attention to order in which you place them.
That’s the game in a nut shell, once the shield generator has been destroyed you may, as the Rebels, attack the Death Star which is a one hit kill on roll of a 6.
I played as the Rebels and pretty much focused Darth Vader down, then focused the Endor track down, pretty much ignoring the space battle all together. I was getting destroyed in space as the Death Star was just picking off squad after squad and I was getting surrounded by Ties, in the end I had two squads left, one squad of 3 B-Wings, 4 Y-Wings and the Millennium Falcon and one squad of 1 B-Wing. The last effort of the Imperials was to attempt to take out my large squad with the Death Star, which luck was on my side, missed. I managed to break through with my Ys and landed a solid 6 on the Death Star to win the game.
Over all a very enjoyable game, very short for Risk and as a matter of fact plays absolutely nothing like Risk at all. It does feel slightly stacked in the Rebels favor but I do recommend this game and I will play it again.