This post explicitly talks about some late-game aspects of Risk Legacy that some people may wish to keep unspoiled. They are: “after all nine minor cities have been founded”, “a player signs the board twice”, “a player has been eliminated”, “three missiles are fired on the same turn”, “Do Not Open. Ever.”, “place the world capital on the map.”
We were almost done. This would be our 14th game: the next, our final. We’re going to be playing it live: December 10th at 7 is the launch of the Bringer of Nuclear Fire at Sterling Place. The Risk group worked together to design and brew the imperial milk stout with ancho and chili peppers, and at its release we’re going to be playing the 15th game in front of a live studio audience. Come join us!
The first theme was “a beer you’d go to war for.” For the final theme (we’re going to drink BNF and whatever else is on tap at Sterling, not bring our own beer!) we decided to go with “A beer you’d make peace with.” There were a few interpretations: I conceived of it as “a beer you’d bring to a gathering where you make up with someone.” Alex and Justin, at least, interpreted it as “making peace with a beer you previously disliked.” Such interpretability makes for the best themes, in my opinion!
Alex: Just IPA (Just Beer Project)
Alex had been initially turned off by this beer because of the marketing: it claimed not to have any, and to just be about the beer. He didn’t like the implication that other beers and breweries were bad for some reason for marketing their beer (especially when their “we don’t have an angle” was so clearly an angle). Then he tried the beer at the Ballpark Brew Bash and liked it.
I thought the aroma had something weird going on. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. It had a good flavor, though! We’ve had this discussion before, however: “session IPAs” are pale ales. C’mon. This was a very good pale ale! But it was a pale ale.
Alex thought the flavor I got was oxidation. It was more grapefruity than Matt remembered.
Justin: 400 Pound Monkey (Left Hand)
It’s been well established that Justin is not an IPA man. He bought this to make peace with the style: it’s English, you see, meaning less hop bitterness.
My expectations of hop level were met: there was some spiciness in the malt as well. I could see why Justin would like it.
Felicia thought it tasted funky, and not in a Cha Cha Slide way. Justin got breadiness, with a malt-forward flavor.
Matt disagreed with my assessment and thought it was bitter. Alex found it creamy, and thought that balance was “really quite nice.” The bitterness was there, and the sweetness was a bit high in a Belgian candi sugar kind of way. He loved the biscuity malt, and overall called the beer “luscious.”
Justin: Kiwi Rising Double India Pale Lager (Jack’s Abby)
Justin wasn’t trying to make peace with this beer: he had been sold on it at Premier and, since “I know how much you people love IPAs” he decided to make peace with us.
Was it… smokey? Great hop aroma, but there was more to it. Justin thought it smelled of feet. Alex said it was the fruity hops mingling with other flavors. It tasted sour to Felicia.
Alex thought it was sweet, not overly caramely, just with the taste of sweet sugary malt.
Most of us are, um, hm. Less than impressed. Alex said it was one of the best IPLs he’d had, but that those aren’t his jam.
Alex: Noble Rot (Dogfish Head)
Alex had been driven into a rage (raaage) because he was excited to try this beer, but discovered tasted like a white wine, not a beer.
It smelled musty. “Exactly!” Alex said. Musty, like wine must. “Do you taste beer?” he asked. I didn’t. It was wine or cider.
Justin smelled a three year old Genny pounder from the back of a Senior’s car. Felicia said it reminded her of when she would ferment cranberry juice.
Ever the contrarian, Justin said he got horse blanket from it. Alex responded by pointing out that brettanomyces is often found in wine.
And yet, Alex decided that he had made peace with Noble Rot. Originally he could find no difference between it and white wine, but now he could.
Justin: Bees in the Trappe (Grimm)
There was no pretense this time: Justin just wanted to try this beer.
It tasted as it had when I tried it at the Beer Geek Fest. Floral. So floral. Felicia liked it, enjoying the sweetness.
Matt didn’t think it was super Belgiany. Alex said it was spicy, moreso than estery (but not in a bad way).
Matt: Christmas Ale (Great Lakes)
Matt chose this because “It’s a peaceful sort of beer.” He didn’t know too many people who didn’t like it, so it’s easy to make peace with it.
I liked it! It was good, a very solid beer. Alex said the aroma was way more spice forward than it tasted. The malt balanced it well: it wasn’t cloying or astringent. It warmed the spirit, he said, making him want to be wearing a bathrobe.
Felicia: Enjoy By 11.12.13 (Stone)
We had this at the end of the night, after the game was over and Justin had left. She had been really enjoying IPAs, and realized everything else she had brought had been from Southern Tier.
“Wow,” Alex said. “This smells awesome.” He took a sip. “Wow.”
Matt got loads of citra and simcoe hops. Felicia tasted citrus, which Alex characterized as “dank.”
The game (14/15)
Starting factions and HQs
Justin won the right to choose first and immediately picked Khan Industries, the lead faction. For the initial mission he chose Urban Assault: conquer (not just expand into) 4+ cities in one turn.
- Justin: Khan Industries, Fro-ia (Brazil)
- Alex: Saharan Republic, East Australia
- Dan: Mutants, India
- Felicia: Imperial Balkania (Bringer of Nuclear Fire), Central Africa
- Matt: Die Mechaniker, Eastern United States
Eschewing the slow start
We know how this goes, right? We all slowly expand to take over the continents we’re in. Not this time!
There was some of that: Justin took South America, Alex Australia.
I headed into Southern Europe. “This is either going to go really well or really poorly,” I said. “Probably poorly,” Justin responded, shooting finger guns.
Felicia went into Egypt and Burg (North Africa). And then: she attacked Justin in Fro-ia! They both lose a troop, and seeing Justin’s “come at me bro” face she called it quits, reinforcing from her HQ into Burg.
Matt went north and south, into Greenland and Central America. Justin responded with a “don’t mess with me” sort of reinforcement in South America to deter both Matt and Felicia.
A series of poor choices
Alex came up through NikeTown (Southeast Asia) and attacked me in India. Yep, going poorly. I had wanted to be close to both the biohazard scarred Southeast Europe and the Siberian fallout zone, but after having been burned by the Fallout event cards I didn’t want to be adjacent to Siberia. Well. Now I had chosen this.
His comeback power was to get +1 to rolls when attacking a HQ. He made short work of me, but I decided to use both my missiles to stop him.
I immediately wondered why I did that, because I left India for dead and make a run through eastern Europe into Siberia. This completed the Mutants’ personal mission and earned me a red star.
Felicia attacked me in Tootsville (Middle East), taking me out. She went after my Indian HQ, but the Indians were resilient! It took a missile from her to conquer my HQ.
Matt expanded throughout some but not all of North America, working toward what Punmaster General Alex deemed a “Khan-tinent bonus.”
Justin attacked Burg, taking it from Felicia. He went into Western Europe, scarred with a Mercenary sticker to give him a bonus troop at the end of his turn. Damn. I was getting the same out of Southern Europe, and my plan was to build up and then rise again.
Alex successfully attacked Felicia in India. Unsated, he also took her out of Tootsville.
Our first event! Endless Rains, an unstable orbit card allowing end-of-turn reinforcements only between adjacent territories.
I attacked Felicia in Egypt, immediately reinforcing back into Southern Europe after I had earned my coin.
Another event, again unstable orbit: Eternal Darkness, which subtracted one from the number of cards when turning them in for troops.
Felicia, perhaps a bit wary of the attacks coming from the west, north and east, went into East Africa and ended her turn. Justin attacked me in Egypt, using a missile to secure victory.
Another event: Join the cause. The player with the largest population (Justin) got three troops in cities or could choose a new mission. He sent troops into Dalekville (United Kingdom) and Burg.
Alex headed into Persephone (Koskilde), defeating me. He also went into Tenacity (Afghanistan) before ending his turn. To earn a card I retook Persephone, otherwise still biding my time.
This triggered another event: Agent of Chaos, giving the Mutants (me) a red star if no human faction has a continent bonus. As always, the Mutants were denied.
Felicia attacked Alex in Tootsville, Matt expanded into the last of the North American territories, and then it happened.
The Frost Offensive
Justin traded in cards for troops. Even with the Eternal Darkness event he got seven, plus another three for Odessa (which is what he named South America).
The troops went into Burg. From here he attacked Felicia in East Africa. He missiled. She missiled. He missiled. He attacked her in Central Africa: his victory took her out of the game (at least for now).
Then he attacked Tootsville. Unsuccessful from Egypt, he switched to East Africa and won. From there, Persephone. It took him some work but he took it as well. Tenacity was the next to fall, despite a missile from Alex.
He headed into iPadlandia. Matt missiled. Alex missiled. Matt missiled, then again. Justin launched one of his own. He earned a red star for completing the mission of taking four cities in a turn. He now had three: his HQ, Felicia’s and the mission. Only one more VP: one more HQ, and my Indian base was sitting there, ripe for the taking.
Justin rolled three dice: a 2, a 1 and a 1. Alex would have an easy time stopping him. He rolled…
Justin took my headquarters, and with it not only the game but the entire series. He had now won six games, meaning it was mathematically impossible for anyone else to tie him.
We’ll still play the final game, of course, and it will be lots of fun, but it won’t “matter” in the grand scheme of things.
Matt mulled things over. “I have something to say about this game,” he said, “but I think I’ll save it for next time.” He had played the pacifist this game: he had neither attacked nor been attacked by others. Felicia had not been allowed to re-enter the game.
What will happen in game 15? We still have a packet to open. Will Justin rub it in, or will one of us be allowed to taste victory again?
For the first time, you’ll know as soon as we do. Grab a glass of Bringer of Nuclear Fire and watch the carnage.
See you December 10.