Well, this is awkward.
Richard Hamblen’s Merchant of Venus is one of the great out-of-print holy grails of the hobby boardgame world. Originally published by Avalon Hill in 1988, copies these days will run you in the $200 range. So, it was good news when Stronghold Games announced that they had forged an agreement with Hamblen for a reprint of the game. Unless, that is, you were Fantasy Flight Games, for whom it was terrible news, since it turns out they had licensed the same rights from Hasbro (now-parent company of the defunct Avalon Hill). Continue reading Merchant of Venus Reprint Announced … One Time Too Many
Expanding on yesterday’s post, here’s why I think Risk is actually a pretty good choice to try the sort of experiment being attempted in Risk Legacy. I’m going to assume you’re familiar with it. If not, go read up. I’ll wait. Continue reading Feedback Control Systems, Avant-garde Design, and Army Men
Every once in a while a game still comes out whose concept surprises and intrigues me. That is a thing that I can gratefully say hasn’t stopped happening yet. But I’m not sure I know how to live in a world where it comes in the form of a Risk variant from Hasbro.
The concept of Risk Legacy is that the game carries persistent state from one play session to the other. And we’re not talking in the “character sheets” sense or the “campaign rules” sense here, but in the “permanent marker” and “sticker the board” sense. Other mechanisms I’ve heard tell of include rules that destroy cards, or that add new ones from initially-sealed booster packs.
Game fetishists are already getting their knickers twisted in high gear, over the notion of being forced to deface their games. Without explaining how anybody was forcing them to play in the first place. And without explaining why only the game’s initial state could possibly be the perfect of Risk Legacy, of which all altered versions are mere shadows on the cave wall.
How are we to say you’re not actually constructing the game as you go? Did I deface my copy of Lord of the Rings when I stickered in the Isengard and Bree board spaces from the Friends & Foes expansion? (And by the way, if you’re looking to deface your copy of Carcassonne, you could do a lot worse than these whimsical meeple stickers that just came out.)
Now, as you may have gathered, there are several hundred games I would rather play than Risk. But I am completely on board with this experiment.