Game Day may be cancelled due to snow — freaking Pennsylvania spring weather — but that doesn’t mean we can’t still dream of what might have been.
Tonight’s game was/is supposed to be Risk 2210 (check it out on Amazon) the science fiction re-imagining of the classic Risk board game of old. The game retains its fundamental Risk nature — which means one army can hold off 50 thanks to oddly lucky dice rolls, and the goal is to conquer the world by invading and controlling as many countries and continents as possible.
But there are radical differences as well, including new “commander” units that roll d8s (rather than the conventional d6s of normal armies) and which give players access to special land, space, sea, nuke or diplomacy cards. These cards replace the “trade cards for armies” mechanic from Risk with cool abilities like, oh, nuking North America. There are also two new frontiers to conquer in the form of sea and lunar colonies, each of which operates like the countries and continents of old. The game also has a definite end, starting on Turn 1 and ending on Turn 5, which radically changes the fight-to-the-bitter-end strategy of Risk
I reviewed the game a few years ago for SCIFI.com, and it’s become one of our favorite games. We haven’t played it in at least a year though, thanks to our ongoing obsession with the board game Arkham Horror, and tonight was going to mark our triumphant return. It still might.
Invade Earth! and Risk 2210 Resources
Wikipedia’s entry for Risk 2210 provides a decent overview, as well as a few game links. It was there that I learned something I’d never heard of before: Risk 2210 expansions! They were never released commercially; instead, Wizards sent them to gaming stores in 2003 as part of their organized play initiative. Copies of these games — one of which includes battling for a terraformed Mars — are available on eBay, and I’m sorely tempted to get one.
The Risk 2210 entry on Board Game Geek has reviews and optional rules for the game (including Dutch and German translations.
Want to play Risk 2210, but can’t because of, well, snow? Then check out Invade Earth!, a Java-based version of the game that can be played offline versus computer opponents and online vs. human ones. It has client and server versions of the software and it might — just might — be our Game Day salvation tonight.