2 boards. 7 armies. 1 Iron Throne.
Wow. Where to begin? Even just the board and pieces themselves make this a pretty epic game.
If you already love Risk, you will likely love this game. If you love Game of Thrones, you will likely love this game. If you are a Risk Novice, and slightly unfamiliar with the series, then don’t worry as instructions will be required by all! There are a fair few versions of Risk out by now, but I have to say, this is by far one of the best.
It recommends that you give a two player run through with the Essos board a go first, called Skirmish, to get your bearings. I did this, but didn’t really find it all that useful when playing the full Dominion mode.
In Skirmish mode you have two players, one playing the Targaryen and the other the Ghiscari, then you have a neutral army. This mode is almost identical to Risk. You map out the board with your given territories and then proceed to try and take as many of those territories from the other player, and the neutral army. It is good as in Risk is good, but nothing special.
Dominion mode however, wow. This is played in lots of 3-5 players then 5-7. In the 3-5 category you use the Westeros board, which to be honest if you’re playing Game of Thrones Risk is the board you will want to be using! With 5-7 players you can combine the two boards! I haven’t had a chance to do this version yet, but I’m looking forward to it!
Christmas day we played Dominion mode with the Westeros board. Now this is where things get interesting. As well as the usual territory cards and armies (which by the way use each houses sigil, wolves, lions and stags rather than castles) there are also character cards for each house, objective cards to earn victory points, and maester cards to get bonuses.
I was House Stark and my characters were Ned, Caitlyn, Rob and Jon Snow. Each of the characters can do something different, like increase dice roll numbers, or add defence. My brother had a maester card which allowed him to kill a character…. he killed Ned Stark.
Each players turn can end up being quite long and complicated, but the steps are all printed on your house deck in case you forget, which came in very handy!
Battles were fought, areas concurred, characters taken hostage, bribes paid, surprise counter attacks. All in all a wonderful way to spend Christmas evening and part of Boxing Day. We had to pause for some sleep.
A fantastic adaptation of a classic game, and well worth the purchase, even the deluxe edition!
Happy Playing 🙂