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I'm not sure if you're joking or not -- so I'll take you seriously
No, it is NOT Risk (in any of its forms)!
I have owned and played Risk, Risk 2210, Risk: Lord of the Rings, and Risk: Godstorm
This game has THEME! No dice. Fixed starting positions. Different units have different strengths and weaknesses. Units can follow a variety of orders (Support, Defend, Attack, Consolidate, Raid). Ships. Bluffing. Double-Crossing. Fixed game end-point. Restrictions on number of units in a territory. Random Events (Mustering, Supply, Wildling Attack). Bidding for Turn Order (and other advantages).
It feels NOTHING like Risk!
Yeah, it's more like Chess than Risk. There is no luck factor at all. Even random events (card driven) interest all players in the same way, so fortune or misfortune is shared among them all. If you go to the BoardGameGeek.com, you'll notice several people studying the possible opening movements of all the Houses. Rules are solid, and the game is highly strategical.
And the presence of no dice needed is a good indicator that winning the game implies working on your skills (diplomacy, tactics, strategy, knowing when to attack and who) rather than on the ill wind of fate
The mechanics of the game rocks and are almost flawless. Recommended
We have dragged Reason from her throne and set in her place the Empress of Dreams [Liber Endvra]
Also, where RISK sucks ass, A Game Of Thrones doesn't. :D
There are guys out there who feel like changing the perfectly balanced and working rules of a game for the heck of it, despite the considerable input from game designers that made a specific decision for a good reason.
Don't be that guy!
Now that it has arrived at my home, and I've had a chance to read the rules and try out some moves, I can happily report that NO indeed, Game of Thrones is not like Risk.
The closest relative, if there is one, is the classic Avalon Hill board game Diplomacy. This is because the central dynamics in both games are two-fold: 1) moves are somewhat simultaneous, insofar as you have to plan your actions for different armies and locations before you know the plans of others, and 2) the success of your plans often depend on the support of other players, who may or may not help you, no matter what they said in your top secret meeting five minutes before. So, the two games share suspense, uncertainty, and the opportunities for alliance and betrayal. So, if there is an analogue, it is Diplomacy and not Risk, which is good, because as others here have already astutely pointed out... Risk sucks.
But the similarity ends there, I can now see, and the power of the R. R. Martin thematics figures heavily in the power of the game. The board is a beautifully rendered version of Westeros. The cards all evoke the characterisitcs of major players from the novel. The threat from over the wall is ever-present. They've done a great job of capturing the complex feel of the novels with very simple and elegant dynamics and terrific art. Euro-simplicity. Deep-chrome. Core player-centered gameplay. Cool.
So, good news. This is not Risk. Anyone out there live in Tucson Arizona and want to play?
Please do not sully the name of risk. it was and still is a fine game for it's mechanics.
If you consider yourself a fan of strategy games or a player for that matter, you have at one point in your life played risk. (most likely as a kid)
Risk is just too simpe of a game and has faulty gameboard design. (australia for instance)
The more modern RISK games like LoTR and 2210 are wonderful games in their own right and are easily at par with this game on strategy and overall fun. They are just a different flavour. One cant drink coke all the time without wanting a sip of pepsi or RC eventually. which is why i have upwards of a hundred board games.
A Game of Thrones is not Diplomacy, nor is it in it's league. FFG would be blessed if they had a game like Diplomacy in their stables. Diplomacy, like chess and Go does NOT have a single outside random effect to affect gameplay. IT is purely set upon the guile and wit and will of the player.
Since the OP was most likely kidding. kudos for him starting a thread that engages us to communicate more.
Apologies to any fans of Risk for my typically hyperbolic response.
There are people who love Risk and even those who love Monopoly. Any time someone can lay out a board or set of cards with friends or strangers is time well spent. I respectfully retract my vitriol (though I admit Risk's mechanics are repetitive and slow for my personal tastes) and thank jhagen for the civil intervention.
BUT, Game of Thrones actually DOES operate with very few random elements. Without the random battle cards, only the mechanics of the Wall are randomized. So the real point of my response was to answer a simple question - what does the game PLAY LIKE? What are the dynamics at the table like? Game of Thrones doesn't play like Risk (whatever one may feel about the game). Rather, it plays like Diplomacy, in that it requires deal-making and deal-breaking, precisely because moves depends on the support of others in adjacent positions, and those momentary allies eventually must defeat those they earlier supported. This is the flattery of imitation of time-tested game mechanics. So too, the starting positions of each faction are unique (Stark in the north operates a great deal like Diplomacy's Turkey in the Southeast in this regard). The game is like Diplomacy in this regard. This is indeed high praise in my world.
Best wishes to players of all games!
IF YOU LIKE RISK, YOU WILL LOVE THE GRID!!!
Best Browser Text Strategy Game of 2012 - The Grid
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Description: It's a unique MUD-like real-time strategy browser board game that single-player adventurers and friends can play together against other online adversaries. Build your territory larger and larger while keeping your assets like farms and cities safe. Summon wizards to increase your stats and your ability to protect yourself. Steal gold from others and play as a villain, raining havoc down from the skies to destroy random players across the board as they become more and more enraged. There is so much you can do in this game - it's a revolutionary concept!
The Grid: http://codeelf.com/games/grid/
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