RogerBW's Blog

Boardgames at Home, December 2018 20 December 2018

A boardgaming evening at home; too long since I did one of these.

We started with Flamme Rouge, the first time I'd played with my own copy (bought at Essen). We used a basic course (no cobbles or refreshment zones), plus the Méteo expansion, which gave us a tailwind area and a wet one.

The pack stayed together well all the way through, and I saw rather fewer exhaustion cards than I've met in previous games. I still managed to pull off a clear victory, though.

We went on to Risk: Star Wars Edition, which is apparently a simplified version of Queen's Gambit (and nothing at all to do with Risk apart from the branding). It's set during Return of the Jedi, and each side must try to keep three balls in the air: the space battle on the central board (preserving enough forces to blow up the Death Star at the end), the assault on the shield generator on one side board (which must be completed before the Death Star is attacked), and the fight between Luke and Vader on the other side. (Queen's Gambit happens during The Phantom Menace, and has a four-way split between big space battle, big land battle, assault on the palace, and lightsabre duel.)

Each side has to draw and play command cards, which have several options on them; but you may well find that a particular action simply isn't available at the relevant time. I was glad to see that the B-Wing, a unit I've always felt is underappreciated, is the toughest fighter in the game, and the Rebels clumped them together and used them to reap the TIE fleets, eventually taking out the Star Destroyer too (though not before it had deployed most of its TIEs).

On the other hand, we lost Luke, which meant that his action icons were no longer useful; and it wasn't too long before all the X-Wings were wiped out too.

Then the shield assault went home, and the remaining starfighter forces were able to mob the Death Star and eventually blow it up… eventually being the term, having five dice and needing to roll at least one 6, which I reckon at just under a 60% chance, and it still took us three tries.

It's not at all Risk-like, and it doesn't have the exploitative feel that I associate with Star Wars tie-ins, but there's a solid basic wargame hiding under all the little plastic starships, as well as the primary game of action selection. I'm not likely to buy it, but I'd certainly be happy to play it again.

[Buy Flamme Rouge at Amazon] [Buy Risk: Star Wars Edition at Amazon] and help support the blog.

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