Passing through my local Hastings (think B. Daltons + Blockbuster, only better and from Texas), my eyes passed along the shelves of PC games and skittered across the board games. As a gaming enthusiast, it was love at first sight – Risk Legacy. I don’t know which caught and held me more: The official briefcase looking box, the poignantly provocative sticker sealing the box boldly stating “What is done can not be undone”, or the fact that the back of the box described shudder-inducing actions – writing directly on the game board with permanent marker AND ripping up cards after using them.
This is taboo to me. I just CAN’T rip up cards. I just CAN’T permanently scar my game board. But what if I could? Wouldn’t it be deliciously naughty to play this game. It goes against all my gaming instincts. And they set the hook with a back story and campaign type setting, appealing to both the author and the D&D player in me. There was no way I could resist. The hefty price tag of $60 for a game I’d be destroying as I went along only dented my resolve, because damn it, I WANTED that game.
And when I had a spectacularly unexpected Christmas donation from my wonderful girlfriend’s father, I went and bought the object of my desire. It felt SOOOO good to get that game. I haven’t wanted a material object this badly since I was 6 and the TMNT Turtle Van and Techno-Drome were both out that Christmas. That obsessive. And now, I’m exiting line from Hastings and my girlfriend states “Now we’ll wrap it up and make you wait 5 days until Christmas to open it up.”
The world became grey, food turned to ash in my mouth and water to dust. Truly, this… this is how the world ends.
After much harried haranguing and pitiful pleading, I managed to convince her to let me open it (though she had only been teasing me all along). I now reverently opened this treasure chest and saw all the goodies inside. Not only was the box sealed with the tantalizing sticker, on the inside there are pockets with things inside them that can only be opened when certain milestones happen in your game. Not all are guaranteed to happen either.
Now I have this wonderful new… game doesn’t describe it… obsession called Risk: Legacy, and the world again became grey, food turned to ash in my mouth and water to dust once more. There was only myself and my girlfriend. Sure 2 would play it, but I didn’t want to do it like that. I wanted to build my own history with the recommended group of 5 players. I wanted rivalries to form, bitter betrayals to happen, alliances to be made. 2 people just wouldn’t cut it.
I began my quest for a campaign group the day before I actually bought the game. I have a coworker who para-role plays, and I knew if I dangled a tantalizing piece of this game in front of her, she would rip my arm off for a chance of more. Turns out I was mostly right… though I do still have an arm. She was in from the word… hell, she was in as soon as I started describing it. She shared my same fervor and obsession for this immediately. Before even owning the game, we were discussing how we could write stories about the games. Chronicle our world’s history, as it were.
(We did decide to write out stories as we go along, with each game being a generation in the world.)
We were now up to 3 players. I must find more.
After turning to Facebook, I managed to find a tug on the line: An ex-coworker’s husband seemed to be an avid Risk fanatic, though he’d heard nothing of Legacy. A tentative agreement to meet was set up, and now we were 4.
I recalled, on the day of the game that I had an old D&D buddy (who I had previously texted) who never responded. Frantic attempt after frantic attempt to contact him failed time and again. Then I realized, he switched numbers and I, like a dummy, never changed it. After shooting a text his way at his new number, he seemed at least a bit interested, and so we had our fifth.
Then disaster struck… my girlfriend got sick. This was merely a set back. We were not going to allow sickness derail the train of awesomeness that was so close to pulling into station and take us on a new adventure. So, seems like the Saharan Republic (my significant other’s chosen faction) was late to the battle for this cloned Earth. The world will not be as pristine and untouched when her people arrive, but we HAD to play. The need burned in me like any other wild man’s crazy obsession.
I won’t reveal details of the game or what was revealed when (sadly) I was eliminated in the first game of my game, but I will say this: We will be playing the 15 game campaign and the Enclave of the Bear will return next generation, more powerful and seeking blood to sate the thirst for vengeance of the wrongs done to them by the Imperials and Khans. A hero of Die Mecaniker did arise when his people were most in need. The pristine metropolis of Vaes Dathrak was raised, the first testament to humanity’s lasting mark on this new Earth. The lesser cities were raised as well, both Alamo and Jaynestown have made a mark in the wilds of what once was Asia, though on this world remains unnamed.
And so, changes made in Game 1 will resonate all the way to Game 15 and beyond. The box did not lie. Alliances were made. Betrayals were rampant. What has been done can not be undone. Woe to those who come.