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Risk: The Walking Dead

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Risk The Walking Dead Publisher Image

The Walking Dead Survival Edition Risk game allows players to vie to be the dominant group of survivors in a post-apocalyptic world infested by the undead. Based upon the hit graphic novel series, The Walking Dead, The Walking Dead Risk forces players to fight for survival in a deadly game of conquest.

User Reviews (2)

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Grand Master Grader
Guardian Angel
Advanced Reviewer
Rosetta Stone
51 of 57 gamers found this helpful
“A big brain...that someone's taken a bite out of...”

A swift opinion:
*An interesting take on a traditional formula that perfectly fits the theme…
*…but doesn’t really feel like it’s been totally thought through
*Doesn’t stand up to other zombie titles, nor other Risk variants

A video opinion:

A wordy opinion: Zombies don’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon, and it was only a matter of time before they started shambling over to classic tabletop titles. What better franchise to take them away from us than The Walking Dead, providing its own variant on the classic rendition of potential war crimes.

Risk: The Walking Dead puts you in charge of one of the groups from the series, be it Rick’s, the Greene family, The Governor’s or…the prisoners…because we needed a fourth group. Taking on the lead of one of these clans, you set about trying to make a home for yourself in a rather barren Georgia.

The Old World Still Lives

Fans of Risk will be happy to know that methods of massacring others remain pretty much unchanged through dice rolls. If someone walks into your territory, battle starts. Players roll dice equal to the amount of troops fighting and compare them from highest to lowest. Each duet of dice battle it out, with the lowest number losing a troop.

A New Means For Survival

Yet whilst the multi-coloured clans fight over who has earned the right to take over the state, shambling, decrepit grey pieces blight the land. These are the walkers, an unplayable faction (unless you play classic Risk) which act as troops who are a lot less shooty and a little more bitey. Tackle a territory with the undead and you get to add 1 to every dice you roll because they’re just a little bit dim.

However, even if your benefits don’t lead to a victory and someone dies, you have to roll another die. Roll a 4, 5 or a 6 and hooray! Your troop is dead! However, if you roll a 1, 2 or a 3 that loyal soldier turns into a member of the undead.

It’s easy to get cocky when facing off with zombies, but should you start to falter, things can go very wrong, very fast. The arrogant can find themselves outnumbered swiftly, and presents an interesting take on traditional mechanics, so yes, fantastic stuff, fits the theme, big thumb up. Does it fit well with the other alterations though?

The Spread of the Undead

Walkers spread their influence via territory cards. Before their turn, players draw one of these, revealing a territory that will have walkers added to it. If a player has already set up home here, combat is automatically initiated. On paper, this sounds great, and to begin with, it is. It kicks the inactive into combat when they might not be expecting it. However, after a while it becomes an absolute nuisance.

With each round, the amount of territories drawn and walkers added increase. By Round 4, your drawing 4 territory cards and adding 3 walkers to each. This means as you’re spreading and leaving troops behind, they’ll likely be gobbled up in your battle for conquest.

This causes a weird cognitive dissonance. If you decide to recruit troops and adding them to the frontline in a bid to spread out, those you leave behind will likely become fast food for walkers. If you decide to add more to those who look like a meal, you won’t have enough to invade other territories. As one of the prime means of victory for the game is judged by the amount of victories you own, this can be flipping frustrating as you’re not really given the chance to spread your units out.

Braaaaains…not required

Each benefit seems to have a hefty boon that outweighs it. The zombies fit the theme perfectly but prevent any opportunity for interesting movements as they force everyone into a defensive position that would be foolish to leave. Ammo crates earned after obtaining a territory provide a potentially intriguing way of gathering points or troops, but end up simply bolstering the score of those already in the lead and are traded in for cannon fodder for those on the verge of extinction.

Risk may be a simple game, but the one thing I appreciate with it is that everyone I play with seems to have a different approach to victory. Here though, no matter who I’ve played the game with, it’s apparent that if you don’t follow the game’s policy of hunkering down and making do with what you’ve got, you’ll be slaughtered by undead. The best tactic we’ve all gleamed from The Walking Dead Risk is to head home, have a cup of tea and wait for all of this to blow over. It’s Shaun of the Dead Risk.

These changes in regards to the theme are appreciated, but the issues that come with them are often rather counter-intuitive, which is a real shame. All I can really say for it is at least it tried to alter up the formula, unlike the flipping Walking Dead Monopoly…

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Z-Man Games fan
Plaid Hat Games fan
Stone of the Sun
38 of 44 gamers found this helpful
“You are the Walking Dead”

Ah Risk, you started it all for me and for many others on this site, no doubt. But over the years you’ve gotten… well… dull. How many times are we going to play and kill each other trying to take Australia and spread outwards? Or South America? Or Africa? Same board, same play style, It’s all so… Vanilla!
The Wife and I had gotten into The Walking Dead TV show after I had been reading some of the graphic novels and we were enjoying it immensely. I noticed, as I was walking through my local Easons (book shop), that there was a Walking Dead version of Risk and picked up the box to look at the back. What immediately hit me was the map was completely different from Normal Risk.
You see, up until this moment, I had always thought that Risk’s other versions were merely re-skins of that normal board game. I didn’t realize that the only thing that stayed the same was the game mechanic but other rules were added or changed. I put the box back on the shelf (it was christmas and funds had to go elsewhere) and saved the pennies until I could purchase it the month after.

I, and my group of friends who play in our league, were happy I did.

First of all the map is based on the area the characters live in, in the Walking Dead novels, with the Prison in the center along with The governors area, the Greene Family Farmland, the Military Zone, the Governor’s Woodbury, Rick’s Atlanta Survival Camp and a small residential area all surrounding it.
In this Risk, it is possible to run around like crazy, taking territories as there are so many ways of getting into the zones. No longer, can players hole up in continents like Australia, with it’s one entry point, now you have to fight on all fronts to hold your territories.
Each player gets a group who have a ability to use throughout the game. Rick, displays his resourcefulness by being able to take a reinforcement phase at any point in the players turn. The Governor displays his ruthlessness, by being able to steam roll a territory and kill everyone in it, if you roll three of the same dice while attacking and killing at least one defender. The Greene’s medical expertise come to the fore, as they have less of a chance of becoming zombies (walker’s for fans’ of the show or book). The prisoner’s can lower a players defense total for a quick kill at the start of their go, displaying their… sneakiness??!! The prisoners are the only ones who seem out of place, if you are a fan, as they didn’t really have an impactful group in either format.
So what’s to stop this becoming a free for all death match, I here you wonder?? One word, my friends, Zombies!
At the start of every players go, you must draw territory cards for the Zombies and place one to three zombies on each territory drawn. It starts slow, first turn, 1 zombie on 1 territory, on each players turn, then escalating to 2 zombies on 2 territories on the second round and so on, until at the start of each players turn 3 zombies are appearing in 4 territories. Once they land they must be fought off as they do not stop until they are all killed.
You have the advantage of speed, add an extra 1 to each dice when fighting them, but if they defeat a defender, the defender can turn into one by rolling a die and getting 1, 2 or 3. This new zombie immediately joins the attack. 4, 5 or 6 and they are fine, dead but you’ll be happy.
This changes play style completely. Now instead of Risks usual strategy of Attack, Attack and reinforce the front lines, now you have to survive! You can attack, (and you will), but you have to remember to bolster all the territories you own for each inevitable Zombie attack.
Event cards are also picked up at the start of each turn, which give players the chance to increase defense, attack or get abilities, if they pass different dice roll tests or take a set number of territories. This increases the chance of pushing for an attack when you, otherwise, would not. Also everyone could be hit by starvation in one zone, including your own players and you would lose one man per territory etc.
The game then ends when the overrun card is drawn. This gets shuffled into the bottom half of the event deck. I like this as each game is around two hours long and doesn’t get tedious, it also forces you to watch how many territories and zones (continents) you own so far as the player with the most wins the game.
You also earn bullets which can be traded for extra men or held until the end for extra points. If you wipe someone out completely you can take all their ammo. Another Risk vs Reward mechanic that forces each person to consider alternating play styles.

Replay Value – We found, in our group that we put this as the second best Risk after 2210. (I have Legacy, but have not played it yet) It is just a different approach to the game and really revives a tired formula.

Components – Sturdy pieces with thick little bases on them to ensure they won’t be falling over easily. Everything is done in the art style of the graphic novels, so fans will be happy.

Easy to learn – Simple, same as Risk but with a few additions.

All in all, I would say this is the best Walking Dead game, not zombie game, but Walking Dead game on the market. It makes you feel like you are a character from the series, making deals with other factions to keep yours alive and fending off the zombie hoards. Pick it up if you loved Risk but felt there was nothing left it had to offer.


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