Clarification: This is a review of the Skirmish Edition of Game of Thrones RISK.
If you’ve searched for this review, you probably want to know if you should buy Game of Thrones RISK or not.
As ever, there isn’t a straight yes or no answer. Usually this is because it depends on what kind of gamer you are, how many people you’re looking to play with, and what sort of game you tend to enjoy together.
This time, it comes down to whether you’re looking for a licensed reskin of a game you’ve played before or not. Then, if you’re a huge board game fan looking to play games with other gamers or if you’re just looking for a Game of Thrones board game to pull out at Christmas.
This is because there are two editions of the game. Deluxe seems to be an expansive game that takes the original game RISK and plays with it, pours some of the Game of Thrones world into it and comes back to you with a whole new game, two maps to play with, and the chance to play as any of the big names in the TV series. Whereas the Skirmish offers a reskinned version of RISK with a board design that seems borderline broken. When it boils down to it, one of these editions looks very good and a worthwhile purchase you’ll enjoy and get hours and hours out of. The other is this one.
Just by looking at what the Deluxe edition offers you might be interested. I certainly am, and I fully intend to try it out when I get the chance to play with a few other fans of the series. Unfortunately, there are several posts across the Internet that show it’s not always made completely clear whether a webstore is selling the Skirmish Edition or the Deluxe Edition. There are plenty of low reviews out there just because people have been ripped off trying to pick up the deluxe edition only to be sent the skirmish.
In the interest of helping you out so you can make a more informed decision on which version you’re interested in, here is a full list of differences between the Skirmish and Deluxe Editions of Game of Thrones RISK:
Skirmish Edition is playable by up to five players and features one game mode playable on one map – Skirmish.
Skirmish Edition comes with:
Five playable Houses: Baratheon, Lannister, Martell, Stark and Tyrell
Each of these Houses have: 30 pieces that represent one army, 15 that represent three armies and a Seat of Power piece.
Three red six-sided dice.
Two black six-sided dice.
One deck of Territory cards.
One End Game card.
Deluxe Edition is playable by up to seven players and features three game modes and two maps – Skirmish, Domination and World at War.
Deluxe Edition comes with:
The five Houses included in Skirmish Edition as well as Houses Targaryen and Ghiscari
Each of these Houses have: 30 pieces that represent one army, 15 that represent three armies, a Seat of Power piece and a player board representing the House.
Three red six-sided dice.
Two black six-sided dice.
Two red eight-sided dice (for Dominion mode).
Two black eight-sided dice (for Dominion mode).
Two decks of Territory cards.
One End Game card (for Skirmish mode).
Objective cards (for Dominion mode).
Character cards (for Dominion mode).
Maester cards (for Dominion mode).
63 special unit tokens (for Dominion mode).
75 Gold Dragon Coins (for Dominion mode).
20 tokens of +10 for player boards (for Dominion mode.
The Deluxe version of Game of Thrones RISK looks incredible. 2-7 players using different boards with Dominion mode which looks brilliant.
Unfortunately, this is a review for the Skirmish Edition of Game of Thrones RISK. As such it’s a 3-5 player game that is described by the rule book of the full edition as “designed as an introductory version of RISK: Game of Thrones game play”.
And it does feel a bit like a demo for a full game. It’s a normal game of RISK except it ends when the Valar Morghulis card is drawn, after which you find yourself wishing that you could have played across a bigger world to experience more territorial fighting. It’s not a tiny board, it’s got nine regions that are made up of 48 territories, but due to the shape of the board you find that whoever holds The Wall and everything North of it can just slowly steamroll down the board.
So you finish playing after knowing which of the players was going to win for a good while as even though it feels like it isn’t as deep as RISK it still takes the huge amount of time that RISK takes. It’s bloody a long time to commit to a game that sees itself as an “introductory version” of itself.
In all honesty, if you’re a big Game of Thrones fan with a couple of mates who are equally into it and you just want to get back into the world, shout quotes at each other, see who wins and then put it back in the cupboard for a few months, the Skirmish edition is for you. It’s not overly complicated, it’s a basic strategy game where you move units and roll dice to see who wins battles for territories. If you’re looking for a deeper, richer gaming experience then I really think you need the Dominion game mode that you only get in the Deluxe Edition. I’d love to be able to recommend it. It seems really enjoyable and ten times the game skirmish mode is, but I haven’t played it. I’ve only read about it in an online version of the instructions.
Oh, the board is lovely. It’s a really nice depiction of Westeros and a fair quality for a licensed game. The army pieces bring a real charm with them as you can start to get into character, moving your loyal armies around the country to try and quash rebellion as a Baratheon or try to reclaim the North as a Stark.
The components are really good. They just don’t have the oomph of a stellar game behind them. The insert of the box is huge for what you get as well. I really do think that this is the same insert as is in the Deluxe edition box, which really feels like a massive middle finger. Overall, it’s like the Skirmish edition was an afterthought and isn’t being given any respect.