Great, kid. Don’t get cocky.
The EOG succumbs to the Dark Side and delves into a copy of Star Wars Risk (The Black Series). More expensive means better components, but is the Black Series version worth the extra money?
Hasbro isn’t known for their attention to detail when it comes to quality components, so it’s interesting to see how they’ve recognised there’s a market for more discerning gamers out there and produced the Black Series version of their new Star Wars game. A game that is unfortunately forced to carry the burden of the stupid title of Risk when it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the game Risk. It’s enough to make you hang your head in despair at the idiocy of marketing departments.
That aside, the game is a fun development of the card-and-dice-driven system used in Star Wars: The Queen’s Gambit (not absence of the word Risk from that title). There are three battles going on simultaneously (the space battle, the attempt to lower the shields on Endor, and the duel between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader) and cards determine which orders you can play to keep your end up in each of them – by rolling lots of dice, basically. Perfect for a bit of beer-and-pretzels Star Wars gaming. What’s more, this Black Series edition is a treat. I’m particularly blown away by the high density foam layer, the board sections and Rebel Fleet tokens snuggling contentedly into their custom-cut spaces. I almost hope this stuff never becomes available to the general public, because I could see myself casting a jaundiced eye over my hundreds of foamcore inserts and declaiming: “you’re not good enough for me anymore! This new foam has entered my life!”
The quality touches don’t end there. The boards and tokens are backed with black card embossed with a leather texture, there’s a liberal use of UV gloss varnish throughout, and you get some lovely little extra miniatures for the Millenium Falcon, the Death Star, and the Executor. All packaged in a stylish red-lined box that is only let down by a dinky, ugly illustration on the cover. Sadly, the designer (or more likely, the marketing department again) lost his courage at this point, and what should have been a clean, sharp, graphic cover got replaced with a crappy black and white space battle that looks like it was collaged together from separate clip art pictures.
Despite the fumble with the cover, this is a very nice edition, and not too much more expensive than the normal version. Here’s hoping we see more of these special editions from Hasbro, and more importantly, more fun light games like this one.