Pawtucket RI – Toy manufacturer Hasbro today presented a new version of the classic strategy board game Risk which will be commercially available from spring 2018. In Risk Syria, up to 32 players (Russia, USA, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Germany, Iran, etc.) can engage in a proxy war on the battleground of Syria using an unending series of dice games to dispute the bombed-out city of Aleppo and the handling of so-called ‘Islamic State’.
The special feature of Risk Syria (€55.99, US$ 64.99) is that neither Assad’s government in Damascus nor the extremists take part in the game as powers in their own right. Instead, they are just game characters (soldier=1, tank=5, combat helicopter with barrel bomb=10) who are mercilessly played off against one another and sent to the slaughter by the real powers in the background.
|One of 25 mission cards included in the game
Risk fans will quickly become confident with the mechanics of the game. Many rules are quite close to the original, such as the workings of attack and defence. The novelty here is that for every defeated soldier unit, five Syrian civilian units must also be removed from play.
The game is finished when there are no more Syrians. After a duration of about 37 hours, which is typical for Risk, the power that benefitted most of the civil war has won. Mission cards are drawn at the beginning of the game and define the players’ goals. These include increasing your profile in your home country, strategic access to natural resources, increasing your sphere of influence and strengthening your domestic arms industry.
If the Syria edition of Risk is well received on the board game market, Hasbro has plans to develop further board games relating to topical events. Potential future projects include a Greek version of Monopoly, Akropoly (all players start with horrendous debts), Trump Jenga (the player who builds the tallest tower wins the right to grope the female players) and ‘IS’ Chess (with a veiled queen who always follows one square behind the king; camels instead of knights; eight suicide bomber pawns).