RISK: Battlefield 4 Rogue Board Game

risk-battlefield-rogueRisk Battlefield Rogue combines the tactical squad-based team play from the award-winning Battlefield series with the strategy and skill of the Risk game. The game comes with nine different scenarios, each with its own victory condition. In each scenario, you choose tiles to combine to form the battlefield. Then, you use squads to achieve your objective. You might be fighting to control a zone, placing units in a certain location, or eliminating your opponent’s units.

There are three levels of play: Boot Camp, Intermediate, and Advanced. The Advanced mode includes rules for air support, destructible cover, special commander powers, and class-specific powers. On their turn, players will draw cards based on how many and which type of control points they own, move aircraft, fight other aircraft, move one squad, and fire with one squad.

The game’s cards allow players to recruit new units, call in airstrikes, or manipulate combat odds by upgrading the specialized attack and defense dice to more powerful ones with better results. The winning player or team is the one that accomplishes the stated victory condition on a scenario, usually by holding a specific set of territories or eliminating an entire opposing force.

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Description provided by boardgamegeek

Though other Risk variants typically have two or three different game modes, instead Rogue has scenarios, which consist of a stated mission objective and a map layout. You and up to three other players will be building squads of military specialists–recon, assault, engineers, and support personnel–to try to win the game, usually by capturing a specific territory, holding an area, or accomplishing other area control-focused goals (it’s worth noting that this is essentially a 2-player game, with the 3-4 player scenarios being comprised of team-based play). From the word “go”, the game feels nothing like Risk: on your turn, you get to move one unit and then attack with one unit–and that’s pretty much it (though a few more steps are added in the advanced game). It can’t be overstated how dissimilar this is from the flow of the classic game. It’s utterly and apologetically tactical, with each move an agonizing decision that must be weighed against factors like what your opponent just did, what you think he’s about to do, what your goals are, and how much you’re willing to–well, risk. 

A normal turn will have you drawing cards at the start based on how many key areas you control. You also get one free card draw, but you can never draw from a deck corresponding to control points your opponent is currently dominating, so letting an opponent monopolize air support zones gives him full control of the skies. Even deciding what card to draw is a deliciously brutal decision as you analyze the game state: should I go for broke on air support and hope for rocket barrage or strafing runs? Or should I reinforce my thinning lines with a Leadership draw? I have a crucial attack planned, so maybe combat cards will be best… It’s all drawn from the very best school of game design, where you need to accomplish a dozen things but have to pick the most important one or two.

Second in your turn comes air support. This element is more abstracted than ground combat, as you simply have tokens representing whether you have air superiority on a given tile, and conflicting tokens will battle it out in a dogfight. You can then play the Air Support cards you drew earlier in the game, which can rain down devastation on enemy troops below. While Air Support is usually not quite as effective as straight fire rolls, they can have a wider area of effect and don’t have to roll against defensive dice, plus they can permanently remove a zone’s cover bonus. Since your team only has three air support tokens, on the backs of which are printed the tank tokens, you have to carefully weigh whether you want to put your weight behind air support or double down on your armored squads.

Finally, you’ll move any one squad of four units or less and attack with any one squad. Squads can move anywhere on their own tile or jump to one zone that must be adjacent to their tile, and can only fire at adjacent zones, barring any special cards or unit abilities. As with every other element of this game, you are very restricted with what you can do but have a hundred things to accomplish. This makes extra move cards in the Leadership deck, extra moves due to Assault specializations, and extra attacks from the Weapons deck all the more valuable.

Battles are decided with one attack roll and one defense roll, so it won’t take multiple rolls to compare D6s as in the classic game. Tanks, cover tokens, and combat cards will upgrade your dice to one with double hits and double blocks, and even a defensive counter-hit. Some of the dice and unit combos can be devastating, lending a swingy feel to the combat. A card that doubles your hits couple with a few upgraded dice rolls can totally clear out an enemy squad in the open and put the attacker within a turn or two of victory when he looked out of the race moments before. This aspect of the game effectively contributes to the feel of playing a Battlefield-style video game, as entire areas are bombarded from above, blasted by tanks and long-range snipers, and suddenly respawn the very next turn at their home base.

  • Malik Nope

    Finally Battlefield 4 were the adults dont complain that kids play it. :D

    • Patrick

      I think the game is pretty cool, but the rules are vague. Sometimes you can figure it out but I found a couple situations where its just vague. For example, on page 9 it states that “the attacker now roles …. up to a maximum of three dice” and there are only 3 standard attaching combat dice are included in the game (the standard attack die have blue attack splats). And then below in the picture it shows four blue dice attack splats, but only three dice can be rolled so you are left to assume the upgraded orange dice must be a double hit, but it is not represented in the picture. So that one can be figured out, but it also states on page 9 that “Any squad upgrades one combat die for every cover token in THAT zone, both when attacking and defending”. So my question is what does “THAT” refer to when attacking, the zone the squad is attacking from or the zone it is firing into. It doesn’t seem to make sense that you upgrade an attacking die if you are attacking into a zone with cover, The upgraded dice would cancel each other out. With tanks it says they cannot move into a wooded area, but can they move through it and land in an open space? The Nazi’s did it in the battle of the bulge. And can a recon squad in advanced play shoot at right angled zones. The rules are not clear in the section that explains the advanced recon capabilities but in the section on combat it says the squad can fire into any adjacent zone. So if those same rules apply then it can fire into a zone that is four adjacent zones away from a recon squad with 4 units, it doesn’t say those zones have to have a line of sight or be in a straight line.