"Rest assured, the gods will not sit idle in this war."
-- from the Risk Godstorm rulebook
In the previous column, we showed you the god of the sky and how he can banish other gods from the battleground. This column is about the sky cards, which you can use to thwart your opponents' basest intentions. The sky god is a protector of his people who does not take kindly to his children being attacked.
Sky cards are very fast miracles that are played on your opponents' turns to surprise them. All sky cards say, Play when attacked. This means you can play them only during your opponents' Invade Territories Step. Most of them cost a few faith tokens to invoke. Because the sky god is concerned only with the defense of his people, these cards are the ones that require an opponent to make do with less or face a stronger force than expected. When you attack a player holding a fistful of sky cards and a sky god anywhere on the board, expect your going to be rough indeed.
Sky cards are played as an invasion is declared, after the invader has announced how many armies and gods will be in the invasion. The attacker will have played any war cards he or she wanted to use to make the invasion easier, so you don't have to worry about the attacker pulling a fast one after you play a sky card.
A sky card can make it impossible or undesirable for an attacker to take a territory. Life isn't fair sometimes. The attacker still has to complete at least one invasion, even if he or she no longer thinks that the attacking forces can win.
The Sky God's Labor: Deicide
The sky god wants only one thing of his followers: the destruction of all opposing deities. When you banish one or more opposing gods in godswar during your turn (not your opponents' turns) and you have the sky god anywhere on the board, you draw a free sky card. You can only get one sky card per turn in this fashion.
Unlike war cards you gain from the war god's Labor, you can put these sky cards to use before your next turn. All it takes is someone attacking your territory, and you can marshal the power of your sky cards.
Following are some example sky cards.
The sky god's most basic instinct is to rob those who threaten his people of their resources and even their lives. Some sky cards take away what you need to defeat him.
Your Idol is False is one of these robber cards. Its text is: Sacrifice 1 faith. Banish a god of your choice from the attacking territory.
You can lose gods, armies, and pretty much everything else to a defender with a sky god on the board and some sky cards in hand.
Still, though these robber cards can cost you resources, they're also costing the sky god's player resources as well. Two or three players ganging up on a player with sky cards can strip the player of faith tokens and cards.
Other sky cards strengthen the attacked territory or forces. When the sky god calls, all of his followers rise up in resolute fury.
1,000 Workers Amass, for example, allows you to take some of your forces and bring them to the front lines. Its text is: Place a temple in the defending territory.
A fortifier like this can give you a better chance against an equal force. Now you're rerolling all your 1s and winning ties. That can be just the boost you need to hold a territory. (Of course, if you lose the battle, you've just handed your opponent a temple.)
Other cards like this can change the result of a battle, or maybe even more than one. One such card is Fire Sears the Sky, which gives you +4 on all defensive godswars till the end of the attacking player's turn. The attack doesn't need to be against a territory that contains any of your gods. This might stop your opponent from attacking your gods altogether. Sometimes the battle forestalled is the most decisive.
A few sky cards can even quell your opponents' aggressions before they get underway. In this way, the sky god can take over your opponents' armies or hold them at bay.
This Ground is Sacred is one such card. Its text is: Sacrifice 3 faith. Stop this invasion. The defending territory can't be attacked this turn. Nothing is quite so satisfying as a massive force on your border that can't go anywhere.
These converters strike at the heart of the game: If you can't attack, you can't win. Thankfully, these cards don't last forever. Once the card is gone, the defender will have to obtain more to avoid your wrath in the future.
Next week's columns will focus on the cleverest of deities, the magic goddess. She can work her wonders in ways that will change your actions for the rest of the game.
Catch up on any previews you missed!
- Into the Fire
- The World of the Ancients
- God-Fearing People
- Gods Among Men
- The Warlords
- Miracles On the Battlefield
- The Sky Kings
- Blessings From the Heavens
- The Reliquary Opens
- Pandora's Box
Mike Selinker has been playing, designing, developing, and just plain loving games of every variety for many, many years. He is a gamer in the very best sense of the word. Mike lives in Seattle.