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"Risk Boardgame Tutorial help..." Topic

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21 Jan 2015 3:47 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Risk Boardgame Tutorial help .." to "Risk Boardgame Tutorial help..."

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©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Editor Hebber Inactive Member21 Jan 2015 2:07 p.m. PST

Someone who'd be interested on teaching me the basics of how to play wisely on the boardgame Risk .. Thanks in advance.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2015 8:12 p.m. PST

1. Go slowly in your first few turns; the worst mistake in Risk is overextending your forces. Remember that later, too.
2. Australia and South America can be good places to start, but everybody tries for these. Don't get in a desperate war over them too soon..
3. North America is simpler to hold than it looks, with only three points of entry for the continent, so if you can grab it early, you will be in great shape.
4. "Never start a land war in Asia."
5. If you play with the escalating bonuses for turning in cards, pay attention to what amount comes next and who can turn in, because you'll have to deal with their massive array of armies next.
6. The game is best with four or more people, and a lot of open talk and dealing, truces and (temporary) alliances. Be thick-skinned, because invariably somebody will ally against you (especially if you're currently in the strongest position), or betray the truce you thought you had.
7. Assume the dice will hate you. If they appear to love you, they're just lulling you into a false state of bliss before they turn brutally sour. Plan accordingly. grin
8. Never play against children. Dice love children. grin
9. If you don't have at least 4 more armies on your territory than on your target territory, attacking might not be wise. However, in desperate situations, attack may be necessary.
10. You can only win one card each turn, no matter how many territories you capture. Sometimes it's best to move slowly to build your card supply, rather than swoop up several territories at once,
11. Be careful not to trap armies behind your own frontline of territories; armies that can't attack don't help much.
12. However, beware the old Roman mistake of leaving your interior too soft. A bunch of territories with only one army each is a continent waiting to be conquered.
13. If an opponent with a continent bonus will move next, denying him a continent bonus by capturing a territory might be wise. However, if someone else moves before he does, it can be clever to let them be the one to sacrifice armies to stop the bonus, while you simply build your forces.

Hope that helps!

Ditto Tango 2 3 Inactive Member21 Jan 2015 10:15 p.m. PST

Parzival, that's fantastic advice.

Streitax Inactive Member22 Jan 2015 8:50 a.m. PST

Nope, take the Patton approach. Attaque, attaque, toujours l'attaque. It will be an interesting, if short, game.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2015 11:08 a.m. PST

By the way, which version are you playing? The classic version only ends when one player has conquered the entire map. Modern versions have included either Secret Mission cards that end when a player has achieved a specific goal listed on a card dealt to each player at the start of the game ("Conquer North America and Africa," "Conquer 24 territories," etc.).. Other more recent versions use openly known "Missions" or "Objectives," similar to the Secret Mission cards, of which completing any three grants victory. And then there are the excellent variants that have a built in clock, as it were, that ends the game either on a specific turn (2210 AD, Godstorm), or on a specific, turn-variable event (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones), or upon achieving a theme and faction specific goal (capture Emperor Palpatine/destroy all Rebel forces, etc.). These versions may include special abilities and leader tokens, cards that affect game play, special territories and in-game goals and the like that will necessarily alter your strategy and tactics.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian22 Jan 2015 6:42 p.m. PST

then for the aficionado there is Risk: Legacy. In that one as you play the game you change the board and the forces for later games. At the end you have a unique set

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2015 9:06 p.m. PST

This may explain why I get my head handed to me by SWMBO. And she doesn't even like to play the game.

Martin Rapier23 Jan 2015 7:43 a.m. PST

Good advice Parzival, although what you need to do depends on the exact edition.

Generally (be it Risk classic or the more modern ones):

1. always take an area every turn to get your risk card
2. if planning an attack, calculate on losing one army per territory and one per enemy army on the way
3. look out for the obvious choke points on the board
4. prevent enemies from gaining armies for possessing complete countries/continents by establishing your chokepoint in their territory (just one area will do), not yours.
5. In classic Risk, one viable strategy is 'fortress Australia', take SE Asia and park on it, pop out each turn to get your Risk cards, then free move back to the choke point and build up a gigantic army using risk cards then conquer the entire world in one huge attack. You can sort of do this with Africa and South America too, but it is harder.
6. Generally, whoever takes and holds North & South America wins. Three entry points and seven automatic armies per turn, easy peasy. Ensure that it is you who takes America, or that you deny it to your opponents by parking a big army in Alaska or Greenland or Brazil.
7. As above, avoid Europe and Asia like the plague, unless it is required by your mission victory conditions of you need them for bridgeheads. Too many entry points, they are impossible to hold.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2015 2:52 p.m. PST

I agree on your strategic additions, Martin. The choke point advice is one I follow myself, if possible.

@Saber6 My group has Legacy as well. We've only had one round with it, though one member bought another copy and has been playing it with a youth group, with much success (and many changes!)

DS6151 Inactive Member16 Feb 2015 10:36 a.m. PST

#12 is the one I always have to actively remember.

monongahela Inactive Member03 Mar 2015 9:26 a.m. PST

Order pizza
First person out has time to meet delivery driver and pay

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP07 Mar 2015 8:36 a.m. PST

Consider going after Africa since nearly everyone else goes after Australia and South America.


Only three points of entry and gets three armies per turn if you hold it.

Terrement23 Jul 2015 2:06 p.m. PST

The BEST tactic is always roll better than your opponent.

I was in a wardroom once where the duty officers would play at night. One guy in particular would ALWAYS know when to attack who to get their cards to cash them in to then attack the next guy etc. and always won. In part, it was because the other players, fools that they were, and despite his behavior in every previous game, decided that they could really trust him this time.

So, one night when I sensed he was at or really near doing his thing, bad term to use today, but back then (late 80's) not so much, I declared Jihad against him and bled myself dry not trying to conquer and consolidate but to hit him as hard as I could wherever I could so that if the other woke the "heck" up, they'd follow up and shred him. I didn't care that I would lose. I only cared that he wouldn't (yet again) win.

He was incensed. "That's not how you play the game!"

"It is now…"

He was very keen on winning each time and somehow wasn't as excited about playing the next time, where I was quiet for a while, and then again declared Jihad against him.

And the next time.

Then the group switched to Spades.
Mission Accomplished.

Andy Skinner Supporting Member of TMP24 Jul 2015 5:45 a.m. PST

Don't confuse rules with computer implementations you've seen. We had one on the mac a long time ago that would let you empty out countries, and I did it that way in the boardgame once. One of my opponents said nothing, but placed an army in each of what I thought were my countries, because the rules say you can place them in empty countries. I'd not thought about it, because that's what you did in the software version we played.

I love the rules of the game, but hate playing. Too much animosity. Playing a computer was much less stressful.


Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP24 Jul 2015 5:30 p.m. PST

Yes back in AIT in 1976 (yeah a really long time ago) there was a group of us that would get together and play for the whole day.

Yes once the initial blood letting was done the game turn into a Cold War where treaties were made and broken and sooner or later someone will attempt something crazy.

Like the time I had Africa and the Middle East and had a treaty with the owner of Europe.

Treaty stated that I could not attack him in Europe from Africa.

Now his gaining five extra armies to my three meant that something had to be done.

So I declared war on him and attack from the Middle East. Well that broke the game open since I broke his hold on Europe along with destroying his power.

In most games their is usually someone who ends up on the short end (down to 2 countries that are no where near each other).

So no one is willing to take out their second country since that would leave their last country to another player.

So there I was with Europe and there was that player with with Ontario and another country in Asia who was holding onto four cards.

I decided that with me turning in I could have a chance to take him out and get his cards which would give me another turn in.

So I take the hard country first and broke thru Greenland and then off across Asia I went. The game shortly thereafter.

The game is called Risk for a reason.

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