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Risk is a classic war and world domination game that has been a favorite among board game enthusiasts for generations. Since it was first released in 1957, board game players have taken to this challenging, strategy filled game.
Its popularity has even given birth to the creation of other games, such as Axis & Allies and even Settlers of Catan.
One of the mainstays of Risk is the depth of play.
Although the general rules are fairly simple, the actual execution of the game is surprisingly complex. The game is a constant back and forth fight for power, and the winner is the player who controls the entire board.
With experienced players, you will see strategies implemented early on that could affect the game later. Novice players don’t realize some of the intricacies of the beginning of the game, and this often causes them to lose to more veteran players.
A game of Risk is going to take a while.
Though most board games can be played in 30-90 minutes, the average game of Risk is going to be over 2 hours.
If you have a couple players that are skilled, strategic, and determined, a game could even take days to complete. In Risk, there is so much to do on a turn that a player could spend over thirty minutes just working on what they are doing on their one turn.
Don’t let this scare you away.
Although Risk might be more of a commitment than you are used to when you open up a game, Risk offers a lot of fun.
It might take a couple hours to complete a game, but the mental exercise is well worth it.
The strategy needed to win a game of Risk will help you understand planning and execution. It will also help you realize that resources are important, and having a strong base of support is critical.
To see all of the different editions and spin-offs of Risk currently available you can click here.
How Do You Win The Game of Risk?
If you have ever tried to learn how to play Risk with someone who would be considered a veteran of the game, then you understand that it is a hard one to win. Although the dice rolling leaves a lot of randomness to the gameplay, the math and strategy needed to win is fairly complex outside of pure luck.
When considering what it takes to win a game of Risk, you have to keep one thing in mind, domination.
This isn’t just about the end goal of controlling the whole board, but dominating sections also.
You have to constantly plan ahead and be ready to adjust.
Some specific things to consider when playing Risk trying to win are:
A strategy is not a fixed plan, learn to control the activities of others, make unexpected plays, and conquer Asia… eventually.
With your strategy, you need to be flexible.
If your plan is to take over North America and an opponent has a strong hold on Central America or Alaska, you might consider looking elsewhere. If your fellow players are fighting over Europe and Africa, looking to take over Asia earlier than planned might be a viable option.
Once you understand what your opponents are trying to accomplish, force them to focus on that.
If you know your opponent is trying to take over a continent, and you have the ability to continually take a territory away to prevent them from scoring the extra troops, do so.
Every once in a while do something unexpected.
This could be dropping all your army on an ignored territory and marching through the weaker parts of your opponent’s board just after they took away a territory in your main continent.
Finally, you are eventually going to want to take Asia. It is the key to winning any game of Risk. It doesn’t need to be accomplished right away, and you have to remember that once you start trying to take Asia, you have to be able to defend Asia as well.
There are so many intricacies to the game of Risk that no one strategy is a fool-proof plan to win the game.
Dice rolls play a huge part in the game.
If a defender gets hot with their dice rolls, you could lose out on capturing a territory with a 10-1 advantage. So be ready to adjust and understand that pushing too far could end up costing you more than you gained.
Finally, try to learn something every time you play. If you win, take away something that worked this time that you hadn’t tried before. If you lose, try to figure out what the turning point of the game was.
If you can understand the reason for a win or a loss, you can strengthen your play in the future.
How Many Risk Pieces Do You Start with?
In Risk, the initial set-up of the game is very critical. You have to place your armies, one by one, player by player.
Each game is going to be slightly different in this initial set-up. This is different depending on how many players are playing the game.
If you are playing a 2 player Risk game, you start with 40 infantries for each player. As you add players, you remove 5 armies from that total, so a game of 3 players would have 35 infantries, 4 players would have 30 each, 5 players would go down to 25, and six players would start with just 20.
When initially placing your army, players will place one Infantry piece on a territory. Once all the territories have been claimed, players may begin placing additional Infantry pawns onto territories they already occupy.
This is only done after all 42 territories have been claimed.
Risk is a great game that will take a lot of time to complete. It is a game that is designed to test your strategy. Although the dice add a lot of variety to the game, strategy is the key to winning in this classic board game.
If you have the ability, try to set the game up so you don’t have to put it away at the end of the night.
Not every game is going to be finished before your guests feel it is time to go. If you are lucky enough to have a dedicated area of your home to set-up a game like Risk, do so.
This could easily lead to a second night of board games with your friends.