I spent many years playing Risk with friends and I participated in local tournaments, finishing in fourth place in the finals.
The Golden Rule
One of the best advice I've ever received while playing Risk is the "Baby steps rule".
Because of how it was created, Risk is a very long and very complex strategy game and facing it like a race (immediately attacking all opponents with all available troops, etc.) leads to certain defeat.
The game tends to reward players who have good resilience and know how to plan their moves over a long-term time horizon.
Very often drawing too much attention in the early stages is a bad sign and easily leads to defeats or uninspiring games.
In fact, the game does not prohibit (and in some cases even promotes) the possibility of creating a sort of fleeting alliance with the players of your table if someone starts to break the status quo.
In the long run, however, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain the status quo and therefore it is normal for fragile alliances to end.
The aim therefore is to accumulate small advantages that in the long term lead to a position of superiority that can no longer be opposed.
One possible way to gain an advantage is to create "strongholds'', or neighboring territories that allow you to maintain a minine garrison in some of them that cannot be attacked by other players. For example, Japan can have a minimal garrison if we control both Mongolia and Kamchatka.
The best way to gain advantage is to conquer at least one territory in each of our game turns and earn a coveted card.
The best strategy is to be able to earn a card every turn but without getting too weak or antagonizing too many players.
In fact, whether we conquer a territory or acquire more than one, we will only receive one card.
For this reason it is counterproductive to declare war against too many territories since we will only acquire one card at the end of the turn and, moreover, we will leave a few troops to defend these territories that will be stolen from us by the other players in close proximity.
It is therefore essential to take a "trophy card" and at the same time consolidate the territories acquired in order to keep them for as long as possible.
Acquiring cards will allow us to have access to the exchanges where we will be able to receive a greater number of troops as a gift to put on the battlefield for our new moves.
This spring effect can launch us very far in our game so that we will have to face (sooner or later) the conquest of an entire continent or a secondary objective such as breaking the hegemony of another player.
Which continent to take first?
If you want to try your hand at conquering your first continent, there are several options to consider:
Australia is the easiest continent to conquer and defend, in fact just put a good line of defense in Siam or Indonesia and you can move on to something else.
At the same time, however, its greatest weakness is its decentralized position and therefore precludes the possibility of accessing other territories or expansion.
South America often falls into the same principle but is slightly more difficult to control but at the same time allows for minimal mobility being able to access North America and Africa.
From here the expansion to North America is not easy given the large number of territories (as many as 9) that make up North America.
It is probably easier to move and experience expansion to Africa.
Africa is in my opinion a great starting point due to its central position on the board and guarantees quick access to other continents. At the same time, however, it is more difficult to conquer and defend but it provides a troop bonus that helps to balance the points against.
The first two continents are easier even for beginners while conquering Africa as the first continent already requires some skill and some experience. For a short time, due to a printing error, East Africa did not border the Middle East, facilitating the conquest of the continent. The border was restored in subsequent reprints of Risk.
North America and Europe are generally similar (they produce the same amount of bonus troops), North America is more difficult to conquer as it consists of a greater number of territories while Europe is more difficult to maintain due to the greater number of neighboring territories.
They are usually conquered in later game stages, after having already conquered other continents to obtain the necessary troops.
Asia is the most difficult of the continents to conquer and maintain as it is made up of 12 territories and borders on 4 other continents.
Nobody should consider conquering all of Asia as the first continent.
One last tip is to play this game as much as possible with real people in your family or friends.
In fact, diplomacy is one of the most important aspects to consider in this type of game and helps to make the game more fun to play.
There are also different software to play in multiplayer or with CPU-controlled players but nothing and I say nothing is like playing it in person.
In addition to this, there are a thousand variations and a thousand versions for all tastes and all game groups.
Do not you believe it?
And the same can be said for Assassin's creed, Plant vs Zombies, The Elder Scrolls, Star Wars, Rick and Morty, and many more!
What is your favorite version? Are you a lover of the Classic version? Let me know in the comments!
© 2021 Christian Allasia