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20

If you are an offensive player, Craig Reade wrote a good strategy page discussing starting in South America, which is a continent I like to start in, if I can. The basic elements of the strategy are: Don't play defensively. You'll get boxed in and die. You don't want to gain the continent, but lose the game because it cost you too much to take it. That ...


20

I'd warn against the common tactic of trying to take Australia. Frequently, its seen as an overly defensible position, leading to an 'early-leader', situation, which itself spawns a coalition effort to break you down or at worst, lock you in Australia. If you're going to shoot for an early continent, I recommend South America or Africa; and don't do it ...


16

This is purely off the top of my head, but the following come to mind: Learn the most likely die rolls Look at paths of contact (eg, you can only get to Australia through Siam) Find "choke points" (building off the contact paths) Note that Continent bonuses are in proportion to not only size, but difficulty in holding/winning them Gameplay can be wildly ...


15

I generally think of Axis and Allies as being like advanced Risk. Also there are all of the different Risk clones, 2210, LoTR, Star Wars, Godstorm and others which introduce slight variants in maps and rules. Of those I'd recommend 2210, but if you can handle the complexity, which isn't bad in the grand scheme, Axis and Allies is the way to go.


15

All of the detailed probability calculations and Markov analysis posted by Eric P. and ire_and_curses can be distilled into a simple set of Risk attack heuristics: Large battles favor the attacker but only very slightly. For small battles, attack if you have more armies, stop if you don't. The rationale for these guidelines is outlined below. A large ...


14

Hold a medium-to-small sized continent (like South America or Africa) and avoid aggression while you build up. Attempting to take Asia, Europe, or North America will raise a lot of red flags, and Australia's defensibility makes it suspicious too. RISK is defined in the later game by the ridiculous armies you get when trading in cards, so your main task is ...


14

Don't underestimate the importance of visual cues or psychological warfare; in games like Risk and Diplomacy, these are the very underpinnings of your negotiation platform. For example, if you are playing one of the game sets that features little men and cannons, then arrange them on your spaces facing away from one enemy, and massed on the 'border' with ...


12

Diplomacy is a similar game in that its aim is to conquer other players land. However it removes the dice and the element of chance, replacing it with face to face negotiation (making it a much better game IMHO). You can play it online for a quick taster. There are also lots of other web based learning resources.


12

Convince the other players of the power of his tactics and the need to 'break his continent' before he 'runs away with the game'. Lead the coalition against his evil ways. Use this coalition to mask your own strategy, as you set yourself up to emerge most powerful from the ashes. Risk is all about controlling the perceptions of the rest of the table.


11

Australia is not an island. The rules for the 2003 edition define an island as follows: A mission may require you to control an island. An island is a territory completely surrounded by water and only connected to other territories by sea-lines, for example Indonesia. See page 18 of the rules here: http://www.hasbro.com/common/instruct/Risk_2003.pdf


9

The thing that seperates the newbies from the intermediate players in RISK is: KNOW WHEN TO STOP ATTACKING. Essentially, the inexperienced player will look at the board, look at the forces he has, the forces the enemy has, realize that he has enough men to carry the day, and attack. He is, however, looking at the wrong pieces. Instead, a player should ...


9

Shogun is another similar game. The combat is different in this game (you are not using dice at all) but gathering resources and conquering other provinces (which act like countries in Risk) has the same basic principles.


9

A good paper by Jason Osborne can be found here. (It's a correction to an earlier paper by Tan.) He uses Markov chain calculations to get the exact probabilities. You'll especially want to look at Table 3 on page 6, which has these probabilities rounded to three decimals for up to 10 armies per side. I've reproduced it below: As to ease of use: just print ...


8

I highly recommend taking a strong area that you intend to make yours, and a number of satellite areas that are either easy to defend by themselves (eg: Australia), or that are relatively proximal to your strong area. For example, starting with South America, grab a few locations in North America, Africa and Europe. This will make it more difficult for your ...


8

If you can grab a continent, go for it. But don't forget about the other parts of the map. Too often players focus on the easy continents and ignore the harder ones, allowing an easy win for another player.


8

Box him in and attack him elsewhere. If he's boxed in, he can't gain territories around his base except by suffering heavy losses. Now he has to gain his Risk Card Territory elsewhere, where he's vulnerable. Whittle down the number of his territories, and soon he'll have to place some of his new armies outside his base to have a good chance of gaining a ...


8

Play with the rules variant (which is in the manual in at least some versions of RISK) that tones down the trade-ins for armies. Instead of the trade-ins escalating by 5 in the endgame, they simply go up by two every time (4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16...). This makes the other ways of obtaining armies more relatively important and downplays the importance of ...


8

As stated in the Risk FAQ the expected losses per attack for standard Risk rules is about 6 to 7. This means the attacker is expected to lose 6 armies for every 7 defender armies destroyed. Since we're talking about expected values, this represents the mean (average), which is most akin to a 50th percentile or 50% chance that that is what will happen. ...


7

There are two sides to Risk, one of them being the actual armies, countries and cards you hold. As lilserf correctly points out, you usually aren't allowed to hold any major continents. I don't quite agree with Australia. It's easy to defend, but it's usually not near the tension and there's the danger that you get isolated, so I don't find it superior over ...


7

If you have 12 territories you get +1 unit. You can achieve in Asia without taking a continent.


7

Beginners usually concentrate on the continent bonuses, but they're actually not all that important. A few key tactical points to remeber: always make an attack every turn to gain a card. Other than that, you don't want to attack unless there's a good reason always strive to NOT be the strongest player, or the weakest. They're the targets. THE key ...


7

I have always played against the same circle of friends and family in the past, and I normally win. My experience is limited to their playing styles, though. I start in Australia (against popular advice, it seems), and then progress from there conservatively. I will never weaken my front by going for that extra territory at all cost. Breach out to Japan, ...


7

Although the full calculation to discover whether you will win a sequence of battles is difficult to make, it is easy to calculate the chances of winning any particular combination of attacker and defender dice. I reproduce here the table of expected losses described in this paper. Defender Dice 1 2 ...


7

The computer game Lux is Risk, but with a huge number of custom maps and themes. You can also create your own maps using their map editor. Many of the maps include additional rules, such as time-based continent values or starting positions. If you're interested in Risk played on arbitrary graphs (nb. including directed graphs!) then I think this would be ...


7

I ran a script to calculate probabilities of attacker losing two troops (D wins), defender losing two troops (A wins) and each losing one troop (Tie). The following table shows these probabilities, along with the difference from standard play in brackets. The final column shows the troop loss ratio per die. Number of | Win Probabilities (Difference due ...


6

The Risk Tournament of Champions celebrated their 20th championship in 2008, the 2009 championship was cancelled. The web page @ risktoc.org is defunct. You can view the old web pages via The Internet Archive Wayback machine. The replacement is the new Annual Risk Classic. The 1st championship will be decided November 6-7, 2010.


6

It is helpful to know your odds of winning any given battle over a territory. Doing that involves quite a bit more than just learning the most likely die rolls. This paper from Mathematics Magazine: www4.stat.ncsu.edu/~jaosborn/research/osborne.mathmag.pdf gives some nice charts and tables and an overall pretty readable analysis of win/lose odds, and ...


6

Be careful. Usually tinkering with houserules, if you overlook something, you can make it up on the spot. If there is real money at stake, suddenly the game becomes much more serious and the ability to quickly tweak something which might be in one player's favor or another is gone. From your initial idea, I see several dramatic flaws. First is that Risk is ...


5

I really like Risk 2210 A.D.. Basically a faster, more Aggressive risk (also more luck and less strategy, but this does not take away from the fun of nuking a continent :)) Quest for the Dragonlords also plays a little like risk, but, to be honest, fails miserably at being any fun to play.


4

How about Twilight Imperium. We always play and when I explain to someone who is not into the scene what it is I always end up saying:"Ok, do you know Risk? Well it's like that but more complicated". But I guess there are loads of game that then qualify as advanced Risk :).



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