# What are these Roman Numerals?

I got this used RISK game from a friend, and it was her son's when he was a kid. It had most of the pieces and the cards, but there was also a plastic container in the box with little plastic Roman Numerals in them. They were not mentioned in the instructions, and they didn't match at all the rest of the game. I would like to know if anyone has an idea where they're from. Here are some pics and information on the RISK version:

The box:

The Roman Numerals:

The mismatched box and a RISK pieces box.

The copyright of this edition of RISK is 1993.

According to BoardGameGeek and many other sources, the pieces do belong to Risk. BoardGameGeek : offer from Game Crafter LLC

The numerals represent armies : I is 1 army, III is 3 armies, V is 5 armies, X is 10 armies.

Rules for Risk 1980, from Hasbro

• That doesn't mean the pieces aren't from Risk, quite likely being the collation of different versions into one box.
– Nij
Commented Oct 6, 2021 at 23:50
• @Bentley Carpenter : Don't worry about it. We're all learning from our errors here, through civilised discussion. Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 15:22
• I don't remember ever seeing pieces like that. Were they introduced in some year, perhaps, and you have a mismatched set? Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 16:04
• @BentleyCarpenter More likely they update the included pieces each time they update the box and board art, which seems to happen every 10-15 years at the latest. Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 17:59
• @RobertMiller I've submitted an edit, and also a separate answer, because there's a rather large misunderstanding here: those rules aren't valid for the whole period from 1959 to 1980; 1959 is just the copyright date from the first edition, re-iterated on all subsequent editions. The 1959 edition used wooden blocks, and in fact the 1980 rules are the only ones that mention the Roman numeral army counters. Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 21:46

Over the years, the "army" pieces in Risk have come in four main styles:

1. Wooden cubes for a single army, and "oblong pieces" for ten armies, as descried in these 1959 instructions.
2. Triangular / three-pointed plastic pieces for a single army, and five-pointed stars for ten armies, as featured in instructions from 1969, 1975 and 1990
3. The Roman numeral pieces you found, representing one, three, five, and ten armies, as seen in these 1980 instructions.
4. Plastic infantry (single army), cavalry (five armies), and artillery (ten armies), as seen in manuals from 1993, 1999, and 2003. These can also be seen in the current version sold by Hasbro and its instructions, dated 2015. Hasbro acquired Parker Brothers in 1991, so it's likely that these pieces were introduced in the first edition under that management.

Note that only the 1980 manual shows the Roman numeral pieces you found, and the 1990 one shows the star shapes again, so it seems that these were only issued for a relatively short period. Note also that standard editions from the last 30 years seem to have used different variations of the infantry, cavalry and artillery figurines, so these are probably the ones you are most likely to find.

• Risk Legacy has a variant of the 1/5/10 armies with infantry, armored vehicles, and hexagonal/star-shaped bases for them. Commented Oct 9, 2021 at 1:58
• I wouldn't be surprised if the "extra pieces" was added from a different copy of risk so that it could be played with more players. Commented Oct 19, 2021 at 19:26