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How to Win at the Game Risk
Conquering and Keeping TerritoriesDealing with Your OpponentsImproving Your GameArticle SummaryQuestions & AnswersRelated Articles
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Risk is a fun, challenging game, but it can be difficult to win. If you are new to the game, then you may have an even harder time of winning the game. The first thing you should do is make sure that you are familiar with the rules of Risk. For basics of gameplay, see How to Play Risk. After you have mastered the basics, you can also improve your chances of winning by learning more about the strategies involved in Risk and getting lots of practice.
1Conquering and Keeping Territories
1Conquer continents wisely. While it is good to try to conquer continents early in the game, you should be careful about which continents you decide to conquer. There are advantages and disadvantages to each continent, but the main thing to consider is the isolation of a continent. More isolated continents may be easier to maintain, but they are also more difficult to expand from. Therefore, you should choose a continent that is in line with your strategy.
- For example, Australia is easy to conquer and maintain because of how isolated it is, but it is also hard to expand from Australia and you may fall prey to more powerful plays later in the game. For these reasons, conquering Australia may offer you an advantage, but only if you feel capable of overcoming its disadvantage.
2Pay attention to the army bonus that you get for each continent. Some continents are much more beneficial to hold than others because you will get a better army bonus each turn. Before you begin trying to conquer a continent, find out how many armies you will get as a bonus for holding that continent. For example, Europe gives you a bonus of 5 armies per turn for holding the continent, while Africa gives you a bonus of 3 armies per turn.
- Keep in mind that Europe and North America are the most beneficial continents to hold because they give you the best army bonuses. Try to hold one of these continents if you can.
3Attack with the right amount of armies. Knowing how many armies to use in an attack on an opponent can be a big boost to your chances of winning. A good general rule in attacking an enemy territory is to use as many armies as you can to attack your opponent's territory. This will increase your chances of winning and overtaking the territory. Keep in mind that you will need to move these armies to an adjacent territory or a territory connected by a sea line before you begin your attack.
- For example, if an opponent has two armies on a territory that you want, then you should attack that territory with the maximum amount of armies you can attack with, three.
Determine how many armies to keep on each territory. In most cases, you will benefit from having most of your armies on your border territories. Concentrating your armies in this way helps to reduce the chances that you will have a weak spot and be overtaken by an opponent. The territories within your borders can have fewer armies, but try to avoid having a single weak spot that an opponent may try to target.
2Dealing with Your Opponents
1Count your opponents’ armies at the end of each turn. It is a good idea to keep track of how many armies your opponents have by counting them after every turn. Doing so will help you to determine who is the weakest and who is the strongest player at all times.
- Try not to count out loud or let your opponents see you counting their armies or they may become suspicious of you.
Block opponent territories within your own territories. If you get the opportunity to surround an opponent’s territory with your territories, take it. Doing so will allow you to conquer that territory without fear of immediate retaliation. Blocking in an opponent’s territory will also prevent your other opponents from conquering a territory that you want.
Nail neighboring contents to prevent them from becoming too powerful. If one of your opponents is becoming strong and/or is close to conquering an entire continent, then you may want to consider a nailing strategy to slow him or her down. Nailing is when you place a large force on an opponent’s continent to disrupt his or her strategy. Doing so will slow the opponent down and prevent him or her from advancing too quickly, allowing you to stop them.
Form an alliance with a player of equivalent strength. Alliances are very helpful in Risk. When you form an alliance with a fellow player, you can team up against other stronger opponents and have more success in your conquests. Just keep in mind that you may have to fight against each other if you both survive to the end of the game, so the alliance is a temporary measure. If your ally has taken more territory than you, consider a surprise attack on their territory as a betrayal in hopes of taking their territory over.
1Try to earn your fellow players’ trust. If you are deceptive or dishonest, your fellow players may target you more often or be reluctant to negotiate with you. Therefore, it is in your best interest to be honest and try to earn your fellow players’ trust. Avoid lying or making and breaking promises, especially early on in the game.
- If you often play with the same people, keep in mind that they may remember past deceitful practices in future games that you play with them.
2Negotiate with your opponents whenever possible. If you and some other players are competing for a group of territories, then you may end up battling it out until one of you is out of the game. Instead of fighting with a neighboring player over land, try to negotiate with that player to reduce your chances of getting wiped out early in the game unless you are just too ruthless in Risk to want to negotiate.
- Try to make a treaty with another player. For example, if you have the majority of your armies on Africa and another player has the majority of his or her armies on South America, then you can agree to leave each other alone until you have both had a chance to expand your territories to the north.
3Improving Your Game
Make sure that you understand the rules. If you are new to Risk, then gaining a thorough understanding of the rules may help you to play a better game. Understanding the rules may also help you to catch your opponents is they try to cheat or bend the rules in their favor. Read the rulebook carefully to make sure that you have a good understanding of how to play Risk.
Play often and with more experienced players. The more you play, the more you will be able to work on your game strategy, so play as often as you can. It is also a good idea to try to play with more experienced players who are willing to share their knowledge with you.
3Use the three basic strategies described in the Risk rulebook. The Risk rulebook offers three strategies for players that may help you when you are just getting familiar with the game. Try to use these strategies every time that you play the game and your game will improve. The three pieces of strategic advice given to players by the Risk rulebook include:
- Hold entire continents to earn bonus reinforcements. The more army reinforcements that you have, the more powerful you are. Therefore, you should try to get as main reinforcements as possible.
- Watch your borders for enemy armies. If one of your opponent’s is going to attack you, he or she will probably start to gather forces along one of your borders. So send an equally or larger force to protect your territory.
- Fortify your borders against enemy attack. Make sure that you place reinforcements along your borders to make it harder for enemies to penetrate your territory.
Is there a way to win at Risk every time?
Risk is a game that combines chance and skill, so while there’s no guarantee you can win every time, you can increase your odds significantly by using strategy to your advantage. For example, you’re more likely to win if you secure armies early on and make frequent preemptive attacks.
wikiHow Staff Editor
What are some games similar to Risk?
Axis and Allies, Diplomacy, Kemet, and Small World are all strategy board games similar to Risk.
wikiHow Staff Editor
Who has better odds in Risk, the attacker or the defender?
In general, whoever rolls more dice has a higher chance of winning a battle. In the long run, attackers usually have the advantage as long as they have multiple armies. The larger the battle, the greater the advantage for the attacker.
wikiHow Staff Editor
What is the best number of troops to defend Indonesia?
Don't try and defend Indonesia. Take Siam instead, and focus your troops there as that is the only way in and out of Australia. If the enemy can somehow beat that natural "choke poi," they will be greatly weakened and won't have even started on the actual continent of Australia
What if you only have Australia and one or two territories bordering Australia, and your only opponent has the rest of the world, and is a very strong
If you have enough armies, try to fight your way at least into NA and Europe, maybe SA and Africa if you can, to deny him those bonuses. Fighting ASAP is your only option. If you plop down your 5 armies per turn in Siam while he collects whatever he gets for controlling everything else, it'll only be a few turns before he can attack your stronghold with overwhelming numerical advantage.
What would I do if my mission was to conquer North America and Australia but a strong player is holding Australia and I'm one territory away from winning North America?
That's an interesting question, and it's not the easiest to answer. Let's say if you have a sort of line of weak territories going through Asia near Australia, capture North America, get troops next turn go through Alaska, into Kamchatka and fight your way down Asia, or if you have a long line of troops on weak but useless territories try and get a few easy territories around Kamchatka or wherever you are, then redeploy down to near Australia.
If my opponent has two cannons, how do I kill him?
If there are no other threats, direct extra resources to the adjacent territory and dwindle him down without taking the spot. Also try to get extra troops (cards, or continent bonuses).
What is a good tip for winning when playing with 4 players?
Try to start in a country with as few entrances as possible (Australia or South America) as this will let you build up large forces without being attacked as much. Remember to take at least one country per turn so that you get your resource card to cash in later for more troops. Move only 3 or 4 troops onto it for best defense without over-committing unless you are trying to take the whole region. Having 3 troops on every country you own is a very effective way to defend, as you will get the max defense dice even after losing 1 troop. If you are playing missions, focus on completing these as fast as you can, as the longer the game goes, the more likely the other players will complete theirs.
How many armies can we place in one turn?
It depends on which continents you own and which benefits your cards give you.
What if I am trying to double troops but he attacks first?
If you are trying to double troops to hit him, chances are that you may have more than he does. This will make it risky and give him a lower chance for capturing your territory. Since you typically want two times the force that the enemy has, he is attacking you with less so you have the clear advantage. Just weather the storm and hit the weakened border (if this was your plan). If you feel like doing so, you can turn this into a serious advantage by asking things of him (before your turn ends) our else you will make him lose his continent bonus, eradicate his 1 troops territories, etc.
Ask a Question
- Try setting up a weekly Risk game night with some friends and/or family members to get lots of practice.
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