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How to Win at Risk

November 19th, 2012 Games

Are you one of those people who always happens to be busy when your friends are planning a Risk night? Is it because you don't want to endure the long, drawn-out process that is watching your armies slowly fall? Although Risk is mechanically a simple game, it actually calls for a surprising level of strategy. Of course, there's no way to ensure victory, but you can put yourself in a much better position for long-term success by keeping a few fundamentals in mind. Follow these tips and you'll see a notable improvement in your Risk game. (This guide assumes you have a basic understanding of how the game is played.)

The setup phase of the game is crucial. Your primary objectives are to set yourself up so that you can easily take Continents while simultaneously denying your opponents the ability to do so. If you don't have aspirations for a particular Continent, your best bet is to claim Territories that are easy to defend, like Madagascar. Avoid investing too heavily in the larger continents, as these will be fought over for quite a while. Instead, try to take the smaller Continents - South America and Australia. If worst comes to worst, you can sit in Australia and play defensively, quietly growing your army into an unstoppable force.

Early in the game, focus on producing as many units as possible and taking Continents when you can. Focus your armies in the bottlenecks that lead to your Continents, such as Venezuela or Brazil.

Late-game battles are usually won with Territory Cards. Even if an opponent is weak, a few Territory Cards can drastically change his fortunes. Try to take these players out as quickly as possible - it may even be worth pushing a little further out than you're comfortable with in order to do so.