How to Win the Board Game Risk

Board games often take a great deal of skill and a little bit of luck. One of the most popular strategy board games would have to be Risk. Risk is a mixture of strategy, luck, and taking calculated chances. Risk takes playing more than a few times to learn the right strategies and the right risks to take in order to win. The following are several strategies that might make winning at Risk a bit easier.

1.) Stockpile armies in strategic location

One advantage gained at the beginning of the game is to stockpile the armies. Instead of spreading out armies across the board in small numbers, one area is a stockpile location. By placing large numbers of armies in one key location, there is added strength to gaining the territories in that area.

For example, a good stockpile location might be in one of the four Australian countries. This allows the player to focus on one area and may provide added spoils later on. However, there is additional risk of losing countries early on because most your countries will have few armies on them. Of course, the game is called Risk for a reason.

2.) Capture a small continent early

Continents give added bonuses to the players who hold them. The bonuses are additional armies that can boost the total amount of armies a player can add to the board each turn. These armies are called spoils. The armies are added by each player, at the beginning of each turn.

Spoils are collected for three basic reasons. The base amount of armies collected is three. A player can never gain less than three armies per turn. Armies are collected for the number of territories controlled. One additional army is gained for every three countries controlled over 12. For example, a play who controls 16 countries would receive five additional armies at the beginning of their turn.

A third way to gain additional armies is to control various continents on the board. Here is a break down of the spoils awarded for each continent. Continents with larger numbers of spoils or armies awarded are more difficult to maintain the control.

Australia 2

South America 2

Africa 3

North America 5

Europe – 5

Asia – 7

3.) Wait to collect spoils from cards

Each turn that a player conquers another territory, they are entitled to a Risk card. Risk cards have three different symbols: a foot soldier, a cannon, and a mounted soldier or horseman. Cards accumulate until sets are created. The sets are either three of one kind or one of each symbol. The cards may be traded for additional armies. The number of armies collected increases with each card set traded. Waiting to trade the cards for spoils increases the number of armies collected per trade.

4.) Roll one die in defense

Each battle is determined by rolling dice and each number is compared to another. The player with the higher numbers defeats an army of the opponent. The defender wins all ties. No player can lose more armies than the number of dice they roll and by rolling only one die in certain situations can increase the defense of a territory. This is especially true when the attacker has a strong roll. The defender can minimize loses and enable a stronger defense.

5.) Form an alliance

By cooperating with another player, it may be possible to last longer in the game. An alliance can be essential to winning because one player is working to assist your overall strategy. Two players working together can accomplish a great deal more at Risk. Be careful to watch for the backstab or betrayal. There are no rules that enforce verbal agreements. An ally could turn on you if the moment or situation was right. Choose your enemies carefully and your allies even more carefully.

6.) Deny others extra armies

Each player collects additional armies at the beginning of each new turn. Watch the board and see who will be collecting for continents the next turn. Eliminate their additional armies by conquering one territory in their continent. The fewer armies your opponents are able to gain, the greater chance you have for victory.

7.) Eliminate the weakest opponent

When a player is eliminated from the game their Risk cards are automatically yielded to the opponent who eliminated them. One way to gain additional cards is to defeat the weakest opponent entirely. Watch the board carefully for opportunities to eliminate opponents and seize their cards. More cards means more spoils added to your armies. If possible surround or isolate one nation of the weakest player and wait for them to be weaken to that final territory and then eliminate them from the game.

Risk has been called the ultimate strategy game. These strategies can increase the chances of winning Risk. Strategies are only as good as a person has ability to carry them out. Playing Risk takes time to learn and develop a winning strategy. Find the strategies that work for your style of play and discard the rest.