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As you saw in Part 1, the initial start in Risk is quite critical and if you don’t get it right you can fail spectacularly. Opening moves in Risk are much like Chess. They set the pace of the game, define the strategic positions which would come to define the rest of the game. It is always possible to get away with a single mistake, but a series of mistakes is lethal. If you realise you have already made a mistake, beware that you can’t afford to risk anymore and need to play conservatively thinking about all possible consequences before you make your decision. Let’s analyse the game further to see what happened and what went wrong.
Several things went wrong in the game where Red did not pay attention to several critical elements:
Next, let’s see what you could have done when you found yourself in this dire situation.
You have three cards at this point. Blue has just cashed in. You think your only move is survival. In Risk, the best survival strategy is to stay away from others, make it expensive for them to eliminate you while giving them little incentive to attack you. Having too many cards is bad, because your cards become lucrative to others as the game progresses forward. On the other hand, if you occupy a non-strategic position with lots of armies, players will have little incentive to attack you as there is not much to gain but a lot to lose. For your move, you decide to get one more card in the hope of cashing it the next turn to concentrate your armies. This is a gamble, but at this point you have not much to lose. You concentrate your armies as much as you can.
Meanwhile Black is expanding rapidly and not a single player seems to be doing anything about it. They are all focused on their own continents, as if that’s what it all matters in this game.
Now, finally you can cash in your cards. You dump them all in one territory that has access to many places while it is out of the way of others. This gives you manoeuvrability while still staying isolated. At this point, you only want to be a threat when someone attacks you. Your huge army is certainly a cause for concern for all players since you can just pick on anyone and severely weaken them.
You are now in a much better position and have survived the initial mistakes and bad luck. However, it is not all over yet. Do you have a chance to go on and win the game? What would you do now? What do you think of Blue and Black? Who is the biggest threat and finally, who is the most likely to win this game and why?
What did you learn from this example?
I am a board game and Risk game enthusiast. I like thinking and talking about strategy in games which has led me to the creation of this website. Although Risk is a classic, I feel one can never get tired of playing this game. Read about what I think of the game and I am always eager to know what you think.
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When a territory is of marginal benefit and is as easy to lose as is to win, then don’t fight over it.