Your No 1. Resource Site for Tactics, Strategy and Diplomacy
"Life Is a Game But Risk Is Serious!"
Your aim in Risk is winning but it is important to know this is not an abstract idealistic view like winning when you are playing chess. In chess you can think of perfect moves against your opponent’s moves. So long as you are making an ideal move, it doesn’t matter who you are playing against; you are more likely to win. Risk, and similarly life, is different. You are playing against humans with minds; minds that can have weaknesses which you can exploit. Unlike chess, in Risk you are not searching for a perfect move; instead you are searching for a way to control your opponent’s mind. The sooner you can do that, and the more successful you are in doing it, the more likely that you win the game. This is exactly the same in everyday life when you deal with your colleagues, the team that works for you, the stakeholders that you report to and the market at large.
You are playing Risk. You have acquired a good size continent for this stage of the game and are busy strengthening your position. You tend to be cautious. You like to have a solid base before expanding to the rest of the map. You also don’t want to invade other Risk players for no reason. You are afraid that they will immediately retaliate and you don’t like to provoke them. The desire not to expand contradicts your overall objective which is to expand and conquer the whole world. These two opposite aims will create indecision in you. Each turn you tell yourself that if all goes well you may start expanding in the next turn. When the turn comes, you feel even more vulnerable than the last turn and decide to stay put and buy time. The indecision starts to bother you but what can you do about it? You don’t see a way out.
You have played Risk for a long time. You think of yourself as a good player. You decide to join a new Risk game site to play Risk online. You join a game and in this game you find yourself playing against a number of players who have a fairly high overall score. You still think nothing of this. After all, you are fairly good.
This article is followed from Part 1. Ideally you should read the first part and answer the two questions proposed before reading this part which explores the concepts and analyses the results.
We are confronted with decision making every day. When making decisions, we usually use what is known as a heuristic approach, we simply use our instincts to respond to situations. Are we always right? Is it always easy to decide? How does this relate to decision making in Risk?
Let’s look at the results obtained in Part 1.
Sometimes choosing between options is not easy, especially when you have to deal with probabilities. You may think each option has its own pros and cons. The situation gets even more complicated when you realise someone else has these options and are wondering which one they are going to choose. In Risk, decision making plays a significant role and it is ideal to have a deeper look at this topic.
To start this investigation, let’s do an experiment. To get good results, please follow these instructions carefully.
Below, you can see two links. Each of these links leads you to a simple question. Please answer the first question, then come back to this page and then answer the second question.
Note: Please answer both questions one after the other, so we can get consistent results.
Risk Decision Making Question 1
Risk Decision Making Question 2
Once you have voted, you can read the next part of article in Part 2.
When playing Risk, you can generally adopt three kinds of strategies; passive, aggressive or assertive. Each of these has its own style of play and has certain consequences. It is well known that in order to successfully communicate with others, you need to be assertive and this also applies to Risk as well. However, what does it mean to be assertive? How can you optimise your strategy to take advantage of the benefits of assertiveness?
In this article you will be introduced to the APA model (Assertive, Passive & Aggressive) and explore various issues and parameters that you must be aware of when you are dealing with other Risk players.
Risk is all about attacking and that’s what you do most of the time in this game. However, as you know, direct attacks are costly and over time come to erode your armies. Some players are naturally more aggressive than others and usually pick on the weak and vulnerable intending to eliminate them. What should you do if you find yourself in a position where you are threatened by a stronger player? Should you keep a low profile and hope for the best? Should you go for a direct attack and hope you get lucky? What is the best strategy to contain a stronger player and extend your life in the game?
You won! You just keep winning. You must be a great player if not the best. It wasn't easy. Some players in your view were just plain bad. You had some arguments with some other players in the game, but you don't think of it much. You think it's just part of the game.
Sometime later, you go back to the online forum only to discover that there is a whole amount of conversation going on about you from certain players who did not approve of what you did or said in the game. In effect they are spreading rumours about you and your character and trying to destroy your reputation. As you know, winning Risk repeatedly is all about reputation and any damage to that will have all sorts of serious consequences for you when you are online next time to play. So you need to be able to control the rumours. The question is, how?
The situation is the same if you were not playing the game online. Rumours can spread behind your back and when you get back to your friends next weekend to play with them, you realise (quite late of course) that they have already plotted to remove you from the game, perhaps to teach you a lesson.
All of this means that you need to be able to control your reputation and spread of any rumour. Here, you will learn a number of techniques to achieve this.
Sometimes in the course of a Risk game you may come across a player that you need to make a deal with. After all, diplomacy is key and with that you need to engage with other players. Some players are inherently deal-makers and would be interested to listen to you. Others may not be willing at all thinking that deal-making is a waste of time. What can you do to convince them, so at least they give it a try?
Even when you negotiate with those who are receptive, you may end up in a dead end where you need to convince them about your idea. What if they are stubborn and unwilling to change? What can you do to move them from the position they have taken to accept yours.
It turns out that are indeed a number of techniques you can use to break a stubborn person's stance. They are as follows.
"An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things
he predicted yesterday didn't happen today"
Risk is one of the most successful strategic games with clear abstract rules. It is amazing how you can relate Risk strategies to other fields, even those such as economy and investing.
Here, you will find a number of strategies that are applicable to both worlds and make Risk an incredibly useful tool to experiment with. If you are good at one, you can apply your strategy to the other field and expect to get good results.
So, master Risk players, this is your chance to become rich! Billionaires, it is your chance to conquer the whole world, literally!
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.
More about Ehsan Honary (Ethan)
Available in paperback, Kindle, PDF and iBooks
Purchase from Amazon
More About the Book
If you do not compete for alliances anywhere, do not foster authority anywhere, but just extend your personal influence, threatening opponents, this makes town and country vulnerable. No alliances lead to isolation.