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You still clearly remember your last Risk game. It is still fresh in your mind. You won, and won spectacularly. There was a tight moment in the game, but you made a calculated decision to counteract an invasion and turned it on its head. You made a player stretch too far and then attacked his home continent. After that, there was no stopping you.
You think that this was a fantastic strategy and are now about to play another game. Your success in that game makes you think that you can do it again. Your plan is to play the same strategy. It worked so well last time, so why not try again.
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.
While playing Risk, quite often you may find yourself negotiating with other players. Negotiation is a skill that can prove extremely useful when you want to avoid direct conflicts and save your armies and resources for better use later in the game. However, negotiations can be tough. Some people ignore them altogether. Others actively argue that there is no need to negotiate or make deals with other players because these deals can be broken. These player find negotiation difficult and as such either avoid it or to try to justify their negativity philosophically. Remember, negotiation is just another tool. You are not forced to use, nor do you have to avoid it exclusively. Just be good at it and when the right circumstances arise, use the tool to get ahead of others.
Most people learn how to negotiate in the field without much systematic training. There are many established guidelines to follow for better results, though many still fall to the trap of old ineffective approaches. Consider the following example negotiation…
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.
Sometimes it can be incredibly difficult to say ‘no’. It is a simple word, but it just feels wrong to say ‘no’ when someone asks for a favour. Of course saying ‘no’ is easy if you don’t care about the person. What if you did care about the person, but you still wanted to say ‘no’ without hurting his feelings.
An example of a Risk game may clarify this. Suppose you are playing Risk online and your strategy is to conquer a continent such as South America. You also have some armies in Europe. A player approaches you and asks you to move your armies out of Europe. You want to say ‘no’. However, you want to say it in such a way that your opponent doesn't become hostile to you. There is no point in making enemies in the process. How do you do this?
My father said: "You must never try to make all the money that's in a deal. Let the other fellow make some money too, because if you have a reputation for always making all the money, you won't have many deals."
Jean Paul Getty
After a lot of diplomacy and propaganda, you manage to get your opponent to the negotiation table. You make fantastic moves in the negotiation and manage to convince him to make a deal with you. So far you are very happy with the results. However, there is one issue left. How do you make sure that your Risk opponent will commit to what he just promised? Surely, after all the hard work, you don't want to see all your efforts going to waste. What should you say or do to put him under pressure, so that even the thought of quitting on you does not occur to him?
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About Dr. Ehsan Honary
When a territory is of marginal benefit and is as easy to lose as is to win, then don’t fight over it.