Subject: Help Improve my strategy!
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BonaparteUser is Offline


18 Jun 2007 1:16 PM  
My brother, my dad, and I all play risk on a fairly consistent basis. We have created our own meta-game (steriotypes and actions of agression and diplomacy unique to our group) and I would like some assistance improving my game to suit the situation I am normally in. I will quickly proceed to explain my meta game.
    I will first describe my dad. We jokingly call him the kaiser, kind of an ingame name that we each have assigned, so I will reffer to him as such from here on out. The Kaiser's strategy is simple and brutal. He attempts to smash opponents whenever he spots a weak point with massive armies. He also likes to nail other countries. The kaiser is well fortified most of the time and leaves little room for an invasion that he couldn't counter the next turn. He doesn't generally have any care for controlling continents since he seems to think such an investment is too risky, but he does attempt to gain as much as possible without losing anything. He will not refer to diplomacy and only acts at oppertunity. By habit Kaiser tends to prefer to dominate North America and South America when he can get it.
    The next player is my brother. We refer to him as Napoleon. He is a defensive player. Napoleon almost always holds all of Africa and will often times control South Africa. These lead to large battles and conflicts almost every game between napoleon and Kaiser. Napoleon is generally diplomatic and will not attack unless his territory is entrenched or he thinks it is time to strike. When napoleon strikes it is almost always  from Africa and sweeping through Europe or Asia in a devistating blow.
    I have been given several names throughout the course of our play. I have been called Attila the Hun since I almost always control most of asia. I have been called Hitler, because of my consistent warfare on western and eastern fronts, and I have been called Auto Von Bismark since I didn't like being called Hitler. Since my playstyle and countries I chose to dominate are most characteristic of Attila I will refer to myself as such here. I almost inevidably gain control of Australia in the beginning of the game and fortify there. From there I move out across Asia to my other scattered countries and unite them to create a slightly overspread Asian empire. Here I regather my forces for a few turns as I fight off petty squabbles in Europe, and desperately defend myself from Kaisers pushing forces from Alaska. Napoleon will for the most part leave me alone on the Africa/middle east border. From here I generally gain control of Europe too. The only problem being that Kaiser (who usually owns most of if not all of North America) usually bunkers in Ice Land to nail me on that continent. Also Kaiser usually takes at least one country in Asia that borders Alaska and holds it to nail Asia for me as well. At this point I control too much territory to repel the Kaiser on both fronts. He doesn't have to worry about territory issues in the Americas since Napoleon is generally on the deffensive at this point in the game, so he is free to mass forces on both the Iceland and Alaska borders. I cannot repel him quick enough and it becomes a stalemate on those two fronts as Napoleon masses forces on his African border. I usually make a comeback and retake Asia and most of the Northern Americas. But this is just for show, since right after I do that Kaiser masses a giant force in mexico and takes all of my territories across the Americas and straight into Asia and Europe. At this point I am left with Australia and a scattered force in Asia. At this point Napoleon makes his move and takes all of north america from South America and moves in on Europe from Africa. From here he suddenly owns 3/4 of the map with Kaiser barely able to rally to defend and me (Attila) barely surviving in Australia. If we are playing mission ris then he has just won, otherwise he is set up for a long siege that will ultimately result in the Kaiser's and my defeat. Any one feel like giving some tips on my game to counter Kaiser and Napoleon?
Ehsan HonaryUser is Offline

Site Admin

19 Jun 2007 5:32 AM  

Excellent story and well written. I quite enjoyed it.

Now what you describe represents different types of players. I discussed all types of players in Section 3.4 of Total Diplomacy. There are basically four types of players:

  • Aggressive/Expansionist. Kaiser is this type.
  • Deal maker/Negotiator. Napoleon is this type.
  • Conservative/Isolationist. Attila is this type.
  • Startegyless/Amateur.

Kaiser and Napoleon are in constant war simply because they can’t agree to any deals and the only choice of action left is war. The best continent for an isolationist such as Attila is Australia which you seem to start from. So everything seems to be consistent.

In the book I have identified the weaknesses of each type, what they are good at and how to deal with them. Here I go briefly through the case you have provided.

Basically, you need to take advantage of each type’s qualities. Make deals with the deal maker. If you want to stay isolated, that’s fine as long as others don’t attack you. Well, you have an expansionist player in the game who just likes to attack. That’s fine. Just direct that expansion towards somewhere else. So, make a deal with Napoleon to secure your borders. Now Napoleon has only got Kaiser to fight with. Kasier would love to do that, and you can keep growing while they fight.

For example, make a deal over Middle East and get Napoleon to attack North America all the time. Create a conflict between them and let it take its course. Expand in Europe and Asia. Don’t try to get Asia because they will both get concerned and will turn on you. So might as well not worry about it. Instead, be ready to eliminate one of them as soon as you can, or make one of them very weak. A weak player, especially one with cards, is subject to elimination. If you are playing a three player game, you can always turn the game around and start attacking the strongest player. The problem is that the game can go forever, but the upside is that you won’t get eliminated. Staying in the game is probably better, so always watch out for the strongest.

Would like to know what happens when you play again. Family games can be quite entertaining, especially when it comes to Risk.

Ehsan Honary
BonaparteUser is Offline


19 Jun 2007 3:44 PM  
yeah, thanks for the tips. It is cool to hear from a very competent risk player for advice. It will be a few days before I can re-engage in a 3 person game, but I would be glad to provide an update how the game went once I get the oppertunity. Thanks for the helpful and in depth input.  I am glad you enjoyed the post.
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