Recommend Books

Here, you may find a number of interesting books related to Risk and diplomacy and self-help. As you may have seen in my book or in the Risk guides, you may have noticed that a wide range of topics are applicable. When I was researching my book, I came across many interesting sources that helped me to understand a lot more about the interaction between humans. There are Great works from Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, Clausewitz and others. Startegic thinking can be applied to all levels. Playing a game such as Risk and winning it is only one aspect. Negotiating over a price for a house requires the same skills. If you can get better in one, you can most probably improve your performance in the other.

This list is not limited to books only related to Risk. These books are useful on anything you may do on a daily basis as they are full of tips on self-improvement and life-hacks. I have personally found the following books incredibly useful and thought provoking. I will highly recommend them to you.

Books

Current Articles


Games

Evolution and the Theory of Games

Strategy, Games, Analysis of systems

Article Rating:::: 6 Ratings :::: 0 Comments ::::Thursday, March 22, 2007

John Maynard Smith, (1982). Evolution and the theory of games. Cambridge University Press.

The concept of evolutionary stable strategy was first introduced by Professor John Maynard Smith which was then largely adapted in ethology and biology about the evolution of behaviour. This books address the whole theory and explores the genetic systems, game theory and animal behaviour.

The evolution of behaviour discussed in this book is directly applicable to Risk. A player who plays repeatedly is subject to an evolutionary game play by his opponents. The dynamics behind this are quite fascinating. Knowing the mathematics behind the complexity may actually help to improve your Risk game. Instead of focusing on winning the current game, you can start to focus on winning all games. Your moves will be different if you want to win over and over again than if you just wanted to win the next game.

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Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

Strategy, Psychology, Games, Analysis of systems, Diplomacy

Article Rating:::: 6 Ratings :::: 0 Comments ::::Thursday, March 22, 2007

Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner, (2005) Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, William Morrow.

This book explores economics in a different way. Levitt argues that if you keep asking the right questions, you will find interesting answers. He attempts to show us that economic principles can be used to explain many concepts deemed to be mysterious. He shows that underground criminals run theirs activities like a corporation. Or that teachers are just as likely to cheat as their pupils. In a different story he shows how cheaters can be analysed based on an amusing study over the number of bagels consumed per day. His analysis of baby naming patterns are also quite interesting.

Economics deal greatly with patterns. Hence, economics is applicable to many systems, not least playing Risk. Introducing new rules or principle creates incentives for competitors in an environment. If these incentives are not thought out properly, their introduction may backfire. Any action has reactions, and those reactions have even more reactions. This book explores a number of these concepts and illustrates them with easily understandable real-world stories.

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On War

Strategy, Psychology, Games, Analysis of systems, History, Diplomacy

Article Rating:::: 7 Ratings :::: 0 Comments ::::Thursday, March 22, 2007

 

Carl von Clausewitz (2007) On War, Oxford University Press.

Clausewitz was a Prussian General who was interested to analyse military campaigns and attempt to answer difficult questions. On War is one of the most important works written on strategy. The most important concepts discussed in this book are perhaps the following:

  • War must never be seen as a purpose to itself, but as a means of physically forcing one's will on an opponent. War is the continuation of politics through other means.
  • The military objectives in war that support one's political objectives fall into two broad types:
    • War to achieve limited aims
    • War to disarm the enemy and to render him politically helpless or militarily impotent
  • The course of war will tend to favour the party devoting more resolve and resources. He then goes on to introduce the concept of Total War: the pursuit of complete military victory regardless of the political consequences.

Some also criticize his work and suggest that his concept of Total War was behind the huge devastation caused as a result of the two World Wars in the twentieth century. Either way, the work attempts to show why war takes place and how it is used as a tool to accommodate the needs of politicians and leaders.

The concepts are directly applicable to playing Risk.

 

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The Art of War

Strategy, Psychology, Games, Diplomacy

Article Rating:::: 0 Ratings :::: 0 Comments ::::Thursday, March 22, 2007

Lionel Giles, (2005) The Art of War by Sun Tzu, Special Edition, El Paso Norte Press.

This is Sun Tzu's classic on the use of strategies in war. It is a great source of wisdom. This particular translation contains a number of commentaries that helps to clarify Sun's concepts. The book is used by people in business, politicians, military generals and is applicable to any competitive environments. However, like many books of this nature, some of the tips can be vague and subject to interpretation. The best way to understand and appreciate them is by putting them into practice. Once you have tried to implement them, you would realise how effective Sun's advice can be. Risk is the ideal choice for experimentation.

Here are some of Sun's advice:

"To win without fighting is best"

"When you have the means but are not getting anywhere, seek appropriate associates, and you will be lucky."

"If opponents are numerous, they can be made not to fight."

"A military force has no constant form (i.e no predictable strategy) water has no constant shape. The ability to gain victory by changing and adopting according to the opponent is called genious. (just like the flow of water is determined by the earth)"

Highly recommended.

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Book: Total Diplomacy, The Art of Winning Risk