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36 Strategies > Part 1: Winning Strategies

36 Strategies > Part 1: Winning Strategies
Tactic, Strategy, Series

Article Rating:::: 7 Ratings :::: Saturday, June 16, 2007

Strategy 1: Deceive the sky to cross the ocean.

Moving about in the darkness and shadows, occupying isolated places, or hiding behind screens will only attract suspicious attention. To lower an enemy’s guard you must act in the open, hiding your true intentions under the guise of common, everyday activities.

In Risk Game:

Never try to show yourself as a mysterious player. An unknown player is instinctively taken as a dangerous player by all others and you never want to fight everyone in the game. Act as a normal player and let them read some of your moves. Sometimes make mistakes and don’t make them feel concerned about you. Let them forget you. Just keep growing your empire without bringing too much attention to yourself.

Strategy 2: Surround Wei to rescue Zhao.

When the enemy is too strong to attack directly, then attack something they hold dear. Know that in all things they cannot be superior. Somewhere there is a gap in their armour, a weakness that can be attacked instead.

In Risk Game:

A Risk player can have a big ego. Take advantage of it. He may think he is superior, but his thinking is his weakness. Intimidate an ego-driven player to attack your enemies and watch him lose as he weakens himself in the process.

Strategy 3: Borrow one’s hand to kill. (Kill with a borrowed knife.)

Attack using the strength of another (because of lack of strength or because you do not want to use your own strength). Trick an ally into attacking your enemy, bribe an official to turn traitor, or use the enemy’s own strength against them.

In Risk Game:

Get two of your opponents to fight each other. If you are in Africa and are afraid of the South American player, then get him to fight North America. You get the benefit without the cost.

Become an ally with your neighbour. Your neighbour is now going to fight with another player, which is likely to be your enemy too.

Strategy 4: Make your enemy tire themselves out while conserving energy. (Substitute leisure for labour)

It is an advantage to choose the time and place for battle. In this way you know when and where the battle will take place, while your enemy does not. Encourage your enemy to expend their energy in futile quests while you conserve your strength. When they are exhausted and confused, you attack with energy and purpose.

In Risk Game:

Attack is the best form of defence. You get to choose the terms and others have no choice but to follow. Get others engaged in useless wars of attrition and stay away from any conflict yourself. Rather than focusing on getting more armies every turn, try to avoid losing them in battles.

Make your opponents feel threatened and scared, so they become restless and start to fight with everyone. An opponent who is angry or frightened is more likely to make mistakes.

Strategy 5: Use the opportunity of fire to rob others. (Loot a burning house).

When a country is beset by internal conflicts, when disease and famine ravage the population, when corruption and crime are rampant, then it will be unable to deal with an outside threat. This is the time to attack.

In Risk Game:

Every player in the game needs to expand so that eventually he can win the game. Every time an expansion happens, a player becomes vulnerable. The borders are not set yet. The armies are not placed efficiently and there can be holes in the borders. In addition, since they have just expanded, they may not be able to retaliate with large number of armies in case someone attacks them. A classic situation is when a player cashes his cards and goes on a campaign. Now, he has no more card combinations and has weaker borders due to his expansion.

This is the most ideal time to attack a player. In fact, statistically, players in most games are eliminated just after they have made a ‘bold move’ such as a blitzkrieg after cashing cards. Always be ready for the aftermath of a campaign initiated by someone else.

Strategy 6: Feign an attack in the east and attack in the west.

In any battle the element of surprise can provide an overwhelming advantage. Even when face to face with an enemy, surprise can still be employed by attacking where they least expect it. To do this you must create an expectation in the enemy’s mind through the use of a feint.

In Risk Game:

Place your armies away from where you are going to attack. Don’t let your opponent know what your plans are. If you are in South America, put your armies in Venezuela for a campaign against Africa. If your opponent doesn’t know where you are going to attack, he wouldn’t know where to defend either.


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About the Author

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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