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36 Strategies > Part 2: Enemy Dealing Strategies

36 Strategies > Part 2: Enemy Dealing Strategies
Tactic, Strategy, Series

Article Rating:::: 7 Ratings :::: Thursday, June 21, 2007

Strategy 7: Create something from nothing.

You use the same feint twice. Having reacted to the first and often the second feint as well, the enemy will be hesitant to react to a third feint. Therefore the third feint is the actual attack, catching your enemy with their guard down.

In Risk Game:

A feint in Risk can be as simple as leaving a border undefended. Do this a couple of times, so others will take you lightly and come to think that breaking through your border will be easy for them. In the third time, exactly when they need it, reinforce your border strongly. Since they wont expect such a move, they will be caught off-guard.

Strategy 8: Secretly utilize the Chen Chang passage. (Repair the highway to take the crude path.)

Attack the enemy with two convergent forces. The first is the direct attack, one that is obvious and for which the enemy prepares their defence. The second is the indirect, the attack sinister, that the enemy does not expect and which causes them to divide their forces at the last minute, leading to confusion and disaster.

In Risk Game:

Where you attack must be kept secret at all times. Make your opponent think that you have many choices and attacking him is only one of the options. Pretend that you are planning to attack someone else. Only in the end, rearrange your armies and initiate a campaign against him. He may not have enough time to properly defend himself against an all prepared player like you.

Strategy 9: Watch the fires burning across the river.

Delay entering the field of battle until all the other players have become exhausted fighting amongst themselves. Then go in full strength and pick up the pieces.

In Risk Game:

Sometimes you can see a conflict developing between two of your opponents. Stay away from it. Don’t get yourself involved. Let them fight it out. The conflict will reduce their armies and they both become weaker than you. Wait until you can take the weakest out.

Strategy 10: Hide a knife behind a smile.

Charm and ingratiate yourself to your enemy. When you have gained their trust, you move against them in secret.

In Risk Game:

Don’t be an annoying player. No one likes them. Don’t make things more difficult for yourself. Instead, try to appear reasonable. If you want to say no to a deal, give your reasons and politely refuse. Don’t make an enemy of yourself over unimportant issues. Make people like you. You will be infinitely more powerful if your opponents respect you and your moves. Be the wise charming man who everyone wants to play with, even if it means losing against you.

Strategy 11: Sacrifices the plum tree to preserve the peach tree. (Sacrifice the silver to keep the gold.)

There are circumstances in which you must sacrifice short-term objectives in order to gain the long-term goal. This is the scapegoat strategy whereby someone suffers the consequences so that the rest do not.

In Risk Game:

Damage control is critical. Unless you try something new, you will not learn a new technique. The new techniques sometimes fail. Understand and accept this. If your plan failed, cut your losses and move on. There is no point to worry about it and try to fix a broken plan. Sacrifice a few armies and let him have it. Come back in your own sweet way and your own sweet time.

Suppose you plan to disrupt someone’s intention to conquer a continent. However, your plan fails and you lose many armies in the process. This is a good time to give up and let go. If you keep at it, it may consume you and may weaken you more than what you initially were prepared to take.

Strategy 12: Stealing a goat along the way. (Take the opportunity to pilfer a goat.)

While carrying out your plans, be flexible enough to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself, however small. Avail yourself of any profit, however slight.

In Risk Game:

Take advantage of opportunities when they arise. Players may leave holes in their border or hope that they won’t get attacked at the wrong time! Well, show them that’s exactly what you have been waiting for. A classic example is when other players make mistakes, especially towards the end of the game. In Risk, it is critical not to lock yourself out of different paths when you want to eliminate a player. You may capture 95% of your opponent’s territories only to realise that you don’t have enough armies to capture the last territory because you didn’t make a correct manoeuvre. When another player makes such a mistake, be ready to exploit it.


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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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When a territory is of marginal benefit and is as easy to lose as is to win, then don’t fight over it.

Cao Cao