Risk can be surprising and in the course of a game, you may always have a heart sinking feeling of imminent danger and fall. In fact, this is what makes Risk so exciting. Anyone can win which means even experienced players must be on guard all the time otherwise can easily lose.
The opening stages of a game are quite critical. If you start badly or make mistakes, you are very likely to get kicked out and the game and lose. You must pay constant attention to your opponents as well as your own position in comparison with others. The best way to learn opening moves is by example. Let’s consider the game shown above.
This game is played on a non-Earth map. The card sequence is escalating which means that the rate goes up by 2 every time someone cashes a set. We are going to analyse this game in an abstract way, so don’t worry too much about the details. Assume that similar to the Earth map, the bigger the continent or the higher the number of its borders, the more bonuses you get.
Assume you are Red and the map above was the starting position.
What would you do?
First you must work out a long term strategy. You seem to have more territories at the bottom of the map and it seems logical to go for the Brown continent. A few turns later, this is what you have:
Interestingly, Black had a fantastic starting point by chance. He is simply lucky and has used his luck to quickly get a continent.
You think everyone seems to be focused on getting their corresponding continents. Blue and Yellow seem to be fighting for the small continent on the left side which you think is good for you (keeps them busy). You decide to expand as rapidly as possible to conquer the Brown continent.
Next, Blue has managed to beat Yellow and conquer the small continent. Meanwhile Black is getting stronger every turn and everyone seems to be focused on getting their own continent.
What would you do now?
You have a look around and you still think you have a good chance to get your continent. You are so close! Just one or two more turns and that’s it. It’s too late now to back off having spent so much to get what you have conquered. You decide to go ahead and conquer more.
Since there have been many turns since the beginning of the game, cards have been accumulated and as it turns out, Blue could cash in as soon as he had three cards (lucky man!!!). The problem is that he used it on you. Now you look extremely weak!
How did this happen?
You were doing so well and then suddenly, bam! You where hit out of nowhere.
Question 1. What did you do wrong?
Suppose you find yourself in this miserable state. As a great Risk player, you should never lose hope and keep moving.
Question 2. What is your best move now?
You have three cards and no combination. Black has 1 card, Blue has 2, Purple has 3, Brown has 3 and yellow has 3 cards.
Provide your suggestions here before reading the next part.
Part 2: Critical Starting Moves in Risk