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Forget About the Last Game

Forget About the Last Game
Diplomacy, Strategy, Online Risk Games, Negotiation

Article Rating:::: 31 Ratings :::: Monday, November 5, 2012

Scenario 1:

You still clearly remember your last Risk game. It is still fresh in your mind. You won, and won spectacularly. There was a tight moment in the game, but you made a calculated decision to counteract an invasion and turned it on its head. You made a player stretch too far and then attacked his home continent. After that, there was no stopping you.

You think that this was a fantastic strategy and are now about to play another game. Your success in that game makes you think that you can do it again. Your plan is to play the same strategy. It worked so well last time, so why not try again.

In the new game, your strategy dictates that you have to wait until a player expands and stretches himself too far before you can start your invasion. As the game progresses, you notice that players tend to be very slow in coming out of their continent. They tend to focus more on fortifying their continents rather than making bold moves. You decide to stick to your original plan; you will wait until they make their moves.

By the time the large invasions start, several other players have amassed large armies and own fortified continents larger than yours. You carry on with your original plan and attack them as they get stretched around the map, but this only makes you weak and you become their target. They start attacking you and before you know you are lost.

After the game, you wonder why your brilliant strategy did not work. You did so well in the previous game. You think you must have got the timing wrong. Besides, you started from a small continent and that must have been a reason. May be you should change the starting point in the next game.

However, there is a problem with this mentality and you are likely to lose again in the next game if you carry on with the same mentality.

Scenario 2:

The last game you played was a disaster. Sure enough, you were playing against experienced players, but you are well-versed in the game too. You expected to do much better than being the first to get eliminated. This affected your confidence. You just don’t understand why you did so badly. You want to blame it on bad luck and bad dice, but part of you says that is copping out.

Now you are about to play another game. You are playing with three of the players from the previous game. The previous game is still fresh in your mind and you definitely want to do better and win the game this time. You feel the pressure already. To others, you seem slightly agitated as if there is a lot more to this game than just playing another game of Risk. They don’t know what is going on in your mind, but sense that something is different. They sense that you are really hell-bent on winning. You become the centre of their attention.

After a few turns in the game almost everyone is attacking you. You think this is totally unfair. You just don’t understand why they have picked on you. You become indecisive in making the right moves. You are way too emotional when making decisions and get angrier at everything that is going wrong in the game. You lose again.

How to Improve Your Risk Game

What is happening here? You lost a game which affected you next game. Even when you have won a game, it still led to you lose the next game. Why?

The biggest problem here is that you are too preoccupied with the past. In the example given in scenario 1, when you won you decided that your strategy was sound and you should use it again irrespective of circumstances. You thought you can wait until the right moment comes.

You need to know that no one wins a war by waiting. You need to have the upper hand and that means forgetting about what happened in the last game, even when you won, and instead focus on analysing the current moment.

Similarly, your loss in a previous game should not affect your current game. You should train yourself to totally erase your memory of the last game. Analyse it, retain the facts and get rid of the rest. Each game should be played as a totally new experience with new expectations and new solutions. Don’t apply any tactic rigidly. Don’t aim to conquer a particular area every time or repeat the same pattern of movements around the board. Think of your army as a guerrilla army which is capable of moving quickly, surprisingly and without any clear pattern. Startle your opponents every time you play with them.

The only constant is that you must be in constant motion. Change the game so that your opponents don’t have an obvious target to aim at. Create mayhem and exploit the chaos. 

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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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