Subject: The "Virgin Board"
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UnH!ngedUser is Offline


27 Dec 2007 6:49 PM  

OK, lets say that you are playing with 5 other players. You've never played with them before and are unfamiliar with their playing style or strategic tendencies. By luck of the draw, YOU have been blessed (or cursed) with the FIRST CHOICE of territories. Nothing has yet been selected. What is your first choice and why?


My first choice is NORTH AFRICA. With North Africa you still have an option as to what you will try and secure first. Africa itself, being the obvious option with South America being equally doable. Both continents are pretty manageable in terms of fortification. I'm not saying you immediately go for both, just that it's nice to have the option to follow the path of least resisitance once all armies are placed.

One could make the argument that Australia is equally attractive, but what to do once Austrailia is yours? Going through Asia is likely your only choice if you do not have a stronghold elsewhere. North Africa gives you a shot at one of the more desirable continents in the early stages and still leaves you with some flexibility.

You could almost say the same about Brazil, but I believe taking SA from North Africa is a tad easier than going through Africa from SA.


On a side note: My son bought me a "Nostalgia Risk" board for Christmas. It has real wooden pieces and a replica of the original 1959 map board. He's only 4 and doesn't know about Risk at all, he recognized it from from me playing online and told his mom that's what he wanted to get for me so we could play together. I can't wait until he is old enough to understand it a little better. what a kid.



Ehsan HonaryUser is Offline

Site Admin

28 Dec 2007 3:00 PM  

That's a very interesting question and I have always been interested in the answer. In fact I attempted to get a feel for general opinions by putting up a number of surveys. The surveys show that almost 50% of users like to go for Australia in a 5 player game. This is generally due to the small size, and defensive nature of it.

Personally I agree with you 100%. I always prefer Africa because there are more expansion options available and it also give me more room for diplomacy (yes, I guess I like that bit).

The best terrotory to choose in Africa, is indeed North Africa, so I agree with you again pretty much for the same reasons that you mention. I know many players may also prefer to go for South America, but that is also a bit limiting since you really end up with only two choices.

Glad to hear that you got a cool Risk gift for Christmas, especially from a 4 year old kid! With this rate, I have a feeling that your son will become a master Risk  player very soon. Just remember to tell us how he manages to win against you (ehem, sorry lose against you). As with every profession, second generation professionals are in a league of their own.

Ehsan Honary
SamUser is Offline


28 Dec 2007 8:52 PM  
I agree with you but I already put australia, I might change my mind:) Maybe N. Europe will be my choice.

2¢ is my son so we have the same email. Sorry for any confusion.
EuropaUser is Offline


30 Dec 2007 3:21 PM  
The first territory I would take is Siam. Starting there can give you a leg up on taking Australia or preventing someone else from doing the same.

On another day I would take Central America to go for either American continent.

Grant Blackburn
Bismark08User is Offline


19 Feb 2008 8:45 PM  
I Agree with North Africa. It gives you good options. Also Since It is a 5 man game that leaves 4 others to choose an area. One will take Australia and another will take S.A. that leaves two others one will undoubtly try an get a chunck of N.A. the last one will try Europw, North Asia or compete with some one else for a continent. Since each person gets 8 territoies you are assured of getting at least 3-4 in Africa and some others elsewhere. Those elswhere should be in Europe or N.A. if possible.

Random Thought I have a bord that doesn't have the Middle east - east Africa connection. This makes Africa even better now only 2 borders. Africa for me is the best continet.
G.I. JoeUser is Offline


05 May 2008 5:10 PM  
I have the same board as you Bismark. It turns out that that particular board was admittedly a misprint by the company who makes them. I just took a Sharpie and drew in the connection so it was right.

Just so this post wasn't completely off topic, I do agree that Africa is a great place to start. It keeps your opponents guessing as to where you will attack. Once your opponents are unsure of a move, they will almost undoubtedly make a mistake. They may pull their troops over to defend against you, leaving them open to an attack by their other neighbor, at which point you can take it over with less resistance from the new, weakened owner. Or you may find that the opposite happens and they defend against another opponent or both you AND another opponent, in which case, it still makes it easier to fight them. This is why I think Africa is a great place to start because it allows a wide array of deceiving options. "All warfare is based on deception," Sun Tzu.

~G.I. Joe~
PxerUser is Offline


05 Jul 2008 8:42 PM  
I realize this is kind of reviving an old thread, but I agree wholeheartedly to choose North Africa first if you are picking first in the game. If you are lucky enough to have no one challenge you there in the first round of selection, you will be very well off to start the game. The only time I take Australia first in a five player game is if we are playing with the 6 extra territories included in the Risk II computer game. The world is now much more interconnected and it is difficult to hold an the now exposed Africa in the early going.
The PlayerUser is Offline


08 Sep 2008 5:15 AM  
I noticed one territory is not mentioned here: Middle East. That is arguable of the most strategic places on the map. Granted it probably not that critical as a first choice buy I find it essential to get hold of it sooner than later. It just gives me so much strategic and political power that I feel I cant let someone else have that power against me.

So I may place my first armies there to make sure no one gets it or if not do it as soon as I can. In general I agree with the rest that Africa is a great starting point. In my experience I have always been more comfortable in the game when I have started from Africa.
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