Book Description: Total Diplomacy, The Art of Winning Risk
"Every battle has been won before it's been fought"
Sun Tzu

Do you want to win in the game of Risk? Have you always wanted to win against your cousin in the game of Risk®? Do you feel frustrated when they gang up on you and you cannot do much about it? Or perhaps you made a reputation for yourself as the greatest Risk player ever, only to lose in the next game and the one after that!

The Solution

Read Total Diplomacy. This book aims to teach you how to beat them all in your own sweet way. But that’s not all. Learn how to use diplomacy effectively to get what you want in life. There is a lot to learn from history and its great leaders. You will see how you can apply this knowledge to negotiate more successfully and be in control of people.

If you use diplomacy and psychology, in Risk board games, in online Risk games or in real life, you will certainly do better.

As a minimum, you will be at a disadvantage if you do not use diplomacy against those who do.


You will learn the art if influence and persuasion and will be able to apply it immediately to your Risk games. Any complex system can be exploited by its users. If you don't know how to handle an exploitation, you will be at the mercy of exploiters. Hence, you need to train yourself for all eventualities.

This book is not just about Risk or use of strategy in games. It aims to enhance your personal skills too. In this book, you will find:

  • The best tactics and strategies to use in Risk
  • How to learn by example
  • Understand player’s psychology
  • How to debate with people and influence them
  • When it is wise to break a deal or an alliance
  • How to control your emotions and exploit others' weaknesses
  • The best strategies to use if you are playing repeatedly against the same players
  • How to be deceptive and how to recognise deceptive behaviour
  • The best online strategies
  • How to negotiate successfully and make cunning deals


Buy Total Diplomacy: The Art of Winning RISK from

Buy Total Diplomacy: The Art of Winning Risk in e-book format: Kindle, Apple Books

"Strength does not come from physical capacity.
It comes from indomitable will."  

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You can read the Kindle version on any device where Kindle software is available including PC, Amazon Kindle, iPhone/iPad and Android phones. The Kindle version is the recommended format as it scales nicely on any device and is the easiest to read digitally.

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Book Reviews

"The Briton [Honary] is some kind of Clausewitz of Risk game."

from an article in Financial Times Deutschland


"Ehsan Honary's book captures the art of playing Risk, much like a complete text on the subject. It is authoritative, intelligent, detailed and well thought out. It begins with basic tactics and strategies that a beginning player needs to understand and also serves as a review for advanced players.....Risk is a game that has needed a book devoted to the game and its strategies and nuances, and [the author] has done so in grand style.... 

If you play Risk, any version of Risk, pick up this book, it is a must read. If you like games, strategy or you just want something to read, pick up this book. This book is so helpful and fun to read, every Risk fan should not be without it. For me, it is my Bible when it comes to the game of Risk."

from Grant Blackburn, an reviewer

"The book is very methodical in walking you through a number of scenarios. For example you may want to negotiate with another player. What should you say? How should you say it? What should you not say? How not to get emotional when you need to stay focused. Any Risk player will find himself or herself in such situations and will benefit from the book....I also greatly enjoyed the discussion on dynamics of the game. Now I have a completely different view of back stabbing in Risk. A quality....

Overall this book covers almost everything a player needs to know about winning in Risk."

from Blender, an reviewer

“The book is filled with lots of ideas and psychological tips on how to manoeuvre successfully during the game and also when you are going about your normal daily activities. Most books on board and card games tend to be long, boring and sometimes ‘fluffy’. However, Ehsan Honary realised this and basically just went straight to the point. The mix or techniques taught in the book and the real life correlation or example makes the book an interesting read.”

Oscar at (Review Article)

“Well I must say that I was not disappointed. Over two thirds of the >300 page book is dedicated to just that, diplomacy and other concepts of player relations and manipulations… Alliances, treaties, deception, debate, in game politics, and propaganda are just a few of the topics Honary discusses. He spends a good deal of the book examining how to influence others and when possible control the decisions of other layers. Naturally he also covers how to identify and resist attempts to be controlled yourself.”

Book Review by Zachary Jarvie (Review Article)

“Now this is no ordinary book on Risk strategy, there is some pretty deep stuff in here that you may well not be expecting but all of it will help you to become a true master of this, the king of strategy games.”

Mind Money Body Brain (Review Article)


Chapter 1: Why Risk?
This chapter introduces you to Risk. The game can be used as a tool in addition to an entertainment device. Risk is a multiplayer game that lets you practice many real-life skills such as negation, diplomacy, politics and psychological competition.


Chapter 2: The Three Layers
While playing Risk (or anything competitive for that matter), you operate in three distinct parallel layers. These are Tactics & Logistics, Strategy and Diplomacy. Their definition and their differences are discussed in this chapter. These three layers are explained in detail in Chapter 4, 5 and 6.


Chapter 3: Temet Nosce
An important key is the psychological state of other players at any given time in the game. You need to exploit this to your advantage. How to you deal with an aggressive player? How do you exploit an isolationist? This chapter discusses your step by step thinking process, psychological profiling and associated concepts. You will learn how to work out the psychological profile of other players, what type of opponents you may find in the game, and what do you need to do against each category.


Chapter 4: Tactics & Logistics
In order to be able to look at the bigger picture with a long term strategy, you need to have control over the smaller issues. You need to master the rules and mechanics of the game (the environment) and move on to learn how to form a winning solution which will be your long term plan (strategy). A good tactic is only effective as a short term solution, though any good player needs to know them by heart. Specific Risk tactics are explained in detail with appropriate illustrations. Find out more in this chapter.


Read the Risk Guide to learn some of these tactics


Chapter 5: Strategy
To win in any competitive environment, you need to have a strategy. This is your overall plan.  Historically, the rise of technology resulted in ever more complex strategies which eventually led to an operational strategy. This involved planning for efficiency of a nation at war as a whole and not just for the war activity itself. In this chapter you are introduced to philosophy of war. You will learn how to look at the big picture and how to exploit others weaknesses.  A number of lessons from history shed light on how important it is to pay attention to all aspect of a strategy and not just on tactical levels.


Read the Risk Guide to learn some of these strategies


Chapter 6: Diplomacy
Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between nations. It concerns getting other notations to listen to you and negotiate over crises and resolve issues through peaceful means. In an ideal world, all issues should be resolved through diplomacy and no nation should end up with a war. This is why war is always seen as the result of a failed diplomacy. This inevitably means that the politicians involved in the diplomatical affair have not been able to do a good job or they would not have failed. You need to be a good politician. This chapter explores a variety of issues on diplomacy and the psychology of the masses and how can this all be applied to Risk. Use propaganda, verbal warfare, slippery slope arguments and other methods to beat your opponent in any conflict.


Read the Risk Guide to learn more about diplomacy


Chapter 7: Art of Debate
Negotiation is a key skill in diplomacy and in day to day real life. It is essential to master it. In this chapter, tactics and techniques on different aspects of debating are presented. Effective debate is critical when playing Risk on a normal board game. You will learn how to influence other players to do what you want them to do. You will be introduced to various tactics used in negotiations and how you can get the best outcome. There are a number of techniques you can use to control people. Finally, you will be introduced to the art of deception. Hiding your true intention has always been an important element of strategic competition.


Chapter 8: Dynamics of the Game
Ever wondered if Risk has certain patterns that you can identify and exploit? This chapter  focuses on the actual game play and the logical problem domain. Game theory has a large body of research in this regard which is sometimes directly applicable to Risk. For example, what are the best strategies to use when Risk is played many times? Can you get away with back stabbing? And above all, you can find all about turtles in this chapter!


Chapter 9 Online Strategies
Risk was initially a board game mainly played in the living room. Recently, however, there has been a great rise on available options to play Risk on a computer and against other players online. Online Risk can be different due to limited communication channels and anonymity. The games are therefore played slightly differently and you need to be aware of an extra set of strategies suitable for online game play. This chapter explores these strategies. In addition, you will be introduced to the concept of BOMS graph that help to capture the essence of a game and illustrate the most important moves made in the game by players. You can use BOMS graphs to predict potential winners and losers. 


Chapter 10: Scenarios and Solutions
This chapter contains a number of scenarios and solutions specifically made to illustrate different aspects of the game. A player confronted with a scenario may have a number of options to follow. These are illustrated with figures. Best choice is then selected from the available options. This chapter attempts to teach by example.  


Participate in providing your own solutions in the Scenario Section

He who causes another to become powerful ruins himself.

Niccolo Machiavelli

About the Author

Ehsan Honary


About Ehsan Honary

Ehsan Honary was first introduced to Risk in 1990 and it instantly became a favourite game. Despite his interests in other ‘serious’ disciplines, he has always managed to convince his family and friends that spending time playing Risk has many benefits other than the immediate joy of playing a game. He has been an active member in the Risk gaming community, discussing strategies and ideas on how to get more from Risk. His main interests are in design of training courses, train the trainer, management training, psychology, fine art and software engineering.

He lives in London with his wife.

Contact me at

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Train the Trainer is another book I have written on how to teach well. Here, I share with you tons of guidelines on how to run a good course. You have mastered a topic and have become a subject matter expert. Now you want to teach others. Teaching is a different skill and requires training. This book based on my years of experience in this field and the latest developments in the training industry can help you with the art of training. I also run Train the Trainer courses in London so my students can practice these skills in the controlled environment of a course they attend.

If you are interested to learn how to teach well, come along. Who knows, may be we can squeeze a board gaming session in it too. For more details see train the trainer course in London