How to Win at the Board Game Risk

A risk board in play
Tambako The Jaguar/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

Risk is a classic board game that introduced many players to the genre of wargames. Despite its roots in traditional board games, the game has gained popularity in recent years on popular websites like Reddit.

The roll of the dice means a lot in Risk, but so do strategy and intelligent tactical decisions. The strategy board game was created in 1957 and requires two to six players. Players are required to have skills in strategy, tactics, and negotiation and can expect to play anywhere from one to eight hours. This game of diplomacy allows players to form alliances throughout the game on a political map consisting of territories and continents.

11 Winning Strategies to Beat Other Risk Players

  1. Players should know what rules to use. There are various editions and versions of Risk, so they should be sure to play the same game everyone else is playing.
  2. Australia is a good continent to control at the beginning of the game since it's easy to hold. It only has one point of attack from outside the continent, and players can get the continent bonus. South America, with only two points of attack, is almost as good.
  3. When a player controls a continent, their position for their armies is to protect the points of attack much more so than the less vulnerable interior countries.
  4. Players shouldn't bother conquering an entire continent unless they think they can hold it for at least a full turn because controlling a continent makes players an attractive target for other players to attack.
  5. It's important for players not to let other players control continents, but equally important for players not to weaken themselves too much in the process.
  6. Whenever possible, players should attack with a large group of armies rather than a medium-sized one.
  7. When players are playing with mission cards, it's better to start by going after a full continent. Once the player has armies to work with, they can go after their mission.
  8. When trying to complete a mission, players can take steps to make sure that they don't make it obvious what their goal is. If the player doesn't mask their intentions, their opponents will catch on.
  9. If players are playing with increasing card redemption values (the standard rule in most versions), they can hold on to their cards as long as possible. This is particularly true near the beginning of the game.
  10. Players can hold on to wild cards as long as possible at any point in the game.
  11. If players are defending a country, and they have an option of how many dice to roll, they can always roll as many as possible. This increases their chances of a successful defense.

Risk is not a team game. Alliances, if they exist at all, are always temporary. It's imperative that players of the board game avoid spreading themselves too thin because other players could sweep through and capture all of their one-army countries quite easily.