If you haven’t already heard the name or the game, Risk is a very popular strategy board game that involves conflict, diplomacy, conquest. It is basically a board game of world domination. The game is played on a board that has the political map of the Napoleonic Era of the world.
The game had various stages of evolution, first known as ‘the Conquest of the World’, then ‘Risk! The Continental Game.’ Later on the game got many more variants and gained popularity simultaneously.
The most popular risk game came with the 2008 release by Hasbro. This risk game board version includes some really stylish pieces bearing the shape of different sized arrows that depict the movement of forces. This risk board game also involved other features like capitals, rewards, cities, major as well as minor objectives and so on and hence became the most popular risk game.
So if you are interested in going back to the Napoleonic era and capturing some kingdoms, then wait no more. Here is a detailed guide on how to play risk board game, risk rules and all about the game that you should know.
· Aim of Risk Game – The object of the game is to conquer every territory on the board and while doing so, eliminate the other players.
· Total Number of Players – 2-6 players
· Game Materials – 1 Tri-fold Game Board, 5 Dice: 2 white and 3 red, Deck of 56 RISK cards, 6 Sets of armies, each a different color.
· Game Type – Strategy Board Game
· Setup time – 5-15 minutes
· Game time – 1-8 hours
· Game Audience – Older kids and adults
1. Game Board – Any board game would of course require a board. The risk board game comprises of a map which has 6 continents that are divided into 42 territories. All of these continents are shown with various colors all of which contain over 4 to 12 territories in its border.
2. Cards – The risk game has 42 cards. All the cards are marked with a territory and a picture of the Infantry, Cavalry, or Artillery. The game has 2 wild cards that are marked with all these 3 but do not have a territory. You also get 12 Secret mission cards that can be used only in the Secret Mission Risk Variation. In case you are not playing this variation of the game, you can remove the secret mission cards.
3. Armies – For the 6 continents, you have 6 different army sets all of which have –
· Infantry = 1 army
· Cavalry = 5 armies (infantries)
· Artillery = 10 Infantries or 2 Cavalries
The game is started with the infantry pieces. But later on players can trade these pieces for artillery or cavalry.
Risk Game Setup
The Risk Game setup is an important part to complete before you begin the game. The way you organize the armies at the beginning of the game decide the battles that will be happening next.
First of all, you have to start by choosing a color. Then distribute the armies according to the number of players playing the game. Here is the distribution show for your ease –
· 2 Players = 40 armies each
· 3 players = 35 armies each
· 4 players = 30 armies each
· 5 players = 25 armies each
· 6 players = 20 armies each
· Stack the starting number of armies in front of the players.
· Now roll 1 dice to choose the first player. The player that rolls the highest number starts the play by taking 1 infantry piece and putting it on a country claiming their territory.
· The game proceeds to the left.
· One by one everyone takes turn and places their one army on the unoccupied territories.
· This continues until all the territories are occupied.
· When all the territories are claimed by the players, every player puts one additional army on any of the territories they occupy.
· This process goes on until everyone runs out of armies. Note that There is no limit to the amount of armies a player can play in any one territory.
· Now Shuffle Risk cards and place them faced down next to the board. This forms the draw pile.
· The first player who also placed the first army has to take the first turn.
How to Play
As you might have understood by now, a turn in risk game involves capturing the enemy territory and defeating the armies of your opponents. Just like in real life, to win the game you must have strong strategy and presence of mind to attack and defend your army.
To make it easier, here are the 3 step turns you can use –
1. Get and position new armies
2. Attack by rolling the dice
3. Fortify of your position
1. Capture and position new armies.
In the beginning of every turn, make sure to calculate the number of armies you want to add to your territories. For this, you should consider the below points –
· The number of territories you occupy – From the first turn, at the beginning of every turn, make sure to keep a count of the territories you conquer and divide them by 3. (If there is any remainder, simply ignore that.) The number you get after dividing your territories by 3 is the number of armies you will receive. For example, if you have 9 territories, you will have 3 armies.
· Value of your Controlled Continents – In the beginning of every turn, you will get armies for each one of the continent you occupy. If you wish to conquer a continent, you will have to first occupy all the territories of it. You can refer to the chart given in the lower left hand corner of the game board that depicts the armies you will get for every continent.
· Value of matched sets of Risk Cards traded in – In the end of your turn where you will gain at least 1 territory, you will be given 1 risk card. This risk card means that, you will have to collect a set of 3 cards – any 2 plus a wild card, 3 cards of same design (3 infantry, 3 calvary, 3 artillery), or one of each of the 3 designs. You can turn in full sets at the beginning of your turn or you can also wait. However, if you have 5 or 6 cards, you should trade in 1 set and the second one in case it is full.
Trading Cards for Armies – You can trade matched sets for more armies depending on the total number of matches traded in. You can keep the matches faced up under the board for easy reference.
· First Set – 4 armies
· Second Set – 6 armies
· Third Set – 8 armies
· Fourth Set – 10 armies
· Fifth Set – 12 armies
· Sixth Set – 15 armies
If you go beyond the sixth set, every extra match traded in will be worth extra 5 armies. This means, for the seventh set, you will get 20 armies, for the eighth, 25 armies and so on.
· Territory on the race in card – In case any of the territories you conquer are shown on one of the 3 cards, you will get extra 2 armies. Both of these armies have to be placed in the respective territory.
2. Attack by rolling the dice
Once you have positioned your army using the above guide, you are ready to attack. Now the aim to attack is to capture a territory by defeating all the occupying armies.
In risk board game, you fight a battle by rolling a dice. In case you do not want to attack, you can simply pass the dice to the next player on your left. But you can still fortify your position.
The risk rules also allow you to end an attack or attack at any time. If you were successful in capturing at least 1 territory you can draw a Risk card from the draw pile. Just note that, the number of territories captured do not matter here as you can draw only 1 risk card in one turn.
Rules of Attacks –
· A player must have at least 2 armies in the territory they are attacking from.
· Players can attack only those territories that touch their own or are connected to theirs by a dashed line.
· Each territory of the player must have at least 1 army.
· Players can continue attacking a territory until all of its armies have been eliminated. Or they can also shift their attack to other adjacent territories and attack as many territories as they want to.
How to Attack?
· In order to attack in risk board game, the player will have to first start by stating where they plan to attack and what territory they are attacking from. Then Roll the dice against you opponent.
· Before rolling, both you as well as your opponent have to announce the number of dice you plan to roll. You as well as your opponent must roll the dice at the same time.
Attacker – The attacker rolls 1, 2, or 3 red dice. In order to roll a dice, the attacker must have at least 1 army more than the number of dice they roll.
Defender – The defender rolls 1 or 2 white dice. In order to roll 2 dice, the defender needs to have 2 or more armies in their territory.
How to decide a battle?
To decide the battle, you will have to Compare the highest die rolled.
In case the attacker’s rolled dice is higher, the defender loses 1 army. Similarly, if the defender’s is roll is higher, the attacker loses 1 army from the territory attacked from. In case the two of them rolled more than 1 die, you will be required to compare the next highest pair and follow the same rules. In case of a tie, the defender always wins. The attacker cannot loose more than 2 armies each roll.
How to capture Territories?
Once you have defeated the last enemy army, you conquer that territory and have to immediately occupy it. You can do so by adding at least the number of armies as the number of dice rolled in the last battle. However, you will also have to keep at least 1 army in the territory you attacked from. Each of your territory must have at least 1 army.
How to eliminate the opponent?
You can eliminate the opponent by defeating their armies at your turn. You are required to trade in your cards in case you have more than 6, but no less than 2. You will also get their risk cards if you defeat them. If you get a risk card by defeating your opponents and all your cards then make more than 6, you will have to trade cards in your next turn.
3. Fortification of your position.
Fortification, also called as free move, can be done at the end of every turn. For this, all one has to do is move as many armies as you select from one of your territories to the one of your adjacent territories. But again, if you are moving your army, you have to leave at least one behind.
Who Wins Risk Board Game?
The player who eliminates all the other players and conquers all the 42 territories wins the game.