Play Risk Tips and Strategies

Risk Tips and Strategies

by Redstorm
(Major Command Risk Game Player and Blog Contributor)

Forward: Several players graciously shared their game knowledge with me. I have freely edited their remarks while maintaining their unique intent. Any mistakes are purely my own.

Playing Tactics


risk tips and strategies

Don’t be a command monkey compulsively reaching for a command. While securing commands certainly has a great deal of importance in escalite and flat rate games, chasing them in escalate games is a recipe for disaster. I tend to employ a combination of the following tactics, depending on how the first couple rounds shake out:

Path of Least Resistance:

If I see a region with one troop in it adjacent to me, I take it. Quite often, I lose no troops. After a few rounds of this, I often find that I’m the troop leader, primarily because everyone else is going through the pain of taking regions defended by three troops, and losing half of their allowance or more each turn. They’re also leaving behind regions with one or two troops in them, which I’m happy to attack. If you haven’t already, try this out. It’s as easy as taking candy from a baby. Stack and Wait: If the game is nine or more players, it may not be worth burning troops early to get a card in the first round or two. I’ll just spread my deployments out across the board, boost my threes up to fours, then to fives, making myself a less appealing target. Once I’ve established a solid foothold, I begin my expansion.

Be Everywhere:

I want to be near weak players when the reserve bonus starts to grow. An opponent with three regions totaling nine troops isn’t going to be the first link in my chain of eliminations if he’s on the opposite side of the board from me, and I have to go through a bunch of other players to reach him. Instead of wasting time and troops securing a command, I try to keep a region or two in every command on the board. It’s easy to be in the right place at the right time if you’re everywhere.



turtle-shell risk tips and strategies

If I’m getting abused early, and I’m already the weakest player alive in round three, I’ll often pick one region and just stack and stack there, turn after turn, and refrain from attacking. A big number looks intimidating to other players, and once I have a strong presence there, I’ll attack adjacent regions, advancing either one troop, or all of them. The key is to keep the stack together. With luck and a reserve set, I can sometimes turn a weak start into a glorious chain of eliminations. Sometimes, I can start this without even turning in reserves myself at the start of my turn, simply because I already have enough concentrated force to kill somebody who holds the cards I need.




Watch out for the sea lanes. I usually try working the map from 1 side to the other; southeast or northwest. I usually prefer the southeast area for starting.

Far East:

Keep an eye on the 2 mini bonuses within commands (India and Indonesia mini bonus). They can be a bitch if they catch you off guard. The Mongolia command is decent.

12 Domains:


12 Domains Risk map

1st round: add all armies on 1 castle, castles with 4 hit a 2, if takes, advance 1, if draw, hit 1 more time with the 3 if lose stay with the 2 on the castle. For the castle with the 7, take as many territories as you can until you get to 3 remaining troops then move those 3 back to the castle. The basic rule of thumb is with an army of 4 or above you can attack anything; with an army of 3 you only hit territories with 1 troop and only if necessary. Try to conquer the domains as efficiently as possible, meaning doesn’t block your exit. That’s why Bruichladdich is the hardest domain to conquer followed by Calofar. If you start out with 2 domains connecting to the same town, you develop those domains first and try to get to the town ASAP because 2 connected domains are insanely strong in the beginning. After you just got done conquering the entire domain, you should end up with like 24 troops on the frontline of that domain, 1 turn later, move the 8 from the castle to that frontline, the turn after that you take the town depending on whether enemies are threatening to take over that town immediately, move the 8 from the castle to the town.

WATCH OUT if you’re joining a match on the Twelve Kingdoms map, and it’s set to low or no movements (like Border One or Border None). The trick to this map on those settings is to NOT capture up all the territories in your starting area. LEAVE A PATH OF NEUTRALS BETWEEN THE TOWER AND THE OUTER MAP, and only capture the territories to the side of this path.

If you want to leverage the auto deploy feature on the tower, then you should only capture the terts to the top and bottom, and leave the ones that are left for when you’re ready to “break out” from the starting territory. With six or fewer players on the map, you’ll start the game with more than one tower which means that, once you’ve capped the side territories for a single region, then you can focus your attention on a different tower while this first one racks up all the auto deploys. Twelve Kingdoms on Border One/None is a noob trap. Anyone going into this situation without knowing the trick almost always starts with a disadvantage.

You can bombard opponents’ terts, turning them neutral, in your domain. Bombard the terts that you don’t border first because you can kill those with no loss to yourself. You don’t get the dragons until your next turn IF you hold it. ALWAYS look for easy ways to take away your opponents deploy. For example, if I’m holding 2 villages with only 1 man on them, take them and take 4 deploys from me. In a close game, those 4 men are important. In the beginning of the game, look for the places where you outnumber your opponent. If you start with 2 domains in the west to my 1 you should concentrate on that area and make it a priority to take that domain away. You do that, you win the game.

A disclaimer:

Please keep in mind that my badmouthing of commands in escalate games doesn’t apply to all maps, just the medium sized ones. In Classic Massive, I absolutely go after commands. Hope you liked the Risk tips and strategies given above.

Hey, It’s Only a Game

“Hey, It’s Only a Game”… or is it?

by Redstorm
(Major Command Risk Game Player and Blog Contributor)

family playing only a game

Only a game… Many of us fondly remember those long hours spent playing those wonderful board games as a child. Sure, there were moments when we went savage about who gets what color or marker and most assuredly someone always probably cheated somehow. But we learned things as we played like cooperation, sharing, and sportsmanship. We also felt the thrill of winning and the crush of defeat. Most likely it was then that we first heard someone, probably Dad, say “hey, it’s only a game“.

Who doesn’t remember those young adult years spent chasing wine, women and song while really anticipating the next 27-hour board game marathon where the levels of testosterone were matched only by the mountainous pile of empty beer cans? All the while we were learning about comradery, establishing friendships, often for a lifetime, as we mostly stumbled our way to responsible adulthood. Meh, pass me a cold one since ‘hey, it’s only a game“.

As jobs became careers, girlfriends became wives and children followed seemingly too soon, we often lacked any spare time and struggled to keep the boat steady and on the course. Somehow we and the kids managed to play a few games even as the board games morphed into an ever-changing digital mystery to us. Did we give enough of ourselves? Sadly, after too many excuses, we all heard “it’s ok, Daddy”, “hey, it’s only a game”.

computer game

Comes to the worldwide networks gushing an explosion of connected and online goodness. For the aging gamer, it appears as manna from heaven. Once again discovering the games of our youth while meeting people from all over the Earth on sites like the awesome MAJORCOMMAND.COM all while sitting in our most comfy chair. Total bliss? hmmm. My adorable grandson asked me just the other day, “Papa, why you yelling at your ‘puter?”. Slightly embarrassed, I realized that after all these years I could still learn about myself and my dealings with those around me. Laughing in the way young children do, I can just imagine him saying “Papa”, “hey, it’s only a game“.

500 Games at Major Command Risk

“500 Games”

by Redstorm
(Major Command Risk Game Player and Blog Contributor)

500 games risk online

Approaching my 500th game on MAJORCOMMAND.COM there are a few things I would like to share. First would be “WOW, what a great site to play live or at least semi-live risk like games with new friends from the world over who, as a whole, enjoy the games and site as much as I do. I find myself hopelessly addicted and actually will check for my turns throughout the day. I’m quite sure I’m not the only one. The maps are the first rate, game options are plentiful and varied, several different options exist for the number of game players, etc.

As a newer player, I find the most difficult thing for me is to learn, mostly the hard way, the myriad of strategies to be successful in these games. No one strategy will work across the board with all the different options and maps. I’ve found the best way to get the knowledge is through team games such as doubles and to simply ask the more experienced players. I’ve yet to encounter one who didn’t eagerly pass along their experiences and opinions. Even more difficult than learning the strategies is to internalize them and remember to use them in the heat of battle. I still am guilty of attacking too aggressively only to find myself eliminated because I didn’t secure my gains properly.

dice rolling risk online games

Oh, those damn dice! I’ve read all the discussions and wiki notes but like a lot of players, I think there is something imbalanced about the random dice. Maybe it’s just human nature but too many times I have been doing quite well rolling once in assault mode then try to finish it with the blitz mode only to lose heavily. Meh, the bottom line is that we all have to deal with the dice so it evens out I suppose in the long run.

Real-time (RT) versus casual games. RT games are a whole different environment and too often I think newer players start there and get discouraged then leave the site. I’ve heard it referred to as “the wild west” but I think it is more like a shark pit. This is where you can find some of the less honorable players preying on the unsuspecting player. A favorite tactic is to open a 4 player game with one or two players then when the unsuspecting ‘victim’ joins the game another shark will enter to close the game. Usually one goes AWOL and the other two attack the newer player. It’s never a fair game from the beginning. My best advice to newer players is to always check the profiles of all the players in any game you want to join. The honor and diplomatic rating is a dead giveaway with very few exceptions. Thankfully the fair and honorable players far outnumber these few brigands. The good news is that you will never hardly see that happening in casual games so I would recommend those for the newer player.

by Redstorm