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.

The Mexican-American War Map is Here!

Mexican-American War Map

The New Manifest Destiny Series

Major Command is proud to introduce the first Map in the newest Manifest Destiny Series. The Mexican-American War Map of 1846-1848. It is a well-balanced map with some great features that will keep you challenged for a long time to come!

The map includes a US Navy vessel that has a two-way connection with Louisiana, but only allows to risk a one-way attack on Vera Cruz. You can move troops over to Vera Cruz only once after an attack, and then the troops are on their own. There’s no reinforcement, and there’s no going back! The new Mexican American War Map is great.

And of course, we have Medals!

Mex Bronze Mexican-American War medalMex Silver Mexican-American War medalMex Gold Mexican-American War medalMex Onyx Mexican-American War medal

The Image on the medallion is that of the Niños Heroes monument to this war in Chapultepec Park Mexico (image below).

Chapultepec park monument Mexican-American War

Now go and play some strategy games using the new Mexican-American War Map of Risk! As always, we want to say a huge thanks to our talented Map Maker Shepherd!

Three New Maps to Conquer

Maps to Conquer

We are blowing out the cartographic pipe here with three awesome new Maps to Conquer.  They are each very different and will require some keen strategy to master.

I’ll Shepherd, our Carto-General gives you the run down.

Conflict Africa Map

Shepherd: For starters, RjBeals has created Conflict: Africa. It’s a continent map, but with a unique twist and a nod to recent history; the map features eight Conflict Zones that reflect civil wars and strife over the past four decades. Entering the regions of conflict comes with a price, and you need to weigh the risks and rewards in your quest to unite and bring peace to Africa.


Africa Maps to Conquer Risk game


This month we also introduce the first map developed in our Map Studios, The Philippines. KungFuDuet launched the idea for this map back in January and saw the process through rigorous discussion and debate. Once we were satisfied that the map idea was worthy of play, Widowmakers stepped in and turned it into a fine piece of art. Winning on this map will require controlling both land and sea, as you hop from island to island while keeping a watchful eye on the navies lurking off shore.

The Philippines Map

Philippines Maps to Conquer Risk game


Finally, this month we offer up our first of what we hope will be many Bonus Maps, available exclusively to Strategist and Commander class users. Duck and Cover may look familiar to some, as it recalls an era when an atomic blast was something that could be survived by watching a short instructional film about hiding under a desk. It’s a small map for a time when it was a small world after all, and superpowers were poised to lob bombs at each other from afar.

Duck and Cover Map

Maps to Conquer Risk game


If you want to hop right into a game on these maps, click here. Or start one yourself with your own settings.

Remember to read that brief tab!  Good luck out there!

Risk Game Nuke Map adjustment

Risk Game Nuke map update

When we launched the Major Command Risk game nuke map a few months ago, it quickly became one of the most popular maps on the site, to the tune of over five hundred games played since its debut. However, after feedback from users, we’ve come to realize that the map lends itself a bit too well toward stalemate in two-player games. Specifically, the Spy regions are a bit overpowered, which can drag games out preposterously as the chances for the Spy to take out either the President/Premier or Target regions, thus preventing a nuclear launch, grew to well north of 90%. See


The creators of the map have spent some time discussing potential fixes, and we think we have the overpowered Spy problem sorted out. Thus, we are rolling out a slightly altered version of the map which will replace the current map.

NUKES! will play virtually the same, with the following slight gameplay alterations:

  1. Each country, instead of having two Spy regions, now has one Spy Agency region and one Military Intel region.
  2. Spy Agency regions, represented by the GUN symbol, can bombard opposing “people”, the President/Premier and Research Centers
  3. Military Intel regions, represented by the EYE symbol, can bombard opposing “tech/equipment”, Targets and Satellites.

By splitting up the power of the Spy regions, the map now requires players to properly counter their opponent’s moves on the other side of the map, rather than just parking a giant stack in one Spy region and dragging the game into the stalemate. Also, once the Fog of War setting is implemented, players will be able to bombard their opponent’s Satellite, rendering their opponent blind.

This change will go into effect on 3/24, giving people ample time to prepare for the changeover. This should have a minimal effect on active games, and by simply altering the existing map we are preserving everyone’s Unique Defeated Opponents.

We firmly believe that this small changes will virtually eliminate the stalemate issue in two-player games. As always, we welcome feedback from everyone on Major Command Risk. We understand if people preferred the old version of the map, but rest assured we’re only making this change after around two months of discussion, both privately and publicly.


Badorties and the MC Cartoteam.

Updated Images


New Map: The Twelve Domains map

The Twelve Domains map

The new twelve domains map has arrived. We at Major Command are starting off 2012 in style with our gorgeous new map designed and executed by our Studio chief himself, Shepherd.

Isn’t it pretty…

The Twelve Domains Risk Game Map


Now the twelve domains map is quite different than other maps so you should understand how it works before you jump right in. In this video, Shepherd fills you in on the mechanics and how to use those dreadful dragons.

There is more info on its wiki page and also a thread in the forums.  So let us know your thoughts on our first conquest map.  Enjoy!