The smell of rivalry is in the air. The enemy advances, building forces dangerously close to your border, whilst claiming they pose no threat. Can you trust their word? You want to defend, but spreading your troops would leave you vulnerable to attack from the north. And what about your mum; sitting back, passively building an army?
Risk is a game of numbers, strategy, alliances, deceit, the glory of victory, and of course that omnipresent luck factor; the dice roll. Perfect for the whole family, Risk provides that much needed territorial outlet, on the safe arena of a playing board!
The board is a representation of the political map of Earth, divided into six continents, with forty-two territories on total. The aim of the game of course; to defeat the other players and take over the entire world.
In order to achieve World Domination players place armies across territories on the board. Everyone starts with a set number of armies, which they take turns to place.
The game commences and players are free to move armies to nearby spaces, and to attack enemy land if they have adjacent borders. Armies go to battle with a roll of the dice, adding that pot-luck element of board games that we just love to hate!
After each player’s turn, more armies are designated and placed, and the number of reinforcements awarded depends on how many territories are owned, with big bonuses for taking entire continents.
Risk is one of the most tactically brilliant board games out there. Despite the battles being raged on the roll of a dice, every decision is in the hands of the player. The original placement of pieces effects the entire game, and player’s are constantly torn between the need to expand, and the need to keep strong defensive borders.
Attacking nearly always results in a loss of troops to both sides, so if there is more than two players, it can make for vulnerable borders, and easy opportunity for other players to steal the advantage.
The intense nature of the game can often lead to diplomacy, and sometimes underhand, or unspoken bargaining with other players. Sometimes players serve each other’s best interest at the expense of the winning player, but be warned; those interests could change at any moment!
Risk was originally invented by a French film director called Albert Lamorisse, and was released in 1957 under the name “La Conquete du Monde”, which translates as “The Conquest of the World”. The game was released in America two years later, in 1958, by Parker Brothers.
Today the game is available in a number of versions, aswell as the original board, including Star Wars editions, Lord of the Rings, and the Moon! It is also available for download on PC, and most consoles.
In modern times, it is easy to forget what board games can bring to the table! With no special effects, no cut-scenes, and no storylines, what exactly is the appeal?
Perhaps it is the joy of sitting around a table with family, or friends. Or maybe, the sincerity of the gameplay is what grips us. In the case of Risk, I think it is the sheer simplicity, combined with the endless scope for tactics and diplomacy. Timeless!