Here I am again for another Table Top Thursdays, this week however is a Throwback Edition where I will be discussing the classic and always a favorite: Risk. This is normal Risk, not Legacy, 2210, or any of the number of specialty Risks like Dr Who or Lord of the Rings. Those all will probably be discussed at some point in this blog thus the necessity to go back to the origin of it all, the first strategy game most of us ever learn, the always great, Risk.
Risk for me is like comfort food. It takes me back to being a kid playing it for the first time, in a quieter, simpler time. Set up is easy, the rules are known, the premise is simple, and it is always fun.
To make the game random the set up we do is shuffle and deal out the Risk cards that have the countries on them and then place one of our infantry men on each of the countries we have allotted to us. Once we do that we then go in order and place what we have remaining of the 35 men with which we start, number given since there was 3 of us playing.
I ended up with a pretty good start with many of my countries being in Africa and South America and some scattered in North America, Europe and Asia. Australia was split between my roommates and one had more of a presence in North America and the other in Asia, the problem being is no one should start a land war in Asia.
The game that night was a battle from turn one. No one had the option to be defensive and everyone had to go on the offense from the beginning. I was able to take over Africa and South America from my first turn but South America turned into a blood bath with Central America and Valenzuela being the sight of many costly battles, almost as costly as their war to take over Australia. The dice were on fire for one of my roommates and when either of us attacked him it turned bloody, quick.
I had the advantage being I took a never lost the African continent and with it its troop bonus at the beginning of every turn. In Risk you get 1 army for every 4 three countries you have as well as a bonus if you have complete control of a continent at the start of your turn; 2 for Australia or America; 3 for Africa; 5 for North America or Europe; and 7 for Asia. On top of this you get an ever increasing amount of bonus armies if you can turn in Risk cards. You receive a card every turn if you take at least one country and they have symbols on them, a cannon, calvary, infantry, or wild card. You need to have 3 of a kind or one of each to turn in and you get bonus armies for them. The first person to turn in got 4 and by the time we finished I turned in for 40 more armies and took over the world.
That in a nutshell is the premise of Risk, world domination. You win when you take over the entire world. Game play is simple. Attack. The attacker declares their attack if they have at least 2 armies in their county. You cannot attack with just one because if they die it would leave the country unoccupied. You declare you are attacking and you get one die for every army attacking up to 3 and the defender gets one dies for every defending army up to 2. The dice are 6 sided and high roll wins with ties going to the defender. Take a country and you get a Risk card, take every country another player has and you get whatever Risk cards they have left.
The game that night was long and bloody and in the end I was victorious but we all had fun and in the end that is what matters most. New games come and get added to the collection but with that do not forget your old favorites either. Risk will always be a favorite of mine and I look forward to teaching my children the game as it was taught to me.