How to play Risk?

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In this article, I will introduce you to the basic rules of the board game Risk and show you how to play. The object of the game is to defeat your enemies by occupying every territory on the board. There are many different themes for risk so the pieces might look different but the gameplay is generally the same.


There are four types of pieces representing different amounts of armies. One army, three armies, five armies, and ten armies. Layout the board and shuffle the risk deck placing it facedown as a draw deck. Each player chooses a color. Using the single army tokens each player counts out and sets aside the correct number of armies based on how many players there are. 35 armies for three players down to 20 armies for 6 players.

Roll dice. The highest player goes first then play proceeds clockwise. One at a time each player places one army from their set-aside armies in any one of the 42 unoccupied territories on the board. Once every territory has been claimed players continue to place one army on any territory they control. Players do not need to evenly place armies across territories.

Once every player has placed all their set-aside armies the player who rolled the highest goes first. Each turn consists of three steps in this order: First, get and place new armies. Second, attacking. Third fortifying your position.

At the beginning of your turn based on the number of territories you control. You receive armies to distribute however you like amongst your territories. Based on the total territories you control, divide that by three discarding any fraction, to determine how many armies you receive. You cannot receive less than three armies a turn. Additionally, you receive armies as indicated by the legend on the board. If you have complete control of a continent, from seven armies for Asia down to two armies for South America and Australia, you can also receive additional armies for turning in matching risk cards.

A match is three cards of the same symbol or one of each. There are two wildcards that count as anyone symbol when turned. The first set of risk cards traded in by any player is worth four armies. The value of each traded set then increases by two armies for each set until twelve armies. The next set is then worth fifteen, then it is increased by five armies for every set after that. If any of the three risk cards have a territory on it that you control you receive an extra two armies for that territory. However, you can only do this once per trade-in so multiple cards with matching territories do not all receive extra armies.

You draw one risk card at the end of a turn when you conquered at least one opponent’s territory. When a player receives a fifth risk card for their hand they must trade-in a matching set at the start of their next turn. After placing your armies you may attack the opponent’s territories if you wish. You may only attack adjacent territories from a territory of yours that has at least two armies in it. Dashed lines connect to territories in this way. To attack, declare the territory you are attacking and the territory you’re attacking from. The attacker may roll one, two or three red dice but you must have one more army in your territory than dice you’re rolling. The defender, on the other hand, may rule one or two white dice so long as the number of armies in their territory matches or exceeds the number of dice they roll. The attacker and defender must declare how many dice they intend to roll before rolling. Then, both players roll at the same time. The highest die from both attacker and defender are compared. Whoever has the lower number loses one army removing it from the board. If it is a tie the defender wins and the attacker loses one army. After comparing dice the attacker may continue the attack and both players roll again. If the defender loses all armies then the attacker moves his armies into the newly conquered territory. The attacker must have at least one army in the original territory and must take at least as many armies as dice rolled in the last battle. Every territory on the board must always have at least one army in it. The attacker may stop the battle at any time. Each territory with sufficient armies can attack multiple times even to the same space later in the turn. The attacker may attack as many or few territories as he desires in a turn. You cannot attack with more than one territory at the same time, and you must have sufficient armies in your territory to attack with. If you conquer an opponent’s last territory they are eliminated from the game. You receive all the risk cards they have in their hands. If you then have six or more cards in your hand you must immediately trade in sets of risk cards and place the additional armies until you have four or fewer risk cards in your hand. At the end of your turn regardless of your turn’s actions you may, if you wish, fortify your position. To do this move as many of your armies as you like from one and only one of your territories into any one of your adjacent territories. When doing so you must leave at least one army behind. Your turn now ends. If you conquered at least one territory draw one and only one risk card. The player to your left goes. The first player to eliminate every opponent and control all 42 territories wins. is an affiliate. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
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