How Do You Play It?

Risk: How Do You Play Risk?

by admin

Game Overview:
You are one of up to 6 generals responsible for dominating the world. There can be only one. Players deploy their armies, secure territory, and fortify against or prepare for invasions. It is a casual mix of strategy and luck through the use of dice, with more than one way to play available.

Game Setup and General Information:
Each player takes one of the colored token sets to represent their army, with various pieces representing different denominations of troops.

Infantry = 1
Cavalry = 5
Cannons = 10

Each player counts out a specific number of troops to prepare to deploy to the game board, the number of troops each player counts out is dependent on the number of players in the game:

2 players = (additional rules apply, see special notes)
3 players = 35
4 players = 30
5 players = 25
6 players = 20

Each player rolls a die, with the highest number going first. The high-roller places one infantry from his pre-counted pile onto a territory on the game board, thus claiming that territory. The player to the left then places a unit an unclaimed territory. This process continues until all 42 territories are claimed. Once all 42 territories are claimed, each player may then place one infantry on one of their own territories to reinforce it. Each player places one infantry in a continuation of the order established while claiming territory.

Risk cards are shuffled and then placed face down where every player can reach them. Game play starts with the player who placed the first army. Mission cards are used for a special game mode and should be separated from the Risk cards and set aside for normal play.

Game Play:

Each turn consists of three parts: placing armies, attacking, and one free move at the end of your turn.

Placing Armies – At the beginning of your turn, count the total number of territories you own and divide by three. This is the number of additional armies you will receive for territory (ignoring fractions). If the number of territories divided by three is less than three, you receive three armies instead. Add the value of any continents you fully control, and play bonus cards if you need or want to and add them to this total to give you the number of troops you receive this turn (troops must be placed in the turn they are received).

Territory Bonus Example:

11 territories or less = 3 armies
12 = 4 armies
15 = 5 armies
18 = 6 armies, etc.

Bonus cards may only be played in sets at the beginning of your turn or as drawn if you have more than five in your hand. Sets include one of each card type (infantry, cannon, cavalry), or three of the same kind. Wild cards may be used to form set or variety turn ins (infantry, cannon, cavalry). If you own a territory that is shown on the card set you turn in, you also receive an immediate two free infantry placed on that territory.

Set turn-in values are based on the number of sets that have been turned in during the game:
First set – 4
Second set – 6
Third set – 8
Fourth set – 10
Fifth set – 12
Sixth set – 15

After the sixth set, each set afterwards is worth an additional 5 more from the previous total.
After placing your armies you may declare attacks. You may only attack territories adjacent to your own where your territory contains two or more armies. You may attack with any number of armies except for one, which must remain to defend your territory.

Your territory has 5 armies and the enemy territory has 3. You may attack with up to 4 armies, the 5th may never be used to attack as no territory can be left undefended. You must declare up to three armies to attack with on a single round, and if you successfully win the territory you must move at least as many armies as you declared attackers, and any number greater than that, so long as at least one army is left to defend the original territory.

During your turn, you may attack as many times as you wish over as many rounds as you wish, even if you are attacking from a territory you just conquered.
After you are done declaring attacks, if you successfully conquered one territory you may draw one risk card. You may only draw one risk card per turn.

Resolving Combat:
Defenders use up to two white dice to defend against up to three attacking red dice. Attackers declare up to three troops to use on their attack with each troop represented by a die. Defenders use two dice if they have two or more troops, but only one die if they have a single troop. Attackers roll first, defenders roll second. The two highest die in both rolls are used, with the highest of each roll being matched against the highest of the other roll. Ties go to the defender with each losing roll defeating 1 troop. Rounds continue until all defenders are defeated, the attacker runs out of troops they can attack with, or the attacker decides to withdraw.

Example: Attacker rolls 3, 2, 5 Defender Rolls 2, 5 Result = 5 against 5 goes to the defender. 2 Against 3 goes to the attacker. Each player loses 1 troop.

Attacker rolls 4, 6, 5 Defender Rolls 5, 4 = 5 goes against 6 goes to attacker. 4 against 5 goes to attacker. Defender loses two troops.

Atacker rolls 3, 3, 5, Defender rolls 6, 3 = 6 goes against 5 goes to attacker. 3 goes against 3 tie goes to defender. Attacker loses two troops.

At the end of your turn you may reinforce one territory that you own from another adjacent territory that you own. You may make this move once per turn, and you may move as many troops as you want as long as you leave at least one behind.


If an opponent eliminates you by taking your last territory then you must forfeit all of your Risk cards to that player. If that player then holds more than 6 cards because of this action, they must immediately play a risk set/sets until they hold 4 or fewer cards and place the armies and then continue their attack phase.

Winning the Game and Special Game Modes:
A player wins the game by conquering all 42 territories.

Special Rules For Two Players:
Use a third army set to be used as a “neutral” army. Player count 40 infantry for themselves, and set aside 40 infantry for the neutral army.
Remove 2 wild cards from the Risk deck (and the mission cards), shuffle and deal them into three piles face down. Each player takes one pile, with the third pile going to the neutral army.
Each player places 1 army on each of the 14 territories in their pile that they chose, with the neutral army also getting 1 army on each of its own territories.
Players then take turns placing two of their own armies and then one neutral army to reinforce their existing territories (neutral armies reinforcing neutral territories).

Once all armies have been placed, return the two wild cards to the deck, shuffle the risk cards, and place them face down where both players can reach it. Play resumes as normal. Neutral armies never get reinforcements and their defense rolls are played by your opponent.

Capital Risk
Optional game mode in which each player selects a capital by selecting a territory they own from the risk deck and placing the card face down in front of them. Once every player has done this, they reveal the card to everyone to show their capital. Players win this game mode by controlling all capitals, including their own, at the same time. Players select their capital after initial army placement.

Secret Mission Risk (3 to 6 players):
Territories are selected by dealing all risk cards out after removing the two wild cards from the deck. Each risk card represents a territory, and players place one army upon each of their territories, and follow normal procedures as in the other variants. Mission cards are separated in their own pile and given to a player elected as “general”. The general then goes through the mission cards and removes missions that are not relevant to the game (due to lack of players), shuffles the remaining mission cards and deals one to each player face down. Each player must complete this secret objective to win the game.

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