Regardless of the map on which you are playing, one of the deciding
factors in any game of Classic Risk will be the initial placement of your
territories. In a random game, you do not have the luxury of choosing and
must adapt your strategies to the territories you are given. However, in
manual placement, try to concentrate your territories in one region of the
map. Take as many territories as possible in a reinforcement region (for
example, on the Classic Map, all of Europe), thus taking you closer to
total control of the region, granting you a reinforcement bonus.
Placing Your Forces
It is essential to have a strong front line in Risk. Without it, the enemy
will overwhelm your forces, so don't try to spread your units equally
across all your territories. You can guarantee your computer opponent
won't. However, it is important to have some backup forces, in the
eventuality that the enemy do break through. If you only have one
battalion in each internal territory, opponents will have no difficulty in
annihilating your forces.
One type of territory which deserves special mention is those which have
many adjoining territories, particularly islands. These tend to require
much greater defence than mainland territories, as they more often than
not have fewer friendly territories adjacent to them.
As mentioned in Choosing Territories, try to take control of complete
regions, thus gaining their reinforcement bonuses. To see which are the
most profitable in terms of reinforcements, click on the Globe Icon to
take you to the Global View. Then click on the flag in the top left corner
of the screen. This will display the reinforcement regions, and by holding
the mouse pointer over each region, it will display the number of
battalions provided by controlling them.
When placing reinforcements, try to plug any major gaps in your defences
first, then concentrate your remaining forces adjacent to the region you
wish to attack next. Although attack is the best form of defence, leaving
your back door wide open is the easiest way to get pushed into the ocean
by your enemies.
The Art of War
When attacking in Classic Risk, you should always use the largest
concentration of battalions available to you. Never try to take on an army
larger than your own as you will soon find yourself reduced to one
battalion. If outnumbered, try to build up your defences by free moving
reinforcements to the territory under threat.
Concentrate upon taking control of key territories rather than just
rampaging across the land. Whilst rampaging is fun and extremely
satisfying, it leaves your forces dangerously thin on the ground in the
aftermath, leaving your newly gained territories vulnerable to enemy
Defending Your Territories
As mentioned, try to maintain a garrison at the most vital territories,
but in general, the further from the front a territory is, the less
defence is required. Always try to leave a garrison at any newly conquered
territory, as the enemy will often attempt to retake them on their turns.
Although it is possible to conquer as many territories as you have dice,
this will leave one battalion in each territory which is basically a
useless defence force.
In Classic Risk, when attacking or defending, you will be given the choice
of using one, two (and in the case of attacking) three dice. When
attacking, the minimum number of battalions which will move to the next
territory is equal to the number of dice you use. If attacking with three
dice will only leave you with one battalion in your old territory, then
consider attacking with two to preserve forces. As a general rule of
thumb, only attack with what you need, unless the enemy are of an equal
size, then use all that you can.
As with Classic Risk, you should always try to consolidate your forces in
one, or in the case of the more detailed maps, several regions. This
provides you with a reinforcement bonus, based upon the size of the
region. Plus it provides your forces with support from surrounding forces.
One important consideration in Ultimate Risk is to try and choose any
territories which are classified as Difficult Terrain. Although you cannot
place as many troops in these as in open terrain, and you cannot place
fortifications in them, they present a difficult target for the enemy. Any
force, even when accompanied by a general, must stop attacks once they
have attacked a Difficult region. This will give you the opportunity to
reinforce the territories around the targeted one.
Placing Your Forces
When placing forces in Ultimate Risk, there are a number of additional
considerations to be made when compared to Classic Risk. Whilst leaving a
single unit in a territory gives you greater forces to distribute
elsewhere, the chance of a rebellion in the territory is greatly
increased. By placing two units in each territory, should a disaster
occur, only the maximum 50% of the battalions present can be killed, thus
leaving one battalion. If only one battalion is present, then they will
die causing a rebellion to occur.
Secondly, you should consider purchasing generals and building armies for
them. Generals will be discussed below, but it is useless to buy a general
and then give him only a few battalions. For generals to be truly
effective, they should command as large an army as possible.
Also, when placing your initial forces, you should place fortresses in
strategic positions, particularly along your borders and in any territory
which can be considered a gateway to a number of other important areas
(Good example of this being Corsica and Sardinia on the European map).
Forts will be discussed in detail below.
As with Classic Risk, you receive reinforcements from the territories you
hold, plus a bonus for holding complete regions, and from trading in
territory cards. However, in Ultimate Risk you may also gain them from
trading prisoners-of-war with enemy powers. This will be detailed below.
When placing reinforcements, try to reinforce your frontiers, plus any
territories which have suffered disasters. Also, try to build up the
armies commanded by your generals, as the larger the force they possess,
the greater their destructive power.
The Art of War
As in Classic Risk, never over-extend your forces. Take control of new
territories then reinforce them as quickly as possible. Ensure your
defences are adequate before venturing out in search of new conquests, and
never leave strategic territories unguarded.
Whenever possible, target enemy generals above all other forces, and try
to do so with more than one general, to ensure victory. Capturing or
killing an enemy general not only removes him from the battle and a large
number of his troops, but if you withhold him as a prisoner-of-war, you
limit the number of generals the enemy may have.
Regardless of the type of game you are playing, try to conquer the enemy
capitals as this will deprive them of prisoners, generals, and any
territory cards they may hold. Breaking a power's capital will effectively
break their armies.
Tactical Card System
When using the Tactical Card System, always consider the terrain you are
fighting in and the enemy you are facing. If in difficult terrain, use any
tactics which indicate they are suitable, as these will give you a bonus
in the attack.
When fighting with generals, always use the most advanced tactic
available, though be careful when attacking enemy generals, as they have
the same tactics available, as well as a few extra defensive ones. If in
doubt, use a defensive tactic, even when attacking as it is often possible
to draw the enemy out into a trap.
In general, attacks on the flank or in the rear are the most effective,
beaten only by surprise attacks and ambushes. Never make direct assaults
when attacking fortifications, as that tends to be where most of their
forces will be. Again, try and draw the enemy out, rather than taking the
battle to them.
One important note. If a battle is inconclusive, you only have a total of
three attempts to break the enemy. Use them wisely.
Generals are invaluable to your armies. They are the only way to increase
the number of battalions in a territory above twenty (ten in difficult
terrain). Always build up your generals' armies as much as possible, and
when attacking always use the highest level tactic they have available.
Whilst generals are excellent for destroying small units, their real
strength lies in their ability to take out enemy generals and
Try to use your generals together, attacking adjacent territories and thus
pushing your borders forward in unison, instead of creating small pockets
within the enemy-controlled regions. Use your generals to cut enemy forces
off then use your smaller armies to mop up any enemy resistance.
Always be careful when committing generals to a battle, as if the general
is captured or dies, then the number of battalions present in the
territory will be reduced to conform to the terrain limits.
Forts and Capitals
Two important features in Ultimate Risk are forts and capital cities. Your
capital is the centre of your power-structure, from where your generals
originate and where all Territory Cards and prisoners of war are held. If
you lose your capital, you lose all Territory Cards held, all prisoners of
war, and the ability to purchase new generals, so always keep them well
defended. Capitals, like generals can have up to 350 battalions stationed
with them, so place a garrison force in your capital to defend it, and to
provide support to surrounding territories.
Forts allow you to build up the defences along your borders without having
to commit troops to them. Build them along your borders, then when you
have advanced your front line, demolish the old forts and rebuild them on
your new frontier. The only exception to this is when a territory is of
strategic importance, i.e. it is the gateway to a particular region of the
map. Always maintain forts in these territories, as they can often prevent
the enemy from advancing long enough for you to move reinforcements into
Although the objective of Risk is global domination, it is not always
possible to fight the war on all fronts, as this will soon deplete your
forces and give the enemy the chance to crush you. Making alliances is an
excellent way to take the heat off particular fronts, allowing you to
concentrate your forces elsewhere. When making alliances, you should study
the distribution of the enemy around you. If one enemy power is far
stronger than the others, attempt to make a long-term alliance with them,
and keep renewing it. They may not initially accept your offer, but keep
trying, the political landscape changes as fast as the military.
Another tactic is to wait for the enemy to offer you an alliance and then
negotiate. Only accept alliances from other powers once you have had your
turn, then regardless of the length of alliance they offer, negotiate a
one turn alliance. This will prevent them from attacking you for the rest
of the turn, whilst allowing you to attack them on your next go.
In Ultimate Risk, when you enter a battle, not only do battalions have the
potential to be killed, but they may also be taken captive by the enemy.
This is applicable to both battalions and generals, so you should always
consider your tactics carefully. When swapping prisoners with the enemy,
you always ask yourself if you need the troops or not. It can be an
excellent tactic to withhold prisoners, thus starving the enemy of
reinforcements, especially if you hold any of their generals, which are in
limited supply. However, if the enemy hold one of your generals, it is a
good idea to trade in order to gain his release.
Should a territory succumb to a disaster, reducing the battalions
stationed there below one, a rebellion is likely to occur. Should this
happen, crush the rebellion as quickly as possible. If left to their own
devices, the rebels will quickly spread to adjacent territories. If left
long enough, a rebel general may appear, at which point you will have to
divert serious resources to containing the uprising.
As mentioned, the most effective method for preventing rebellion is to
ensure that two battalions are placed in each territory. This will ensure
that a single disaster cannot cause a rebellion, as only fifty percent of
the battalions in any territory can be killed by such an event.
Blind Risk is a very different game to standard Risk, as you are
effectively blind to the movements of the enemy in any territories which
you do not share a border with. Do not try to push forward on multiple
fronts, as although you may know the size of the forces immediately around
you, the battalions beyond are unknown. Make small probing attacks to
determine the level of resistance you will encounter before committing
yourself to any major offensive.
Terrain plays an important role in Ultimate Risk, as it dictates the
course which an army can take when attacking or free moving. When
attacking the enemy, if you have the choice between a number of
territories, attack those which do not contain difficult terrain first, as
attacking difficult terrain will effectively end the activities of the
When being forced to retreat, always try to retreat into open terrain,
when given the choice between open and difficult. Should the enemy follow
up their attack, they are more likely to attack a small force in difficult
terrain, than a large one in the open. Regardless though, you should
always try to reinforce battalions in difficult terrain as much as those
in the open.