RISK Strategy Scenario: 24 Territories

July 17, 2010

Our resident RISK expert Frank has written another strategy guide, just in time for the next weekly challenge badge in RISK (Peace Treaty Badge, Win 2 games). This scenario outlines the twenty four territories option, as opposed to Global Domination which was the victory condition for Frank’s first RISK strategy guide. The advantage to playing with the 24 territories option is that it goes much, much faster.

Enjoy and Good Luck!

RISK Strategy Scenario: Twenty-Four Territories

With Parker Brother’s board game, Risk, there is another option other than Global Domination, which will shorten the length of a given game. On the initial game setup screen, select the “24 Territories” option from the drop-down menu. You can manually set the board, but quicker games can be achieved with the automatic setup option:

Risk 24 Territories Setup Screen

As I stated before, Risk isn’t too difficult if you are knowledgeable about determining odds and (drum roll, please), taking a Risk! With the 24 Territories option and automatic setup, one can determine a bit of bot psychology with this game. As we’re quite aware, the bots are unnaturally imbecilic and highly predictable in other games. Chalk one up for artificial intelligence!

With the automatic setup option, the board will have pieces places randomly on the game’s territories. Unlike the manual setup, the placing of the five colors will not make any sense and will end up resembling a bowl of Kellogg’s Fruit Loops:

Risk 24 Territories Screenshot

As you can above, the pieces have no semblance of domination for any specific continent. Instead, everybody has a fairly decent chance of maneuvering control of adjacent territories. After playing numerous games with the 24 Territories option, it has been observed that the bots will attempt to link their separated troops from the other players. In this example, observe the seven notations from the screenshot above:

  1. Yellow has four troops in Alaska and four troops in Greenland. What separates those two? Two troops in the Northwest Territory.
  2. Blue has four troops in Iceland and four troops in Russia. What separates those two? Two troops in Scandinavia.
  3. Green has four troops in Alberta and four troops in Eastern Canada. What separates those two? One troop in Ontario.
  4. Purple has five troops in North Africa and two troops in South Africa. What separates those two? Two troops in Central Africa.
  5. Red has six troops in Siberia and four troops in Kamchatka. What separates those two? Two troops in Yakutsk.
  6. Red has six troops in Siberia and six troops in China. What separates those two? Two troops in Ural.
  7. Purple has five troops in North Africa and four troops in the Middle East. What separates those two? Two troops in East Africa.

On each turn, the players will have a minimum of three troops to deploy. You’re not forced to dump all three deployed troops into the same territory. As you will observe, troops will be deployed by bots in different territories, anything to give an advantage or level the playing field.

As a note, the bots will not always follow the logic dictated above, but they tend to adhere to the concept of linking their troops. This is great when it comes to the reinforcement phase after one’s turn has ended. Always remember, each turn is marked with three phases: Deployment, attack, and reinforcement. The bots are depending on the elimination of enemies that separate troops so they can reinforce their borders at the end of a turn.

Again, like the bots, a player should approach the acquisition of adjacent territories with probability in mind. As pointed out in the previous game supplement, each attack is determined by a win of the game’s dice. If there is a minimum of three troops on a territory, the attacker will have three dice. The defender will have a maximum of two dice to counter the attacks. Please refer to the previous entry on the determination of odds. Nonetheless, the attacker will have the advantage when it comes to odds. The question is, do you want to Risk it?

In the screenshot above, I ignored some of the other likely attack points, such as those in South America or Australia. The reason is du4e to the initial strategy/psychology of the bots. Their primary objective is to link their troops by eliminating the opponents that separate them. Only later in the game will any other seemingly-random deployments be taken into play. Players are not limited to one attack per turn. As a consequence, they may play conservatively or aggressively.

With the above scenario, most likely all players will take one turn, save for red. The red player has a clear advantage with six troops in both Siberia and China. After the deployment phase, it will have a strong advantage over Yakutsk and Ural. Of course, that could completely evaporate if the green player has a turn ahead of red. However, the green player has more troops in North America, so the green player would most likely not “waste” troop deployment in Asia when the red player would still have an advantage.

The 24 Territories option will have a game length of about 10 – 15 minutes if you’re an adept player. With some follies, the game can run as long as 45 minutes. However, if one wants to rank quicker, the 24 Territories option is the best approach.

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