A Review of the Board Game “Risk”

A board game named “Risk” was created by Albert Lamorisse and released in 1957. This game is defined as a game of strategy, conquest, and conflict. Besides its entertainment fee Risk also gives the players a opportunity to acquire, use, and develop some important skills. These skills are an capability to use diplomacy, organize deals and act as a politician and/or diplomat. Risk approves players to become cunning in their tries to overplay enemies.
There are many concepts from international relations that work in the game. Conflict-management can be utilized in order to make peace with the enemies or organize deals with the allies. Risk is all about conflict and because the ultimate aim of the game is to conquer everything there is to conquer (there are other aims too) in order to do this players use skills of strategy and negotiation. For example, if I have two neighbors with whom my territories have a border I should be able to negotiate with one of them in order conquer another.

The game also makes it important for the players to use cooperation. In this game even though everybody plays for himself or herself alliances can be made. For example, bonus troops are given to anybody who conquers the whole continent. In order to left an enemy without bonuses a player should consider a possibility to make other players attack the one who came close to receiving bonus troops (Hinebaugh, 12). Cooperation and diplomacy are important when I don’t have a direct contact with my enemy and should make him fight others.

Risk is one of the most famous, smart, and interesting games that involve strategic thinking, knowledge of tactics, an ability to cooperate and outsmart others. The game’s set is a map of the world. The world is divided into lands (countries) or territories like Ukraine, America, Africa, etc. Each player occupies a set of territories and has an army on each territory. Each player makes a move during which he can attack territories of other players in order to conquer them. Each player also receives a mission card at the beginning of a game. The game ends when either one of the players achieves his or her mission or when all territories belong to one player. To claim a territory at least one troop should occupy it at any given time. An attack can be made only if more than one troop is available. Success of an attack depends on chance and an ability to choose smartly whom to attack and with what quantity of troops. Attack is made with a roll of dice. A player can refuse to attack and it is important that a player can ask for additional troops at the beginning of each round (Honary, 44). Quantity of extra troops depends on the quantity of occupied territories. For each territory some amount of extra troops can be given. A player who occupies any of the continents in whole receives bonus troops.

It is important to decide in the beginning of the game which plan to follow. It is either following the mission card received in the beginning of a game or trying to conquer all territories. An ability to achieve a goal from a mission card depends on pure chance and the way territories are shuffled. Therefore, the game also requires planning in perspective and an ability to think ahead. Like in chess, a player who has a plan has more chances to win. The trick is to get your enemies follow your plan without knowing it instead of following their own.

Risk is comparable to the real world. There were many events in the history similar to the mechanics of the game. For example, a player always attacks its neighbors first because it is the only way to get the game started. In reality all countries always have trouble with their neighbors. Empires are established by one country dominating over neighbor countries. There is a history of struggle between such neighbor countries as USA and Mexico, England and France, China and Japan etc. Moreover, following some psychological principles of struggle over power the game does not allow players to exist in peace and the one who conquers should either conquer until the end or be conquered as a player cannot stop. In history there were many such cases when inability to stop made further military expansion damaging for the conquerors themselves. Therefore, the game follows some archetypical situations which could be found in reality as well.

Risk is a smart and intelligent game because it offers not only entertainment but also education. The game teaches how to apply diplomacy, strategy, tactics, and cooperation in order to resolve conflicts and achieve personal goals. The game is so good because it mixes chance with intelligence and it is impossible to win without a blend of good luck and a proper plan. In other words everything is like it is in reality.

Works Cited

Honary, E. Total Diplomacy: The Art of Winning Risk. Boston: Total Diplomacy, 2007. Print

Hinebaugh, J. A Board Game Education. New York: R&L Education, 2009. Print

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