Extensive guide for beginners to intermediate players
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lionheart wrote:
Hey folks. This is a pretty extensive guide for beginners to intermediates, hopefully I can help players struggling at the bottom to move up the ranks. Why listen to me? Well there are loads better players than me that will know more advanced tactics but I have a reasonable record with 50% wins of average 4-5 player games.

The three most important rules
1.Don't moan about dice and starting positions, they are random get over it. You will have games where 8 men lose to 2 defenders, then in another you will kill 8 men with no losses
2.Stop attacking, depending on game type and situation you need to choose to be defensive or aggressive. 99.9999999999% of newby mistakes are being too aggressive
3.learn from everyone especially higher ranked people, check this section of the forum.

Increasing- no fog- no capitols

This is my favourite, the original risk rules. The idea is to start off super defensive, then strike when the cards have big bonuses and destroy 6 players in one go, simple. Ok, I'll try break it down.

1st turn- check out a forum entry by vexer called "first turn". He tells you simply don't attack, drop your troops and end turn. You don't necessarily want to be the first to trade cards in because you will get the smallest bonus.

Next few turns- be extremely defensive, try taking one area per turn even if you nearly have a region. Regions are not the decider on here, obviously get them if you can easily and the best region will have the fewest defensive points (don't worry that it's the smallest bonus). Any more than 3 defensive points don't bother trying, not worth it. Why so defensive? A big mistake people make is thinking more big bonuses and more land is key to winning, well sadly it means you're going to have more enemies and your troops will be spread out. Is someone dominating? keep an eye on someone dominating i.e approaching 50% of all troops on the map. Quite often the top dog in the game looks menacing but don't forget everyone else is also under threat, quite often you can let it slide a few turns and someone else will spend their troops stopping him.

Approaching 20 troop bonus on card turn ins- this is when region bonuses are becoming less valuable mainly because card bonuses are now the key. At this point you need to work out who the strong players are and who the weak players are, decide this simply by number of troops and not regions. If you are significantly weaker than the others at this point your chances are slim to nothing. A drastic solution would be to hide in a big region nobody wants and drop troops without attacking. Sounds nuts but without attacking you don't gain cards, without cards you're not a valuable target, as long as the others are battling each other you're only getting stronger.

Approaching 20 troop bonus and strong- if your amongst the strong players its getting close to a complete swap in tactics and going super aggressive. You need to look around for weak players and start planning to have your big stack/stacks near them, start building a stack on more than one side of the map if it puts you near weak players, as a bonus it makes you a harder target. Remember regions will soon be worthless, if you have three stacks to defend a region think about giving it up for one or 2 big stacks.

Target time- at some point usually when troop bonus gets to about 30 sometimes earlier, sometimes later all good players are looking for one thing, targets. Targets are weak in troops and high in cards, target a player who can take your card count to 5 or more, and be ruthless. You have to be realistic when you choose to do this, if you fail you give an even easier target to someone else who may win the game. Succeed and you have access to bigger bonuses, if the game has a few targets it's very easy to wipe out everyone in one turn. This happens because every player you take out and trade in their cards the card bonus bumps up, all the hard work aggressive players did in getting big region bonuses now counts for nothing.


I will keep these next sections of the guide much shorter. Capitols aren't my favourite but here's what I think. In increasing games pretty much the same tactics but defend your Capitol like crazy and when looking for a target you only need to take the capitol. On small maps its a good idea to use your Capitol stack to take out another e.g. I've got 15 reinforcements and 20 on Capitol, I want to take a 15 Capitol, 15 troops may fail but add them to your Capitol if there's a handful of 1's between the two capitols you should get about 30 against 15, good odds. Take him out, trade in cards then either do it again or put all troops back on your Capitol.


I quite like playing fog. You can't be as aggressive with taking out targets in increasing for obvious reasons. You can hide troops though, instead of putting all your troops on your region borders start hiding them behind your lines, sometimes you can build a massive army while everyone else is battling each other. On other sites they still log how many region bonuses people have and how many attacks people make, on this site other players are completely invisible. Use the only thing you have, knowledge of who's alive, when people start dropping off its a good sign someone's dominating so switch your strategy to an offensive one. If you play against the same people often they can cotton on to your defensive strategy so mix it up with defense and offense.


I'm not a huge fan because this often leads to massive stalemates and games that last forever, usually when three players have equal strength. Region bonuses are much more valuable in this but you still don't want to be too aggressive.


Can't help you because I don't play them, I would like some tips for someone who plays them regularly.

Advanced tactics

This section I'm going to give some thoughts on becoming a top player. Everything up to here should help anyone new to the game or be a good refresh for some veteran players but here's some things that I think could help in the pursuit of higher ranks.

Maths- if you are serious about being a top player you need to know your maths, write down the percentages of all possible encounters 1v1. 2v1 etc at a basic level you will work out that the attacker often has a slight advantage with the extra dice. More importantly following my previous strategy of looking for "targets", if you can work out the exact percentage chance of your stack taking out the opponent you can calculate the "risk" to take informed decisions. You may notice a lot of top players are computer programmers, this is a game of numbers and calculations as much as strategy. I would say I have a great strategic mind but in this area there is a lot of room for me to improve

Intimidation- this isn't really advanced and its not a tactic I particularly like but lots of people use intimidation on the chat. You hear people criticising other peoples moves and threats if people attack them. I said before listen to others advice especially high ranked players, but if they are your opponent in a chat they are biased and want you to loose so don't fall pray to intimidation.

Look at the big picture- this is the bit that is hard to teach and even harder to learn. I think a lot of it is about reading other players and predicting other peoples moves. All my tactics I've been talking about are great for beating a lot of players, but what about when you're playing against top players that know all of this and more?

Thanks for reading, sorry I tend to waffle. Please give me comments on any part of my guide especially any constructive criticism. If you liked my guide and found it useful, whenever you see my name pop up in a game do the opposite to this guide ;)
Matty wrote:
It is a really good basic guide, and the things you write about Advanced tactics are true, but you don't really give away anything (which is smart I guess).

In 1v1 games the golden rule is simple:
1) Don't attack neutral unless you have to.
2) Break opponents region (very important)
3) Make sure your opponent has less than 12 territories (remember, every 3 territories they own gives them a +1)
4) Make sure you yourself have as much territories as possible
5) Least important of all: get regions yourself.
They help alot, but defending them is a waist of troops, as you can use them offensive too - which is better, because you break their regions... :)
6) If you have 4 troops, and the other has 99999 troops, attack anyway, as you have a small advantage in probability :)
7) Never, ever, follow these rules in non 1v1 games.

Also, don't play 1v1 games with unlimited reinforcement, because it gives an unfair advantage to the player who starts.

Edit: In Capital games It's also very important not to block your paths - you want to be able to attack from your capital.
If someone else's cap is blocked, don't unblock him (usually, there are exceptions).
"Strength doesn't lie in numbers, strength doesn't lie in wealth. Strenght lies in nights of peaceful slumbers." ~Maria
lionheart wrote:
Thanks, my main aim was a guide for beginners, i would think it would be better a player with an advanced rank to do an advanced guide. Maybe some talented major can write a proper advanced guide with all his best secret? ;)

Thanks for the 1 on 1 tips, sorely needed. opposite to multi player really, attack like crazy then attack some more.
Matty wrote:
k_w_cheng is a really experienced player, he just doesn't show it ;)

And Vexer has advise everywhere - there are a couple of old topic's in general discussion that are worth reading. Lots of good advice in them.
If you have time, try to find them and message me the link, ill put them in the right board.

Yes, 1v1 means attack everything (except neutral) that you have 50+% chance to win.

Edit: I think this is the best advice possible on fixed card games (also good to think of at increasing games, but sometimes you need an insane amount of luck, for fixed this is always something to hold on to): http://pic.twitter.com/G97sQwEM07
"Strength doesn't lie in numbers, strength doesn't lie in wealth. Strenght lies in nights of peaceful slumbers." ~Maria
hanthoigian wrote:
thanks, lionheart, it is helpful to me
i have some opinion
i often play 8 players game,i have some experience
you shouldn't up your guys near newbie's region. they will attack although you only try to survival then you are weak. avoiding newbie's region.try to be friendly to newbie,be friendly to everyone.they will help you win
you always say :" i won't attack you if you don't attack me" to everyone.
you always complain: " why do you attack me, we are friends,we can ally together". you complain as much as well
almost player don't know what have to do in large map. i don't know what i should do in large map too.i like to play with basic players in large map.
the best player is Vexer, so weakening him to increase your chance to win
Matty wrote:
I'm not sure if this link is anywhere, but it can be extremely useful, especially in capital games:

You might want to bookmark that one.
"Strength doesn't lie in numbers, strength doesn't lie in wealth. Strenght lies in nights of peaceful slumbers." ~Maria
scaldwell17 wrote:
Just to chime in: after Intimidation - Misdirection. Convince other players to attack someone else, when you're the real threat. Very helpful through chat eg. if you have 2 cards and one is black, so you have a guaranteed set 2 turns away. This also comes into play outside of chat, where you can take a pile of territories in a big region, but leave one weak one so you don't get the region bonus and no one fights you to break the bonus. When others are weak, complete the region, and dominate the following turn.
4zaviola wrote:
Hi lionheart, I read your post and tried out your tactics. They were very effective, thanks for the post. I look forward to playing you.

coledunnick wrote:
I'm sure this ground has been plowed but anyway to disable showing how many cards a player has in Fog? Why are the # of cards shown but no other information. Hide it all.
Vexer wrote:
Sounds like a post for the suggestions forum and not the strategy forum.
Madagascarter wrote:
Thx, I hope this works! I have about a 5% record on 1v1's and a 0% record on all other games before I saw this! I hope this changes things
Till the work is done