Rules for the Game of Risk

By Daniel DiPrinzio

Do you have a desire to rule the world, but can't seem to find the time or energy to do it in real life? The board game Risk lets players take control of the world and still be home in time for dinner. While board games might not have the appeal like they once did, with battles and strategy, Risk is a classic game that is fun for all ages.

How to Play

The first step in playing Risk is gathering the armies. Each player receives an equal amount of armies based on the number of players:

If there are six players, each gets 20 armies. If there are five, each gets 25. If there are four, each gets 30. If there are three, each gets 35. With two players, each gets 40 armies.

Then, players role one die each; the player with the highest number goes first, and play follows clockwise. In turn, players place one army representative on any of the 42 territories; once a player selects a territory, he now claims it. Players continue to do this until all territories are occupied. Once a territory is occupied, another player cannot claim it.

Building the Armies

When all armies are placed, players are ready to battle. The player who went first in placing his armies again starts off. Before each move, players are afforded additional armies based on the following: how many territories occupied (one army per territory); how many continents occupied; and how many Risk card sets he has. The amount of armies afforded per player is based on the following scales:

Add up the number of territories and divide by three. If the number cannot be divided by three, then use the highest number divisible by three, and that is the number of armies the player is awarded (if the number of territories is 13, then the player gets four armies). If a player does not have at least nine territories, he still receives three armies.

Continents are broken down in this scale:

If a player controls all of Asia, he receives seven armies If a player controls all of Europe or North America, he receives five armies If a player controls all of Africa, he receives three armies If a player controls all of South America or Australia, he receives two armies.

If a player has a matching set of Risk cards (either one horseman, cannon or soldier card), two cards plus a wild card, or a set of three horsemen, cannon or soldiers, he can cash the cards in for armies. If a player has five cards, he must exchange a three-card set for armies before his next turn. A players collect cards whenever he successfully wins a battle in occupying a new territory.

Fighting Battles

Players can attack anyone else's territories, as long as the territory they wish to attack is adjacent to their own and they have more than one army in their territory. Attackers announce the battle, and the dice are rolled.

The attacker rolls the red dice; the defender rolls the white dice. If the attacker has four or more armies, he throws all three red dice. If he has three armies, he rolls two dice; if he has two armies, he rolls one dice. If the defender has two or more armies, he rolls both white dice. If he has one army, he rolls one dice.

The dice are rolled at the same time. If the attacker's highest die beats the defender's highest die, the attacker wins. If the highest dice tie, the defender wins. If two of the attacker's three dice beat the defender's two dice, then the defender loses two armies. if the highest attacker's die loses to the highest defender's die, but the second-highest attacker's die beats the second defender's die, each players lose an army.

Once a territory is captured, the attacking player must move armies from his attacking territory to the one he just claimed through battle. He must leave at least one army in the territory from which he just attacked. He also can fortify his new territory by moving some of his armies from an adjacent, connecting territory to his new territory. To complete his turn, he takes Risk card and passes the dice.

When a player eliminates another, he collects all of the vanquished player's Risk cards, and can cash them in for more armies.

The player who controls the world, occupying each territory on board, wins the game.