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Instructions to Play the Risk Board Game

Vijith Menon
If board games are your niche, then you can't do without Risk. What's Risk you ask? It's a fun game to battle against opponents for world domination. This post tells you about the Risk board game rules to make it easier.


NarcoGuerra is a game based on Risk played out on a map of Mexico.
Board games are supposed to be a pastime for fun and revelry. Risk is a different board game designed to bring out the ruthless side of you. With the game depicting a map of the whole world, there's no way you'll stop conquering when you have reached North America. The rest of the world awaits your leadership.

Brief History

The game was invented by the French film director Albert Lamorisse, best known for his award-winning movie, The Red Balloon. It was called 'La Conquête du Monde' and was released in 1957, which literally meant Conquest of the World. As with all board games, Risk is a turn-based game with a minimum of two and a maximum of 6 players.


The objective of the game is to conquer all the territories on the board.


◾ Game Board
◾ 5 Armies (40 Infantry, 12 Cavalry, 8 Artillery)
◾ Deck of 56 Cards, which have 42 cards with a picture of a territory on them, 2 wild cards with all 3 pictures of them and 12 Secret Mission cards
◾ 2 White Die
◾ 3 Red Die


1. The game board is a map containing 6 continents divided into 42 countries or territories. Each continent is a different color and contains 4 to 12 territories.

2. An infantry is worth 2 units, a cavalry is worth 5 infantry and artillery is worth 10 infantry or 2 cavalry.
There are 42 cards in total with a picture of a territory, infantry, cavalry, or artillery and 2 wild cards with pictures of all 3 except territory on them.

3. As with all board games, one rolling the highest die starts the game.

4. Select a color and depending on the number of people, count out the armies.
For example,
i) 3 players count out 35 infantry for each.
ii) 4 players count out 30 infantry each.
iii) 5 players count out 25 infantry each.
iv) 6 players count out 20 infantry each.

5. Each turn gets you 3 troop reinforcements. The number of reinforcements can be increased by capturing more territories, controlling continents, and using reference cards.
6. If one territory has been conquered during the turn, take a card from the pile.

7. Starting from the left, each player occupies one territory until all 42 have been claimed. After all 42 territories have been claimed, each player places one additional army to their territory.
8. Shuffle the pack of cards and place it face down by the side of the board. From the card deck, remove 4 strategy tips cards and leave 3 on the table and put the 4th card under the edge of the game board to mark the value of the next set of trade cards.
9. You will always receive at least 3 armies on a turn even if you occupy fewer than 9 territories. At the end of any turn in which you have captured a territory, you will earn one card each.

10. You should collect cards in any of the following combinations:
i) 3 cards of the same design
ii) 1 of each 3 designs
iii) Any two designs plus a Wild card
These can be traded in for armies in the following combinations:
First set - 4 armies
Second set - 6 armies
Third set - 8 armies
Fourth set - 10 armies
Fifth set - 12 armies
Sixth set - 15 armies
After the sixth set, each additional set is worth 5 more armies.
11. If you capture all territories in a continent, you receive reinforcements. You receive 3 armies for Africa, 7 armies for Asia, 2 armies for Australia, 5 armies for Europe, 5 armies for North America and 2 armies for South America.

12. If you eliminate your opponent, then you get his Risk cards as well.
13. If winning gives you 6 or more cards, you must trade in immediately to reduce the number to 4 or fewer cards. But if winning gives you cards less than 6, then you must wait for your turn to trade.

14. When you draw a card from the deck and the total comes to 6, you must wait till your next turn to trade in.

Basic Strategy

If the player chooses to attack, then he must openly declare his intentions and then attack. You can only attack territories adjacent to you. The player attacks using three red die, considering that he has those many armies in his territory and 2 white die are given to the defender. After both players are done with their turns, they compare.
If the combinations are greater than the defender, then the defender loses one army, else the attacker loses an army. If it's a tie, then the defender wins. After each round, the player can decide to attack or defend his territory or pass.

The player can choose to move armies from one territory to another. This can be done only once per turn.

Risk Game Rules for Two Players

This version is similar to the Risk game except that there's a neutral army acting as a buffer between two opponents.


◾ You and your opponent select an army from 40 infantry pieces and set a third one to be neutral.

◾ Remove the Secret Mission RISK cards and distribute the rest and keep the third set as neutral.

◾ Place one of your infantry in one of the 14 territories to start the game. Your opponent does the same. Set a neutral army for the third.
◾ After every territory has been claimed, you and your opponent can take turns placing the armies.

◾ You can place 2 armies on any territory you occupy. You can place a neutral army to block your opponent's progress.

◾ Return the two wild cards to the deck and start to play.

Basic Strategy

You attack a territory adjacent to yours. Whenever you attack a neutral territory, the opponent rolls the dice for it. Neutral armies never receive reinforcements.

To win, you have to capture the territories of your opponent. It's not necessary but if you capture the neutral territories, it would be a bonus.
Risk is a very fast-paced game with strategy being at its core. The first step is starting from the right continent. As you play, you learn more. If you love Risk, then you'd love the latest additions to the Risk franchise like Risk: Legacy, Risk 2210 A.D., and Risk Godstorm.