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"Second world war, Russian front, not a good idea... Hitler never played Risk when he was a kid... because, you know, playing Risk, you could never hold onto Asia--that Asia / Eastern European area? You could never hold it, could you? Seven extra men at the beginning of every go, but you couldn't fucking hold it. Australasia, that was the one, all the purples, get everyone on Papua New Guinea and just build up, build up, build up..."
"Never get involved in a land war in Asia!"
Vizzini, The Princess Bride

Risk is a classic board game centred around commanding armies on a map of the world. The game starts with the random division of the world among up to eight players. Armies are gained according to how much territory each player has, whether they control entire continents, and special cards drawn from a deck. The object of the game is to control the entire world. Risk has been around for a long time and has many, many spinoffs and expansions.

One especially-interesting spinoff is Risk Legacy, which involves permanent changes to the game board during gameplay, leading to a unique experience for each session.

Tropes used in Risk include:


  • After the End: One possibility for Risk Legacy after enough games have been played on the same board.
  • Artistic License Geography: The "Afghanistan" region doesn't even contain Afghanistan.
  • The Chessmaster: The premise of the game.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: The strategy of many players
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Usually after a player has turned in their cards for a massive amount of reinforcements.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: Every continent has its own color. Along with each Army.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: The factions in the videogame Risk: Factions are Humans, Cats, Robots, Zombies and Yetis.
  • Crapsack World: A board of Risk Legacy will most likely turn into this after enough games are played on it.
  • Easy Logistics: Averted. The game places limits on moving armies around between territories you control (exactly what kind of limits depends on which edition of the rules you're playing with). Which means that if you're planning a campaign to conquer a lot of territories, you'll need to think about which route you're going to take and where your forces will end up.
  • Epic Fail: Imagine invading a territory that only has one guy in it with around five guys... then losing them all to extremely bad luck with the dice.
  • Everything's Worse with Bears: One of the Risk: Legacy factions is the Enclave of the Bear, whose soldiers, um, ride on bears.
  • Forbidden Fruit: At the bottom of every box of Risk: Legacy is an envelope simply marked "DO NOT OPEN. EVER."
  • From a Single Cell / Not Quite Dead: Due to the mechanics of the reinforcements card trade in, it is possible for a player to be beaten to 1 troop in 1 territory only for him to suddenly raise an army out of nowhere. This becomes especially interesting if you're playing with the U.S. rules, in which card sets increase in value throughout the game.
  • Gaia's Lament: Risk 2210 has a war on a irradiated, polluted, Earth.
  • Humongous Mecha: One of the units in Risk Legacy
  • Impossible Task: Holding the continent of Asia. Good luck if you draw a mission that requires Asia.
  • One World Order: The game ends when all the space filling empires are destroyed, save one.
  • Risk Style Map: Risk uses an area-based map rather than a hex-base or grid map. It is the Trope Namer.
  • Random Number God: Mechanics of the entire game are based on Dice rolls. Especially aggravating if playing it as A video game.
  • Recycled in Space: Risk 2210
  • Redshirt Army: it's pretty safe to assume that, after an hour or so of playing, all the pieces that were on the board to start with will be dead.
  • Stone Wall: A common tactic is to take over Australia, hoard its bonus armies, and defend Australia's one access point with everything until you have an unstoppable army that can easily rampage through everyone else's weakened territories. On the flipside, an opponent can just as easily Stone Wall the one or two countries with access to Australia, effectively cutting that player off from the rest of the map, possibly for the entire game.

    In Risk 2210, it becomes significantly easier to Stone Wall any continent depending on the radiation tokens. South America can become just as troublesome when one of the two entry points are blocked by a nuclear wasteland. And then there is the issue when both entry points become uncrossable.
    • It's not technically Unwinnable, it just requires that the invading player a) hire a space commander, b) set up a space port, c) ship an army to the moon, c2) CONQUER THE MOON (optional), d) spend potentially copious amounts of energy cycling through the space commander deck until they come across one of the two "Invade Earth" cards, e) play said card and f) manage the lucky task of flipping over one of the two chosen countries' land cards. Otherwise, start all over from item d and hope the smug jerk holding South America doesn't decide to invade the moon in the meantime.
  • Take Over the World: It's the object of the game.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: Once a player has acquired enough territories, their per-turn troop allowances become too great for their opponents to match. Sometimes a card trade-in can turn the tables real fast.
  • Variable Player Goals: "Secret Mission" cards
  • We Have Reserves: Your army will definitely be decimated at some point, but all you need to do is produce the right combination of cards next turn...
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