I am the game of Risk Online

10 Commandments of Risk Online

by Redstorm
(Major Command Risk Game Player and Blog Contributor)

Light from heaven

NOTE: This article is purely for fun
with no intent to offend anyone’s religion.

1. I am the game of Risk Online. You shall place no other gods before me.

Well, when you hope and pray that the dice will be good, just exactly who are you asking for help? The dice, Zeus, Mighty Mouse and even, yes, God have all passed my lips when I really need that roll. My good luck charm probably fits in this category since it hangs right above my monitor. I do sneak around and play other games now and then as well. SINNER
lightening.gif
2. You shall not make for yourself an idol.

Oops. My game avatar is so cool that I couldn’t possibly live without it. The way the jagged lightning moves sends shivers down my spine. What harm could it possibly be doing to anyone? And the background color red really stands out to intimidate all my opponents. I just can’t play Risk Online without it. SINNER

3. Do not take the name of your Risk game engine in vain.
wash-mouth-with-soap.gif
How in the hell are you supposed to do this? Can you even get through one game without wanting to punch your monitor or your dog? The inexplicable dice rolls, your opponents not doing what you want them to do and, of course, the #%&ing site downtime. Whew, it’s enough to make you want to wash your own mouth out with soap. SINNER

4. Remember you have a real life and keep the game in the proper perspective.

Uhhh. SINNER

5. Honor your father and mother.

Hurrah, I got one this time. I love my parents dearly. Well, not answering the phone when they call while I’m conquering the known universe doesn’t count, does it? SAINT SINNER

6. You shall not kill/murder.
moses-10-commandments.jpg
Isn’t that the bloody point of playing Risk online? I mean, geez, how can you possibly win a game if you don’t kill a few troops, right? Silly commandant for a Risk player if you ask me. SINNER

7. You shall not commit the grievous crime of cheating on your game partner.

C’mon, you know what I’m talking about here. Did you really pass all the troops you could have to your struggling partner or did you hold back some? When you discuss strategy with your partner, are you thinking of the team or yourself first? There is lots of room for guilt here. SINNER

8. You shall not steal.

Take, conquer, overthrow, overwhelm are all very translatable to the word steal, you thief. It’s one of those immutable parts of playing Risk; you have to steal others’ territories to prosper. SINNER

9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

I consider myself to be an honest and honorable player, really! Can I help it if another player takes everything I say during a game as gospel? Isn’t there some room here for a little disinformation tactic or two? SINNER

10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s territories or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

RISK Board Game Commercial Gif

Guilty as charged. When I play I want it all. No apologies were given for that. SINNER

Where do you stand?

by Redstorm

Risk on Steam

Risk on Steam vs Classic Risk

Review by Nikola Brankovic
(Independent Game Reviewer)

risk on steam map

Risk on Steam by PopCap Studios was a game that I was very excited to have the chance to review. Risk is an ultra-popular board game which was with us since the late 1950’s, so I was really looking forward to a modern PC iteration of it. After all, there are so many ways this grand conquest strategy game can be made awesome on the PC, and I really need the break from complex 4x (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate) games and enjoy just the most important aspect of the strategy games in its pure form – enemy extermination.

Pop Cap Risk Game

risk on steam set up options

I had reasonable hopes for this game when I saw that it was developed under the tutelage of PopCap Studios, which already has well-accepted games in their portfolio. However, after a few hours with Risk on Steam, I was left disappointed, as this game has too many flaws to ignore, they affect every aspect of the game and ruin any potential fun you might have with it.

Let’s start with the most glaring flaw first. The original Risk is more than just a board game, it’s a social experience as well, with players trying to outsmart each other. A part of this feeling is lost with all multiplayer games, as the communication is limited to audio cues at the best of times, but Risk lacks not only voice chat to accompany the strategy going on, it also lacks the most basic multiplayer matchmaking system. The game was originally released without the multiplayer at all, allowing only single-player matches against the (lacking) AI, but the multiplayer was added on later to remedy this. However, the only players you can play against are the ones you call into your matches directly, the game doesn’t have a lobby system or a server list that would allow you to quickly match up against strangers who also feel like playing Risk online.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s take it from the top. The first shock for me came when I run the game initially and discovered that it doesn’t support 16:9 screens properly, as it runs at 4:3. This is really out of the question for a game in this decade and scores some major negative points with me.

The starting game menu lets you set up a match immediately, having you select the color of your side, and allowing you to implement any additional rules if you want. The standard setup uses classic rules. Thankfully, the initial board setup can be done automatically, you don’t have to manually place figures on the territories assigned to you.

The Maps

risk on steam

The map and the figures were the next shocks. I was hoping for a well-designed and thought out map with interesting models for the figures, or options to change how they look (national armies, fantasy armies – implementing additional skins shouldn’t be too complex of a task), but all I got to look at where low-resolution single-color models which barely had drop shadow, let alone any advanced graphical effects. If this was a board game instead of a PC game, the figurines would have been made of clay that was colored with water colors.

Now, do you remember one of the basic features that make strategy games playable and has been in all games for the last 20+ years? The save feature? Well, this game has limited game save feature – you can save the state of your current match and you can restore it, but if you want to, let’s say, save the current game against an AI you’re playing and go play a match with a friend, you’re going to lose all of your progress against the AI – the game can’t deal with two saved states at the same time.

Conclusion

Risk on Steam

I try to say something nice about everybody, but I really had to rake my brain to say something nice about Risk on Steam. Here goes – the very low graphical fidelity of the game makes it run very smoothly on laptop machines, even the ones that are a few years too old for gaming. Other than that, there are very few positive sides to this game, it doesn’t look pretty, it doesn’t have a compelling gameplay mechanic for a PC game and the price is ridiculous for a game of this quality. To finish things off, it seems that the game is (or at least was, before getting patched) extremely buggy, the steam forums have plenty of threads reporting how the game crashed for no apparent reason.

To conclude things – this is not much of a game, more like a game project that was started but was never successfully finished. Which is a real shame, since there were no interesting Risk games on PC since Risk: Factions.

Play Risk Tips and Strategies

Risk Tips and Strategies

by Redstorm
(Major Command Risk Game Player and Blog Contributor)

Forward: Several players graciously shared their game knowledge with me. I have freely edited their remarks while maintaining their unique intent. Any mistakes are purely my own.

Playing Tactics

 

risk tips and strategies

Don’t be a command monkey compulsively reaching for a command. While securing commands certainly has a great deal of importance in escalite and flat rate games, chasing them in escalate games is a recipe for disaster. I tend to employ a combination of the following tactics, depending on how the first couple rounds shake out:

Path of Least Resistance:

If I see a region with one troop in it adjacent to me, I take it. Quite often, I lose no troops. After a few rounds of this, I often find that I’m the troop leader, primarily because everyone else is going through the pain of taking regions defended by three troops, and losing half of their allowance or more each turn. They’re also leaving behind regions with one or two troops in them, which I’m happy to attack. If you haven’t already, try this out. It’s as easy as taking candy from a baby. Stack and Wait: If the game is nine or more players, it may not be worth burning troops early to get a card in the first round or two. I’ll just spread my deployments out across the board, boost my threes up to fours, then to fives, making myself a less appealing target. Once I’ve established a solid foothold, I begin my expansion.

Be Everywhere:

I want to be near weak players when the reserve bonus starts to grow. An opponent with three regions totaling nine troops isn’t going to be the first link in my chain of eliminations if he’s on the opposite side of the board from me, and I have to go through a bunch of other players to reach him. Instead of wasting time and troops securing a command, I try to keep a region or two in every command on the board. It’s easy to be in the right place at the right time if you’re everywhere.

Turtle/Spider:

 

turtle-shell risk tips and strategies

If I’m getting abused early, and I’m already the weakest player alive in round three, I’ll often pick one region and just stack and stack there, turn after turn, and refrain from attacking. A big number looks intimidating to other players, and once I have a strong presence there, I’ll attack adjacent regions, advancing either one troop, or all of them. The key is to keep the stack together. With luck and a reserve set, I can sometimes turn a weak start into a glorious chain of eliminations. Sometimes, I can start this without even turning in reserves myself at the start of my turn, simply because I already have enough concentrated force to kill somebody who holds the cards I need.

Maps

 

Philippines:

Watch out for the sea lanes. I usually try working the map from 1 side to the other; southeast or northwest. I usually prefer the southeast area for starting.

Far East:

Keep an eye on the 2 mini bonuses within commands (India and Indonesia mini bonus). They can be a bitch if they catch you off guard. The Mongolia command is decent.

12 Domains:

 

12 Domains Risk map

1st round: add all armies on 1 castle, castles with 4 hit a 2, if takes, advance 1, if draw, hit 1 more time with the 3 if lose stay with the 2 on the castle. For the castle with the 7, take as many territories as you can until you get to 3 remaining troops then move those 3 back to the castle. The basic rule of thumb is with an army of 4 or above you can attack anything; with an army of 3 you only hit territories with 1 troop and only if necessary. Try to conquer the domains as efficiently as possible, meaning doesn’t block your exit. That’s why Bruichladdich is the hardest domain to conquer followed by Calofar. If you start out with 2 domains connecting to the same town, you develop those domains first and try to get to the town ASAP because 2 connected domains are insanely strong in the beginning. After you just got done conquering the entire domain, you should end up with like 24 troops on the frontline of that domain, 1 turn later, move the 8 from the castle to that frontline, the turn after that you take the town depending on whether enemies are threatening to take over that town immediately, move the 8 from the castle to the town.

WATCH OUT if you’re joining a match on the Twelve Kingdoms map, and it’s set to low or no movements (like Border One or Border None). The trick to this map on those settings is to NOT capture up all the territories in your starting area. LEAVE A PATH OF NEUTRALS BETWEEN THE TOWER AND THE OUTER MAP, and only capture the territories to the side of this path.

If you want to leverage the auto deploy feature on the tower, then you should only capture the terts to the top and bottom, and leave the ones that are left for when you’re ready to “break out” from the starting territory. With six or fewer players on the map, you’ll start the game with more than one tower which means that, once you’ve capped the side territories for a single region, then you can focus your attention on a different tower while this first one racks up all the auto deploys. Twelve Kingdoms on Border One/None is a noob trap. Anyone going into this situation without knowing the trick almost always starts with a disadvantage.

You can bombard opponents’ terts, turning them neutral, in your domain. Bombard the terts that you don’t border first because you can kill those with no loss to yourself. You don’t get the dragons until your next turn IF you hold it. ALWAYS look for easy ways to take away your opponents deploy. For example, if I’m holding 2 villages with only 1 man on them, take them and take 4 deploys from me. In a close game, those 4 men are important. In the beginning of the game, look for the places where you outnumber your opponent. If you start with 2 domains in the west to my 1 you should concentrate on that area and make it a priority to take that domain away. You do that, you win the game.

A disclaimer:

Please keep in mind that my badmouthing of commands in escalate games doesn’t apply to all maps, just the medium sized ones. In Classic Massive, I absolutely go after commands. Hope you liked the Risk tips and strategies given above.

Risk: Godstorm Strategy Guide

Risk Godstorm Strategy

Review by Nikola Brankovic
(Independent Game Reviewer)

Risk-GodStorm-logo

If you are reading this, then you already know about all the various online RISK game options. But when it comes to a challenging Risk board game, RISK: Godstorm holds a very high position on any list of RISK games, and for good reason too! Here’s a strategy game that has only 5 “turns” and yet shows complexity many other games can’t reach.

If you are not familiar with RISK: GODSTORM, then read our game review first!

Risk Godstorm game review

Once you’ve read our review, then continue on with this RISK: GODSTORM strategy guide!

So, how exactly do you come up ahead during a Risk Godstorm battle? How do you assure your triumph (and potentially lose a few friends in the process)? Godstorm allows you several different playstyles, and they can be defined by the Gods you can summon and control in the game. From my experience with my gaming group the two playstyle sets most commonly used, aggressive and reactive, have excellent chances of bringing you to the end of the game successfully.

Risk Godstorm Offensive Guide

 

Risk-Godstorm-Board-and-Pieces

I’ll start with the explanation of the offensive tactics because they are considered stronger, but that doesn’t mean the other approach to the game is inefficient. This method is the least costly when it comes to faith (in-game currency that is used for summoning gods, purchase and activation of their miracles and bidding) because everybody starts with the God of War already summoned, so you don’t need to expand resources on getting him on the board.

Pure God of War Strategy

 

Risk-Godstorm-Set-Board-Pieces

You can play the game with no other God joining your side other than the God of War, but you should consider getting at least one more God for your defending army. His passive power is extremely potent – when attacking with GoW, he counts any draws as a victory for himself, instead as a loss. The difference is critical, especially since this god is often used to attack large stacks of units and break enemy armies.

What you want to be doing is focus on securing a major continent asap. Europe is too hard to hold, but Africa or Asia can be conquered and held with relative ease (especially if you already have a majority of territories somewhere, and plague token has been merciful enough to block one of the approaches to the continent).

Fulfilling this god’s mission is easy, that brings you one miracle card, and if you decide not to summon another God in first few turns, you can focus on getting absolute military dominance on board, since his miracles are cheap to cast and are mostly used to swing fights in your favor. Prevent enemies from taking a continent, make an ally of someone who borders you but holds a weaker continent. Expect to be backstabbed around turn 3.

God of Death Strategy

 

Risk-Godstorm-Cards

I find this strategy most fun, but is a bit riskier as you need to make two different attacking armies – you won’t stack it all on God of War. This makes both of your offensive gods slightly weaker, but you still want to try and fulfill GoW’s quest to get his miracle card as well as use God of Death to eliminate your opponent’s presence on the map.

God of Death passive removes any units killed in battle with him from the game instead of sending it to the Underworld. Your losses from both of your attacking armies end up downstairs, which would usually not be a good thing, but if you can keep the enemies away from relics and portals in the Underworld, you can keep bringing them back in the game with minimal effort. You want to be building another temple as soon as possible, to be able to provide reinforcements around the map.

CHECK OUT OUR RISK GODSTORM GAME REVIEW

Playing this way will leave you starved for faith, and if you lose a God, you will be sorely pressed to get back in the game. Keep him away from God of Wind, and try to invest in Death miracles. They are expensive to enact, but they are extremely potent, with the ability to place additional plague tokens or strike the largest armies in half – you will not be a popular player if you are using God of Death. If you have the ability to sink Atlantis, feel free to move in there and make yourself home, or try to lure someone to bring their army there, so you can drown them.

You will rarely be playing first, as Faith will be scarce, so you will need to plan your moves carefully.

Reactive Guide

 

Risk-Godstorm-Game-Pieces-(2)

I planned to call this “defensive” section at first, but that doesn’t apply here – it’s still a risk game and you want to be attacking even if you don’t plan to be hyper aggressive. Goddess of Magic and God of Air have miracles and abilities that can remove the advantages other people may want to use against you and to make themselves as a less attractive target. I’ve never been a fan of these tactics, but I can’t deny they’re effective – I prefer going head on against another aggressive god then having to wonder what kind of ace do the reactive players have up their sleeves if I attack them.

Goddess of Magic Guide

 

Risk-Godstorm-Game-Cards

If you want to live and let live as much as possible and want to give yourself best odds in defense, Goddess of Magic is a pretty solid choice. Her ability allows you to reroll any 1’s when she attacks or defends increases the odds of you defending successfully, and she’s got handy relics that increase Faith gain or reduce your Faith losses, leaving you more resources to dedicate to buying War miracles or building additional temples. Her relics are active even if she perishes, as they are permanent bonuses. You want to hold up on a continent with a choke point and prevent anyone from invading you while slowly securing yourself more territories. Try to avoid fighting against God of War, and try to have too large armies for God of Death to consider attacking you. You will make yourself less attractive target, and will be left alone.

God of Air Guide

 

Risk-Godstorm-Game-Pieces

Displacement, deception, and subterfuge are characteristics of God of Air, and he fulfills his purpose rather well. This guy is all about turning the Godstorm game into a regular Risk game by running around and removing other player’s Gods from the map. You want to identify where the opponent’s vectors of attack are, what they plan to conquer and place your god and army near, but not too near. You also want to play after your intended target, so don’t spend too much Faith (if any) bidding during play order phase. When your victim attacks his goals (sustaining his losses in the process) you want to be two easily conquerable regions away, charging in and deleting the God from the map.

This places other players in a deadlock – do they risk go after their intended targets with you nearby or do they turn against you and lose armies in fights that won’t bring them bonuses they want so they win after the 5th turn. If you manage to remove a God from the game do they re-summon him so they can use his miracles, or do they cut their losses and try to win in another manner. The advantages God of Air has when attacking other gods can be overwhelming, and a large number of troops the enemy have can quickly turn into massive army losses with Air miracles, but you do need to read other people so you can undermine them at the right time.

Do not fall into the trap of overinvesting in God of Air; he’s good for God fights only, you will still need to have your God of War conquering for you.

Final Thoughts on Risk Godstorm

 

Risk-Godstorm-Complete-Set-(2)

These four guide show how Aggressive and Reactive strategies work, pick the one that suits you the best and have a good game! What did you know about Risk Godstorm?

END OF REVIEW

Some people ask about prices, so I’ve added a link to Amazon.
This one is a lot cheaper then the $500 price tag for RISK: Black Ops!

 

Risk: Godstorm

RISK Godstorm Game Review

Review by Albert Bassili
(Independent Game Reviewer)

Risk Godstorm Box Cover

Risk Godstorm is another variation of the classic Risk game. There’are lots of other Risk board game variations out there, especially in the Risk online gaming world, but very few which bring the pantheon aspect as RISK Godstorm. Released in 2002 by Avalon Hill, Risk Godstorm brings in a cart load of new features, including a secondary board and timed gameplay. Your ultimate goal is to have the highest points when the clock strikes zero, or more technically when the round counter reaches 5.

Overview of RISK: Godstorm

Risk Godstorm Game Pieces

One of the biggest new mechanics in this Risk game variation is how troop death is handled. Instead of being completely removed from the game board, they are instead taken to heaven, which is represented by a second and much smaller board. Each civilization has its own area in the heaven, which is great because that means that you can attack and take over each other’s territories.

Not only that, but the heaven game board has special crypts which, if you hold them, allows you to resurrect troops from the secondary board to the main board. Alongside the crypts, there are alters which give you an extra die to roll during a special phase of battle called Godswar. So really, you want some of your troops to die so that they can head over to the underworld and start conquering.

Risk Godstorm Staregy Guide

So what is this mysterious Godswar that we mentioned? Well, there are four gods that you can call to your army and control, and these act as modifiers to the mechanics of the game. For example, the god of war allows you to win any tie in dice rolls, whereas the god of death forces any troops lost in battle to go directly to the player’s pool, rather than heaven. So really, having a god on your site is pretty helpful.

Of course, their passive abilities aren’t the only thing that affects the mechanics of playing RISK Godstorm, as each god can also draw from a set of miracle cards unique to each of them. To draw a card, certain requirements must be met, such as killing another god, or rolling the same numbers three times. Each card has some kind of game changing effect, rather than a battle specific one, so they can be offensive, defensive or a mix of both.

Since there are gods involved, whenever a battle comes up, they have to be the first ones who fight. The way it works is that both players roll a dice, and then sum the value, add the total number of units and the player with the highest total wins. It’s both complicated and straightforward, but hey, whoever wins gets to kick the other player’s god out, and once one side doesn’t have any left, the battle goes on as normal.

Bringing On The Storm!

 

Risk Godstorm cards

So here’s the rub: unlike the classic Risk game, in Risk Godstorm there’s no domination victory, but instead, the game is played over five turns, and whoever has the most points at the end wins. At the begging of each turn, players bid the in-game currency, faith, to see who actually gets to go first, a very important strategic advantage. Whoever bids the most gets to go first, and then in descending order from next highest bid to lowest.

Once the turn order is decided, players receive whatever faith they are owed, and are allowed to deploy troops to their respective territories. Once done, players get to play out their strategy by attacking territories, buying a temple which gives extra units and the ability to reroll one die in defense, buy a magic card, or use a magic card. There’s quite a lot to consider, especially when taking into account the in-game currency and other mechanics.

CHECK OUT RISK GODSTORM STRATEGY GUIDE

Of course, there’s always a spanner being thrown into the works, and in this case, it’s plague markers. If your army is on a tile with a plague marker, your army must lose half its units. Luckily that’s rounded down, not up!

Finally, it would be a good point to talk about the RISK Godstorm game map, which covers Europe and North Africa. Of course, there’s the typical fair of mountains which block access, as well as the water tiles that you have to contend with. There’s also a territory called Atlantis, which can be ‘sunk’ using a special magic card that the god of death has.

Covering these territories are five civilizations you can pick from Babylonians, Celts, Egyptians, Greeks and the Norse, all of which are of the ancient variety. So really, you can just pretend you’re all rulers of empires and do a bit of roleplaying, which is probably what you’d do in a normal Risk game anyway.

Final Thoughts on RISK Godstorm

Risk Godstorm Complete Set

While this isn’t the typical fair you would find in the classic Risk game domination, there’s lots of fun to be had. The gods and buildings that are layered on top of the original Risk game mechanics add an interesting twist and whole new way to play a game of Risk. The time factor of having only 5 turns to win adds the pressure, and gives the game a much faster pace and dynamic, as opposed to the traditional risk game that can be played over several hours.

If you aren’t a fan of Risk game franchise tie-ins, but want to add a bit of new stuff to your Risk gameplay, then Risk Godstorm should be up your alley. Otherwise, you can always enjoy the many variation of playing Risk online here at Major Command. 🙂

END OF REVIEW

Some people ask about prices, so I’ve added a link to Amazon.
This one is a lot cheaper than the $500 price tag for RISK: Black Ops!