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Subject: Risk-Europe Strategy rss

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Notes about this post:
-I always play the mission card variant rather than buying crown cards.
-I am still a noob. Please disagree with and expand upon what I've said. Hopefully this forum can be a place we can all bounce around ideas about what we've noticed/ what works well for us.
-Hopefully we can eventually discuss strategy regarding starting city as well. (I didn't have time to write that now)

General Strategies:
1) Expand early. Basically, I believe in almost all scenarios it is ideal to play split expands and expands early on to take control of as many unowned nearby cities as quickly as possible. The reasons are threefold. A) the first player to claim a city gains those coins for being the first to acquire it. B) Expanding before taxing is economically more efficient because you will acquire a stronger tax link before taxing and thus get more coins per tax in the first and very important round.
C) obviously quickly expanding is valuable because you gain a point per city. It is worth trying to expand as far as possible (without overreaching) in order to be the first player to own a city. Besides the tax reasons previously stated, this early expansion is important because almost everyone knows that a big part of risk is staying out of excessive conflict. Therefore most players will be hesitant to attack a city you own early on if they fear you could fortify or reinforce sufficient troops in, making it a costly conflict so early on.

2) Tax more, spend less. This rule of strategy is very mathematically obvious. The higher tax:spend ratio you have the more coins you will have to spend. So generally i believe you should choose as many tax/spend cards as possible as "tax". The exception to this rule is obviously if you see a critical situation developing that requires the building of more troops to either maintain a city that an opponent seems to pressuring you with forces that outnumber yours or an open opportunity to steal an opponent's city. Usually this practically works out for me as using the first two t/s cards per round as tax and the third card as spend.

3) being the aggressor: apart from early expansion, it is critical to try to control the territories between your city and an opponents city that may not originally seem worth an expand. The reason for this is that by controlling that neutral space you make an opponent attacking your city into a multi-round affair (since battles don't resolve until the end of the round). The other main reason is that even if you keep a small force in these in between territories you can attack another player's city with just one troop in the first turn in a round and critically damage your opponents tax line with minimal loss, seriously decreasing their coin income. Unlike regular risk (thankfully) this game does not reward camping but seems to reward those who are more aggressive in terms of expansion.

4) king me: When to play this card is an interesting part of strategy. General rule of thumb for me is that I want to be as close as I can to the last (4th) position in the turn order. The reason for the value of 4th position in turn order is that you get the last chance to expand or maneuver before the battle phase begins. This means going last you always have time to maneuver troops into a territory/city your opponent attacks without being caught off guard (if you have the card) And so also you have the chance to attack someone if you are after them in the turn order (if you attack on the 2nd turn) without giving them any opportunity to react before the battle phase begins. There is one major exception to the desire to be after your opponent(s) in the turn order. That is the siege assault card. At the middle to late stage in the game when many siege weapons are on the map and you and an opponent are amassing large armies near each other with lots of siege weapons, the siege assault card is very valuable. In this scenario when you see a situation like this looming you want to play king me as soon as possible to get in the lead. Once you siege assault your opponent you can then expand some or all units into his territory with a large army in order to make it a conflicted zone and thus prevent him from reciprocating the siege assault on you. Other times to play King me are limited (in my experience) but may include a mad rush type of scenario where you are near victory and need to expand into a city before an opponent does. This is rare thus far in my limited experience. Also it is important to keep track of who still has King me left in each cycle of 8 cards. If you are in a preferred position later in the turn order and want to stay there you can try to use your card right before someone else does so that you are not King for long (preferable not by the end of the round).

5) know your opponents and their score: a critical element in this game that must be emphasized is that in order to win you must make sure that your opponents do not. This means you must see who is winning and especially if someone is close to winning and convince others to stop them.

6) Army consistency: Try to have diversified armies. It is critical that armies with cavalry and especially siege are backed up by footmen. You want to be able to take several hits and not have to remove any expensive units. Statistically speaking Calvary score the most hits per cost, therefore making them a very effective unit. I believe Calvary are therefore preferred over archers (even though they attack a round later) if I have to choose between the 2. Siege weapons score less hits per cost than archers and Calvary but are very powerful and necessary due to siege assault, the fact that you need them to attack an opponent's castle, and their ability to attack first each round. So, my personal preference is to make my armies more consistent of Calvary and siege weapons with adequate foot soldier backup.
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Robert VanDormolen
United States
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After playing 13 two player games, the following game winning strategies tend to repeat themselves.

Start Game
Try to be the first player (easier to grab the initial city tax bonuses)
Pick these cities first: Kiev, Berlin, Stockholm (best expand advantages).
Pick these cities next: Constantinople, Rome, Madrid (supply chain enablers).
Pick the other cities last.
Grab the initial city tax bonuses before your opponent does
Merge 2-3 of your cities into one large supply line before you tax it (max money return).
Try to cut your opponent's same supply line before he taxes it (minimum money return).

Mid Game
The player who has the longest supply line (regardless of your cities and territories changing hands) = tax it (twice in a row preferably) = most money = superior army and expansion ability over your opponent + almost always able to maintain control over mercenaries = Win by attrition!

End Game
If you are ahead = Conquer 10 crowns and/or complete your King's missions.
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