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Subject: Risk: Is Australia the Key to Victory? rss

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Michael Ziegler
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In over 40 years of game playing and a considerable number of them playing traditional RISK it seems to me that a higher percentage of wins go to the player who controls Australia/Indonesia. The site has only one way in and out through the Kingdom of Siam and the ability of the player to hold this area because of this one avenue approach tends to allow for an eventual expansion upon a large book turn in to take the continent of Asia or slide toward Africa. I would venture to say that at least 60 percent of the wins go to the person who takes Australia/Indonesia as the "home" continent. It may be higher. Anyone else out there seeing similar results?
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Giles Pritchard
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I think most people regard it as being a definite key to victory (in many games), it is certainly talked about a lot!

As an Australian I don't mind the concept of hordes of Aussies taking over the world... Although maybe I do...

Welcome to Boardgamegeek Michael! I hope you enjoy your time on the site! If you enjoy Risk then check out the Risk page, rate the game and maybe add some of your views on strategies etc to the strategy forum there!

Cheers.

Giles.
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Mark Ernst
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I'd rather have South America. There's only one way out of Australia and it leads to Asia, hard to conquer.
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Matthew M
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kernst67 wrote:
I'd rather have South America. There's only one way out of Australia and it leads to Asia, hard to conquer.


Two ways out means two ways in. That's half the troops defending a given front for the same army bonus.

You don't need to conquer Asia. You just need to take one country to keep earning your bonus cards. Once you've built up a nice big front you lash out...preferably knocking someone out who has a number of bonus cards of his own - even more preferably earning enough new bonus cards to immediately cash in and continue your steamroller of destruction.

Those were the days.

-MMM
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Kevin J
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I've heard it said quite often that whoever gets Australia comes in second place. They're able to build defenses early, but they're not likely to finish off any other players to get more cards and territories.

Just my two cents.
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Stephen Smith
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Quote:
I've heard it said quite often that whoever gets Australia comes in second place. They're able to build defenses early, but they're not likely to finish off any other players to get more cards and territories.

Over the years, this has been my experience as well -- at least if all of the players are relatively competent. The more marginal players you add to the game, the more likely it seems there will be a win from Australia.
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Tommy Dean
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THIS guy seems to make a similar point...at about the 1min40 mark. (but the first 1min39 is ok too)

http://www.abc.net.au/tv/sideshow/
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michael dorazio
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You know, I thought it was commonly known that taking Australia on turn one or two would give you the game. Well, I took Australia on turn one or two last time I played, and I didn't win. I think a few of you are dead on with your comments about future turns. There isn't so much you can do after taking that continent. I lost to the guy who got South America (he claimed South America around turn four or five). I rolled an average number of hits and didn't make any big mistakes that game, but I still lost. I guess Australia doesn't guarantee me a victory. I no longer find the game to be broken, but it's still too long.
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Jason Arvey
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Being able to get Australia early is certainly a big advantage, but not "key". An impatient Australia picks big fights too early and will get hosed. But if Australia is TOO patient, he'll not get opportunities to get out of Asia. To win as Australia requires being a creeping horde: First take Siam. Then, when you have enough troops to hold them, build out to India and China. When you have enough troops to expand again, take Afghanistan and Middle East. Next are Urals and Siberia. These expansions minimize the number of territories on your front while still allowing for a gradual takeover of Asia.

And as for the difficulty of holding Asia: that's nonsense! It's easy to hold Asia. You just have to do it from Ukraine, The Middle East, and Alaska.

As an aside, the other two continents that can really give Australia a run are South America and North America (if he can solidify North America and hold it early).
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Nick Case
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You guys are a riot, like anyone actually still plays Risk.
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Michael Ziegler
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Some of us very older players (50's and 60's) still pull out this classic because we were all raised on it. I have an original "Conquete Du Monde" from about '57. Before Parker bought the rights to it from Miro to sell in America. Very classic, French Rules, etc. I agree with the comment that a lot of Australian continent players come in second. But I still feel the advantage is in having one direction to expand from.
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Mark Ernst
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Big Bad Lex wrote:
You guys are a riot, like anyone actually still plays Risk.


I have an 8 yr. old and 10 yr. old who both like Risk. Of course I'd rather play something like Paths of Glory but my boys just aren't ready for that complexity yet. Therefore, it's either Risk or wait several years to play anything at all. Besides, I have some in-laws who don't like anything more complicated and they also have young boys. As for the time needed, we always play the Mission Risk version which never takes more than 1-1.5 hours.
 
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Aaron Tubb
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When I used to play Risk, taking North America worked well for me. With my group anyway, going for Australia first was asking for a fight from the other players.
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mark sellmeyer
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in regular risk, if no one competes with you for south america you have a pretty good chance at winning. hold onto south america and work to take north america. If you take both you only have 3 points to defend. well one your way to winning. it's easy to take austraila if no one competes with you for it, but it's hard to go from there. you ususally spend the rest of the game trying to get asia and end up being the last person to get wiped out.
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Moisés Solé
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North America has a good reward to areas to exits ratio. The exits are far from one another, but I don't know how important is that.
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Aaron Lambert
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When I have gone with an Australia strategy, I have found that the next step after conquering Australia to be very difficult. Now I mostly go for South America, because you then have the option of going for either North America or Africa depending on which is weaker. And both are relatively easy to hold although you need a few extra countries like the middle east for an Africa strategy.

But the point is that you have options. With Australia, you are doomed if you end up with a difficult opponent in Asia. You will end up wasting your resources on them the whole game instead of expanding.
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John Heder
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The last time I played Risk was actually Risk 2210, where you play only five rounds and the player with the most territories wins the game. It also rearranges the map a bit, adds some underwater territories and some moon territories, but you have to have special commanders to go underwater or on the moon. You also have some nuclear things to deal with.

I won that game and yes, I started in Australia.

Luckily the territories that were randomly selected to be nuclear wastelands (unpossessible and untravellable) included the Southwest Austriallian territory and one of the underwater territories to the north of Australia. These wastelands made it easier for me to keep the continent secure by eliminating all borders but the tradtional one. I was able to get a portion of Asia and was moving slowly to the west.

After two or three rounds the rest of the players seemed concerned that one player had control of both Africa and South America. One player having gained control of North America had made a non agression agreement so he wasn't attack. However that didn't stop him from loading up a large army on the border between North and South America.

Two other players were brothers and were involved somewhat in a grudge match for Europe, so it was left to me.

Somehow I got a massive army and then gutted Africa, then proceeded to South America. Then instead of stopping there or fighting the large army in the Central America space, I went uderwater destoying a small army and bypassed the large army to gut North America.

By this time My empire was huge. I had effectively stopped the two leading players (besides myself) gave myself a rather large territory, which no one was really able to effectively eliminate in a way that would hurt me and which provided me with the armies I needed to maintain control a good portion of the board, giving me the victory.

In that case Australia was the key.
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Aaron Tubb
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hederj wrote:
I won that game and yes, I started in Australia.

Luckily the territories that were randomly selected to be nuclear wastelands (unpossessible and untravellable) included the Southwest Austriallian territory and one of the underwater territories to the north of Australia. These wastelands made it easier for me to keep the continent secure by eliminating all borders but the tradtional one. I was able to get a portion of Asia and was moving slowly to the west.

Wastelands can only be land territories (unless you were playing with a house rule or something). Wastelands will make any continent much more valuable, though, since there are less areas to control for the same bonus.
 
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Dane Peacock
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seppo21 wrote:
Quote:
I've heard it said quite often that whoever gets Australia comes in second place. They're able to build defenses early, but they're not likely to finish off any other players to get more cards and territories.

Over the years, this has been my experience as well -- at least if all of the players are relatively competent. The more marginal players you add to the game, the more likely it seems there will be a win from Australia.


Disagreed.

In my experience taking Australia is such a huge advantage that I agree with the Michael that 60% of the wins go to the person who takes Australia, regardless if the players are marginal or competent.

The biggest factor, however, is when your older brother intimidates, ridicules, and twists you to his will. I learned as a bright eyed youngster that Risk is not a game of strategy. It is not a game of luck. It is games of making your younger siblings do what you want.
 
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John Heder
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Aarontu wrote:
hederj wrote:
I won that game and yes, I started in Australia.

Luckily the territories that were randomly selected to be nuclear wastelands (unpossessible and untravellable) included the Southwest Austriallian territory and one of the underwater territories to the north of Australia. These wastelands made it easier for me to keep the continent secure by eliminating all borders but the tradtional one. I was able to get a portion of Asia and was moving slowly to the west.

Wastelands can only be land territories (unless you were playing with a house rule or something). Wastelands will make any continent much more valuable, though, since there are less areas to control for the same bonus.


This game was years ago, so I don't remember exactly where the wastelands were except in western Australia. I think that perhaps it was the northern land entrances to the underwater territories were also wasteland. Taking over those territories would have increased my army income anyways.

What I remember was that once I got Australia, I was unassailable except from the traditional route - through the Siam territory (What its called in 2210 I'm not sure).
 
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John Heder
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Sky Knight X wrote:
seppo21 wrote:
Quote:
I've heard it said quite often that whoever gets Australia comes in second place. They're able to build defenses early, but they're not likely to finish off any other players to get more cards and territories.

Over the years, this has been my experience as well -- at least if all of the players are relatively competent. The more marginal players you add to the game, the more likely it seems there will be a win from Australia.


Disagreed.

In my experience taking Australia is such a huge advantage that I agree with the Michael that 60% of the wins go to the person who takes Australia, regardless if the players are marginal or competent.

The biggest factor, however, is when your older brother intimidates, ridicules, and twists you to his will. I learned as a bright eyed youngster that Risk is not a game of strategy. It is not a game of luck. It is games of making your younger siblings do what you want.


I was talked into requesting Risk as a b-day present by an older brother by about 11 years when I was about 14 or so. We played and our competativeness turned off our brother a couple years older than me.

I wasn't bullied into doing what my oldest brother want, but perhaps my other brother was. When it was just two of us, we played with a neutral color. In those games my brother was frustrated by my luck at defence. He would loose an inordinate amount of armies attacking me.

In those games, it was a game of luck. And I had it all.laugh
 
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John N.
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i am playing an online game right now where I have Australia. Everyone feels I have the game sewn up, even though we are only about 3 turns into it. I don;t think it is guaranteed for reasons given earlier, but it sure is a fantastic stronghold.

I like the idea of South America, but then you need to hold off two fronts, one from N. America and one from Africa.

We didn't have problems with people bullying though, we recently had problems of players colluding more than was really necessary for the game. For anyone interested please go to my post on this:-

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/222951
 
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Leonard Curtis
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For a competent player, yes. Gaining Australia will give you extra forces early, albiet only two, but if you play it right, you nab the continent and Siam and sit for a couple of turns. Then strike out into India and China, solidify your defense, then strike.

My next play is usually towards North America, then South America and Africa. Generally works 75% of the time, by my estimate.
 
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Frank McNally
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South America with a path to get SA and Africa (of even better NA) works pretty often.
 
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Jeff Corrie
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After Australia, I'll make a quick push into Asia. Usually into Kamchatka, solidify that, and you can sweep Asia and actually hold it. Don't take the whole continent, you'll get crushed, but take 10 of the 11 territories is still worth +3 armies, and doesn't inspire anybody to crack your defenses. When you're ready, take it, hold it, love it, and conquer all.
 
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