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Subject: Alternate strategy to the build-up. rss

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Todd Gardiner
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Last night I placed in Australia to discourage another player from (once again) playing on his favorite continent. He camped on SE Asia anyway.

I expanded to fill continent, talking one city and leaving my W. Aus fortress reasonably protected. But on his turn, he reached his hand over, said, "sorry, but this is probably going to knock us both out of the game", shook my hand, and then proceeded to start an all-out war that stretched the rest of the game.

Yet I won on turn five.


In a slugfest, each player is getting cards starting right at turn one (well, turn two in my case, since I was the starting player and only expanded on turn one). Playing Khan Industries, I was able to gain the extra army from holding one HQ every turn except turn two. This allowed me to eventually knock out the other faction and gain their resource cards.

With a hand of six cards and two HQ's at the end of turn four, the players that had be slow-playing and building up, even the player getting the South America bonus, only had one turn to rush across the map and take SE Asia. In the end it was too weakly garrisoned and my three armies, plus Khan bonus, plus Australia bonus, plus turning in two cards for reinforcements made an easy win.

Now, it is true this was my first win, so I needed only one star and one HQ (plus my starting star and HQ) in order to win. But six resource cards at the start of turn five was clearly enough for me to recover from a back and forth war and push on to win.

Needed advantages:
*Draw more armies than the other guy in the slugfest.
*Don't roll too crappy.

Helpful, possibly needed:
*Don't try this on a player that starts with more stars than you

Nine Minor Cities packet spoiler comments:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
*You can clearly try this if you have more armies in the draft than the other player.
*Starting with more cards can be a big boost too, but makes you more of a reward for the other player if you lose.
*This technique can turn a fifth-place placement into a winning strategy.


Eliminated Player packet spoiler comments:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
*Mercenaries grabbed early on also makes this tactic viable for factions that would not otherwise get the upper hand in army recruitment.

The meta-game disadvantage of giving the other factions additional powers as you knock them out is a factor, clearly. While you might be able to pull this on the Saharans once, they'll have a new power after you knock them out, following this opened packs additions. That means that some other player is going to be more challenging the next time you try this.

Same if you fail, for that matter. So I'm not sure that you should hesitate here, since that might be you getting the faction with a new power that better plays into this tactic.


So, the look inoffensive and pile up your troops and territories might be one strategy, but it isn't the only one. And of course, this strategy has the advantage of creating a quicker game (whether you win or lose) than the slow-play.

It's called Risk for a reason...
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Darren Nakamura
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This definitely seems like a better strategy for Die Mechaniker or Enclave of the Bear, due to the combat bonuses (depending on which one you chose, anyway). Khan Industries is nice, for the reason you pointed out.

I don't see this being particularly useful to the Saharan Republic or Imperial Balkania. Still, I may try this on my next game, so I can make for a quicker game.
 
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Todd Gardiner
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Agreed, the start of the game offers few ways to have an ensured upper hand against a foe for the Saharans or Balkanias.

It is probably not surprising to suggest that these factions might be more desirable as the game develops through the opening of packets.


In our case, it was the Enclave of the Bear that lost to Khan Industries. Some one started the Bears with the triples power, so they had no advantage. Khan had the power of gain an army on each HQ.

Powers always make the difference. But it is a matter of which power is facing with other power.
 
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Darren Nakamura
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Ah. My Enclave of the Bear has the "less powerful but more frequent" starting power on it, so I think it'd work better for this strategy.
 
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Darren Nakamura
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One other thing to consider with this. If you spend the first few turns going back and forth with one person, collection resources, there is a possibility that Balkania is sitting back, uncontested, still collecting resources every turn, but without losing armies to do it, and also gaining continent bonuses.

I don't think this is a bad strategy, but in certain situations it just wouldn't work out. If you have to people fighting over Australia while Balkania is allowed to have free reign over North America or Europe, it could be bad.
 
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Todd Gardiner
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It does not have to be Australia. The technique is to just launch a war with someone from turn one. Or to expand right over then so they start the war.

Imperial Balkanians are a prime target for someone to use this tactic on.

Doesn't really matter if the Balkanians amass three cards on their own if you are able to leapfrog them to four, five or six cards (with two HQ's).
 
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Darren Nakamura
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9 Minor Cities spoiler:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
I suppose if you can manage to draft first turn and 10 troops, but last placement, then you can set yourself up next to whoever you want. Ideally it's Balkania or Sahara with 6 starting troops, and you could potentially run them over in turn 1. I am very intrigued by this idea, and I may just try it out next time I play.
 
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Todd Gardiner
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Dexter345 wrote:
One other thing to consider with this. If you spend the first few turns going back and forth with one person, collection resources, there is a possibility that Balkania is sitting back, uncontested, still collecting resources every turn, but without losing armies to do it, and also gaining continent bonuses.


Again, that's assuming that Balkania has one of the two starting powers they are allowed. Not all factions end up with the optimal power at the start because people do not have experience with Risk in game one.
 
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Todd Gardiner
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Dexter345 wrote:
9 Minor Cities spoiler:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
I suppose if you can manage to draft first turn and 10 troops, but last placement, then you can set yourself up next to whoever you want. Ideally it's Balkania or Sahara with 6 starting troops, and you could potentially run them over in turn 1. I am very intrigued by this idea, and I may just try it out next time I play.


Spoiler (click to reveal)
Drafting to play first does not work. You can't get a back and forth going unless you allow them to expand first. Otherwise you are just knocking them out on turn one (oh, and good luck with that).

Instead, I tend to grab "play last" (actually no one else wants it, so I just take it at the end and get better drafts before my last pick). Then you can set up next to anyone and be assured that you will not knock them out completely until you have each earned a few cards.


Yes, 9 Minor Cities gives you a lot to think about when preparing to use this strategy.
 
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Justin Fitzgerald

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Are you sure you're reading the elimination packet rules correctly? The rules make a distinction between being "knocked out" and "eliminated", the latter being when your faction cannot respawn. This is the event we associate with this packet--not just being knocked out and coming back.
 
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Alexander the Grape
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That packet is opened the first time a faction is eliminated, but...
Spoiler (click to reveal)
from then on its rules take effect any time a faction is knocked out.
 
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