Risk Legacy FAQ
This page contains answers to questions commonly asked in the Risk Legacy forums. It is not intended to be a substitute for the official Risk Legacy rules, so if you have a rules question, you should consult the official rules (see the Section 1 intro for links) before coming here. Obviously, if there is a discrepancy between the rules and this FAQ, you should go by the rules (unless we reference an official ruling by the designer that supersedes the rules). Note that virtually all non-spoiler rules discussions should be postfixed with "unless something specifically instructs otherwise"; general cases are provided here, but many of these answers will change.
Only non-spoiler questions are addressed by this FAQ. Spoiler-specific threads may be found in the Risk Legacy forums.
List of game FAQs
1. Game Rules
The official rules (in PDF) can be downloaded here:
Each HQ held counts as a Star. So this means that players who have not yet won a game on the board begin the game with two Stars (one Star token plus their own HQ). Correct?
- Correct. Early games go fast. ref
Faction Starting Powers
One of Die Mechaniker's starting faction powers is that their HQ is fortified. Does the 10 time rule apply? If someone else takes over the HQ is it fortified still? Do HQ's taken over by that faction now considered fortified?
How does Enclave's starting power referencing the first territory you attack work?
- The power is quite specific. Only Mechaniker's starting HQ is fortified, and only while Mechaniker is the defender. There is no 10-time limit as with Fortification marks. ref
How does Enclave's "natural triple" starting power interact with missiles or other modifications?
- The power works on the first territory you attack during and turn and remains in effect until you attack a different territory. So if you attack from A to B, you get the power. If you then switch to C to B, it stays in effect. If you get bored and attack D to F, there is no power. Even if you go back to attacking B, the power is gone. ref
Regarding the Saharan faction's multiple maneuvers ability. Besides non-connectivity, are there any other restrictions?
- If Enclave initially rolls a three-of-a-kind (before any modifications), the power is eligible. If not, then it is not (regardless of later modifications). If there was a natural triple, and if after all modifications at least one defending troop is lost, the power takes effect. Thus, a roll of 1,1,1 can be changed to 6,1,1 with a missile to trigger the power. ref
- The Saharan Republic does not have a non-spoiler multiple maneuvers ability. Their starting powers allow them to maneuver without regard for connectivity (but only during the maneuver phase, and only once per turn) or to maneuver during the attack phase (but only once per turn, and then not during the manuever phase). ref1 ref2
When you've played the game 15 times and everything is set - how does anyone get any new missiles? E.g. how does new players (after 15 rounds) get any missiles?
- After 15 games, things like missile allocations are fixed. Players are still going to get their missiles (or bonus Red Star) at the start of each game, but that distribution of missiles (or Red Stars) is not going to change. However, players are dealt their full complement of missiles at the start of each game. ref
If an area has a Major City and another scar, and I am legally allowed to place my HQ in an area with a Major City (say, because I founded it), may I still place the HQ in that area despite there being a scar?
Can I start in a minor city that I founded?
- The major city takes priority. You may start in an unmarked territory OR a territory with a major city you founded. Note, though, that "unmarked" includes both scars and cities. You may not start in a territory with a minor city. ref
The rule that you may not place your HQ next to another HQ overrules all other rules about legal placement of HQ, yes/no?
- No. You may only start in an unmarked territory or a territory with a major city you founded. Cities are marks (see the definitions pages), and so make a territory ineligible for starting. ref
- Yes. If someone places an HQ in Iceland, no player can place an HQ in Great Britain or Greenland, even if they have a major city there. ref
Factions and Troops
If you're playing with the same people for the first 15 games, it's assumed that players are picking a new faction every game, right? Is there any particular downside to each player sticking with the same faction thru all the games?
When you start the game you only get 8 troops? So you don't draft territories like in other versions of risk?
- Some factions are likely to become slightly more powerful than others or, more powerful in the hands of certain people. Other players may want to deny this faction to a certain player. But I'm hearing of quite a few people who want to own a faction all the way through. I'm curious as to whether that works out. ref
A player can start on a Major City they placed and named themselves. Do they have to pay the two unit penalty (essentially starting with 6 armies) if they choose to start on a major city?
- That is correct. This version of Risk has "spawn points" where the players place their starting troops and HQ. There are a lot of empty territories at the start. ref
- No. The rules only states this occurs when expanding into an unoccupied city; initial placement is not expansion. ref
What happens to the coin cards when you spend them? Do they go into the same discard pile as the territory cards?
How does timing for scars work? If attacker wants to play ammo shortage and defender wants to play bunker?
- No, they go back on top of the coin card pile. ref
If a scar sticker is already on the country, can you play your scar card? Would you get the effect and keep the card to use it again? Would you get the effect and remove the scar from the game (but still use the scar next game because you didn't remove the sticker?) Or can you only play scars on unscarred territories?
- The first player to indicate. If tied or questionable, the order is Active player, Defender (if applicable), all others clockwise from Active. See grey box on pg. 8 for the text, and note that it applies to all such timing questions. ref
Can an HQ ever be left without troops? And what happens to an HQ if for some reason there are no troops with it?
- Scars tend to specify that they must be played on unscarred locations, but look at the specific text of a scar card for details. ref
How can I know if I have all the components for this game?
- The key terms at the front of the rulebook define a territory with an HQ but no troops as "occupied" but "uncontrolled". Players are only credited with a Red Star for HQs that they control, so an HQ uncontrolled by all players would not grant any player a Red Star. (no ref)
When a card says "conquer", what does that actually mean? Does it mean - a) control; b) control, having not controlled before; c) take from another player?
- Cards are sequentially numbered. When you open a pack, check to see that you have a sequentially numbered set. Cards marked with an "s" after the number are supposed to have a sticker on them. You cannot inventory the sealed packets without opening them. ref
When a card says "conquer 5+", does that mean "5 or more" or "more than 5"?
- Capture from another player via an attack. (no link, spoilers)
- 5 or more. (no link, spoilers)
Start of Turn
When you turn in 4 resource cards for a Red Star, can they be Coin cards too? Doesn't seem to be anything indicating you can't since they're technically resource cards as well, right?
When you turn in the four resource cards to gain a Red Star, do you also get the units for how many resources those cards have?
- Yes. Coin cards are resource cards just as are territory cards. ref
- No. Note that reinforcements are in a separate phase from Red Star redemption. ref
Join the War or Recruit Troops
Joining the War and Elimination
On the first turn, am I considered "Joining the War"?
If a player Joins the War do you still get their resource cards or is it only if you eliminate them from the game?
- Normally, no (your setup was done before the first turn). It is possible, though, that you could be knocked out before your first turn, in which case you would then Join the War in a new territory. (no link, spoilers)
Can you come back on your HQ or another players if it is abandoned? Since this is not a city or a scar.
- You get them as soon as you knock them out, and do not return them if they respawn. ref
If a player is eliminated and has an unused missile and/or scar would the player that did the elimination get those?
- A territory with an HQ but no units is considered occupied but not controlled. You can only respawn in a legal starting territory. Those must Unoccupied as well as unmarked. ref
- No. Elimination happens because the eliminated player can't find a starting territory, not because of a particular opponent. An eliminated player's Missiles, Scar card, Red Stars, and other resources are simply out of the game (but eligible to return in the next game). ref
At the start of a game, the rules state that everyone picks a legal territory and dumps their HQ and 8 troops into it. Once the first round starts, does everyone still get reinforcements, so that you're actually starting with 11 guys and not 8?
Whoever occupies the city at the beginning of their turn gets the bonus. Assuming yes. So if Paul starts his HQ in his major city, and I occupy it, not only do a get a virtual red star, I also get + 2 troops because of his major city.
- Yes. ref
Are you only allowed to trade in one set of cards for troops, or could you group your cards to gain two batches?
- No, you get +2 to whatever your territory total is, and then divide by 3. A territory with a Major City on it technically counts as 3 territories for determining your reinforcements/recruiting. ref
What is the least amount of troops you can get per turn?
- Only one set for troops per turn. Although you could hold some back for future turns. ref
- It is a minimum of three troops per turn. ref
Expand and Attack
Can a player expand, then attack, then expand?
Is moving into a territory with an HQ but no troops (occupied but uncontrolled) an expansion, an attack, or what?
- Yes, attacks and expansions may be alternated in any order. ref
- Moving into a territory with an HQ but no troops is treated as an expansion in all regards, including troops lost due to cities and such. ref
When expanding, do you have to leave a troop behind?
Does expanding into unoccupied territory count as a successful conquest in terms of getting to draw a resource card at the end of your turn? Or do you have to take a territory from another player in order to qualify to take a resource card?
- You do. Expanding is just like a attacking except you automatically win. ref
Am I right in thinking that on early/first turn a player can enter as many empty regions as he/she wants, like battles. So say move 7 from HQ into next door, then 6 from newly conquered into another adjacent, and then 5 etc. Theoretically I could have say 5, 6, 7 regions in first turn.
- The latter. Unless you have some sort of power, you only get a card by taking at least one territory from another player. ref
Do you have to pay the price of defeating the entrenched resistance if it is your own city that has been founded (but not started in)?
- Yes. You expand by moving any number of troops into an adjacent empty territory. You must leave 1 in the origin territory though. So yes, on turn 1 you could stretch yourself really thin and grab 10 territories that don't have cities in them. ref
- You must defeat the entrenched resistance of any city on any expansion move. Ownership is irrelevant. ref
In the "attack and expand" phase, suppose South Africa has 80 units. I own every country from there to Alaska, one unit on each of them. Connected. In my attack and expand phase, can I move 79 units from south africa to alaska? Can I then attack with them? I can do this multiple times from different countries, as much as i want?
I have 10 units on A, send 5 into B, [do some other attacks elsewhere], and regret my decision as I should have sent all 9 into B. I'd have to wait until attack and expand is over to send units from one country I own into another country I own?
- No to all. During attack, you may only move troops to an adjacent territory that you do not control. ref
I can constantly expand in a line in new countries, but during expand and attack can't move troops through my own countries? like say, I have 2 troops in every country in asia. in expand and attack, I move one unit from each country in asia all onto one country, then attack someone with them.
- Correct. ref
Have a question and I know it sounds silly. Say I take 3 troop attackers (from a territory with 7 troops) into a territory with 1 defender. The opponent successfully takes me down to 1 attacker over the course of the attack. A) Can I retreat and suspend the attack and pull my attacker back? (Would this end all my attacks? Or would I be able to attack the same territory with a fresh group of 3 troops) B) Continue on with the attack 1 vs 1? or C) Can I reinforce the 1 attacker with 2 more troops from the previous territory?
- The only time that you're normally allowed to move troops between your territories is in a maneuver after all attacks are done. ref
If a player has say 10 troops in a country and he conquers an opponents country how many of those troops can he move from the country he attacked from into the one he conquered? It says you attack with up to 3 troops each time so can you only move 3 into a newly beaten country or could i have 9 in there (leaving one behind?)
- Each attack roll is atomic; after each one is resolved, you can decide to attack again (using up to 3 but no more than n-1 troops from the attacking territory), or withdraw. It's easier to comprehend if you don't bother moving the 1,2, or 3 troops from the attacking territory into the defending territory before the roll. Just state where you're attacking from and where you're attacking into, and state the number of dice(troops) you're rolling. Then the defender states how many dice they'll roll (1 or 2, but no more than the number of troops in their territory). After casualties are removed from the roll, you can stop, or initiate another attack anywhere you're eligible. You could attack the same way again, switch to attacking the same territory from a different territory, attack another territory entirely, etc. The only rule to abide by is you must always have as many attacking troops as the number of dice you roll, and you may never attack with all of the troops in your territory because you must leave one behind if you are victorious. ref
When attacking other troops in cities and winning, do you have to lose a troop or two because of major/minor city costs or do you automatically own that territory you conquered?
- You must move at least as many as the number of dice you rolled on the final winning attack. You may move as many more as you like, provided you leave at least one behind. (no ref)
How many attacks can one "army" make in a turn?
- From the rulebook, p. 10: Moving troops into a city territory that also has enemy troops in it is not expanding; it is attacking, and is handled like any other attack. You do not lose additional troops when moving into a city after taking it from another player. ref
- There is no limit, so long as you have at least two armies in the territory you are attacking from. Expansion may require a larger number due to mandatory occupation losses. For example, expanding into the World Capital (population 5) with a Fortification mark (+2 to expansion cost) would require 9 troops in the originating territory: 1 to remain behind, 7 for losses, and 1 to occupy the new territory. ref
Regarding powers that modify higher or lower dice (like the bunker scar or one of the bear factions starting powers), there is some confusion on how these modifiers work with single die. The debate here is some feel that since there is only one die, it can neither lower or higher, so the power doesn't apply. Others think that it is both at the same time, so any or all powers can apply, even simultaneously.
I have a fortified city with a bunker scar on it. How does that effect my defense rolls?
- When rolling only one defense die, all scars and fortification bonuses/penalties still apply. ref
Say I roll a 4 and a 3.
Does that mean the 4 is modified to a 6 and the 3 stays the same.
OR the 4 becomes a 5 and the 3 becomes a 4?
(ADDITIONALLY, to complicate things further... what if I have the DIE MECHANIKER's starting ability that lets his HQ territory act as though it is Fortified. Then the territory also has a fortified city AND a bunker scar. Now how do I modify the defense die?)
If the defender rolls a 6 and 3 when defending a city with a bunker does the 3 get the +1 since the 6 can't?
- Modifiers are cumulative. So in the case of a territory that is Fortified and has a Bunker, the defender adds +1 to the higher (Fort), +1 to the lower (Fort), and +1 to the higher (Bunker). A 4,3 therefore becomes a 6,4.
- Mechaniker's Fortification power and a Fortification sticker, however, do not stack. The territory is either Fortified or it is not. Similarly, a single defender in a Fortified territory adds only 1 to his roll for the Fortification. While the single die is both highest (for Bunker-type purposes) and lowest (for Enclave-type purposes), it is still only one die and so benefits only once from the Fortification.
- Missiles may be applied after all the automatic modifiers are applied, so the defender in your example could spend a single missile to raise his final roll to 6,6. ref
When I discard a missile is this missile out of the game? Or can I use it on every turn?
- Nope. In this case, the bunker has no effect. ref
May I improve any of my rolls with missiles? Or is there some sort of highest/lowest restriction?
- You may use each missile only once per game, after which it is discarded to the box. You will still receive that missile in future games. (no link, spoilers)
Do missiles affect which die was originally "highest"?
- First, all mandatory roll modifiers are applied (scars, fortifications, powers, etc). Those modifications are locked and will not change any more this battle. Then, you may improve any die to a '6' with a missile (even if not yours, even if you're not in that battle). ref
- After missiles are played, dice are re-ordered highest to lowest for each player, and then combat is resolved. There is never a case where one player's lower die is compared to the other player's higher die. (no link, spoilers)
When does one fill in one of the ten boxes of a fortified city? E.g. Territory A is fortified. Territory B attacks with 3 dice. There are say 4 rolls (each time with 3 dice) but A is not conquered. So one box is filled in? The attacker then switches to attacking A from Territory C, again with 3 dice. Let say he tries twice but unsuccessful. Does A receive another mark in its fortification? And if the attacker switches back to attacking A from B, will A incur another mark?
- You fill in a mark after each battle/attack. If I attacked your fortified city with 3 troops, rolled the dice, dealt with the result, attacked again with 3 troops and called it a day, that would be two attacks. 2 of the spots on your fortification would be worn down. One marks it up after every dice roll, as long as 3 attacking troops were used. ref ref
Does the fortification reduction only work with exactly 3 attackers or 3 and more?
Whenever you attack, you roll 1, 2, or 3 dice to represent the units participating in that battle. :Even if you have 30 troops in a territory the max that can participate is 3. So as long as the attacker is rolling 3 dice, the fortification will break down a bit. ref
Knocking Out a Player
If a player is knocked out does he keep any unused scar and missiles?
- When you knock someone out, you only get their resource cards. They keep anything else, like missiles and scars. If they rejoin the war, they get to use these. Otherwise they're just out of the game. ref
In the maneuver phase: I can move 79 units from South Africa to Alaska, as I own all territories in between, directly connecting them? In this phase I can only do this movement once? After moving from South Africa to Alaska, I can't move units from Western US to Western Europe?
I have two units in every territory in Asia. in one maneuver phase, I move one unit to a territory A [that i own and am connected to], then next turn, in maneuver, I move another unit to that territory A, then next next turn, in maneuver, I move another unit to territory A, etc?
- Yes to all. Any number of troops between any two connected territories, but only one such move. ref
- You only get one maneuver (single territory to single territory) per turn, unless otherwise instructed. ref
End of Turn
Do I get one resource per country I take over on my turn? So if I take over 3 different countries on my turn, do I get 3 resources, or only one for my turn?
When do I take coin resource cards instead of territory resource cards?
- You only get one resource card per turn, and only if you conquered (attacked an enemy and eliminated him from the territory) at least one territory on your turn. ref
Are resource cards which players have acquired open or secret information?
- You only take a coin resource card if none of the face-up territory resource cards are eligible for you to take. If there is one eligible territory resource card face-up, you must take it. If there is more than one eligible territory resource card face-up, you may choose amongst those, but you still may not take a coin resource card. (no ref)
Is the number of cards left in the Coin card deck public information?
- Cards, once acquired, are secret information. Although smart players can try to memorize which cards people pick up. ref
- Yes it is. ref
End of Game
Do unused Scar cards go back into the pool to be redistributed at the start of the next game (if there are enough), or do they stick with players until they finally decide to use them?
Can a player save unused missiles from one game for the next game?
- They go back in the box at the end of the game; the players do not keep them. When you start the next game, they are redistributed if there are enough for all players to get one. ref
Minor city placement (from Held On rewards) is restricted to territories I controlled at the end of the game. Is Major City placement so restricted?
- No. Unused missiles are not banked between games. ref
- No. You may place a Major City anywhere there isn't another city. ref
Opening New Packages
Do you open the packet that says Open when one person gets to sign the board for a second time whenever the same player wins a second game? Or, since we all signed the back of the board before the first game, should the winner of the first game have opened that packet?
- It's when someone has won for a second time, not the first. ref
The rules for Mission cards say to turn one face-up "at the start of the game." Is this before or after players have placed their HQs and starting troops?
- It is meant to take place before troop placement. (no link, spoilers)