The hidden luck factor in Risk

As of many board games, luck or chance is a part of Risk. This is not a necessarily bad thing. Without luck the best player always wins, which isn’t that much fun for everyone else. Moreover, the introduction of chance elements can make games more dynamic and challenging. Good players should always be aware of the role that luck plays in a game, so that they can play around it.

In Risk however, most people don’t realize what role luck plays. Of course everyone realizes that there is luck in the dices, and in the spawn positions. Most people think luck in Risk is in the dices. Or if it’s not the dices it is the starting position of the players. Both determine to a great extend the course of the game; it is hard to lose if you only roll sixes or when you start out with the complete continent of North-America. There is, however, an element to Risk that is more important for the outcome of the game: the mission ‘destroy all armies of a specific color’.

The destory-a-color missions have a huge impact on the outcome of the game, because it is almost impossible to win a board game when one of your opponents sole objective literally is to destroy you. When I am player red, and player blue has to destroy me, he will do everything in his power to keep me from doing well in the game. When I conquer a continent, he will invade. When I assemble a big army, he tries to keep it small. He will constantly follow me around, waiting for a weak moment, to destroy me. This makes it virtually impossible to complete my own mission.

This is the biggest, hidden factor of luck in Risk. Is one of my opponent’s mission to destroy me? Then I’m in for a tough game.

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