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Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > Issue 12 Oct/Nov '17 > RISK REWARD


As the most famous strategy board game of all time turns 60 years old, we take a trip through its many revisions, regional variations and reincarnations, from the shores of Westeros to the final frontier
The form of Risk familiar to most players.

It may not have quite the same popular name recognition as Monopoly, but Risk is surely the world’s best-known strategy board game. Originally invented by the Palme d’Or- and Oscar-winning French film director Albert Lamorisse, the game is now celebrating its 60th anniversary. It first appeared in 1957 in France as La Conquete du Monde (The Conquest of the World). The game was bought by Parker Brothers in 1959 and published first as Risk: The Continental Game and then as Risk: The Game of Global Domination.

Risk is so well-known that we hardly need to explain the rules of play here: in the basic game, a map of the world is divided into 42 territories unequally distributed over six continents. Players occupy territories and accumulate armies with the aim of capturing neighbouring regions and eliminating other players. Combat is by dice roll, with the attacker rolling one fewer die than the number of armies they have in a territory, up to a maximum of three. If the defender has two or more armies on a territory, they roll two dice. The defender wins tied rolls, which means that probability favours the defender when each player rolls the same number of dice. However, more often than not, probability will favour the attacker because the attacker will usually have put themselves in a position to roll one more die than the defender. When they do this, the attacker has a significant advantage because only their highest two rolls are compared with the two dice rolled by the defender.

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