Risk Rules Variations

By Jeff H.

Risky Dice

In the basic game of Risk the attackers risk is always limited to what the defender is willing to risk, however with this variation the situation will change.

When attacking, if all ones are rolled by the attacker the army fumbles. This means that the attacker automatically loses the number of armies equal to the number of dice rolled. The biggest effect this has is when the attacker is rolling more dice than the defender. i.e. If the attacker rolls 2 dice and the defender rolls one, the attacker automatically loses two armies if double ones are rolled. If the attacker decides to roll 3 dice and gets triple ones, the attacker loses three armies, regardless of what the defender rolls.

Limited Armies

Using standard rules, there is no limit to the number of units that a player can have in one territory. This can cause players to stockpile armies.

Each territory is limited to having 16 armies at any time. This allows 1 infantry, 1 cavalry, and 1 artillery if you are using this set. i.e. Near the end of the game, if you only control one territory which has one army on it and you turn in a set of cards worth 20 armies, you're only allowed to place the remaining amount of 15 armies on the territory.


In regular game play there is no limit to the amount of reinforcements that a player can acquire from trading in matching cards. This can cause the game to be drawn out by players hoarding cards until the end is near... until now.

Everyone is limited to acquiring 15 armies from turning in sets of cards. This is, of course, separate from gaining reinforcements from territory and continent bonuses, but a player may still get extra armies for occupied territories of traded cards. i.e. Player1 trades in the sixth set of cards to get 15 armies. In the next turn Player2 decides to turn in his cards, but although under standard rules Player2 would get 20 armies for his trade, he is limited to only 15 (plus any for occupied territory bonuses), along with each player who turns in cards later.

Territory Bonuses

The basic Risk rules only allow a player to get two extra armies from a set of cards that are traded in. This variant rule could make your territory cards more valuable.

A player is allowed to get 2 extra armies for each and every matching card for territories that player occupies. i.e. If Player1 turns in a set of matching cards which are for Yakutsk, Ukraine and Western Australia, and Player1 is occupying each one of those territories, Player1 gets 6 extra armies for those card. (Note: If used with the previous Reinforcements variation, the player could get 21 armies from turning in cards.)

What do you think of these variations? Let us know.

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