Sunday, April 19, 2009

Strategy Tips: Reputation

What is a Risk Reputation?
This tip is one of those essential parts of playing and winning risk. Also, it works in every version of the game. If you're like me, you play Risk alot. And, most of the time you are playing with the same general group of people. Over time, each player builds a reputation by what style they use in the game.
One of the definitions for the word reputation is "A specific characteristic or trait ascribed to a person or thing". It shares the same root word as the word "repeat". So, basically, a Risk reputation is what a player is known for doing. It could be a style of play, or it could be a specific action, or even things you say and ways you manipulate others (manipulation is another part of strategy that I will discuss later). You're going to want to get to know your opponents well. Pay attention to the things they do, so the next time you play, you will already have an advantage on them by knowing their rep.

How do I Build A Risk Rep?
To build your own rep the way you want it, stay steady in the way you play and the things you do. For instance, if you want people to be afraid of you, attack them unprovoked, or retaliate at every opportunity. If you do this enough, eventually they will think twice about getting in your way, even before you do anything. If you want to fly under the radar and make people think you aren't a threat, attack less. Be kind and fair to people. They will think of you as a generous player and will trust you... and most likely not attack you out of spite or anything.

What's the Best Kind of Rep? Are There Good Ones and Bad Ones?
First of all, you don't HAVE to have a rep, but you will probably develop one anyway whether you want it or not. If you want to try not to... just be random. Change your style all the time and act randomly so that other players can't pinpoint your personality in the game. It can be beneficial to be the "wild-card" player.
There really is no "best" kind of rep to have, it all depends on your style. I've seen different reputations work out well on occasion for all types of people. But, yes, there are BAD reps. For instance, the last thing you want in Risk is to become labeled as the guy(or girl) who gets bullied and pushed around. Sometimes it is inevitable, yes. Everyone comes to a point in the game sometimes where they must allow another player to push them around. But, don't let it happen every time, or people will go out of their way to do it to you.
I think every type of rep has its good points and bad points. For instance, a friend of mine has a rep for being vengeful. Everyone knows that if you mess with him and make him angry, he will go out of his way to hurt you... even if it means losing himself the game. This is a great rep to have in that now... we think twice before attacking him. But, it's also a bad rep to have in that people are sometimes scared to trust him and work with him in the game.

Think carefully about how you are representing yourself to the other players, especially if you know you will be playing them again and again. Once you build a rep, it's hard to change it.


  1. I agree, and I would like to add that being vengeful is possibly the best rep to have in any risk game, and may even make you allies out of the fear they have for you.

  2. "It's better to be feared than loved." -Stalin

    I would agree with last poster. In Risk it's best to be known to be both trustworthy and extremely vengeful.

    1. Never break a truce/alliance ever.

    2. Don't make open-ended truces you will want to (or have to) break later. Put a specific time limit on them e.g. for 2 turns only. You can renew the truce later.

    3. Be extremely vengeful on anyone who breaks an alliance or truce with you, to the point of suicidal attacks. You may lose the game, but everyone will think twice about breaking a truce with you later.

  3. I agree. I have played this game every monday night for about twelve years. We have a steady group of four of us. Over the years we have lost a player or two. The funniest experience i have ever had playing risk 2210 was about five years ago. Let me set the scenario for you.
    We play with the invasion of the giant oemebas. It is an expansion that was produced by avalon hill. One of the players who I will name Stan built up a huge army in Ukraine. Stan was trying out a new strategy. His strategy was to build a huge army in the middle of the world and not attack anyone until year five. In year four Stan had an enormous army built up in Ukraine. Before every turn you have to flip an Oemeba card. I randomly picked the card where you have to put a devestation marker on the the next land card picked. And woudnt you know it, when I flipped the land card over it was Ukraine. Since he had no where to retreat to, all of Stans mods were wiped clean off the board. Because of our reaction to this, Stan never played again!!!