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Risk - Nuclear Variants

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Joined: 10/13/2011

Sometime in the 80's I remember seeing variations for Risk in Games magazine. These have always been some of my favorite game variations, but I am going off memory here so stay with me...

1) Nuclear "accident" - Whenever the attacker roles 3 6s on an attack, draw a random Risk Card from the deck. All armies on that country are destroyed and the country is marked with a coin to indicate that it is irradiated. If unoccupied, the country is no longer counted when determining if a player owns the entire continent, however other players that border the country may move armies into the irradiated country as reinforcements. Half of all armies (rounded up) entering the irradiated country are immediately destroyed.

2) Nuclear Strike - On their turn, a player may play one of their Risk cards to destroy all of the armies on the country that is depicted on the card. The Risk card is discarded. The country becomes irradiated and is subject to the rules above. A player may not make any attacks or reinforce on the turn that they use the Nuclear Strike option and they do not get a Risk Card (so the player is effectively 2 cards behind the other players)

Joined: 06/07/2012
Thanks for posting this. I'm

Thanks for posting this.

I'm currently looking for ideas to incorporate into a simple representational mechanic for mass battles. I've only ever played the original risk many eons ago, so I was unaware of changes like this.

A variation on these approaches might work well for re-enforcing engaged or defeated formations :)

Joined: 10/24/2012
New Rules for Classic Games

Orangebeard, thanks for starting off the new forum with such a classic!

I found this book at our local library:

New Rules for Classic Games
R. Wayne Schmittberger
John Wiley & Sons
Copyright 1992

It has the nuclear risk variants that you posted, as well as variants for chess, checkers, go, various card games, Monopoly, etc. I'll post a few ideas from it.


Joined: 07/02/2012
Nuclear Risk

I think that updating the basic concept of Risk to a post-modern Nuclear War variant is a great idea. Sabers, horses and cannons could be replaced with current or future technology. It would allow to make the game different enough to attract the younger crowd that has been raised on Call of Duty and Halo. They seem to have little interest in european history and battles fought a century or two ago. A modern version could introduce them to one of the all time favorite games that I fondly remember from our youth.

Joined: 01/06/2009
Our own RISK variant

I used to live in northern China (yes, teaching English!).

During the cold winter months we used to play RISK. I also played the Total War series on the PC and wanted to intergrate the two games.

We designed the game to have random event cards that affected either the individual or all players and added battlecards which were hidden and laid during the attack phase, or at the end of a turn to add special units to the board in readiness to use next turn.

It was a great game to play. We had a mish mash approach as to what era it was, but it was kind of set in the Roman era.

We had Fleets that could carry your troops along the coast to other countries to invade. Offensive/Defensive Generals that added +1 to a die when in battle. Assassins that could roll to kill Generals. Barracks to produce troops. Surprise Trojan Horse attacks on the capitals......and heaps of other stuff.

One of the cool concepts we had was how territory was expanded. As the RISK map is quite large, taking possession of an empty neighbouring country was done through diplomacy. Everyone started with a Diplomat that would first need to move into a country and roll a d20 (12 or higher) to successfully gain that territory. Battlecards allowed for Diplomats to be upgraded to have +1/+2 to their rolls to make them more effective. Diplomats also blocked the production of troops from a barracks if placed in an opponents territory. Of course, they could be assassinated too.

I'm sure I've written a few threads about 'The Game' as we called it, here and on BGG. It was a massive boardgame that had twists and turns!

Edit* Here is the link - I'd forgotten about how the guy at the end almost seemed to hijack the post and idea?

Joined: 10/24/2012
Risk - the original French rules

Hi. When I was looking through the rules from my copy of Risk (circa 1963) for November's Game Design Showdown, I noticed it had a reference to "the original French rules". Does that mean Risk is a Eurogame? :) I had no idea that Parker Brothers developed Risk from a pre-existing game. Anyone know who the original designer was?

Anyhow, if you're interested in playing this "variant", here are the rules as printed by Parker Brothers:

The Original French Rules
For 3, 4, 5 or 6 players

In this version of the game the PREPARATION and the SET UP are different and the rules for these are completely reproduced below. The section above entitled "ADDITIONAL ARMIES FOR TERRITORIES ON CARDS" should be disregarded. [I.e., you don't get 2 additional armies if you control the territory depicted on a card when you turn in a set.] All of the other rules are the same.

Each player selects a box of playing pieces of the color which he chooses, and all of the oblong pieces of that same color, to represent his armies during the game. One player is selected to act as the dealer.

The Set Up
The dealer removes the trade-mark card and the two jokers from the deck of cards. He shuffles the remaining cards thoroughly, and deals them one at a time to each player, starting with the player to his left. All cards must be dealt. When four or five play, some players will have one more card than others, but this will not affect the play of the game.

When all the cards have been dealt, each player turns his cards face up in front of him and places one army on each territory on the board for which he has the corresponding card. All players do this simultaneously. When each player has placed his armies, there should be one army, and only one, on each territory. Players now return all cards to the dealer who puts the two jokers back in the deck. The dealer shuffles the deck again and places it face down alongside the board.

Special Note on Original French Rules
At the beginning of the French game considerably fewer pieces are on the board. Players should be extremely cautious in the early stages of play, so that they may gain and hold enough power to prevent being eliminated form play prior to the broadening scope and unlimited strategies which will develop as the game progresses.


Joined: 05/05/2014
I had a variant of RISK that

I had a variant of RISK that use nuclear weapons as a way to defend a territory:

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