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Original Thread: Let's Play RISK! Cry 'Havoc!' and let slip the dice of war!

If you liked this LP, you might also like Chrono Trigger by Coughing Hobo, Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past by lurkdawg and Oregon Trail by Vanilla Ice

Game One


Game Two


You remember Risk, don't you? Unless you skipped out on your entire childhood you must recall moving heaps of little armies around the world, eagerly shaking your red die like a compulsive gambler in hopes of smashing your enemies defenses reveling in the glory of absolute victory!

Now's your chance to re-live those days, to devise your strategy, to marshall your forces, and lead your armies into the flames of battle! With strangers! On the internet!

The game will be played using the vintage-style version of Risk, just like back in the day, complete with deformed world map and wooden army cubes.

This is an entirely participatory thread! Command of all six armies will be open to LP denizens to claim, along with a host of other 'official' positions (see below). The OP will act only as the dispassionate hand of fate to move them according to their orders, perform dice rolls, issue reports to each commander on the success/failure of attacks and dispositions of their forces between turns, and keep the game moving (details in the 'Rules' section).

Anyone wishing to participate should first be sure to read and understand the rules, as well as the 'Passage of Sternness' (below). It also wouldn't hurt to read the entire thread as well.

Passage of Sternness

Avid readers of history books will note one rarely sees passages such as the following:

"With both skill and cunning, Hannibal led the armies of Carthage through the Alps, and attacked Rome for two or three days before becoming bored, getting behind at work, and deciding he couldn't keep up with the thread, so he quit..."

There's a reason for that. Don't sign up as a participant if you aren't willing to stick with it. Commanders must be punctual issuing their orders, and both they and contributors are obligated to participate within the thread.

There is more to being a commander than just issuing orders. Generals are encouraged to use the thread to publicly address their troops, either to exhort them to acts of courage or to strongly imply their opponents enjoy the act of sexual congress with a giraffe. Personal letters, such as those describing the miseries of invading the ass-end of Kamchatka, are also most welcome.

Contributors (Press Editor, Historian, etc.) should likewise make a sincere effort to produce quality content in time with each passing turn. They are not held to the same schedule as commanders, as a delay on their part will not prevent gameplay from proceeding, but what's important is that they do not simply disappear for half a dozen turns, contributing nothing but retaining their office.

Being chosen as a commander or contributor is a selective process, and the requirements are different for each. Individuals may apply for multiple positions, but can hold no more than one in an individual game. Details on applications for all participant positions can be found below.

Rules

Gameplay here is substantially different than that of your best friend's mother's basement, and as such the rules of the game will undergo some significant changes.

Play will basically be according to the original (old-school) rules, available here:


These rules may be different from what you're accustomed to (they certainly were for me). For example, players do not get to pick their territories at the start of the game, and trading in a Risk card with a territory you own on it does not grant you bonus armies in that territory.


Following are rules that have been added/modified for this thread:

Turns

One turn will consist of an entire round of play in which each army acts out the orders its commander has provided the OP (more on orders later). This is substantially different from standard Risk, because players will not be able to react instantly to changes in the battlefield. In practice, this means a new layer of strategy will be necessary to plan ahead and anticipate opponents' moves, and has the effect, arguably, of being more realistic.

Distribution of Re-enforcements

Re-enforcements for all armies will be distributed simultaneously at the beginning of each turn (not one faction at a time as you may be used to).

The reasoning for this is to prevent the existence of 'orphan armies'. If a commander designates a territory for re-enforcing, only to lose that territory to another player before they get there, then those armies (potentially dozens at a time as the game progresses) would have no logical place to go, and it would hardly be fair to declare them all POW's.

Initiative

To prevent any one player from getting an unfair advantage in the play order, at the start of each turn one die will be rolled for each army. The highest number rolled determines who gets the first move (initiative). In the event of a tie, competing dice will be re-rolled separately until one army comes out on top. The winning army's orders will then be enacted first, followed by all other armies in their list order until all operations have been completed.

Orders

Once the OP has fulfilled all player's orders and posted the results, the turn is over, and all commanders must submit orders for the next turn. Orders for an upcoming turn must be submitted within 24 hours of the posting of the previous turn's results. If no orders are received by that time, the turn will proceed and the armies in question will take no action. If a commander is delinquent for 2 consecutive turns they will be relieved of command (and summarily shot) and all forces under their command will be freed up for someone else.

Orders should be sent by e-mail to the OP (assuming you don't want everyone else in the thread to know exactly what you're up to). Please number your orders with the turn they are for in the subject heading to prevent confusion and the needless slaughter of many a good soldier. Orders must contain the following information:

-Your name and official-sounding title
-If you wish to exchange Risk cards this turn and, if you have any preference, which ones.
-Where you want your re-enforcements to go (number of armies and country/countries)
-Countries you wish to attack (in order of preference), which countries you wish to attack from, and the number of armies you wish to attack with.
-Conditions for retreat (if no conditions are listed, your forces will fight to the last man)
-If you wish to redeploy forces from one territory to another adjacent at the end of your move (from where, to where, and how many)
-If you wish to initiate surrender negotiations with a competing army's commander.

Here are some examples of legitimate orders:

2 armies in Siam for defense, 2 in China, and 3 in Ural
Attack Ukraine from Ural with 3 armies
3 armies attack Egypt from East Africa, proceed to North Africa if possible
9 armies attack from Argentina to Brazil, proceed to Peru, Venezuela, and, if not outnumbered, Central America
4 armies attack Northern Europe from Great Britain. Retreat if outnumbered
Redeploy forces evenly between Great Britain and Iceland (place any odd army in Iceland)
If I have 3 or less territories, I offer my surrender to the commander of the Yellow army.

The important thing to remember about issuing orders is clarity. Your forces will do their best to follow your commands exactly, but if they're poorly worded or vague they may be left to improvise.

Once orders from all commands have been received, a post saying as much will be made in the thread, after which point they have will have nothing to lose and Commanders are free to bloviate publicly on whose guts they plan to use to grease the wheels of their wagons for the given turn.


Amending Orders

If commanders' intentions should change after submitting their orders for a turn (likely as a result of diplomacy), they may alter them by so long as the OP post indicating that all orders for that turn are IN has not yet been made. They do this by submitting amended orders. Subject headings for amended orders should be in the following format:

'[army color] - Turn [#] AMENDED'

When amending orders, for my sanity and the well-being of your own troops, please rewrite them completely so they reflect your new intentions, not by sending forwards that enumerate only what you wish to do differently, like:

"Amendment - Keep all my orders the same, but don't attack Ukraine"

Don't do that. The reason is that, with a stack of e-mails for a given turn some forty deep, it's very possible to mistakenly confuse your old orders for the new, or to misinterpret your intensions somehow between the two. Try to make all of your 'official' order submissions as complete as possible.


Surrendering

If a commander feels for whatever reason their position is unsalvageable, they may elect to negotiate their own surrender. Initiation of surrender negotiations comes in the form of an order given during the normal course of a turn, and it must specify the army to which the commander wishes to surrender the remainder of their forces or the order will be ignored.

If a commander offers a surrender in a given turn, the commander to which they wish to surrender will be notified following that turn and given the option whether they wish to accept or decline the surrender terms.

If they choose to accept, they must also specify the fate of their captive (see 'Deposed Commanders' below). If accepted, in the re-enforcement phase of the following turn all of the surrendering commander's armies will be removed from the board and each of their previously held territories replaced with at least one army from the commander accepting the surrender (counted against that commander's re-enforcements for that turn).

Note: Agreeing over e-mail with another commander to give up is not the same as offering a formal surrender. The only way for an army to surrender is for their commander to issue the offer as an order to the OP during the normal course of the turn.

For Example: If the Pink commander wishes to surrender to the Blue army, they specify such in their orders for the upcoming turn. Once that turn has been completed, the order goes in to effect, and the Blue army commander will be contacted by the OP and informed of the surrender. If the Blue commander wished to accept, they must have the necessary number of re-enforcements to occupy their enemy's territories. If, for example, the Pink army held 5 territories, then the Blue army commander would have 5 re-enforcements automatically removed from their pool and placed on those territories. If the Blue army did not have enough re-enforcements to cover the newly acquired territories (say they only had 3), then the surrender would fail and play would continue.

Commanders accepting a surrender may place additional re-enforcements in the newly acquired territories, above and beyond the minimum of one, if they so choose.


Exchanging Cards

Collecting and exchanging cards works the same as written in the rules with one exception: the amount of armies awarded is constant within a turn. If, for example, a player exchanges cards in a turn for 4 additional armies, all other players turning in cards in the same turn will receive the same number of additional armies. The number of bonus armies would not rise from 4 to 6 until the following turn.


Medals

Just like in real life, there are two objectives to this war:
1: Kill everyone else
2: Win medals

Medals will be awarded on the basis of valor, achievement, and because the OP thinks it's funny. Examples of medals include:

Blitz Commander: Captured a ridiculous amount of territory in one turn
Trench Warrior: Defended a territory from repeated attack
Lazarus Award: Staged a stunning comeback from otherwise certain doom
Tenacious Fucker: Despite having no chance of winning whatsoever, simply would not die

In order to be awarded a medal, the OP must first make a recommendation to the forum. Then, if the recommendation is seconded by at least two other posters, an official declaration and citation will be provided.


Diplomacy

Just as in regular 'everybody in the same room' Risk, nothing in the rules prohibits the formation of alliances or establishment of non-aggression pacts between powers, and commanders are at liberty to arrange them if they so choose.

If commanders wish to coordinate diplomatic talks, they can request to arrange a summit through the OP, who will get them in touch with one another.


There are two stipulations regarding negotiations:

1) Negotiations may be made in secret, treaties may not. This is a post-Wilsonian world, if nations wish to declare a truce they must do so publicly. In a tabletop game of Risk players would know of one another's alliances, and the same should hold true here as well.

2) The OP should be kept in the loop. E-mails between commanders should have the OP cc'd so as to keep him abreast of negotiations.


As a caveat, if a commander seeks to initiate negotiations with another commander for a given turn, they probably should not send the OP their orders for that turn until all negotiations are completed. The reasoning for this is below, but the upshot is it's in your own best interests if you know you plan to be negotiating with someone, to get that finished first before submitting orders.

The reason for this is, whereas commanders are obligated to send me their orders within 24 hours, the OP is not obligated to wait 24 hours to process a turn. In an effort to keep the game moving, play will proceed when orders have been received from all participating armies (and I feel like it). Therefore, commanders in the habit of submitting orders and then deciding to start negotiations afterwards may find the turn having been completed with their negotiations unfinished.

Also, please don't interpret this as a suggestion to wait until the very last minute to submit orders. The rules regarding commanders not submitting orders within 24 hours still stand, so if you do you may inadvertently see your army waffling about doing nothing for a whole turn instead.


Deposed Commanders

The commander of any army which, in the sequence of play, removes from the board the last of an opponent's armies, must then declare what is to be the fate of their fallen rival from the following four options:


1. Imprisonment: The winning commander must designate one territory under their control where the prisoner is to be held. Holding a prisoner requires that a minimum of three divisions occupy the territory where they are held in order to guard them.

Commanders being held prisoner are obligated, in their confinement, to publish their memoirs (more on memoirs below).

If at any time the number of units of any army occupying the given country is less than three, the prisoner will escape, and the potential is created for them to start a revolution (more on revolutions below). Once placed, a prisoner cannot be moved.

If an attacking army occupies the territory where a prisoner is held with three or more armies (preventing an escape by default), the commander of that army must decide the prisoners' fate the same as if they had defeated them in battle.

2. Exile: Commanders wishing to exile a prisoner must sacrifice 5 armies for their internment (either from occupied territories, the following turn's re-enforcements, or both) in which case the offending leader and his guards will be whisked away to a lonely volcanic island somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic. Exiled commanders can never be set free, and must instead busy themselves with writing their memoir. This is the most humane way to ensure a deposed leader will never pester you again.

3. Execution: In the event a victorious player lacks the resources to properly incarcerate an enemy leader by either of the above methods, or if they're just feeling vindictive, then the captive will be executed in whatever manner the winning player deems fit (i.e. 'firing squad', 'hanging', 'tied to a cannon and thrown into the sea').

Execution costs nothing, and is a good way to ensure enemy combatants never bother you again. Public opinion, however, may swing dramatically against you, leading to an unwillingness of noncombatants in the thread to second motions to award you medals and a future of being called numerous very mean names.

Execution also, naturally, deprives us all of being able to enjoy the fallen general's memoir

4. Release: A victorious commander may opt to release their captive, in which case they automatically become a fugitive and will begin rolling for revolution at the beginning of the subsequent turn.


Revolutions

Commanders escaping from prison have the opportunity, however slight, to lead a popular revolt and once again seize power. At the end of each turn, two die will be rolled for each escaped prisoner. If the total value of the two die is equal to 7, the prisoner becomes a revolutionary. Revolutionaries will be contacted privately by the OP in the event they successfully mount a revolution.

In a revolution, a commander chooses a territory on the board in which to lead a popular revolt. The chosen area must, at the time of it its selection, have no more than three armies present within it. If no such territory exists on the entire map, the revolution automatically fails.

All enemy forces in the selected territory are removed, and their numbers added to their respective commander's re-enforcements for the next turn. In their place the revolutionary leader will be given a force equivalent to the current exchange rate for a full set of 3 Risk cards.

The once-deposed commander may then issue orders as normal.


Memoirs

Commanders held in prison or in exile are obligated to publish within the thread their collected memoirs. Memoirs should reflect on their author's history and rise to power, as well as a behind-the-scenes turn by turn account of the strategy behind their military maneuvers. Rumination on the reasons for their eventual defeat are also encouraged.


Sticky Wickets

These are just a few points that have required clarification from commanders in the past.

Attacking - A commander cannot attack from more than one country at the same time. Attacks occur from one country to one country, in sequence.

Victory - rescinded

Re-deployment - Redeployment at the end of your turn can only be used to move forces from one of a commander's territories to one adjacent territory. One cannot move forces from two or more countries into one key territory at the same time, nor divide excess forces within a territory and send them to different destinations. It is also not possible to redeploy armies more than one territory away in a single turn, such as from Central America directly to Iceland.

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