Nuclear Risk

For a few months on my mission I got really into playing Risk. We’d often spend our entire preparation day trying to conquer the world. It was a blast!

I still like to play Risk a lot today (found it for $3.99 at a thrift store!), but I most often like to play what I call Nuclear Risk.

To play Nuclear Risk, all you need are the normal pieces that come with the game, and a few additional markers to put on the territories that get nuked. If you are playing with only 2 or 3 players, then you can just use the cannons from one of the colors that aren’t being used. Or you can use coins or pieces of paper or whatever is convenient.

The rules are simple: If an attacker rolls triples, then the territory at the top of the deck gets nuked. All the armies in it die, and the fallout kills half of any armies that move into it every turn (rounded up).

I really hate games that don’t have rules to cover every situation, so here is the extended version of the rules that cover every situation I’ve encountered:

  1. If an attacker rolls triples (three 1’s, three 2’s, three 3’s, etc), then you immediately draw a territory card from the deck, and nuke that territory (if you draw a wild, put the wild on the bottom and draw again). The territory card is discarded from the game. The original rolls by the attacker and defender do not count. If the attacker may choose whether to attack again or not.
  2. When a territory gets nuked, all armies are instantly killed and removed from the board. A marker is placed on the territory to indicate that it has been nuked.
  3. A player may choose to nuke a territory that he holds the territory card for (even his own territory) instead of taking his normal turn. The card is discarded, and the player does not get to place reinforcements, attack territories, or do a strategic move.
  4. Armies may only enter a nuked territory as part of a strategic move at the end of a player’s turn.
  5. Armies may only leave a nuked territory as part of a strategic move or when they conquer a territory. The player is not required to leave an army behind in the nuked territory when they conquer an adjacent territory.
  6. Players cannot attack armies that are in a nuked territory.
  7. Multiple players can have armies in a nuked territory at the same time.
  8. At the beginning of a player’s turn, before they place reinforcements, the player loses half of his armies that are in a nuked territory (rounded up). This happens every turn and for every nuked territory.
  9. Reinforcements may not be placed in a nuked territory.
  10. Nuked territories do not count when determining if a continent has been fully conquered. For example, if the yellow player has all of South America, except for Brazil because it has been nuked, then yellow still gets the reinforcement bonus for South America. Yellow still gets the bonus even if a red army is in the nuked Brazil territory, because nobody controls a nuked territory.

Anyways, give it a shot! It really adds a fun new element to the game, and discourages hording all your armies on a single territory. Some games almost no territories get nuked, some games nearly half the territories get nuked.

Also, let me know if you run into a situation I didn’t cover with the rules above.

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