My game group played some Risk tonight. We used the Mission cards that give each player a secret goal, rather than each fighting for full control of the world. Fighting for total domination can take many hours to complete, especially with 3 or 4 players.
In one game, I got the Mission card to control North America and Australia. At game set up, I randomly started with two of the four territories in Australia, and four of the nine territories in North America. In setting out my extra armies, I put everything in NA and Oz, leaving everything else pretty defenseless. Surprisingly, neither of the other two players intended to contest NA. They both stocked their armies in South America, Europe, Africa, and Australia. Asia was left pretty open by all of us.
I won the die roll to take my turn first. I had to work a bit to take Australia from one player who wanted it for himself, but I got it all and moved into Siam. I then started work on North America. The single defenders in each NA territory put up a lucky fight, causing me to use up almost all of my attacking armies, but I eventually captured every territory in NA. I then ended my turn.
I had captured a total of nine territories in my opening move, taking both North America and Australia. I had a solid hold on Oz, with a strong force in Siam. But North America was only held by one army in each territory. There was no way I was going to hold it for even one round, what with enemy armies in Iceland and Venezuela. I took my Risk card for completing my turn, and the next player started counting his territories to determine how many armies he could place.
Then I remembered my Mission card. “Hey, I just won!” I showed my Mission card to the other players.
That was the quickest game of Risk I have ever witnessed, much less won. Victory in the first round, first turn. It had been 15 minutes from the end of the last game to the end of this game.
It was great. But it was also a Hail Mary play, because had the game gone for even one more player turn, I wouldn’t have had anything but Australia to show for my effort. I lost the other two games of Risk we played tonight, but I won the Hell out of that one.