I purchased this book with high expectations because of a website the author had put up on [...] which did a great job of explaining basic, advanced and diplomatic tactics and strategies to playing the classic game of Risk. Since he released this incredible book which met my high expectations, his website has been updated and expanded and provides considerable resources and examples to learn from with great graphics in an easy-to-read and easy-to-learn style.
Ehsan Honary's book captures the art of playing Risk, much like a complete text on the subject. It is authoritative, intelligent, detailed and well thought out. It begins with basic tactics and strategies that a beginning player needs to understand and also serves as a review for advanced players. The rest of the book is devoted to diplomacy and game psychology as Risk is a game that is difficult to win unless you understand these important aspects of the game. Even if your "house style" as the author puts it, does not allow for alliances, knowing the diplomatic aspects of the game can greatly enhance your chances to win the game. Knowing when to attack and when to become powerful can have a great impact on game play as those that appear the most powerful early on often becomes the target of attacks. Knowing when to pull the trigger can be vital and this book gives you the secrets you need to understand these dynamics.
Risk is a game that has needed a book devoted to the game and its strategies and nuances, and Ehsan Honary has done so in grand style. The book comes complete with myriad examples for you to learn from and allows the reader access to the skills and mind-set required for a successful experience. The examples are easy to read and understand so they are accessible to every one and does not require cryptic notation like Chess or Diplomacy. Monopoly has many books on how to play the game, finally one has come out for Risk, this book does the game justice and hopefully the author will continue to put out quality books of this type.
The book also matches particular strategies to quotes and lessons from history and it also provides real-life uses beyond the game of Risk as well. This manual has many practical implications as well as enhancing your gaming experience. Even beginners can use these strategies and tactics right away and improve their game.
The only point that I would add to the book other than making it color (which would raise the price of the book, but it would be cool) is that it does not include strategies for other variations of Risk. There are many popular house rules and variations as well as new versions released, especially 2210 AD which is now very popular. If the author were to write another book, it certainly must contain strategies for these newer games, especially 2210 AD since these games require a strategy all their own which adds to the fun of Risk. Risk 2210 AD is a game that has many different options and strategies, that a book or at least several chapters of a book would be invaluable.
One of my favorite games, Clone Wars Risk, has shown me that there are many ways to play the great game Risk, and these specific scenarios that come with these new versions adds much excitement to the game. I have often read the Clone Wars isn't a good game because the Order 66 rule greatly favors one side, but since I have played that game on many occasions, I can tell you that there is a way for both sides to win and a very definite strategy to accomplishing your goals. Knowing these strategies can revive a game like Clone Wars and equip you with the skills necessary to be a winner.
Even though these newer games are not included, you can certainly use many of the strategies and tactics described in Honary's book, with adaptations of course.
If you play Risk, any version of Risk, pick up this book, it is a must read. If you like games, strategy or you just want something to read, pick up this book. This book is so helpful and fun to read, every Risk fan should not be without it. For me, it is my Bible when it comes to the game of Risk.