The Thirty-Six Stratagems

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Thirty-Six Stratagems

The Thirty-Six Stratagems are the intelligence passed on through generations from the ancestors of China. These are the treasures of history, these are the gold from human minds. All these could be both used in the Risk game we all love, and for life. We hope you would be inspired by the ancient wisdom, and in turn will establish a great sequence of strategies of your own.

Crossing of the Sea without the Emperor Knowing

This means a person can create an illusion so great, that he can even carry the King across the ocean safely without the King himself knowing it. Be subtle, and hide everything you can. Do not attract attention to yourself (ie. holding a lot of commands or having a huge army somewhere). Be deceptive whenever possible.

Surround One to Save Another

Your teammate or ally is under attack by another player, and you know that army is too strong to be beaten front on. That's why this stratagem would help. If you then attacked the main command of that other player, he would need to cease his attack on you ally and save his territories. Using this, you have avoided the main army of the enemy, attacked the weak points of the enemy, while at the same time also saving your ally. If you can execute this perfectly, the road to victory will be easy from then onwards.

Borrowing a Knife for a Murder

It is so obvious that this means borrowing another man's blade and effort to strike down your enemy, and be able to know that you took your revenge. Sometimes when your own force is not enough, or when you don't want to waste your power to take out an enemy, you can use another man to do the job. Using your own will to fight against your rival is the one of the worst strategies - the best way to do it is to borrow another man's hand.

Rest instead of Being Restless

Hold your fire, and save up your troops, wait till your enemy is tired and weak, then go to the offensive. In this stratagem, you should be the initiative side of Risk game, waiting for, and be ready for, the enemy to arrive. If the enemy is restless, and you attack, the result could be multiplied and the effort could be halved. If this stratagem is mastered, then you could win with a weaker army against a stronger one, and the less numerous against the more numerous. But you must know all about the enemy (troop count and regions etc) before making the decision. This doesn't mean you should sit there and wait for a good chance to fall from heaven, but to pinpoint the situation, choose a good time, then prepare and wait for the enemy to come.

Rob while on Fire

"Rob while things are on fire" is a metaphoric term for attacking a player while they are in trouble in order to gain an advantage. When someone is under attack by another person, and is weakened, it is best for you to eliminate him from your battle equation if you can finish him off. This will take you far if you can feed the flame and take the treasure at the exact time.

Sound from the East, Attack from the West

This is a stratagem based on surprise and confusion for the purpose of setting up an easy win. You would created an illusion that you are going to invade from the East, but had already prepared your troops to attack from the West. Make your enemy fall into the trap of moving his main troop target and attention, and devastate their weakened point. This way, you can effortlessly defeat your enemy.

Anything from Nothing

Producing something from nothing could be hard, though potential threats could be created from below your fingers. Just send a message to another player on a Risk game, and tell them about a threat that is logical and probable (even if it is not a real threat) - which might actually lure them into joining you on your quest in eliminating another player. Be persuasive, and logical. Remember it is the slight hint of reality that makes things feel real.

Smuggle through to Chen Chuang

The workings of this stratagem revolves around attention. You must attract the opponent's attention at your outer workings, either it be big or small, so that you can smuggle your attack and devastate him in a surprise assault. Make your main army be the least attractive and transfer the enemies' attention to something smaller so that your main army could attack without worries through non-reinforced regions, and through that you can kill your enemy from behind!

Watch the Fire on the Opposite Shore

When fire is ripping through a house, would you run into it? EXACTLY! YOU WON'T! So do not run into a heated fight between two players when they are beating the crap (excuse my wording) out of each other. Watch the fire, let it burn, and let the magic happen. In these head to head fights, there are always two losers, as the one who watches on from the opposite shore finishes them both off. Stay out of it, wait till the right time, then put them both into the same grave.

Knife within a Smile

Treachery is all around in a war. Backstabbing, betrayals are something that all people would do when trying to win. Try being a little nicer - and the smile comes... then put out the knife, and put an end to your enemy. Be deliberately nice to a player, to lower their hostility against you, and kill them when you have the chance. Remember, this is not the parliament or the congress, this is the battlefield filled with deception. Be ware as well, to the ones who do the same to you.

Die for Another

At a time when there is really no more option, you might want to sacrifice yourself for the good of the team. This is a stratagem in a difficult time when you are losing. Saving a whole Risk game by letting someone on your team to eliminate you from a game and get the reserves, is a stratagem in a dead end.

Go with the flow & draw the lamb with ease

If there is something that you can take with ease, go with that. This Risk game is about efficiency. The best players of the game need to be able to use the least amount of troops to deal maximum damage and achieve an advantage. Follow what is happening, look for easy paths. The least effort you give and you still get the job done, then it would be a bigger win than one that requires more effort.

Scaring the Snake by Beating the Grass

Ever feel that you are threatened because of somebody's move? This stratagem is exactly what that somebody had used. Deliberately do something to make your enemy react in a particular way, and making them carry out whatever you wish them to do. For example, put a stack of troops on a border, and suggest a border lock down. They would be threatened by the stack of troops and in turn forced to agree. It is like Do it or die!

Borrow Someone's Body and Come Back to Life

You are half killed, and there was no turning back on where you were. Sit and wait until death comes upon you? NO! Try taking over something else that's not heavily fortified and spring yourself back to life with a whole new face. Take over some other command if you are exiled from your home base, and try to rebuild again to dominate the world. You might get back into the Risk game, and even win it.

Luring the Tiger out from the Mountains

When the tiger comes out from the mountain, it would almost certainly be lost and weak without its home ground advantage. Lure your enemy out from his home ground and weaken him. From gaining that geographical advantage, you maybe able to kill him easily as he is weak in your territory; and you may also attack into his home ground easily, as the strong army had already came to your side of the border. Trap your enemy by luring then attacking them in your territory, and also by taking over their home base - they would be in a dilemma then, and they would be very vulnerable.

Wanting to Catch, yet Releasing

If you want to catch something, you would think of running after it. But if there weren't anyway at all that you can catch it, there is really no point. You should look like you are releasing them and giving up on catching them, wait till their defense are lowered and they aren't running as fast anymore, then you could finish them off for good. The least conspicuous you can be, the better this will work. It is the psychological side of the enemy you are trying to fool.

Throwing the Brick Out and Attracting the Jade

A brick, compared to a piece of jade, is almost invaluable. But if you can trade a brick for a piece of jade, it is a bargain. This stratagem emphasizes on the sacrifice on a small thing in order to gain and achieve better things. Someone might want to attack a small command that's yours. You let them take it, but then take over their command which is bigger and gives you a higher bonus.

Catch the Leader when Catching a Gang

If you want to win against the enemy, you must catch the enemy's leader. You must also hold the main point of a particular goal, and from that side points - only then would you be able to get something done quickly and effectively. In military terms, the General is the spirit of the army, who is in charge and decides of the army's backward and forward movement, the offensive and the defensive. If you take that man from the army, all would be lost. It is also a good idea to take someone's heart and make them lose their concentration, and, in turn, the Risk game.