Dragon Dice Risk

There's only one sure-fire way to spot a hardcore gamer and that's to ask him about his variant games. One of our favorites is a combination of Dragon Dice and Risk. The game is played on a Risk board, but instead of using six-siders and tokens, we use dragon dice armies. The complete details are explained below.

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A bit of advice

In our play, we've found that it's often easier to play the game using a second set of Risk cards. We have each player take a Risk color to mark his territories, then place his actual army on the card for the territory. This is usually easier than trying to fit all your dice into some of the smaller territories.

Beginning the game

Each player starts the game with a number of units, dragons, terrain dice and minor terrain dice shown below:

Players is the number of players in the game
Minimum Units is the number of dice which must be used; this is to prevent using a few very powerful dice
Maximum Health is the total number of Health worth of Dice which can be used. Initial Health is the number of Health placed during the setup phase.
Dragons is the number of Dragons which can be used; they do not count against the minimum dice or the maximum health.
Terrain is the number of Terrain dice the player should bring, note that some of them may not actually be used.
Minor Terrains is the number of those dice which may be used.

We generally allow dragonkin using the normal rules for figuring Health. Like Dragons, they don't count against your maximum health or minimum units.

Players Minimum
Dragons Terrain Minor
2 50 100 40 3 4 2
3 50 90 35 2 3 2
4 45 90 30 2 2 3
5 45 80 25 1 2 3
6 45 80 20 1 2 4

Selecting Terrain:

All terrain dice are noted (so they can be returned to the proper owners) then placed in a bag or box top and drawn randomly. One terrain die is placed on each continent. Unused dice are returned to their owners.

Initial placement:

Initial placement of units is accomplished by placing a single Risk piece on countries in turn. Following that, one army is put on each space. Lastly, the remaining units are placed on the board 2 health (or 1 unit) at a time until no player has any initial forces left. No player may put into place more than the initial points allowed; any leftover points are lost (ie, you're allowed 25 and have 24 out but no 1 health units left; you can not place another army). Alternately, you could start with the random method, dealing cards one at a time to each player until all of them are placed.

The turn sequence

  1. Add Reinforcements
  2. Dragon attacks
  3. First March
  4. Second March
  5. Free Move
  6. Firewalker movement ability
  7. Reserves come in
  8. Reserves go out


A pool is a group of dice which are not actually in play and on the board. Players have the following "pools" of dice:

Other Rules

  1. Recruiting - each player adds a number of health of units equal to number of units he would receive using the standard Risk rules: 1 for every 3 countries controlled plus any continent bonus. Any player who controls a continent with a terrain die showing the eight face may place 3 additional health in that continent and that continent only. If a player has no units or not the right combination of units in his recruiting pool, he can not place units.
  2. Marches - each player may take two marches per turn subject to the following rules:
  3. A player may take only one march in each continent or in his reserves;<
    • Armies are still restricted by the face shown on their terrain (or minor terrain) die;
    • All armies in a continent may work together against any units also at that continent;
    • Units attacking a territory in another continent must all share a border with the territory being attacked;
    • Armies may continue to melee as long as they kill at least one enemy unit; missile attacks may not continue unless an opposing territory is depopulated.
    • A player may never completely empty a territory as a result of moving, reserves, or attacking.
    • In the event an enemy territory is completely depopulated, the attacker must move at least 1 health worth of armies from the attacking forces into the opposing territory. If you have only one die in a territory, you may not attack.
    • An army which successfully depopulates a territory may attack other armies after moving into the depopulated area -- only units moving into the depopulated area may continue to attack in this fashion.
    • Magic cast by an army in play may affect any army in play or the reserves. Magic cast by a reserve army may affect only the players own armies. Some spells may effect the dead pool.
    • Any dead units are placed in the dead pool.
  4. Reserves - any unit currently in reserves may join the armies in any territory currently controlled by their owner.
  5. Cards - any player who has taken at least one territory may take a card. Cards work as normal in the Risk game.-gb
  6. Dragons - dragons may be summoned to any territory and will attack armies in that territory exclusively. Any army which attempts a melee or charge into that terrritory must first endure an attack by the dragon.
  7. Free Move - allows armies from one territory to move into first one and then another. If moving multiple armies, the player can choose not to have all his armies take the second move (so he could move 10 armies from territory A to territory B and then move 5 of those to territory C, thus leaving five behind in territory B.
  8. Unoccupied territories, or territories occupied only by a dragon do not count as belonging to anyone for purposes of controlling a continent or for recruiting purposes.
  9. The tower allows units to shoot into any territory bordering their continent.
  10. No player may turn a die to the eighth face without controlling the entire continent; loss of control of the continent means the die turns back to face 7.


We've playtested these about a dozen times or so and have revised them to close most of the worst loopholes. We'd be interested in hearing how well they worked for you and what changes you'd suggest.

Playtesting and Design by: Steve Donohue, Joe Hellar, Tim Hunt, Lou Pezet, Tom Ray and Mike Stevens.

Dragon Dice and Risk are both trademarks and no challenge to either is intended by these rules or the use of the names.

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