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The Contender
Con (against)

Is South America the best continent in the game Risk?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/8/2017 Category: Games
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,718 times Debate No: 103855
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
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Round one will be acceptance to participate in the debate.
Rounds 2,3,4 are arguments/ rebuttal
Round 5 Is final conclusion and final rebuttal for me as it makes arguing fair then
I am happy to play with anyone.
Enjoy and good luck


Good evening, debater. I accept your humble challenge.
Good wishes to you, sir!
Debate Round No. 1


First of all, thanks for accepting this challenge and best of luck.

Now, first things first, it might be better if I say why other continents are not suitable sources of new income.
I'll go from largest to smallest so
North America
South America

Asia, as we know is worth seven troops every go if obtained but with its poluatrity, many players know not to give Asia away easily and will just take a territory each go to prevent extra troops.

Europe, has the most territories exposed to other continents and has many entrances and exits, maiming it hard to obtain all of Europe as all continents except South America and Australia can reach it.

North America, is hard to obtain as it is worth five so many players watch out of it and make sure no one can get it. Also three continents can invade with two routes from Greenland after invading it from Iceland.

Africa, may be a good choice but is easily invaded as well as home to the front where most players see offence, the Middle East and east Africa and the bottom of Europe. This spot on the board is where most players can see an offensive front take place as it is the centre of the board.

Australia, although out of the way and easy to obtain, is hard in late game as it is hard to punch out to anywhere as with only one entrance and exit, you are trapped. Anyone who owns south east Asia can block you off and make sure you don't get territories or any risk cards.

South America may be invadeable by North America and Africa but it is easy to go offensive and only have to defend two entrances. You can build an army and go either way in North America or Asia.
This is therefore why South America is the best continent.

This is only my staring argument. More will be said as to your argument and my rebuttal and as the debate continues.

Your move.


One of the dominant principles in the game is probability. Understanding the principles of probability that are implicit in the game is a key building block of success. There are six different combinations of numbers of dice that can be thrown by the attacker and defender. The probabilities of the outcomes of the rolls are shown below:

Defender Rolls One Die

Number of Dice Rolled by Attacker:





Defender Loses One Troop








Attacker Loses One Troop






Defender Rolls Two Dice

Number of Dice Rolled by Attacker:






Defender Loses Two Troops






Attacker Loses Two Troops






Both Lose One Troop




*- Only one troop lost

The probability problem is simple when the troop numbers are small, but the problem becomes much more difficult when the number of troops on each side becomes greater as the event tree expands and the number of possible outcomes and orders of outcomes increases exponentially. Thus, it is very difficult to explicitly predict the outcome of a scenario and it becomes necessary to implement numerical methods to quantify the probability.

One such method is the Monte Carlo simulation. A Monte Carlo simulation simulates each roll and calculates the outcome of the roll. In this case, the Monte Carlo method used factors the outcome of the roll into the troop strength and continues rolling until the troops of one side are completely depleted. Given enough simulation iterations for each starting troop strength combination, the percentage of victories for each side will approach the probabilistically expected outcome. The Monte Carlo simulation used here calculated the percentage of wins over a 100,000 battle sample set. One important thing to note is that in actual game play, the attacking player can choose to end an attack at any point during the attack, but the simulation did not break off the attack if the odds became unfavorable for the attacker. The code for the Monte Carlo simulation was implemented in MATLAB and is attached as an appendix to this paper. Once the simulation had been run for all attacking and defending troop strengths from one to thirty troops per side, the data was tabulated and turned into a “heat map” showing the probabilities graphically.

As is expected, a large number of troops attacking a much smaller defending force results in victory almost all the time, and in many cases has a statistically insignificant probability of losing. The converse is also true in that a small attacking force fighting a large defending force has a statistically insignificant probability of success. The most interesting region of the graph is the area where the armies are of relatively equal strength, as it is these battles that will swing the momentum and perhaps even the outcome of the game.


There are several points of offensive and defensive strategy that arise from the dice probabilities and from the game board:

Take Small Continents First

Australia and South America are the two smallest continents, each with four territories. Both are relatively easy to defend, as Australia only has one entry point and South America has two. South America and Australia are of critical importance at the beginning of the game because the territories are spread out evenly and the two-troop bonus for holding either of these continents is a big boost to troop strength at the beginning of the game. Additionally, both of these continents are valuable in the later stages of the game as they have entry points into North America, Africa, and Asia which can be used to attack other players and keep them from holding those continents.
Attack Conservatively

While it is clearly advantageous to control lots of territories, taking over too many territories to quickly can leave a player’s forces very spread out and vulnerable to attack. Many players fall into the trap of trying to take over a large continent like Asia or North America in just one or two turns because the interiors of the continents are typically sparsely defended. What these players fail to remember is that holding a continent does no good unless it can be held through the beginning of his or her next turn. Even with a large starting force, the attacker is bound to lose troops along the way and is forced to leave at least one troop in each territory, so the force left to defend the borders of the continent is much smaller and more vulnerable than it was at the beginning of the attack phase.
Play Defense

Playing sound defense, while not exciting, is the key to winning the game. By the middle of the game, troops tend to end up concentrated on the borders of continents. Players must

act accordingly if they wish to hold continents and maintain an advantage in the game. It is important to build up forces that can withstand attacks from several smaller armies from bordering countries and that can act as a deterrent for large attacking forces. This is especially critical in many of the countries in the middle of the board because they have many entry points from outside their continents. One example is the Middle East, which can be attacked from Ukraine, Southern Europe, Egypt, and East Africa. Without a strong presence in the Middle East, it is nearly impossible to hold Asia.

Final Words

Perhaps the best strategy for the game is to play a few times and develop a unique strategy. The game is different each time you play and each person you play will have different tendencies. Being able to account for the dynamic nature of the game and to adjust playing style to fit each game are the biggest keys to success in Risk.

Debate Round No. 2


I though this debate was going to be on what was the best continent to have in the game of risk, not the probability of dice roles and strategy to early-mid-late game.

I guess that is the sort of argument you make when all you do is look up strategies for risk and click the first option and read the whole PDF, am I right?

All of your argument copy and pasted from the first option on google? I expected better from someone of your caliber masterdrave.

Anyway, the only point that the PDF brings up is that South America and Australia are the best early game. Yes indeed they are but keep them the whole game and you have a constant source of troops. As I said before, Australia is not better though as there is not one exit and if that is blocked off, you can't get out.

Your move. And this time...make it your move, not someone else's.

Remember this voters! And follow the link and read the second half of the PDF!


Goddam it Montague_Smith, fine. You caught me. Fair cop mate. Look, it's just been a really slow week, okay? Normally I'd be right on top of this crap, destroying your livelihood in a single sentence. I'm just caught up with so many morons at the moment. I mean, just have a browse through my latest debates. I'm currently "debating" this one cunt where I have to PRETEND TO BE GOD. So obviously you couldn't really expect much when I'm here talking about bloody Risk.

Anyway look, you're right anyway. South America is the best. It's the best place for someone to start off with, and it'll lead to the most options. Either that or Africa. Australia's a slow bet.

So yeah, I know you expected more out of someone like me, a well-seasoned master, but board games aren't really an area I'm going to pay much mind to. Anyway, good luck to you. Hopefully we can meet again in the future where I can demolish a weak argument of yours.
Debate Round No. 3


I've seen some of yours and I can say I agree with you on that comment. Very weird ones aren't they?
Anyway I hope to see you again. And I like your attitude by the way. Now if you could forfiet or if the voters vote for me this can be over now.

Thank you and hope to see you again.
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Smooosh 2 years ago
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