This is a simple and interactive way of utilizing nuclear weapons in the realm of the game Risk. I've borrowed ideas and text from "Nuclear Risk" as well as the optional sub-variant within "Devastation Risk". My thanks go out to the unidentified originators, and I hope you enjoy!
Note: These extrinsic rules have been sealed intact because they offer a measure of restriction designed to balance nuclear gameplay within the current Risk structure. One may be inclined to ignore or replace any number of these rules, but be he forewarned: no living man knows the chaos that will ensue!
This variant is intended for use with the regular Risk board and setup, but feel free to try it with any Risk game.
Nuclear weapons can be represented on the board by Cheerios, rice, popcorn kernels, or red army infantry (if red is not in play).
Starting on a player's 3rd turn, he may take up to half of his reinforcements (rounded down) as nuclear missiles instead of regular armies. Nukes are placed just like regular army units, but they can never be moved.
Nuclear weapons can be launched from any territory to any territory on the map. They are launched as attacks on their owner's turn. Any number of attacks per turn can be performed with nukes. The player states where the nuke is launching from and the target. Nukes eliminate 1 army apiece.
If a nuke wipes out the final army in a territory, that territory becomes a nuclear wasteland, meaning no armies may attack, occupy, or move through it for at least 2 turns. Place 2 coins in it as counters, along with an unused cavalry unit of the attacking player's color laid on its side. At the beginning of each of that player's turns, he removes 1 coin from each wasteland marked by his pieces. When all coins are gone from a wasteland, the territory is left empty. A nuclear wasteland may be nuked, but the number of coins on it never exceeds 2.
Any nuclear weapons in the territory being launched on – or in any territory adjacent by land – may be fired off to shoot down an incoming nuclear weapon. Both are removed, and no armies are eliminated. This can lead to interesting situations, as other players bordering the territory can fire off their nuclear weapons to defend their ally. If the target territory has any nukes and is down to only 1 army, the target's nuke must be used for defense.
A player may nuke himself. If a player is cornered, for example, in Australia, he can fire a nuclear weapon at his own army in Siam to make it a wasteland and temporarily block the onslaught. But the assaulting player in a territory adjacent to Siam can fire off his nuclear weapon to stop the desperate player from nuking himself!
As in normal Risk rules, in order to get continental bonuses, a player must occupy with at least 1 army all of the territories in that continent.
When a territory containing nukes is taken over by conventional army units, the attacker first moves armies into it according to the standard rules. Half of the nukes (round up) are removed. The remainder are immediately used by the defender to attack any territory on the board (including the one just taken over) in accordance with the rules given above.
If this results in the creation of a nuclear wasteland, a piece from the original attacking player is placed on the coins (as it occurred during his turn).