What is the smallest RISK/war game board available?
August 27, 2019 7:43 PM   Subscribe

I wanted to put a little chessboard on my desk, or on my dresser, or next to my bed. Then I realized -- chess is boring! I'm much more interested in a war game like RISK or Stratego. The boards for those games are pretty big, I don't see a travel version (of RISK anyyway). Does anyone know of the smallest strategy board game out there, that I could play by myself? Or am I going to be stuck with a tiny travel chessboard, which I know does exist? Thanks for your help.
posted by Flying Saucer to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
This is where you fall in love with Backgammon, my friend
posted by prize bull octorok at 7:55 PM on August 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

also pente was originally packaged (later for just such adventures. it used a rollable fabric board. looks to be available on ebay. this might help your search.

(later editions are not rollable)
posted by lescour at 8:03 PM on August 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

If you are open to an app for a tablet, it looks like the Risk app has a good rating and a single player mode.

(I have not played it; I just thought of it because I have Pandemic on my tablet, and it also has a serious map.)
posted by ktkt at 8:54 PM on August 27, 2019

Best answer: Try adding "magnetic" to your search. Pocket games are often magnetic for travelers.
I found this, haven't played it, ymmv: RisiKo!
posted by rouftop at 9:21 PM on August 27, 2019 [3 favorites]

There are plenty of small solo board games, including war games. These tend to use chits and small cards, though, rather than pieces per se; it's not clear to me whether you're actually looking for something to play, something to look good, or both.

If it's just to play, consider starting with something simpler like Decision Games' Mini Series (here's a link to Lawrence of Arabia: The Arab Revolt 1917-18). This would play well in bed on a tea tray (there are plenty of ideas online for hacking something from IKEA). If you're interested in more, google 'postcard wargames' for games that fit on...well, you get it, or have a flick through these.

You could also consider print and play solo games like the excellent Utopia Engine. A couple of pieces of paper (laminated, if you like), a couple of dice (or a dice app), something to write with and off you go. Be warned - solo PnP is a very deep rabbit hole.

Tiny Epic Galaxies is great fun, takes up almost no space (and will soon take up even less), and can be played solo. For similar things (ie, published games that come in a box but don't take up much space and can be played solo), see here.

Finally, travel editions of Stratego are a thing, but may be hard to find.
posted by some little punk in a rocket at 9:33 PM on August 27, 2019 [5 favorites]

Best answer: World War 5 is a board game which enploys a small (18 x 24 cm), Risk-y world map.
posted by Rash at 9:48 PM on August 27, 2019

What came to mind for me was Hellas, an old 2-player war game from Kosmos / Rio Grande. It definitely has a Risk vibe, and you can see it here fitting on a hospital bed tray, though the board can grow a bit larger. It's out of print, but I see one 'collectible' copy on Amazon.

It's not a solo game though--just a territorial war game a little more plausible for 1 player than Stratego. You might ask on the 1 Player Guild forum for more options. I see a thread where they mention Neanderthal, Limes, Rune, and Crypt as good, small solo games. Incidentally, I agree with some little punk in a rocket that Tiny Epic Galaxies is a great game, though I've only tried it multiplayer.
posted by Wobbuffet at 10:14 PM on August 27, 2019

Best answer: SubQuark does games that fit in altoid tins, Mint Tin Pirates is a favorite in our house. It "feels" a bit like a high speed very tiny version of Risk to me (or maybe just like the dice fight part), but it's a card game, not board. BUT there are lots of crafty people putting board games in altoid tins DIY, you might flip through Pinterest and see what people have done with teeny wargames in tins.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:11 PM on August 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

Steve Jackson games OGRE has a small, compact version for just a couple of dollars.
posted by Canageek at 11:53 AM on August 28, 2019

Response by poster: rouftop, that Risiko game looks perfect! Too bad it seems not to be sold anywhere but Italy, and the one online store that has it doesn't want to ship to the United States.

Canageek -- I remember those old Steve Jackson games, like OGRE and GEV. That takes me back!

Thanks, all for a lot of great ideas.
posted by Flying Saucer at 6:24 PM on August 28, 2019

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