If Risk has always seemed a little old fashioned for you, why not drag it into this century with…
The Nuclear ICBM option
We just recently added this one after I read about it on the internet. At the start of your turn, as your attacking a territory, if you roll all three attack dice (you must roll all three), and you roll triples, that is three 1s, three 4’s, etc, you just won a nuclear missile! Your attack on the territory is suspended and you get to pick anyone elses territory and send an ICBM their way! The territory you selected is nuked and up to 10 soldiers on that territory are instantly eliminated. But wait! The territory you selected also gets a chance to defend against the nuclear strike with a Star Wars type defense. If they can roll doubles on one try, they have successfully shot down your ICBMs and nothing happens. You resume your attack on the original territory and they get to live to fight another day. If they don’t roll doubles, the remove 10 soldiers, or all soldiers if there are less than 10, and the territory is marked with a token (usually a dime or button) as a nuclear wasteland. The territory is considered “hot” for one hand, that is until play returns back to the player who fired the ICBM.
At that point, the territory is neutral and anyone may move their army their to occupy it. A nuked territory, while not occupied, will not be counted as having lost control of a continent. Once it is occupied by a foreign army though, you will no longer receive the continent bonus when drafting troops. Neighboring armies may still attack across nuked territories, but at great cost. If you want to attack a territory behind a nuked one, you will lose half your army (rounded down) immediately. Say you have 9 soldiers in a territory and you want to attack across a wasteland, you could take 8 soldiers (leaving one to defend of course), but you would only arrive to fight with 4!
The odds of rolling triples is pretty low. I’ve played games where only one ICBM was fired and I’ve played in games where there were 4 nuclear strikes! This option is probably one the best to help speed up a game and is quite exciting as it can dramatically alter the balance of power in a game.