In a normal month, strategy board game Risk isn’t typically associated with American Football; but this is not a normal month. January 20 marks the beginning of ‘College Football Risk’, a massively online game that’s now on its third season. Various colleges in the United States form teams and fight for control of a virtual map of their home nation, with the team in control of the most area declared the winner when the season closes.
Seemingly created to keep fans busy during the football off-season, College Football Risk first kicked off on Reddit in 2018. According to a post from user u/-MrWrightt-, this is a free game for anyone to join that’s based on the original Risk. Players select a US college football team to join, and each day they can choose a territory to attack (or defend, if their team has control of it).
The more players from a team who attack a territory, the more likely that team is to gain control. Individual players can also attack with more power if they’ve played for a certain number of days. Teams who lose all their territory are eliminated, but players can choose to join another team or the ‘Chaos’ team and carry on playing.
In College Football Risk, the aim is to control the entire map, but it doesn’t look like anyone’s ever managed this. The season’s winner is usually whichever team controls the most areas. It’s not clear how long a season lasts, with previous seasons running around 50 or 60 days.
u/-MrWrightt- says in a rules explanation post, “while ‘winning’ is the ultimate goal, for most players the fun is in the memes, the banter, and the hilarious circumstances”. The dedicated College Football Risk subreddit currently has over 3,000 members.
Season three has added multiple new features, including territories in Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Additional tweaks address the balance between teams, while also adding all-or-nothing plays to help keep the game swing-y.
You can play College Football Risk on its dedicated website. There are plenty of online board games to choose from, but many of the best board games take place on a traditional tabletop.