This weekend was my little sister’s Birthday. Brenna, who is now 11, turned 11 this weekend. Brenna tends to annoy me, at the least. I hope and pray everyday the she doesn’t always act this way, but I’m sure my heavenly clutching will have an answer some day. If they don’t, then I may have to do something drastic.
There was ice cream cake, family, and a meal. There were presents and misspeakings (check out and family and Tony. The problem with this is that it was all over by Saturday night. Soon we were marooned on the boredom train.
Saturday night, Bryce, Tony, and my father start playing cribbage. Megan and I wanted to play, but they said “no, you’re stupid”, so we didn’t. Instead I went to the game closet. I perused the gaming items we had. There wasn’t much. Golf, puzzles, balderdash, and then I saw it.
What is Risk? Risk is the classic game of global domination. I say “classic” because that means “old” and I say game because it sucks life out of you. This is what we decided to do while they played their game.
Within minutes, Bryce and Tony were begging us to let them play. They were also begging us to teach them how to play. I found it shocking that we knew how to play but they didn’t, but I soon got over that. I would have to explain the game to them.
Saying that RISK is an easy game to explain is like saying Kurt Cobain was “down in the dumps.” The main strategy is to have more armies in one territory than your opponent. There are little formulas that you use to decide how many armies you can add in one turn. After you add, you can attack. This is where the action happens. You roll dice. The attacker has red dice and can roll a max of the number of armies on that spot minus one. The defender gets white dice and he can roll a max of the number of armies he has defending his territory. There are three red dice and two white dice.
We finally get all the rules explained and we start. A good idea, when placing armies, is to group them together. A tight, compact army is a healthy army. Megan began by taking Europe, and I began taking Asia. Bryce started taking Australia, and Tony started randomly placing armies. He soon noticed a pattern in how the rest of us placed our men.
“Are we supposed to put our guys together?”
“No, Tony. It’s a good idea to space them out like that. That way you can gather more land. You can use some of your armies as spies to infiltrate other enemy territories.”
“Ok, if you say so…”
We told him the truth immediately after we were done placing armies at which time he chose some choice expletives to launch in our direction. Too bad, Tony. I enjoy every little bit of power that I have. Army placed, the game then begins. You basically just try to take over the world, hence the subtitle.
The battles began. It all began civil enough. We began our conquests of our respective continents. None of us had all of one continent except for Bryce, who had Australia. Tony had little guys all over the place. The majority of them seemed to be in America, but there was one guy in South Africa. Don’t ask me why, but he was a quick meal for Bryce’s ebony soldiers in the surrounding areas.
As the dice rolled a mysterious thing began to happen; Bryce and Tony began winning. Bryce was making his Aussie soldiers come up to the Thai territory. At first I was able to thwart him, but I couldn’t hold him for long. A random role of the die can make your one remaining army look and feel strong and powerful. On the other hand, it can make you feel like your 5 armies are trying on women’s clothing instead of field training. The beautiful Thai empire fell to backwoods wankers from Australia.
Meanwhile, Megan was coming under fire in her South America strong hold. Tony got power hungry after America fell so fast, and decided to head south of the border. His strategy was to put all his armies on the border. This was usually a number like 20 or so against 3 or 4. With each victory, he would build up forces again, and he would go after another nation. Eventually, Megan was marooned in Europe. Tony now had two continents. Bryce was beginning a big move in Africa. Things didn’t look good.
Then Bryce and Tony fought. They both had about 15 armies. Tony was striking out from South America for Africa (yes – you can do that in RISK) and the dice rolling began. You don’t know how exciting it is to watch Bryce and Tony roll dice back and forth for 15 minutes at 1:30 in the morning. You really really don’t. This is when each player begins another battle. This is the battle for interest in the game. The thing is, if you’re not winning, then the game isn’t nearly as fun. Go figure.
I could see where this was going. I came up with a plan. I whispered my plan to Megan, and she thought that it was a good idea. I didn’t tell either of the superpowers what I was doing. Instead, next turn, I made a deal with Tony. I would give him one of my Asian properties if he would just leave the Middle East alone. He was wary. I told him that I would even take my men off the map. This way he doesn’t have to lose guys in a fight, but I need the Middle East. He reluctantly agreed.
My plan was going well.
Megan and I began making more appeasements than actual battles. Bit by bit I established a line to Australia. Then I started moving my men in. Part one of plan complete. Next phase began. Megan battles me for the Middle East place. She won, quite easily I might add, and Bryce and Tony exchanged glances.
“Here you go, hunny. I’m sorry you’re losing,” Bryce mocked in a high falsetto voice.
“Thank you sweetie-pops. You make me so happy,” mimicked Tony in a higher falsetto voice.
Then they started making out. It was horrible.
In the next move Bryce wanted to take another territory I had. One along that line. We freaked out and tried to make a deal with him. Bryce, being wary, wouldn’t take it. “I’m going to see what you guys are up to.” We battled and, fortunately, I won. He took in the board for a second. “Tony. Kitchen.” With that they got up and left.
What if they align against us? What if they try to thwart us? To deal with our grief, Megan and I placed extra armies where we already had some. Thankfully, neither Bryce nor Tony had any idea that we did that (until now). The superpowers came back. They had their own ideas.
“Alright; we’ll tell you.”
“Megan, they must know. [dramatic pause] Our intentions were not ill in nature. It’s pretty obvious that one of you two is going to win. So, we decided that we would run away to Australia, share the island, and live out our days on the beach until the winner of you two came to kill us. All we wanted was to be comfortable before the end of the world.”
They considered it. “But then you’ll just build up your armies and come back and defeat us.”
“There is no way we can have enough armies built up by then. You know that – I know that – we know that – dogs know that. Let our love live!!” He conceded. Megan and I made our way to Australia and camped out there. We were happy, for a bit. After a couple rounds of adding three armies, I was tired. Megan and I retired to the couch, to wait out the impending doom. Suddenly, Bryce stood up.
And, thus ceremonially, Tony became the ruler of the world. Too bad he had no more citizens; we all went to bed.