• James Clarke

Play at your own RISK!

As a kid, we’d play the occasional game of Risk. Dice, attacking, conquering, and fun it was. At that time, the multitude of different Risk versions hadn’t been invented. We had Risk and then later Castle Risk. I enjoyed playing with my brothers and friends.

And then it all came crashing down around me. I began a game at a friends house with new people. Risk was the same game no matter where you play it, I had thought, but I was so wrong. After assigning territory, the first player dumped every single army on a single territory. The next player did the same, his huge army spilling over into the neighboring territories. The third player found his spot and did the same.

I was certain that spreading my forces around was a bad idea in this new game I had gotten myself into, so I chose a location and dumped my forces onto it. The game played out with the first player’s armies blazing a bath of destruction, soaking up territories with very few losses. The next player would do the same. By the time it was my turn, I had very very few territories left, and found my position weak. I took a small continent and tried my best to defend it, but was already at a huge disadvantage.

The game proceeded with the three players with the strongest position picking off the players with the weakest, which included me. Worst of all, those three players decided to quit at that point without finishing the game.

I thought it must have been a fluke. No one would play that same game again. But I was so wrong. Another day, I joined again, and cringed when the game began the same way, and was highly frustrated when it ended the same way, with the same three people picking off the others and then quitting the game.

Risk was ruined. Never will I play again!

After a while of refusing to play Risk, I discovered a few little variant rules in the rule book. The first, no single territory can have more than 12 units. Salvation! The second rule changed the reinforcements from an exponential method to one that only increase by 2 every time the cards were turned in. Both of these changes saved the game for me.

And you know what? Risk was a pretty good game again. Not great, but pretty good.

I still refuse to play Risk without those two rules enforced.

#BoardGames #Risk

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