• James Clarke

The First Rule of Game Night

The first rule of game night happens to be to Never Trust Ryan.

So not fair.

Well, maybe a little.

OK, I probably deserve it.

I never lie (unless it’s a bluffing game), and I never cheat. I do treat every game as a negotiation game. A little suggestion here and there is beneficial to everyone, except for the person clearly winning the game. My advice is genuinely helpful, and only occasionally diverts attention away from my own position. Is that so wrong?

Also, pointing out when I’m the one in the lead just doesn’t seem very practical, but I’m as helpful as I can be.

I decided, though, that if I have that reputation, I might as well make use of it.

We had two new players that night, both excited to play a new take on an old favorite. They hadn’t yet heard the first rule of game night (it’s not actually posted anywhere). The fourth player of our game of Risk was a game night staple and the Nemesis from my last post. As we started claiming territory, and breaking continents, I speculated that each player would break the continent of the next player.

Totally makes sense, right? But the Nemesis wasn’t happy about the arrangement, and he could not convince the other players that I shouldn’t be trusted. The new guys saw the sense in my plan, which would force the Nemesis to focus his attack on me, instead of them, to complete the cycle.

In regular Risk, the Nemesis would have completed the cycle. But this wasn’t regular Risk. Risk 2210 has a little dude called the Diplomat and a little card called Cease Fire. When played, one opponent cannot attack any of your territories for the remainder of the turn. So when the Nemesis dropped his units on my doorstep and declared his intention to destroy me, I played the card.

The Nemesis was just a bit disgruntled, and rightfully so. But, he wasn’t frustrated by the game play (because it was genius). He was frustrated because I was able to sway our newbies and he could not convince them otherwise.

So my continent remained unbroken, granting me a little more energy and a few more units. The game was just beginning, but the advantage I had that second round was just enough to secure a close victory.

Have I earned the first rule of game night? Absolutely!

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