Tuesday, March 24, 2009

And the winner is...

My past couple weeks have been filled with birthday shenanigans, the never-ending punishment of school work and the drudgery of "life in the real world" career malarky, and perhaps even a pinch of laziness. As such, I have finally updated my #1 game of EVER, which many of you have surmised to be the great and glorious RISK.

Why do I love RISK?

Because the chemical reactions occuring within the organic matter that is my body tells me so. But in all seriousness, it abounds with strategy, but also elegant simplicity. No game ends the same! (correction: if you finish it, it does).

I have some good memories sitting around this game and trying to conquer the world back in the day with some friends in high school. Somehow though, it always seemed that no matter how we placed our armies, my good friend Andrew Douglas and I would try to annihalate each other within the first few turns and bemoan our pitiful armies as any number of another one of our friends would swoop in and destroy us all.

Popular RISK strategies:
  1. The "Australian Empire" Strategy - I could go into laborious detail about how such a real world strategy would not work, but I digress. There always seems to be heavy fighting to capture the so-called "crown jewels" of the board: Australia. By holding this continent, you gain bonus armies, albeit smaller than the others, but there is only one border to protect. Typically there involves some early conflict in the game to see who can hold this one.
  2. The "I can't get Australia so I'll go for the next continent with less borders" Strategy - Typically adopted by myself, a player will go for South America then either Africa or North America and attempt to fortify the continent to collect bonus armies.
  3. The "I've never played before and have gone for Asia" Strategy - A rookie mistake. Sure, you get seven extra armies, but who can hold Asia?
  4. The "My armies are decimated so I'm moving my two dudes so far away you'll never catch me" Strategy - The last game I played this worked for me. I was able to make people feel sorry enough for me and not worry that by the time I turned in I managed to win the game.
  5. The "I don't care if we both die, this is a principle thing, cause I don't like the way you play this game" Strategy - Typically involved in going after Australia, or when some friend of yours places their armies right beside yours at the beginning of the game.
Any more I missed?

RISK in popular culture:

Eddie Izzard - perhaps WWII would have been different...

LOST - excellent commentary on one of the foundational strategies

Seinfeld - why you shouldn't bother with trying to take Europe

Variants of RISK:

RISK 2210
- Attack from the moon!

Lord Of The Rings RISK
- The greatest story ever told combined with the greatest game ever made = a slightly ok game. Where did Mordor go!?!?!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I do believe that the greatest story / boardgame combination would have to be a Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo version of Fireball Island.

  3. I KNEW IT! I KNEW IT WAS RISK! At first I thought it was pop-o-matic Trouble, but then I thought no no... MUST be Risk.

    I would like to point out that there are also other 'variants' to this board game that should be added: Transformers Risk and Risk:Godstorm... look 'em up online. They are full of Risky goodness.

  4. Well, clearly LOTR would win against all other risks.

  5. Oh, big friggin' surprise! It was RISK! I was holding out for Sorry.

  6. LOTR risk was a letdown.. apparently the european version had Mordor... AND cool oliphants as the "10 army" unit..

    I obviously had too much time on my hands

  7. I was at a friend's house today and he had STAR WARS RISK!