According to Wikipedia, Risk is a strategy board game of diplomacy, conflict, and conquest for 2 to 6 players. The standard version is played on a board depicting a political map of the Earth, divided into 42 territories (let’s call these “American Territories To-be”), which are grouped into 6 continents. Turn rotates among players who control armies of playing pieces with which (EXCELLENT grammar, Wikipedia) they attempt to capture territories from other players, with results determined by dice rolls (concept originated in North America following African expansion into U.S. territories). Players may (and do) form and dissolve alliances during the course of the game. The goal of the game is to occupy (and Americanize/Reaganize) every territory on the board and in doing so, eliminate the other players.
Let me hit you with the Song of the Day so you can follow along as I walk you through the game of Risk and how to bring democracy and civilized culture to the far corners of the world. Today’s song of the day is Primo Victoria by Sabaton. I recommend you watch at least parts of the music video once prior to continuing on. So sit down, buckle up, and prepare to deliver liberty and justice on the back of Hellfire missiles to all.
Let me begin with the admission that I’ve never been a huge fan of Risk – as my reader(s yet?) knows, my attention span is microscopically short. It’s what makes me such a pain in the ass to sit next to in quarterly board meetings. If you ever get the chance, don’t sit next to me. I’ve played the game maybe twice in my life, 12-14 years ago. However, when a friend (and often thinly-veiled Risk ally) mentioned that Risk was available on Xbox back in January, I jumped on it like Trump on a ham wallet. So, I gave the game another shot. And HOLY FUCK was it fun. Since then, I’ve played about 10 games of Risk and as I sit hunched over my computer before you today, I’ve CONQUERED 8 of those games. How do I do it? This may be a long post, so without giving you a Bush-style timeline, let’s find out:
- The game begins with the daft people of Microsoft (see: Windows 8, Halo MCC roll-out, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Bill Gates’ haircut) auto-selecting territories. Also, set the game so you can move your armies across all contiguous territories, not just one territory at a time. Germany conquered Poland in 3 days; that was 70 years ago. We’re America in 2017, Mexico could be New-New Mexico by the end of Cinco De Mayo, tomorrow. Your forces will be scattered throughout the map. That’s fine. Within the first few roles, the computer (or online competitor) will inevitably go for Australia. Let them have it, they can sit there sucking on their two points all day long. We don’t care.
- Upon your first role and turn, IMMEDIATELY START MOVING TROOPS TO NORTH AMERICA. North America has INCREDIBLE natural boundaries – only 3 points of contact and it’s worth 5 points. It’ll take you many, many turns to take North America so form an alliance with someone in Europe and South America and let it be CRYSTAL FUCKING CLEAR that North America is yours and you’re not afraid to use the nuclear option on anyone who gets in your way. Let one, or preferably two individuals take South America so they can fight among each other and deplete their resources. South America is good at that. If you can covertly plant the seeds of hyperinflation in South America, that’s good too. Continue taking one territory on each turn to build up cards. Obviously, focus on territories where you have a 3 vs. 1 option. Look at that, math is relevant again.
- Take North America. By all means necessary, for the love of Reagan, take North America. You’re now getting 5 points each turn. Europe is worth 5, but it’s borders are impossible to defend. Asia is worth 7 points but you wun into the same issue, it’s too difficult to defend and the guy sitting in Australia will constantly be in your ass taking a territory with each turn.
- Congratulations! You’ve taken North America and are now the most powerful force on the map. But there’s no time for dilly dally. IMMEDIATELY institute the Monroe Doctrine. According to Wikipedia, “The Monroe Doctrine was a U.S. policy of opposing European colonialism in the Americas beginning in 1823. It stated that further efforts by European (or global, in our case) nations to take control of any independent state in North or South America would be viewed as ‘the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.'” That’s fair, but COMPLETELY disregard the second part of the doctrine: “At the same time, the doctrine noted that the U.S. would recognize and not interfere with existing European colonies nor meddle in the internal concerns of European countries.” This part does not apply to you because A) you’re North America and B) you said this does not apply to you.
- You’ve got North America tied down. Wait a couple of turns (consider throwing down your cards) and communicate to your ally in South America (or to the two duking it out down there) that South America is now formally annexed property and it’s time for them to flee to Africa. Then? CRY HAVOC AND LET SLIP THE DOGS OF WAR. Within the cozy of confines of your previously announced (read: implemented) Monroe Doctrine, send every infantryman, cavalry, tank, drone, blackhawk, F-22, X-35, destroyer, nuclear sub, aircraft carrier, and B-2 bomber into South America. Straight through the belly of the beast. While maintaining units in Eastern Russia (not Alaska, but blocking Alaska) and Iceland, park your forces in Brazil along the border with Africa. You’re now earning 7 points a turn with only 3 touch points, and access to multiple territories such that you can now take a single territory with each turn, earning another card.
- Tell everyone on the map that you’re pragmatic and happy to make deals. Make a deal with Africa. Then after a few turns, decide that you don’t make deals, throw down your cards, and enter Africa with the force of a 1,000 hydrogen bombs. You’re now heavily exposed to Europe and Asia but by this time, other players will have been weakened from within morally, spiritually, and economically. The timing of this final push is extremely important. Hopefully you’ve killed off ~2 players through these campaigns and have taken their cards prior to them throwing down. Throw down your cards again, and take Europe. Marching to Australia spreads you too thin unless you’re closing in from both Eastern Russia and Africa. From there, to paraphrase Cosmo Kramer, this table is yours.
And that’s it! There’s 2-3 hours definitely not wasted. You’ve conquered the world and brought American values/food to the far reaches. Bring with you this image so people understand what we’re all about:
Speaking of wasted time, I’ve been sitting in a restaurant eating Freedom Fries while the mechanics are working on my car next door. Needed a new Control Arm and Ball Joint on my ride. Expensive fix, but I go home with a new appreciation for arm jobs and BJs. Currently sitting across from a cute couple and their larger friend. Always frustrating when you see a couple out having fun but stuck hanging out with a third tire.
Finally, came across the following water towers which reminded me of Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) in Naked Gun.
One final thought: rather than the electoral process in the U.S., why don’t we simply let our politicians play Risk to determine the most eligible candidate to run our country? Reagan be with you.