Saturday, April 11, 2015


I have often said, if you have not played RISK by the time you are 19, don't. When total domination is the name of the game, it is bound to get a little personal. It is a steel cage match and only one can rule them all.

As a kid you play with wonder. It is fun. Alliances and economics are not as much a factor in your decisions. As an adult, betrayal creates problems. Many a game can end when one player just blow-up at a close friend because they neglected to keep their promises. Hence the label, back-stabbing Mother F%^ER!

My attraction to board games began at an early age because growing up I appreciated any socially acceptable excuse to play with toys and games.

Competition is a vital component of most games. Skullduggery, not cheating is an integral part of the game play.  Few games create the intense rivalry and risk of ruining friendships and creating bitterness as RISK, Monopoly, Settlers and Diplomacy.

All of these games offer lots of shouting, doubt, alliances and back stabbing. In Risk there is no ambiguity - you take control of an army and you connive and crush your fellow players on your way to world domination.  The only victory condition possible is total elimination.

Enter Settlers of Catan, which is not RISK, but is one of the best strategic games of all time.  Settlers is not total domination, there has to be some give and take - players have to trade to get ahead. Cooperation is needed - to a point. Like Risk there is an element of surprise in the use of cards and dice. Both require an immense amount of planning, wit, and charm. You have to strategize which locations would be the most ideal places to conquer/occupy/exploit.

Every game you play will always be different, as you will have to think of different strategies to use based off what other players are doing and how you are positioned. Personalities matter. Normally, I am the victim of a gang-up.

 Do rr die posted a great video regarding the nuances of learning the strategies, rules and ebb and flow of Settlers without loosing your faith in humanity.

1 comment:

Jay L said...

Someone famous once said, "It's not called 'FRIENDS of Cataan!"