Wednesday, January 14, 2009


My family enjoys strategy games: Risk, Settlers of Catan, etc. When I go home, we usually are able to fit in a few lively rounds. I'm not really sure why I keep participating--as long as I can remember, I have never won any of these games. Ever.

My brother-in-law, however, is the master when it comes to these battles of the mind. He's a lawyer, well educated and very smart. I can usually hold my own, though, so it's not often that I get completely embarrassed.

We played--my brother, sister, brother-in-law and I--last Tuesday night. Risk. My mission was to control the North American and African continents. From the beginning, I was poised to decimate.

I had two countries in both South America and Australia, so I loaded up the majority of my troops in those areas so I could clear both continents, securing myself four more troops each round for the decisive invasion of my targets that was to follow. The next round, I swept through Africa, only losing one soldier in six battles.

After a series of heart-stopping skirmishes on the eastern border of Africa, I held my own against my sister, who was the only person that could have stopped me from perpetrating total chaos on the rest of the map.

So there I was, in the third round of the game, controlling South America, Australia and Africa, getting ready to ransack North America. My army was about 20 strong, and I surged into the continent, laying waste to everyone in my way.

With only three countries standing in between me and victory, I set up to do battle with my brother. It was his last remaining army on the board, and with a roll of the dice I eliminated him from the game.

At that moment, my brother-in-law yelled.

"Aha!" He threw down his mission card. "Winner!"

He proclaimed it triumphantly. His mission had been to destroy my brother. He had won the game. It was unbelievable. One minute, winning was a sure thing, but then I had inadvertently handed supremacy over on a silver platter. (Ironically, my brother's mission had been to destroy me; I completed the opposite of this.)

Victory, which had been so tantalizingly dangled in front of me, was cruelly snatched away by the one person who never needed any help winning.

My roommates and I have begun picking up new games, mostly old-man games (backgammon, cribbage, and the like). This will likely (read: hopefully) result in the creation of a regular game night. We also have Risk. Someday I will return from exile and conquer my family to end this blight on my strategy game record.

1 comment:

Marty said...

Good to see finally you again today Seth! I love risk, but haven't played in far too long. Which means we should set up a risk night and see what sort of massive game we can muster up. Oh and one more thing...I'll conquer you. Game on?