Risk, Part 2

I realize I’ve already done a blog post on Risk.

This time though, I’m talking about the board game.

More specifically, the Hasbro version, an app you can install on your tablet, phone or computer. And I have it on all three.

It’s my guilty pleasure.

I’ve never been a big video game player with the occasional exception. I enjoy Age of Empires (and the various expansion packs) and Battlefield (and the various versions). I always thought of games on your phone – such as Candy Crush, Killer Birds, etc. – as time wasters, unproductive, etc. But I got into Risk about a year ago and it’s really got me hooked.

Initially, a Captain I was flying with introduced me to it. I knew the concept from when I played the board game growing up. Many of you might know this game as a relatively boring, slow pursuit with increasing aggravation on the dice rolls that proved luck often outmatched any strategy or skill. Many of us would agree most great games involve a little bit of both.

Quick side note. I’m also a curling fan, and yesterday morning I watched the 2021 Championship Final of the Tim Hortons Brier. I was watching Elijah while my wife went and procured sewing supplies. It was an epic final, with 4-time champion Kevin Koe (Wild Card) taking on Brendan Bottcher (Alberta). It was a battle of Alberta, and a game of cat-and-mouse.

That is, until Kevin Koe’s first rock picked in the 7th end. That left Bottcher with a wide-open hit to lay 3, Kevin missed the double and Bottcher cracked the scoring open with a three-ender. Changed the entire complexity of the game, based on a hair or some piece of debris on the ice.

Skill, and luck.

Back to Risk.

The game play is quite a bit quicker thanks to the ability to “fast forward” through the computer’s turns, and also a feature called “blitz” where you don’t have to continually roll the dice. Where my indulgence picked up was during the start of the COVID days a year ago, when we were all socially isolating. Every morning I’d wake up with a coffee, throw an invitation into a group chat (including some friends and my dad), and we’d play a game together.

Like my weekly online poker nights, it slowly trickled out as we went into summer time, and into the fall when I had a baby. But I still play a couple games of Risk a day, each taking about 15-20 minutes.

About the time it takes to write this blog post.

I just looked at the profile on my iPad, where I play the bulk of my games. I’m considered an “Intermediate”, with a rank of 83,649. I’ve played 413 games (!!!) and the scarier part – played 135 hours (which is almost a week). My online ratio (against strangers) is 21 wins to 44 losses, friends 29-15, Pass & Play (mostly with my wife) is 50%, and the bulk of games (against computers) is 265-35. I’ve defeated 55k troops to my 43k.

Going back to my post on streaks, my longest win streak is 22. My longest lose streak, 6.

I’m glad I don’t spent more time doing it. I know one Captain – different than the one I mentioned above – who has spent over $20k on a Transformer App. He’s one of the best in the world at the game. I haven’t spent a dime on Risk, which helps me meter how much I play. There’s two “bonus maps” that come out on Sunday nights, and on Monday I play the map against 5 computers, and then on Tuesday 4 computers, etc. Until the grand finale when it’s a 1-on-1 fight on Friday.

It’s nice to have those little timeouts.

Technically, it’s called “Risk: Global Domination” on Steam

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