Almost Everyone's First Wargame
Risk, for the second year in a row, reclaims its position
as a Century event as the first alternate trial event. Attendance
was up sufficiently to qualify Risk as a Century event
next year without worrying about Alternate status. In the two
Swiss elimination heats, there were two 5-player and four 6-player
games. Four finalists from the 2000 event, William Place, Alan
Hayes, Matt Mason and Bill O'Neil returned for another shot at
the wood. But it was not meant to be, as all four were eliminated
in the preliminaries. Alan Hayes fared best as the first alternate,
but all six winners posted for the final - making Alternate status
a poor investment. Risk seems to become more and more
of a diplomatic game between the experienced players each year.
Many players make alliances, attacks and concessions in order
to get their own continent or corner of the world.
The Final, in play order, consisted of Tom Agostino, Ken Samuel,
Scott Bowling, Steve Dickson, Greg Berry, and Matt Evinger. Tom
started play by taking Australia. Ken had one large force, which
he moved from Greenland to Quebec. Scott taook South America
and proposed a treaty with Greg, who had forces in neighboring
North Africa. Steve also had a large force, which he moved from
China to Ural. Greg expanded more into African territory. Matt
moved a large force into Alaska. In round 2, Tom moved his large
force into Siam and proposed an alliance with Steve, Greg and
Matt. Ken continued to move his large force to Northwest Territory.
Scott built and expanded into Eastern U.S. Steve continued to
move his large force to Afghanistan. Greg took control of Africa.
Matt moved his large Alaskan force southward towards Scott in
South America. Four players have some interest in North America.
Three players actually have forces there.
In round 3, Tom mistakenly decided he needed to be the one
to break Greg's hold on the African continent. Tom placed his
troops offensively in India to attack Greg., was successful and
got one troop in East Africa. Steve decided to take advantage
of the lack of reinforcements in Siam by Tom and attacked him.
Rolling well, he decisively destroys Tom's forces. Greg took
back East Africa from Tom. Tom tried to negotiate a way to stay
in the game as Matt threatens to eliminate him. Matt 's chances
are not good, as he has to have one battle with two forces against
one and another battle one against one. Seeing the three cards
that Tom holds in his hand and with no way to protect Tom from
another player's assault, Matt goes for it and makes Tom the
game's first casualty. In round 4, Matt turns in two sets of
cards to get ten armies. He attacks Scott in Venezuela, but rolls
poorly and does not break into South America. Four players still
have interest in North America. Scott, Greg, Matt and Ken brand
Steve a threat and discuss strategies to stop him. Steve is the
only player to not make an alliance or deal with an opponent.
His response to his opponents' negotiations is that, "Everyone
should just play for themselves."
Ken is next to turn in cards for eight armies in round 5.
He changes his focus from North America and moves his large force
from Greenland to Iceland. His move into Scandinavia towards
Steve threatens but does not attack him. On Steve's turn, he
surprises his opponents by turning in a set for ten armies and
decides to eliminate Greg in Africa. Rolling well, he gives Greg
the next early exit, and takes his four cards and Africa as his
reward. Ken, Scott and Matt continue to confer in an attempt
to limit Steve's superior position Matt takes two spaces from
Steve in Africa on his turn. In round 6, Ken moves his large
force from Scandinavia towards Australia. A fierce battle for
Siam ensues, but Ken rolls poorly and Steve holds his position.
Scott turns in a set for 12 armies, but he is unable to threaten
Steve's closest troops and their superior position in Africa.
Steve, now with six cards, turns in another two sets for a
total of 35 armies and decides to take out Scott next. He does
so with little difficulty and gains Scott's three cards. On
a roll, Steve continues and decides that Matt is his next target,
removing him with surgical precision. Steve adds Matt's two cards
to his booty for a total of five and ends his turn.
Round 7, alone, Ken does not have much of a chance, but he
resists to the end and turns in a set for t25 armies. He attempts
to do as much damage as possible, taking positions in Africa
and all of North and South America. But he is stretched thin
and is left with only two armies from his large force in Kamchatka.
It is now apparent that Ken does not have a chance of winning,
but he continues to resist. Steve turns in a set for 30 armies.
Starting in China, Steve takes back both Americas and Africa
and stops there.
Ken gets three armies for being alive in round eight. He takes
Eastern Australia and collects a third card. But, alas it does
not make a match. Steve collects15 armies for his board position
and is able to remove most of Ken's armies on the board. The
onlookers cheer Ken on to add to the fun. It comes down to one
last battle of a few armies on each side in Greenland. Steve
is unable to take the position and Ken is left with one lone
In the last turn, round 9, Ken takes Iceland. On Steve's turn
he turns in a set for 35 armies plus another 27 for board position.
Steve places this horde in Great Britain to annihilate Ken's
last four pieces. Everyone cheers when Ken wins the first battle.
Only 61 more to go. ....
"Everyone should just play for themselves." The
Dickson's are used to taking wood back to California every year,
but this year it will be son Steve's, not dad Gary's that fills
the luggage rack on the plane.
For a dedicated weekend of RISK play, check out the
official RISK championships at http://www.risktoc.org