Top 10 Club
With esoteric games everywhere you
look, it's comforting to still have familiar old Risk
around to fall back on.
Barry Smith makes his move. Risk
is the wargamer's Monopoly. Everyone knows how to play
it by pure osmosis.
Newcomers Martin and Sebastien Charette drove down from Ontario,
just to play Risk, arriving just in time for the first
heat Wednesday night. Due to only discovering WBC at the last
minute, they can only stay for two nights and must head back
to Canada, first thing Friday morning. Martin brings a custom
made version of his own game, Polar Risk which adds Antarctica
as a new continent as well as several new connections to the
existing continents. Finding numerous interested players for
several games on Thursday in the open gaming room, Martin receives
good reviews and suggests adding it as an optional board for
next year's tournament. Martin and Sebastien say they will return
to WBC next year for the entire week. All of this as a film crew
does a documentary project with the Risk tournament playing
a central role. Just another week at WBC ...
The six finalists in seeding order from the two preliminary rounds
are: ex-GM Alan Hayes, Dylan Routh, David Rynkowski, Richard
Curtin, Craig Moffitt, and Robert Paul. Dylan is a no show as
is the first alternate, Bill Place. Second alternate, Andrew
Wilson, steps into play. It is a veteran lineup with five of
the six being former laurelists and before the night is through
all six will be numbered in the WBC Risk Top Ten. I give
finalists the option of choosing their seat position in seed
order. Alan chooses to be in the sixth position, David commenting
that Alan knows what he is doing, chooses the fifth position.
Rich takes fourth, Craig bucking the trend takes first. Robert
takes the third position and Andrew is left with second by default.
The play order is Craig: blue, Andrew, pink; Robert, yellow;
Rich, green; David, red; and Alan, black. After initial army
placements, start positions for large forces are as follows.
Craig concentrates his forces in Australia. Andrew masses in
Japan, Robert in South America, Rich is heavy in Scandinavia
and Indonesia and puts a few in Australia as well. David concentrates
in Africa and Alan is left with America. No one has a full continent
Round 1: Craig and Rich agree that Rich will move his
forces out of Australia, so they can both avoid heavy losses
there. Craig and Andrew take one territory each for a card. Robert
takes South American. Rich leaves Australia as agreed. David
takes a few territories in Africa, but he stops short of taking
the entire continent. Alan takes a few territories in America.
Alan proposes a treaty with his neighbor to the South, along
the border of Central America and Venezuela for three turns.
Round 2: Craig takes one more territory in Australia,
but stops short of taking the continent. Andrew takes Kamchatka
and moves all his armies there. On Robert's turn, David proposes
a treaty to avoid conflict in Africa. Robert accepts and takes
one territory. Rich does likewise and moves six armies into the
Middle East. David takes Western Europe as Alan takes one territory.
Round 3: Craig takes the last enemy territory in Australia
to control the continent. Andrew takes Irkutsk and splits off
a large amount of his forces there. Robert successfully attacks
one of David's territories in Africa, thereby breaking their
treaty. Rich attacks Alan in the Ukraine and moves in four armies.
David threatens Southern Europe. Alan successfully attacks Greenland.
Round 4: Craig proposes a continuation of his non-aggression
pact with Rich, and moves into Siam to combine all his forces
there. Andrew takes Siberia and moves in four armies, thereby
continuing to split his forces further. On Robert's turn, Craig
asks Andrew where he is going and they discuss plans and tactics.
Robert takes one territory in Africa and stops. Rich also takes
one territory in Africa. David takes his three army reinforcements
for being alive and passes his turn, taking no territories and
no Risk cards. David has three Risk cards in his hand and no
desire to assume a larger target profile with more cards. He
confers with Rich on tactics. Alan tries to attack Craig in Ontario.
Failing, he attempts no further attacks and does not gain a card.
Round 5: Craig plays the first set which includes the
Ontario card, for a total of nine armies in Ontario. This force
takes Quebec and stops. Andrew takes Ural and withdraws the extra
armies he moved there. Robert cashes in the second set for six
armies to fortify his position in Africa and takes Southern Europe.
Rich takes Madagascar. David takes three more armies, and passes
again. Alan takes Quebec for a card.
Round 6: Craig puts more armies into Ontario, says it's
time to leave, and attacks Greenland moving all his forces there.
He makes a non-aggression pact with Alan to leave North America
next turn. Andrew turns in the third set for eight armies. Andrew
reinforces Iceland with five armies and puts the rest in Asia,
reinforcing his positions there while taking one territory and
a card. Robert decides to attack David which starts a discussion
about the wisdom of the move as Craig and Andrew discuss deals
in the background. Unswayed by David's warnings, Robert opts
to take his chances and Southern Europe as well. He calls for
an inventory of everyone's cards and stops, thereby postponing
his attempt to eliminate David. Rich turns in the fourth set
for ten armies in Madagascar, taking South Africa and stopping.
David again takes just three armies and moves to Great Britain,
which he already owns, in an attempt to get out of the line of
fire. Alan turns in the fifth set for 12 armies and puts 15 in
the Northwest Territory. Craig again asks Alan to not attack
Greenland, stating that he will attack Andrew in Iceland. Alan
takes one territory and stops.
Round 7: Craig attacks Andrew in Iceland and moves all
his Greenland forces there. Rich asks Craig if he knows what
that move means. Craig moves his forces from Siam to India. Andrew
attacks Siam. Craig asks him not to renege on their non-aggression
deal and Andrew stops. Robert passes, satisfied with the five
armies for his board position. Rich takes Southern Europe and
moves in five armies. David continues his passing strategy. Alan
takes Greenland and reinforces with his troops from Quebec. He
asks Robert if he is willing to renew their treaty from Round
1 along the Central America and Venezuela connection. Robert
Round 8: Craig puts five reinforcements in India. He attacks
Siam and pulls back into India. Andrew attacks Afghanistan. Robert
has strategy discussions with Craig, turns in the sixth set for
15 armies in Venezuela and takes Central America. Rich turns
in the seventh set for 20 armies in Ural and Scandinavia and
settles for reloading with one territory and a card. Not surprisingly,
those three cards David has been holding is a set which he now
spends for 25 armies in Great Britain and again passes - content
that he now offers no incentive whatever to be attacked. Andrew,
on the other hand, now has five cards Alan turns in the ninth
set for 30 armies in Alaska and attempts to take Andrew out.
The extermination of Kamchatka reduces Andrew to 6th place laurels
but his five cards give Alan six cards, which means he must turn
in a set at the beginning of his next turn. If he has two sets,
he can turn them in at the same time. David and Rich discuss
the current situation.
Round 9: Craig receives 35 armies in Siam for turning
in the tenth set. Craig decides to take Alan out before he can
play those six cards. Alan starts with good dice and Craig takes
some losses in Afghanistan, but continues to push through Asia,
as Alan's luck goes south. Craig continues to push through Alan's
forces in North America via Alaska. Alan's luck goes from bad
to worse and Craig eliminates the prior GM's last forces in Greenland
to take possession of Alan's six cards. Craig must turn in a
set of cards immediately for 40 armies. Robert reminds Craig
that he only has one card in his hand. Craig places 30 armies
in the Western United States. Robert negotiates to get Craig
to take out David. Rich tells Craig to wait. Craig then places
the rest of his forces in the Western United States. Craig moves
south appearing to have decided to take out Robert. He eliminates
Robert's forces in Venezuela and stops. For his end of turn move,
Craig moves his forces from Greenland to Iceland and takes his
Robert takes his large force from North Africa to Congo. Robert
makes a deal with Craig to attack Rich, if Craig does not take
out Robert next. Craig agrees. Robert rolls very well but fails
to eliminate Rich. Rich places his reinforcements in Southern
Europe and takes Western Europe, North Africa and the South American
continent from Robert. Feeling that turnabout is fair play, Rich
now asks David to remove Robert from the game. David complies
and his well-rested armies now occupy the entire African continent.
Not bad for six consecutive passes.
Round 10: Craig has two sets worth 95 armies. Trying to
determine his next victim, Craig eyes their cards. They both
have three cards. He asks both if they would like to concede
the game. The players, remind Craig of the tournament rule that
no game concessions are allowed until only two players remain.
Craig places all his new forces in Venezuela. Between a stack
of 20 armies in Iceland, and his mega-force in Venezuela, Rich
is soon shown the merits of third place, handing another three
cards to Craig. David now legally concedes the title to Craig,
having ridden his Pass strategy to second place.
Polar Risk anyone?
GM Levy and his magic hat records
the action of his finalists.