Ah, well, I shouldn’t have, but I wasted a good six hours last night playing Risk with the lads (Laura, Damien, Anton & Stef). It was an interesting game… it took quite a while for anyone to cement much of a lead. As usual, whenever Damien pulled together any significant power mass he would attack every significant player at once, weakening himself terribly again. This tactic of attacking the tall poppies has a terrible habit of prolonging the game immensely.
The first dominant positions to emerge were that I had Australia, Damien had South America and Africa, Laura had North America, and Stef had Europe. Asia was highly contested the whole game, primarily by Anton. Damien, Anton and I were expending significant resources trying to break into Laura in North America, via the Kamchutka and Iceland routes. (I initially held half of North America, but decided to focus my efforts elsewhere… I knew I’d get it back eventually)
This was very expensive, of course. Damien kept having to wipe out half of Stef to make it to Laura in Iceland, I kept having to push through Asia to get through that way, and Anton was a bit all over the place. There was a little bit of powerplaying in the middle east and Mediterranean, but only one conflict noteworthy – where Damien pushed up around through the Ukraine and Scandinavia to Laura. Stef decided to head through Africa towards Brazil, so they made an uneasy agreement to swap continents. Thus, Damien ended up with Europe and a direct route to Laura, Stef was relatively uncontested in Africa, and Anton and I were relegated to pushing through Kamchutka.
In the end, Anton was pushed back into Japan, where I allowed him to reside while I consolidated my position holding west Asia and Australia. I went around him in Japan and attacked Laura. This thinned Laura out a little bit, and Anton followed behind. Unfortunately his crusade was inevitably halted and routed by Laura, and he was annihilated. Damien did not heed my warning to send him aid.
I should add that the whole game, Laura and Stef had a non-aggression pact between them. This ended only late in the game when Laura stabbed Stef in the back to steal Argentina, although it was later reformed as an even stronger alliance. This forced Damien and I to similarly join forces to counter the organised enemy forces, and so the game descended into a bipolar conflict. As is usual at this stage of the game, forces began to thin out – most people were able to hold at least one continent most of the time, and were leading significant incursions across the globe. Stef, for example, conquered through my front line in west Asia to take Australia entirely, sometime in mid-game, as a result of Damien’s senseless decision to assault my Asian forces. It took me several turns to regain it, during which time I took Europe off Damien in retaliation, which put both of us in a stupidly weak position.
In the end, Laura and Stef were getting rather cranky, and things were becoming less entertaining than they should have been. They eventually surrendered to Damien and myself, which I felt was unfortunate, given Damien and I were in a position to conquer them decisively – luck permitting – within just a few turns. I nearly had Asia, Damien had South America and was in a position to take Africa or Europe, and only Laura had any immediate chance of cashing cards.
Still, given it was nearly 4am by the time of this surrender, it is probably for the best that it ended there… a few bad rolls by Damien or myself and it would have been back to anyone’s game, and who knows how much longer such things could progress.