My Longest Game… a short story
(Major Command Risk Game Player and Blog Contributor)
There are just some things in this online world of Risk players that should be avoided at all costs unless you identify strongly with turtles. Long lasting games played at a snail’s pace for a small reward is one of them. I found out this universal truth the hard way by joining a game on the wonderful 12 domains map.
Now, like every map in our little slice of digital heaven, this map contains some jewels of design that make it simple to play but not as simple to master. This diatribe isn’t about the map itself so I won’t bother to discuss some of the hidden “tricks and traps” that others are more able to elaborate on. I want to simply tell you about my longest game in my MAJCOM experience.
It’s all about the settings……
The combined effect of this particular game’s settings would have stopped most any veteran player from joining as they would already know what I was about to learn. Three players, Mercenary, escalite and NO pass settings on the 12 Domains map will make you cry. Never, never, never again, my friends.
I like the mercenary setting mainly because you can salvage something from the game even if other forces, whether players or dice, seem to be totally against you. The setting proves that moral victories can have worth. The setting in itself wasn’t really a factor in this particular outcome as the players really didn’t have a snowball’s chance of any other outcome due to the other two settings.
I liked the escalite setting when I first started out as it seemed a way for me to “stick around” longer in games that I probably wasn’t going to win anyway and did provide more opportunity for me to watch other players’ moves, tactics etc. Again, at that time it provided “value” to me in that regard. However, as time went by I now loathe the setting as it seems designed to indeed drag out games by limiting the potential of a breakaway troop addition thereby almost begging for a game stalemate. Once again though, I must admit that so far this game still wasn’t destined for stalemate at the start until the final piece of the settings shows its unholy nature.
Troop reinforcement is such a vital part of any good campaign in our world. Even with no pass settings, troop deployment and the nature of most maps allow enough movement to conclude a game in a reasonable time. Have I mentioned this particular map is 12 Domains where a good majority of new turn troops are placed on one’s castle which, of course, is heavily protected for obvious reasons? Some of you newer players may now be going “ah, yeah”. No pass in a singles 12 domains game will almost certainly ensure a stalemate, ladies and gentlemen.
Well, I joined and the die was cast; my fate sealed. Over the next 167 days, many times able to take only one turn and noticeably aging waiting for the next, I faithfully stuck with it. Oh, the agony. Many times I thought of just going AWOL, which I have never done and will never intentionally do. Of course, the game did eventually end through this very method when both of my opponents threw in the towel presumably to save their marriages or for some other sane reason. Finally on my 497th turn in this game from hell, I was rewarded with a win and drum roll….71 points! You do the math.