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Journal of No. 118

January 30th, 2013

The war drags on... @ 12:06 pm

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Just one game of Risk last night, but it was a pretty long one. Rolling to see who goes first, it was me with a 6, followed by 2 5's and 2 3's. I should mention that we were using two dice. Pretty sad, but I'll take it. I picked the Mutants, who are now clearly I think the most powerful faction (though not the lead faction).

It was kind of an interesting mix at the start. Since Aaron picked the lead faction, the Bear, he got 3 dudes in the World Capital in Greenland. To keep close to them, he set up shop in Alberta, preventing me from starting in Wendigo. This allowed Kevin to start in Australia. Ken chose to start in Africa, with a nice Khan move to protect his HQ in the bunker in Madagascar. Graydon took his major city in Central America, which immediately sets up the bad Aaron/Graydon vibe, with only one territory between their HQs. This is even closer than the usual Mike/Graydon non-hugfest. I started in Western Europe, putting my Mutants close to the Fallout Zone and the biohazards in Iceland and Scandinavia. [I wonder how things would have gone, if Aaron had put his HQ in, say, Western US, preventing Graydon from going in C. America. This conceivably would allow me to go in Wendigo, but since Aaron's turn came first, he could try to exterminate me - and since I was the mutants, Europe looked more attractive anyway.]

The new power that the Mutants gained through evolving last time seemed kinda lame, but I found out how great it could be when the right circumstances arise. [This is one reason why the Mutants are very powerful; another is that, due to circumstances beyond our control, the Mercenary scars have never been used, and don't look to be ever used; they provide an 'opposite' to the Biohazard marks, which are already all out on the board, providing some help to the mutants.] When the Mutants get a card, they can exchange that for a random card from the hand of someone they successfully attacked. Ken had only one card, with 3 resource dots. Yay, so I traded up 1 for 3. Later Kevin had two resource cards, and I got lucky and traded 1 for 3 again. That gave me 6 resource dots to turn in for armies, way better than the 2 I 'earned'. With them, I punched down through North Africa into Brazil, taking South America away from Graydon. I also tried punching through Greenland, but the Bringers of Fire were stronger there, and they beat us back, leaving a stalemate.

At some point, Kevin did the unthinkable and opened the packet labelled "Do not open. Ever." I had been joking that it contained weaponized anthrax powder, and that's pretty close. It unleashed plague on the world. Just as Ken finally killed the Mutants in the Fallout Zone, leaving him in control of the entire continent of Wakanda, an epidemic broke out in East Africa. Lose a dude in every territory. Ow. Kevin, snaking out from his Australian redoubt, alllllmost took out Ken. Then on Aaron's turn another plague outbreak occurred, and the puling humans worked it so that Great Britain was the epicenter, messing up my European homeland. But, it was still reasonably easy for me to finish the job of killing Ken. That means I got all of Ken's cards, which had 4 resource dots. And Argentina was out, which was a 4-dotter. That means I had 8 resource dots to spend next turn, for 21 armies. If I survived until my next turn, that is.

Kevin ran into a brick wall at Madagascar and couldn't take Ken's old HQ. In retrospect, he probably shoulda tried harder. Once Kevin had really failed in Wakanda, it was obvious that I would at least survive to place my big pile o armies. Graydon took back South America from me. Ken respawned in Doomstadt, right next to my HQ. It may sound like I was riding high the whole game, but I never had enough extra armies to capture Doomstadt, so it stayed empty for the whole game... right until then. Ken went after my HQ, it was 5 on 5. The first battle, we each lost one, but that apparently spooked Ken, and he took Russia, so he'd at least get a card. Again, in retrospect, he probably shoulda tried harder. Aaron smote me a bit, but nothing I couldn't handle.

So I piled my dudes in the Fallout Zone, birthplace of Mutants, and scoured my way through the New World until I'd captured Graydon's and Aaron's HQs, giving me the win. Megamutant Mike chose to name the continenter-formerly-known-as-North-America 'Mutatia'. This will probably come back to haunt me whenever I'm not the mutants. But so be it. The others dropped a few more resource dots on cards. The two places where plague appeared, East Africa and Great Britain both get their cards destroyed. Both were 1-dotters. Although Kevin ripped up a 4-dotter earlier in Australia, it's clear that a lot of the remaining resource cards have a lot of resources. After next game, probably all the resource dots will have been awarded, so there will no longer be any bonus for players who survive, but don't win the game.

One detail that occurred in the game is that Aaron fortified the World Capital, giving it a big defensive bonus. It's curious that if the Mutants win once more, there would be no lead faction, and no one would start in the World Capital. With the fortification, you would have to sacrifice 7 armies to take it. Ouch!

Running victory total:

Ken - 4 victories
Mike - 3
Smaug - 2
Aaron - 1
Graydon - 1

PS Lying awake at night, I intuited the contents of the remaining sealed envelope, which is opened when someone is about to place 30+ armies on the board, and has a missile remaining. I could be wrong, but I hope I'm right. My idea of how to implement it would be awesome. I hope we get a chance to find out.

ETA: I peeked at the envelope contents. I was half-right. They didn't do some of the awesome stuff I thought of, but they added plenty of other awesome stuff that I didn't think of.
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[User Picture Icon]
Date:January 30th, 2013 08:29 pm (UTC)
One correction. I had first placement and grabbed XXXX to block Aaron from starting there and getting a free major city and the world capital.

My real mistake was not taking Ken out and grabbing his cards, which left them for you to snatch up.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:January 30th, 2013 08:35 pm (UTC)
Correct on both counts.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:February 15th, 2013 01:26 pm (UTC)
I think Kevin should have fought you at your capital to the death, of him or you. If he wins, you have one fewer HQ's (or have to retake it), potentially reducing that Massive Mutant Army at least a bit more.

I don't like my odds of naming the planet.

Journal of No. 118