Wednesday, August 20, 2008


So I played Risk thoroughly on my own team, with no help, for the first time on Sunday night. The group I play with makes the game a lot like that reality show Survivor - strategy, playing with human personalities as some of your game pieces.

I made an alliance like two turns before I was given some pretty good advice that, however, would force me to choose between my ally and the two people who gave me the good advice. (Who didn't know about my alliance, and who would be kept safe by my taking their advice rather than what my secret plans with my ally would have done to them).

(I was concentrated in eastern Europe, with A's armies filling western Europe and sparsely populating Africa - I kept asking him to take his armies out of Europe, but instead he was building them up. He was strong to the west and the south of me. AB held Australia and was relatively strong in the China-Mongolia area, but was threatened to the southwest by A's northeastern African armies and by Z's armies coming down out of Russia. K held South America, loosely, and held a strong presence in central America, threatening Z's North American presence. I allied with AB to take out A on all sides of me and on her one side. A few minutes later, K left to get something and A and Z suggested I slip through North Africa to take over South America and wipe out central America. This was a pretty safe move for me and A would have left me alone, I could have built up in South America for awhile and then come back as a formidable force, but I would have left AB to face all of A's armies alone, plus I wanted the rest of Europe.)

I listened to their advice and said, "That's a good idea," then, over a turn or two, as I strengthened myself, I took ALL of my armies (besides those left holding western Europe) into North Africa (as suggested by A and Z) so A and Z wouldn't get scared and start to battle me before I was ready. When I was ready, I moved into North Africa and then turned around and swept A's two most populous European holdings, leaving enough men to be reasonably fortified while I built up to take out the last two or three of his European countries over the next turn or two (knowing full well he would probably hit me early). AB, my ally, took care of Z to her northeast and was building up to take out A's armies that I was worried about to my south.

The game ended the next turn because it was getting late and tempers were running short.

The moral of this story: I LOVE strategy games, though I'm still getting used to playing them and am not very good yet. BUT. I HATED how I felt having to betray one person or the other (it may also make a difference to mention that A has been my faithful Risk tutor thus far). I wouldn't have wanted to go against either of them but I stayed with my alliance because I made it first.

But I felt so bad! It was like it wasn't a game anymore. I mean, it's just a game but when it gets personal, it's not as fun. I might just take a break for awhile. I've played three times in the last week and a half or so.

I guess that's what I have to say about that.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

one to one

This woman is trying to fax me an article. Our fax line sometimes has issues, and she said the fax machine kept going to a voice mail. I finally asked her if she had it electronically, and if she could just e-mail it to me, because that would be the best. She said she didn't know how. I told her I was the only one here right now and I didn't know how to fix the fax machine, but that I would call her and let her know to try again when it was ready. She said, "Well, you don't know how to fix the fax machine, and I don't know how to do the other thing, so we're even."

No. That is not even.