Friday, December 23, 2011

Risky Business

Here at Masked Mom Headquarters, we're a big board game/card game type family and always have been.

Hubby and Baby Brother are big fans of the game Risk in all its variations--between the two households, we have at least seven different versions of the game including both the Lord of the Rings version and the Lord of the Rings trilogy version (which adds to the map from the original LOTR version) and I think Baby Brother even has a Star Wars version.

This battle raged on for over a week--set up on our dining room table.

I am not the biggest fan of Risk ever--while I enjoy the actual game play and even the overall length of the game doesn't bother me, the time between turns is absurdly long. There used to be a commercial for Boggle (the 3-minute word game) that riffed on that theme. It showed four people playing an unspecified board game and as one guy finished his turn, he said, "Okay, I'm going to go out now and rotate my tires while I'm waiting for my next turn."

My brain can't handle a lot of unengaged time like that--it begins to feast on itself, but that's an issue for another day. I used to play a lot more than I do now--out of pity for Hubby and Baby Brother--but once the boys got old enough to play along, I could decline an invitation without suffering guilt.

Still, the debate about whether I'm exaggerating the length of time between turns and the inherent boredom factor in the game comes up fairly often. Last weekend, Son-One was home for a night and Hubby, Baby Brother and Second Nephew lugged out the original Risk and we all got an unexpected reminder that I am not the only one who is distressed by the downtime between turns.

Team Green: Head and shoulders above the competition.

Years ago, when Son-Two was maybe eleven or twelve--old enough to know better, certainly--I glanced up at him at some point in one of Hubby's interminable turns and realized that he was systematically biting the heads off of all his cavalry pieces. This serial decapitation was not being done maliciously. In fact, it seemed Son-Two was sort of absent-mindedly working his way through the idle troops in his little plastic holder.

Despite not wanting to encourage vandalism, I couldn't help laughing a little--okay, okay, I laughed hysterically--at the sight of that line of headless horsemen, casualties of Son-Two's boredom. Hubby was not quite so amused.

And ten or so years later, once again embroiled in the is Risk as never-ending as Masked Mom thinks it is debate, we open the box to those headless horsemen and I start giggling uncontrollably all over again.

"See?" I say, "Risk takes so long to play Son-Two had to resort to cannibalism to sustain himself."


  1. that is hilarious! reminds me of baseball . . . i could take a nap in between pitches. we're board game players, too, but more the type of games that don't necessarily require strategy :) don't want to tax the brain TOO much!

  2. I've only played Risk once....and that was enough for me! Growing up in an all girl family, we never thought it sounded like fun, but my husband with all his brothers, loved it. On camping trips, he'll break out the game and our kids will play with him, while I sit with the dogs and read a book. It's a win win for all involved!

  3. Hahaha!
    We're a puzzle solving/ board game playing family as well, but like Judy said, usually less strategic ones. The other day, however, my brother bought Battleship. At time like those...we both wish he had a brother!

  4. This made me laugh so hard I snorted a little bit. You've got to love a game that drives you to pseudo-cannibalism!

  5. Love it! My husband and I have a firm "No RISK-playing" rule as we have almost broken up over that damn game more than once. Before we were married, but still. I grew up in a hugely competitive family and love all games- cards and board games, especially. I cannot wait until my children are old enough to teach the concepts of 'trump' and 'strategy'. As long as Ian and I don't play together, it should be lots of fun:)

  6. Too funny! I can imagine those heads were might tasty. Lol!

  7. Judy: If you are at the game, you are "supposed" to use the time between pitches to keep score. That means you are too busy recording the results of every single, solitary plate appearance, during the course of the game, to ever have the time required to get bored. Baseball is a game of inches played in three hours plus time. Are you having fun, yet? MM: There may be a more competitive set of siblings on the planet than mine, but I doubt it. Great job on the memory jolt-and all I can envision is Tom Cruise, hunkered over a Risk game, with the "hostess" who ended up at his house, after he made the phone call. I love a great title.

  8. Our family was a big game-playing one as well. Although none of us resorted to cannibalism. Probably because we mostly played Yahtzee and Scrabble.

    I personally love cards now but have a hard time finding people to play with me.

  9. Note to self: Don't bore Son-Two.