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America vs. The World

The big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart. — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Risk revisited

Download map:
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When it comes to board games about world domination, few can hold a candle to Risk — the classic, the original, the ultimate. Where else can you destroy your friends by decimating their armies and conquering their land? Besides Somalia?

The genius of Risk lies in its simplicity. Most territories are of comparable size, with borders determined almost purely by geographic convenience as opposed to geopolitical reality. How else can you explain the Siberian wasteland appearing as a half-dozen individual lands, while the Middle East appears as one unified entity?

With as much as I drone on about the "game of global politics," it was only a matter of time before taking a stab at an updated Risk board to reflect the today's world, with territories grouped by common geopolitical qualities as seen by the modern American.

No point in going into great detail — this is, after all, little more than a colored, labeled map for a children's game — but if you do happen to be a Risk fan, there are just a few notable differences to watch for:

The continents have changed. Previously divided into the six commonly-accepted land masses (well, five plus Europe), I've instead formed seven regions that more accurately reflect modern demography: North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and Oceania. Most notably, Central America is now grouped with South America, and the Middle East (including Egypt on the African continent) is now its own region.

Oceania now has two entry points into Asia. Were you aware that the Philippines appear nowhere on the original Risk board? How do you think the Philippinos feel about that, considering they were actually once conquered by America in a real-life version of the board game?

The Caribbean exists. Think you can't get from Cuba to the United States? Thousands of raft-builders might disagree.

So there you have it! Hope you have as much fun with it as I did. Just don't blame the roll of the dice when you lose — the French have been doing that for years, and nobody's buying it.


UPDATE:

Suggested continent values for the new board:
6 armies/turn for Europe (originally 5).
5 armies/turn for Asia (originally 7).
5 armies/turn for North America (same as before).
4 armies/turn for Middle East (new territory).
3 armies/turn for Africa (same as before).
3 armies/turn for Latin America (originally 2).
3 armies/turn for Oceania (originally 2).

Of course, with more territories bordering one another (less one-on-one bottlenecks), maintaining a continent just became that much tougher!

33 Comments:

Blogger Mandasaurus said...

Big ups!

Todd G. and I are reveling in your brilliance. If we can find some dice (we might have to hit the DC streets to do so - I know there were some kids rolling dice on V St. just the other day) we're gonna get going. I'm going for Indiana. Nobody likes the Hoosiers.

More like this please.

Blogger Buck B. said...

Just to stroke Mero's already swollen ego, there are some comments on the redesigned board at BoardGameGeek.com.

Anonymous Adam said...

I like how the finger of Illinois sticks out from the Union.

But I'm not sure how I feel about my people being labeled Hoosiers.

Anonymous P. Pirx said...

Hmm, Iceland appears to be poised to become a major power here. Especially in alliance with Kanukistan. Beware, world:-)

Anonymous Eric said...

Hilarious. Any recommendations for revised rewards for controlling a whole continent?

Blogger Gordon the Gnome said...

Revised rewards for the whole continent:

6 armies/turn for Europe.
5 armies/turn for Asia.
5 armies/turn for North America.
4 armies/turn for Middle East.
3 armies/turn for Africa.
3 armies/turn for Latin America.
3 armies/turn for Oceania.

Of course, with more territories bordering one another (less one-on-one bottlenecks), maintaining a continent just became that much tougher!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're interested, you can play this board online:

LandGrab

Blogger Billy Joe Mills said...

hahahaa, the thing I like most about this map is that Cuba is called Cooperstown, nice baseball reference boys.

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