William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson

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Risk, Monopoly, and the Long Drive Home™

I had a pretty good New Year’s Day. I spent most of it with Jenna F., whom I’d met at the dance the night before. We were both by 5-10 years the youngest people there. (“It eliminates the competition!” she exclaimed.)

The fun began when we got back to her house, because her brother Kevin and his buddy happened to be there, so we had enough people to play 6-player Risk. We played with mission cards; I won the first game with 1) my Australia stronghold and 2) the other players doing most of the work of “Eliminate all Blue” for me. In the second game, I split myself between North Africa and Brazil, and after a few unlucky rolls I paid the price of a very early exit – that happened to fulfill Kevin’s mission, and he had now taken over Australia. Australia only gets you two bonus armies, but it’s easy to defend, and if there are five other players you’re likely to be the first one getting any bonus at all.

Then we switched to Monopoly. We were playing with two house rules that I’m aware of: 1) collecting tax and fine money on Free Parking and 2) disallowing the collection of rent while in jail (I just discovered now that this was a house rule). Oh, we were playing the Disney edition of Monopoly, but most of the game mechanics are the same as in the standard edition, so for the purposes of this blog, The Lion King and 101 Dalmatians are equivalent to Park Place and Boardwalk.

Jenna’s brother Kevin spent most of the game in jail – I suppose it helped stop the bleeding. Once he rolled doubles to get out, then picked up a Community Chest (“Magical Moments”) card that sent him back to jail.

If I recall correctly, I traded him the Short Line and some cash for Pacific Avenue. Anyway, I did whatever had to be done to get the penultimate monopoly, as the potential rents would be stunning. Then I landed on Jenna’s 4-house Indiana Avenue ($450) and had to mortgage my lesser properties. I got into trouble shortly thereafter, and had to take away my houses from the Pacific-Pennsylvania stretch almost as I was building them.

Finally, my breakthrough came – I landed on Free Parking. At this moment, my qualms concerning the potential inequitude of this house rule vanished into thin air. I unmortgaged my properties and began to build houses. The rents started pouring in. (“That’ll be $1275…”) Before long I owned most of the board, and we ran out of hotels – St. Charles Place (Dumbo) had to settle for ‘5 houses.’ In the end it came down to me and Kevin, who’d survived that long largely due to his transportation monopoly.

I never did get to build on Park Place or Boardwalk, but it looks like I was better off not possessing either until the very end of the game. I would have been tempted to offer too much in trade for the other.

The highway was a skating rink on the 2:00am drive back to Souris (there had been ice pellets changing to rain), but my tire treads performed adequately this time around, and I had a nice, steady 40 km/h drive with no significant slides or skids.

Now I need to start thinking about when I’m going to leave. The roads are bare right now, but I’m not packed yet, I’d like to get some reading done, and class isn’t until 11:30am tomorrow. I think I’ll leave at 5:00am, giving me six hours and change to get to Saint Mary’s. I think it’s feasible. Google says 4:46, but if the roads are anything but bare (especially on PEI) that estimate will fly right out the window.
Tags: board games, driving, friends, games, holidays

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