Hear me! I am Alexander the Great, Madman of Macedonia, Accursed Conqueror of the World, and I absolutely suck at the board game Risk.
You’d think a guy like me would be pretty good at a game created to reflect the principles of violent conquest, but I’ve actually never won. Over the years, I’ve studied countless tactics, but the moment a game begins, I start putting unnecessary pressure on myself and totally forget that I am a ruthless warlord who reaps a human harvest in alien fields and destroys the Phoenician land by fire.
Slaughtering a Thracian garrison? No problem. Vanquishing the Achaemenid Persian Empire? A walk in the park. Executing any officer or family member who dares defy me? Just another day. But maintaining control over Asia and developing my infantry pieces early in the game? It’s like a foreign language to me.
Every great conqueror has one thing they struggle with. For some, it’s an unhealthy obsession with guillotining. For others, it’s having to murder their own children before they become too powerful. But for me, Alexander of Macedonia, a rage-filled alcoholic who has conquered most of the known world, it’s Risk. You’d think after all these years of ending the lives of innocent tribespeople, I’d know how to end a simple board game. But just because I have an unquenchable thirst for conquest, doesn’t mean I’ve mastered all of the endgame’s basic closing strategies.
Every evening after I get home from a long day of massacring unsuspecting enemies and laying siege to their cities, I try to get a game in against my obnoxious 12-year-old nephew, Antipater. But every evening is the same result. Despite my best efforts, I can never manage to attack his territories in a continuous non-branching path, and for some weird reason, I always forget that Alaska is connected to Kamchatka. It’s starting to feel like I’ll never beat that little brat, and that’s saying a lot coming from me, an unstoppable harbinger of hatred and death who only exists for military triumph.
Look, I’m not going to abandon my strategy of taking Australia early in the game just because it hasn’t worked out for me yet. Australia is the key to victory, no matter what anyone says about how it “doesn’t exist yet.” And I’m so tired of hearing that I’m a bad king just because I’ve struggled to successfully secure the borders of the fictional land of South America. If these rumors don’t get put to rest soon, I’m going to have to name another city after myself, and I don’t think anyone wants that.
As a brutal tyrant hell-bent on conquest, I love world domination as much as anyone. But any fool can seize over 2,180,000 miles of land stretching from Greece to northern India. Mastering Risk is what truly warrants a nickname like “The Great.” A name I hope to deserve one day.
And now, if you’ll allow me, I must get back to laying the foundation for the Hellenistic world and assassinating my rivals dozens at a time.