Czech, Mate: Club Dominates World at Lunch

When a pair of dice turns into a lethal weapon, Kamchatka becomes a crucial territory and the seventh continent is absolutely forgotten, a game of Risk has begun.

Risk was introduced as a household board game in the 1960s and has since become the classic game of military strategy and world domination. In the game of Risk, two to six players compete against each other to control territories or eliminate their enemies on a world map. Starting this year, the Risky Business Club is giving students an opportunity to play this game against their peers.

President junior Adlai Katzenberg founded the club after he was inspired by a series of exciting Risk sessions that he played against his family and friends over the summer. He decided to form a club to continue pursuing his passing during the school year.

“It’s just a fun board game,” Adlai said.

History teacher Gabriel Stewart agreed to be the club adviser and now hosts club meetings every Monday in room 407. Although Stewart has not yet engaged in a game of Risk, he said he eventually plans to do so.

“I remember playing a few times during my young days when I had the agility and athleticism,” Stewart said.

Although the club was founded by juniors, the room is nearly filled to capacity with a variety of students, both boys and girls.

“I learned how to play at a young age from my father, and I really like board games that are lengthy and involve a lot of strategy,” senior Michael Johnston said.

Students who used to play or are still learning the rules of the game have also been attracted to the meetings out of curiosity.

“I used to play Risk and I wanted to pick it up again,” freshman Matthew Orton said.

No matter how much strategy is involved, Risk is known to some as one of the longest games ever created. The estimated time listed on a box of Risk is one to eight hours.

To keep the game flowing, the cub has slightly modified game rules. The values of the continents and army pieces have been modified to speed up the game. Club officers felt that Australia specifically had a history of being hoarded and abused by players. Now that some of these “cheap” strategies have been set aside, the game has become much more analytical.

“The way we change the rules is to make the [obvious] strategies obsolete,” vice president junior Mark Conrad said.

Every Monday, members return to continue their games of Risk, These games are ongoing and can spread over a period of about a month before a winner emerges. This system was put to use for the first time on Monday, September 22, the club’s second full-fledged meeting. A complete game of Risk going by club rules can end in about three hours.

Although the club is up and running, club officers are considering changing the name to the Risk Analysis Club to appear more professional for college applications.

The club is not planning any major events for the year as of now, but Adlai said that it could compete with Model UN by making country-shaped cookies.

Although Stewart cannot help but notice that the regions could be a little more accurate, he said Risk can be an effective ways to learn “geopolitical strategy, chance and reason.”

“[Students] can pretend to make their own history up every time they play,” Stewart said.