The ‘Risk’ of playing Game of Thrones

How does that quote go again? ‘Families who play together, stay together’? I’m not so sure…

I’ve had literally just stroppes off to bed. Yes, really.

I have recently been introduced to the Game of Thrones edition of Risk. Risk is a strategic battle game where armies attempt to take over the map on the board.

It is a great game, honestly, and don’t let the following tale put you off. But it does come with a caution.

My first battle was played against my lodger, sister and brother in law. They are huge GOT fans whilst I’m am only on Season four. It doesn’t matter though. My lodger has played the game many times, whilst my sister and brother in law had only played twice at this point. It is a bit tricky to get used to the game at first. There are a few rules to remember and the whole ‘strategy’ to get your head around.

I managed to win a few territories, but when my lodger took one back, I made the mistake of letting him know ‘I’m coming for you.’ Big mistake. On his next go, which was before mine, he specifically targeted me. He wiped me out, even though other players’ pieces were more accessible and even though I barely knew how to play. My sister and I realised that an alliance had been made between the two men. They won. I was not happy.

Naturally, for the second battle, my sister and I made a secret alliance from the beginning which we denied until it became obvious we were winning. It was funny at first, but the bickering afterwards, amongst complaints of cheating and unfair play spoiled the game. A replay was called.

We had a break and set new rules. No alliances, secret or otherwise. No helping each other at all. One on one action only.

The game got underway. Everyone was subdued for the third battle. It was quiet and it was boring and after half a game, we all gave in.

Much discussion took place. Some sulking and protesting was had by all. No one wanted the potential bickering and accusations of the first games, nor the boredom of the third.

For the fourth and final battle, dice were thrown to make predetermined alliances. The battle commenced.

Mobile phones were priceless as we WhatsApped our strategies to our teammate. Plans were assessed and reassessed, the enemy’s next moves were predicted and the win swayed from one team to another with each play.

Three hours later, and my brother in law and I had had enough. It was nearing midnight and we were still no closer to a conclusion. Depending how you viewed the board, both teams could be classed as winners. We decided that at the end of that particular round , it was time for a truce. Once again, the sulking returned and when we asked how we were going to work out the winners, we were told that we had forfeited the win by going to bed.

After a stroppy retort (something about it being unfair), I stomped up to bed to record this atrocity for you.

Not quite together then….

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Holiday

I’ve had a lovely evening watching a film with my sister. You know the type: it’s cold and windy outside; the fire is on, the fairy lights are twinkling; you get comfy on the couch with a blanket across your legs and drink tea and eat chocolate.

My sisters have been going on about The Holiday for a few weeks now so it was a perfect time to watch it.

They were both surprised that I hadn’t already seen it: I love romantic comedies.

I’m not sure what put me off – I’ve seen the front cover before. Maybe that I don’t see Jack Black as a romantic hero. Perhaps that Jude Law isn’t my favourite posh English man (Tom Hiddleston please). Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet are great actresses, so no issue for there. It hints at being a Christmas film and isn’t really, but Christmas film are for Christmas. Whatever the reason, I haven’t watched it but was happy to give it a go.

So, a rough plot outline….

Diaz and Winslet play successful women who are unlucky in love. Diaz finds out that her boyfriend is unfaithful; Winslet’s in love with a man who uses her whilst being engaged to someone else. Both situations come to a head just before Christmas.

Diaz decides that a holiday is in order and finds Winslet’s English cottage on a house swap site…

You get the idea.

The film made me smile a few times but wasn’t funny as some. But it was sweet and I particularly liked the subplot where Winslet befriends an old widower who happens to be an award winning screenwriter.

As I said, Jack Black wouldn’t be my first choice for a romantic hero but he actually played the part of an endearing sweetheart really well.

And let’s just say, I get why Jude Law was so popular all those years ago. Wow. He was attractive in that film.

The film is about finding love in the strangest places: about not giving up when you’ve been hurt. It’s about meeting the person you deserve to be with. Sentiments I’m hoping will prove to be true for me also.

It’s worth a watch. Enjoy!