Indiana Living (The Birth of Whiskey Risk)
I still live in Indiana. For readers living in Los Angeles, Indiana is a Flyover state in the Midwestern region of the country. We are well known for corn, racism, voting Republican, and the odd person who leaves Indiana because they are frustrated with corn, racism, and people voting Republican. I’ve lived in Indiana for pretty much all my life, and each year I spend here is another nail in the coffin bound to be buried in Indiana soil, assuming I don’t get my wish- to die at the climax of a dramatic sword fight in the top of a clock tower, when after I’ve disarmed the hero he tricks me into getting caught in the gears. Some kind of reliable brand tupperware would be more appropriate in that case.
You could say that we lack the bright lights and big city. We don’t have theater districts or a well-developed film culture. Art galleries or museums are few and far between, good comedians only come through about once a year, and you’d be hard pressed in most places to find another person who speaks a language other than English. Most towns are lucky to have the one bad ethnic restaurant, and life typically shuts down around 9 or 10.
In a way, this is a double-edged sword. Living in a place largely bereft of cultural or recreational activities and institutions puts the onus on the individual to make their own fun. By individual I mean me, and by fun, I mean drinking.
So since we don’t live in an urban wonderland, we have the kind of time that’s needed to think of ways to make getting hammered fun and novel, as opposed to depressing and necessary.
Out of this generative soup of boring circumstance comes games like Wizard Staff. Originating with nerdy skater culture in the suburban backwaters of Canada, Wizard Staff is a drinking game involving the creation of a staff with emptied beer cans, with the length of the staff correlating to one’s power as a wizard.
But Wizard Staff is old news. The game now has a Wiki and has since been co-opted by people who have never even read The Silmarillion. As if they could ever understand.
The game I am here to tell you about today is one that we’ve been working on for a while. We’ve done a lot of play testing, and have finally developed something we are confident about sending out into the world. So what’s the game?
Whiskey Risk is a game that combines the board game Risk with the consumption of whiskey. Necessary equipment includes:
- Whiskey (we prefer Rebel Yell for aesthetic purposes, as well as cost/quantity ratio)
- Risk Board
- 3-6 Knuckleheads
- 2-6 Hours to finish*
- 1 Rebel Yell brand promotional T-shirt (often provided free with whiskey)
- 1 audio device cued up with Bill Idol’s “Rebel Yell”
- Cigars- Optional
- Croupier sticks for pushing armies around like a WWII general- Optional
- A reliable internet connection
*You will probably not finish.
First and foremost, all the normal rules of Risk remain in place. The additional rules are supplemental. This is not to say that these rules are piecemeal- if you play Whiskey Risk, you must play with all of these rules, or be subject to litigation.
After the board is laid but before play begins, the game opens by playing Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell”.
Rule 1- When you take a country, you take a drink of Whiskey
This isn’t rocket science. In a turn that you take a country, you are to immediately take a drink of whiskey upon receiving your Risk card. Optionally, you may take a drink for every country you take- we’ve tried this, however, and usually don’t make it past the third turn.
Rule 2- If you correctly pronounce the name of a country, continent, or geographical feature, you take a drink of Whiskey
After the start of the game, you are not allowed to correctly pronounce the name of any geographic feature or place. Interestingly, as people drink more Whiskey, the names warp into stranger and stranger variants. Western Europe becomes Wutty Frunch, Madagascar becomes Luis Guzman, and Central America morphs into Cunty Merkin.
Rule 3- Whenever a person plays a Risk (3 matching cards), Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” is played; everyone has till the end of the song to finish their drink, which is traditionally a drinking glass full of Whiskey.
It is good to drink your Whiskey quickly, as nursing can be interpreted as a sign of weakness by other world leaders. Also, as Risks get played more frequently towards the end of the game, one has to formulate strategy knowing that the faculty for rational decision making will quickly deteriorate as the game progresses. It may start off as a game, but quickly becomes a brutal, soul-crushing journey into the depths of man’s capacity for whiskey and calculating simple probability. Things get out of hand.
Rule 4- Whenever a person conquers and entire continent, Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” is played; everyone has till the end of the song to finish their drink, which is traditionally a drinking glass full of Whiskey.
This has similar implications as Rule 3. Whiskey Risk is not for the frail of body or weak of heart.
Rule 5- Whenever a person says the word “Risk” all players must loudly yell the word “Risk!” in the voice of W.C. Fields. If everyone fails to do so, Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” is played; everyone has till the end of the song to finish their drink, which is traditionally a drinking glass full of Whiskey.
Self-explanatory. Why would you not talk like this all the time? What are you, an asshole or something?
Rule 6- Any dispute may be settled by sentencing one or both parties to 5 minutes of browsing Cuteoverload.com
Let’s face it. Whiskey is an angry man’s drink. An otherwise innocent argument can turn ugly when everyone is half a handle in, so if your game of Whiskey Risk starts turning into a Sam Shepherd play, this rule becomes necessary. Try to summon angry feelings while watching this. It is scientifically impossible.
Rule 7- The winner of the game receives 1 Rebel Yell brand promotional T-shirt, which he must don upon winning and then dance to Bill Idol’s “Rebel Yell” for the pleasure of the vanquished. All players must finish the contents of their glass before the song ends.
This is mandatory. If you do not dance, your victory is forfeit and the shirt will wait for the victor of the next game.
So these are the rules of Whiskey Risk. I’d ask that you use this knowledge responsibly, but won’t since most of these rules involve Billy Idol and drinking drinking glasses filled with Whiskey, two of the least responsible things I can even think of. When this becomes the next big thing on the coast, just remember- you owe us, California.
(Special thanks goes to Whiskey Risk playtesters- Kyle and Toni Carter, Nathan Myers, and Allison Vollmer)