Have you seen this die?

I have a love-hate relationship with board games. Many games have little to no skill (snakes and ladders), other games have extremely limited gameplay (Scrabble), and others have complicated rules that no one follows which means the game lasts an absurdly long time (Monopoly).

Still worse are games that have simple rules that, when followed, make the game last an eternity (Mouse Trap).

After complaining about this, it was suggested I buy a game of Risk. I have played Risk a few times before, but never had my own (or a family) set.

It generally addresses my complaints: it involves some skill, a range of gameplay variables, and relatively simple rules, which may make the game last a sensible amount of time (I’m not sure yet).

Risk is expensive. I was surprised that a new set could cost upwards of $80. I ended up buying a second-hand set from a seller on Ebay. It was advertised as complete.

After it arrived (quite promptly, I should add) I checked it over. Everything seemed correct, and was, apart from slight wear-and-tear, it very good condition.

Until I noticed the die.

Risk comes with three red dice and two white dice. The red are for attackers, and the white are for defenders (you compare the dice, and the higher numbers win each skirmish).

But I did not get three red dice and two white dice. I got two red dice, two white dice, and a weird die.

I’m not actually angry about this. I’m guessing a mistake was made and if I contact the seller we can sort this out. Or I can just buy an inexpensive replacement.

No, I’m more curious than anything.

In most aspects, it’s a normal white die, but instead of the normal pips it has the numbers 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 on five of the sides, and the word ‘MISFIRE’ on the sixth side.

I thought that maybe this is a variation on the game because it seems military-themed (like the secret mission cards), and checked the rules and FAQ, but to no avail. I have to conclude it comes from another game, but I have no idea what that game is.

If anyone has any ideas, please drop me a line by email or social media. I’m very keen to solve this little mystery.