Settlers Of Catan

Settlers of Catan is German-style board game, and is almost certainly the most well-known of the genre. It has spawned several expansions and sequels.

The players in the game represent the eponymous settlers, establishing a colony on the previously uninhabited island of Catan. The island itself is laid out randomly at the beginning of each game from hexagonal tiles ("hexes") representing five types of resources: ore (rocks), grain, wool (sheep), lumber (wood) and brick.

As players establish towns and cities on the island, each settlement can receive resources for its adjacent hexes (with cities yielding more resources). The resources, represented by cards, can be used to build more roads, towns, or cities, and to obtain development cards for later use. Various achievements, such as building a town or establishing the longest road, grant a player one or more victory points. The winner is the first player to accumulate ten victory points.

Players are allowed to trade among each other the resources they have produced, and to trade "off the island" for a hefty price. It is difficult for any one player to produce all the resources necessary for progress, so astute trading is the strategic heart of the game. Player interaction is further complicated by the presence of a robber, which is used to steal from other players and hinder their production of resources. There is no combat. Apart from moving the robber, refusing to trade, and cutting off building routes, there is no way to harm other players.

Game 01 - 18 September 2006 - Players: matt, Ian, John, Joe
Matt was the only player who had played Settlers before, so this was a game for the others to learn the rules and the basics of strategy. Joe moved into an early lead, producing a lot of sheep and brick and trading well. John was producing a lot, but was having trouble diversifying away from grain. Matt made a slow start, but just managed to pip Ian to the wood port. As the game went on, all players were hampered by the crowded board and chronic lack of rocks. Finally, Matt managed to get 8 points-worth of buildings on the board, and claimed the longest road card to win.

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