My 15-year old son had two friends over last night and while they primarily played computer games they also wanted to try a board game. They looked through my games and picked out Settlers of Canaan. My son and I had played Canaan twice before. Once with two players and once with three. We had introduced one of Ricky's friends to Euros last weekend (Pirate's Cove) but the other friend had primarily played party games before.
I have to say I got some real joy seeing three teenage boys, all avid video game players, take so well to a board game. By about the third time around they had a firm understanding of the mechanics and did really well with the strategy too, although the Wall of Jerusalem did not come into play much. There was fierce competition for the longest road though and the trading was very spirited. I enjoyed playing this with 4-players as competion for routes and certain hexes is much stiffer. As with the other games I have played the copper, 'wild card' hex was frequently target for the plague for the two of us that did not have a settlement there.
The boys were really pulling for certain numbers and cheered when a good roll came up, and there was much laughter when someone with a handful of cards got nailed with a 7 roll. There wasn't a bad sport in the bunch so the game was very enjoyable. It was also close. On the last turn there were three of us in a position to win but my son had first shot as it playing a third priest and building a city to grab the win. Canaan starts every one on two points and plays until someone gets to 12. This makes it easy to tally the settlements and cities on the board to confirm your score without having to adjust for the starting settlements.
Final scores were Ricky 12, Jeff 10, Logan 10, and Bobby 8. Logan and I both had the cards we needed to get to 12 on the last turn, although I would have been dependent on a 7 not coming up. Ricky had longest road and most priests, while I had the most stones in the Wall of Jerusalem. Those 4 points pushed Ricky over the top.
I do not have a copy of the original Settlers (just the MS computer version), so it will be interesting to see if the fixed board of Canaan will grow stale. The game probably ran 2+ hours, I did not check. The Canaan board is not set up in a random fashion like Settlers, and the gray stone resouces are tougher to get, so it takes a while before the cities start to show up.
I have a feeling the game might get some more play now as I beleive I've really made some new converts for Euro gaming.