For our next game we wanted another not-too-taxing game, but perhaps with a little more meat. Jim chose Settlers of Catan, with the Seafarers expansion. We spent the time to set up "Into the Desert" scenario, and Heather and Jim had placed their initial settlements when Danielle and Lynnette arrived. So we made room for them, and used the "Five Islands" scenario, and sat down to play.
The initial setups were pretty normal. Danielle and Lynnette each placed both their settlements onto the same island, but the others diversified more. They also placed their second settlements on coastal spaces, as did Dave, who placed settlements first and last. With these placements made, we started rolling for resources.
Other than roads or ships, the first construction was not a settlement, but rather a city, by Jim. See, early on lots of 5s were rolled, which gave rock to Dave and Heather, and wheat to Jim. A little trading got Jim that city, and got Heather her first city as well. Dave ended up building the first settlement, which got him to a second settlement on the 6-sheep hex, and a sheep port. That should have served him well. The second settlement was Heather's, who was making a strong initial statement.
Meanwhile, both Danielle and Lynnette were making use of their initial coastal towns, building out ships across the waters to new lands. Danielle was the first to successfully settle a new island, earning the bonus victory point. Lynette did the same just a bit later. She also was able to claim the Longest Road award when she built her fifth and sixth ships. But Heather appeared to be the person to beat, building her second city. Dave and Jim, each trying to keep up, built their next cities as well.
Through all this time, the robber had been sitting on the 11-sheep hex where both Jim and Heather had settled. Meanwhile 8s were rolled, giving Heather two roads each time, and 9s were rolled, giving Jim lots of resources. Of course, a roll of 6 only came up twice all game. As a result, Dave's sheep hex and Carrie's wood hex hardly produced all game. So Dave, trying to mix things up and perhaps slow down the perceived leaders, moved the robber off of the 11 hex and onto the 9-brick hex that both of them also occupied. But to Dave's horror, the 11 was rolled instead.
Heather, who already was holding a handful of resource cards (though none of them sheep), earned four sheep resources with that roll! After looking at her resources, and looking at the board, she determined that, with her current 8 victory points, she could reach the winning point of 12 VP on that turn. She started by building three ships, giving her a seven-length road and taking the Longest Road award from Lynnette. She then built a settlement on the new island she had just reached, which gave her the VP for the settlement and the bonus for the new land. In one turn she swooped in for four quick points, which gave her 12, and the win.
You'd think that two settlements on a 6-sheep, with a sheep port, would be a pretty good setup, right? Not so. We were all growing pretty evenly, though Jim and Heather were benefitting pretty well from the 8s and 9s being rolled. But how do you defend against a 4 VP turn? Nicely played, Heather.