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Subject: How to avoid being singled out rss

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Fezvez
France
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Hello,

Today, I had my second bad experience with Catan, and I don't know what I can do to like this game. Or perhaps it's me, you'll decide.

So, we are playing a 6 player game, with only one person new to the game. I don't really know how good the others are, but I can tell they have at least half a dozen game under their belt.

I start the game pretty well, get decent spots. Then I get 2 points rather fast, and I have 4 points when everyone else has 3. At this stage of the game, I started getting picked on at literally every single occasion. Robber? Monopoly? Someone preferred to do an exactly similar trade with someone else? Everyone refused to trade with me except if they were really desperate?

And they are right, that's what you ought to do to win the game. What happens is that sometimes, the leader sees his advance shrink, and the game becomes more normal. And sometimes, the additional early settlements/cities just snowball.

So that was my position. I got tired of no one interacting with me, and started playing with my phone. After an hour of agony, I just called it quits (to the surprise and obvious strong dislike of the other players). I think I had 8 points to the 4/5 of the others (plus the longest road / biggest army, but these change). I could see the game lasting for another hour at least (they discussed a lot for trades)

Perhaps it was very wrong of me, and you have to suck it up and keep smiling. Perhaps I was tryharding too much (I spotted slight misplays on my opponent's choices and I tried to play optimally all game long) and that was not the spirit of the game this particular night. Perhaps I should have just shut up and played until the end. Perhaps I should have put my phone back in my pocket and tried to smile through the systematic shutdown of all my offers and laugh it off.

So, question is : how do you avoid other players stopping any interaction with you when you are in the lead and making the whole experience unpleasant?

I am not interested in quitting games mid-session, but I am not interested in being out of any social interaction / being singled out again and again for an hour+

Edit : I have scoured the forum, and I am not the only one who feels the same. Mainly, I get the impression that this is a normal part of the game (as the gameplay encourages it), some people like it, some don't. Too bad, I'll have to set my eye on other games I guess
 
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Russ Williams
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I also don't enjoy if people extremely gang up too much on one person (perceived leader or otherwise) in Catan. I used to play with someone who "Svengali"-like always convinced everyone else to not trade with me "because Russ often wins" or whatever (regardless of whether I was winning or losing in that particular game - i.e. they were essentially not playing to win, but rather to keep me from winning), which got frustrating.

That said, ignoring the game in progress, and playing on your phone for an hour, and then quitting a multiplayer game seems wrong to me, and I would not do that... I would have at least tried to negotiate with the other players and argued for some kind of deals with them (i.e. maybe they rightly don't want to do even trades with you when you're ahead, but you may be able to give 2 or 3 resources to get 1 useful resource from someone willing to get 2 or 3 resources while giving 1, etc.) It's a game about negotiation/discussion/convincing, after all; if you just bail out and start fiddling with your phone and ignoring the game, then it's hardly surprising if you don't get to do any deals.

Ultimately, yeah, if you don't enjoy that kind of negotiation game, then it seems best to avoid playing them. (I rarely play such games these days for the same reason.)
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Ben Goulding
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The truth is you can't really do anything about it. Everything your fellow players did was within the rules of the game, and thinking about it logically, can you really blame them for not wanting to trade with you, or putting more pressure on you with the robber when you were solidly in the lead?

I do agree with Russ that it was bad sport of you to simply up and leave, and you probably didn't do yourself any favours by ignoring everyone else. It's always a downside of negotiation games though, and know you know what's like you're better placed to avoid it in the future.
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Andy Burgess
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russ wrote:
they were essentially not playing to win, but rather to keep me from winning
I've experienced this so many times. And it's always denied. And to be fair it probably feels worse to me than it is, because I perhaps start ascribing this behaviour when it's not really intended.

But yes, frustrating - it can ruin the evening for me. Don't get me wrong - I'm not desperate to win, but I'd like an even playing field - and that includes wanting the others to try to win for their own sake, rather than playing for someone - anyone! - to lose.
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Max DuBoff
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fezvez wrote:
So, question is : how do you avoid other players stopping any interaction with you when you are in the lead
Well, to put it simply, you don't. As others have said, people who aren't winning in Catan are supposed to pick on the leader. That's just how the game works.

fezvez wrote:
and making the whole experience unpleasant?
It sounds like perhaps the real issue here is that your friends play incredibly slowly. There's nothing inherently wrong with slow play if everyone in the group is cool with it; I would never tell people not to play a way they enjoy. That could be the source of your frustration, though. Catan is a game that shouldn't really ever take more than 90 minutes, whereas it sounds like your game would've gone at least 150. I would suggest either encouraging your friends to play quicker r just playing a different game.
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kimchi fried rice
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I can totally relate to how you're feeling, although I'm not sure quitting mid-game was the right response.

That said, I can't ever recall playing a game where I hated winning/being in the lead so much. It becomes rather dull when no one will interact with you.
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Fezvez
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Thank you for your input.

To precise things, I tried to interact when I was in the lead. After getting shut down a good number of times on a variety of different topics (trade, where to place the robber, even offering advice) I gradually started using my "free" time to play on my phone. It didn't go 0 to 100 when I got shot down the first time.

I play to have fun. That's for me the core of the issue. If I feel bullied for one hour, and can expect to be bullied for another hour, I considered it fair to just get up and leave. I don't mind losing, but I do mind doing nothing with my life for 2 hours+. (I do agree that slow play was getting on my nerves)

I guess I'll go back to other games
 
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Håkan König
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fezvez wrote:
So, we are playing a 6 player game
I think this might have been your mistake. 6-player Catan can drag quite a bit if not everybody is working on pushing it along. And as a leader it can be quite frustrating to get singled out as 'don't trade with him' in slow games. But there is really not that much you can do about it unfortunately. Just hope that your friends realise that giving someone a single point lead early in the game is not a deal breaker - the trade opportunities are so much more worth than a point at that stage that you are hurting yourself if you don't trade with everybody.

Oh, and you can shave some time off from the game by using the so called tournament rule, where each player places a settlement and a city instead of two settlements at the start of the game.
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Phil Hannay
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1. Don't play 6-player. Really. It's a 4-player game, and any other number is inferior. 3/5 means too much room and not enough competition, and 6 takes away the tension of holding cards and makes the game slower.

2. Argue. Point out why, although you have the most points, you aren't winning. Point out numbers, expansion room, anything!

3. Invest in things that don't earn points (lots of roads, once past longest road. These cripple your opponent's expansion and give you the option of earning points quickly as you have settlement sites available). Or cards, lots of cards that you don't play.

4. Play with faster players

If you were being singled out because you were in the lead for over an hour, does that mean you were going to win? Because winning despite the best efforts of all the other players combined is great fun

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