I've played precious few games of Settlers, even though two friends own it and enjoy bringing it out for an evening. This was my first opportunity to play the 5 - 6 player expansion--in this case with five at the table. So, once beverages and victuals were passed 'round, we got down to the game. Please note, the names are made up but the game was real...
Spike, Cordy, Oz, Buffy and myself got the game setup and decided to play with our resource cards visible to all. As the game progressed, this proved to be (in my mind, anyway) a Good Thing; it encouraged active debates, discussions and expletives regarding the various trades/non-trades as Catan developed. After player order was established and initial placements were made, Spike and Oz definitely held the best ground, with Cordy and Buffy fairly equally situated and your humble narrator most ill positioned (as I said, I don't play this one that often) of the group.
While wee settlements began to pop up everywhere--in every color but mine--the battle for Longest Road was on between Oz and Spike. Buffy quietly began a campaign of Soldiers, and snatched Largest Army. Cordy made good, strategic builds and soon challeged the other boys for Longest Road, all while yours truly suffered bouts of the Robber, harsh dice rolls and, of course, a severe lack of Wood.
The deathly embrace of the Longest Road's jockying contractors (namely, Cordy, Oz and Spike) made the most noise of the night, while Buffy--not known for her subtlety--teased the points out of builds and that Largest Army. Passions enflamed, everyone pointed to Cordy as the sure winner, and a particularly dark trade was cast to hand over the win with certainty--a move Oz hotly debated. But remember, dear reader, this was all in good fun!
Much to everyone's surpise but hers, Buffy popped off the ten points and the victory. We all settled into our final drinks of the night recapping the twists and the turns (and, predicably, what we would each do differently next time.)
Final scores: Buffy 10, Oz & Cordy 8, Brian 5, Spike 4.