Dist of Columbia
I can't stand Settlers with 5-6 players and I'm looking to trade my expansion for that game. Tonight made me think even four players may be too much for this game. Because of the luck there can defintely be a feeling of waiting for something to happen in Settlers. You don't get resources, you can't trade anything, stuck in a rut waiting to develop or expand. It can make the game a little frustrating.
In this game ore was the rare commodity. Everyone was looking for it. Archie somehow managed to get enough early on to upgrade both his settlements to cities. I'm beginning to see this as a very viable strategy. Instead of focusing on the early wood/brick probability combo it might work better to focus on wheat and ore early, upgrade the cities, and then become a trade baron when you're ready to expand and everyone else is looking for what you're hoarding. Unfortunately, in this game ore just wasn't coming out very often at all.
Ara managed to cut off my initial path of expansion, so I blew a wood and brick on a road to nowhere. Ara seemed to make effective use of a wood harbor and his man tree houses. The robber moved around quite a bit and Jim was very upset to have lost ten cards in a single round due to the robber cutting his hand in half and then other people pilfering from either solider cards or robber rolls. Archie and Ara carried out the classic longest road competition, but there wasn't too much back and forth there after Archie stole it from Ara. Arch took the game managing to collect 11 points, and probably could have had 12, buying another road and settlement if he really wanted.
Arch - 11
Ara - 8
Jim - 6
Brian - 5