Third Game: Settlers of Catan
After the rather quick initial play, we decided to give this one another go. I was all for this. We got the map laid out and it was quite clear that brick was going to be hard to come by with a 2-11-3, in kind of a triangle shape with the desert right in the middle -- ouch. As it turned out, wheat was also in short supply for most of the game. It had good numbers, 9 and 8, but they didn't hit much early on. I got to go first, so I again chose a wheat-stone-stone (9-4-5) as my starting settlement. This was partly because of the success of this strategy in the just completed game and partly some negative experiences with not having a stone spot. Christine chose a spot nearby with access to brick, wood, and sheep. Dwight used his turn to set up a pair of settlements each with 8-3 numbers. Early in the game, this hurt him, as these numbers were not rolled a lot. However, later in the game, he was able to build up quite a bit when they were rolled. Unfortunately, the game had pretty much been decided at that point. Christine placed her second settlement right near me with wheat, sheep, and wood production. It effectively wiped out one of the two spots I had my eye on. At any rate, this left my other spot, which was across the stone hex from my first placement, but also had access to sheep and a little brick. Fortunately for me, that 11 brick would be rolled a lot in the game. All in all, it as a rather odd setup with 5 settlements all close to each other and one of Dwight's on the opposite side of the island.
The early part of the game was really slow. In addition to the brick and wheat being somewhat scarce in the early game, wood was also hard to come by, except for Christine who had a settlement built on both wood sixes. I had enough resources to get me a development card. This gave me road building. This turned out to be a fortunate event for me. By my next turn, I had traded dearly to get the necessary resources to build a settlement. The road building card allowed me to circle around to the spot I needed -- on the opposite side of the 11 brick to a 6 and 3 wood. Now I had at least some access to all resources. As I mentioned earlier, the 11 got rolled a lot, so this benefited me even more with the second settlement on the brick hex. I built the fourth settlement further on around the 6 wood, getting more access to stone and sheep. This also netted me the longest road. One thing I have to point out is that this took a while. I was very much in the lead, but it had not been easy.
The next step in my plan was to build a city on my wheat-stone-stone settlement. This took a while, as the wheat was very difficult for me to get. When I was finally able to do this, it helped on the wheat front somewhat simply because it gave me more wheat each time that was rolled. By now, Christine had built an additional settlement and a city and was threatening for longest road. Dwight also had started getting some needed rolls and was able to build a couple of additional settlements. Since the wheat was still hard to come by, I began working on building a port. The roads were not too much trouble. However, getting the wheat to build the settlement proved problematic. One of the big problems in this game was the vast number of 7's rolled. At one point we rolled 6 robbers in 9 rolls. It was pretty miserable. Now, since wheat and brick were hard to get, people were always hoarding in hopes of being able to trade. Seeing these hoards get wiped out was pretty disheartening. At any rate, I was finally able to build my settlement on the port, though I only used it once in the game. After this was complete, I was able to tie my two road systems together, effectively guaranteeing me the longest road.
Not too terribly long after I built my final settlement, an opportune 9 gave me the wheat I needed to complete my second city. Then things became really difficult. The cruel robbers continued to bedevil us, making it more and more difficult to hold onto stuff. I was getting rolls for lots of things, except no wheat. Unfortunately, before I could do much with them, a 7 would be rolled. The consolation is that no one else could do much at this time either. It finally came back to me where I could trade some stuff in. I had more than enough to get my final city -- all of it using stone -- 9 total.
Stephen -- 10
Dwight -- 6
Christine -- 3
This game was really odd because of the very large number of 7's that were rolled. I don't think that we went twice around the board without rolling one more than a few times in the game. Add to that all of the clusters and you have the recipe for a long game. However, despite all of this, the game did not go on all that long. We still managed to finish up in about 75 minutes.