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Subject: 5 player session of Catan rss

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Mike Nelson
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Mountain View
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We played a 5 player session of Catan on Sunday, here are the highlights:

It seemed like the main numbers that were rolled were:
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 (3 surprisingly came up a lot)

average number of 8 (8 just didn't fall that much)

not very many 2, 10 (10 not coming up really hurt Keijiro)

none of 11, 12

Players:
Dort - orange color, 10 points, roads/settlements approach, used his harbor well (had longest road)
John - red color, 8 points, roads/settlements approach, had a big early lead, used his harbor well
Me - brown color, 8 points, city style approach (had largest army)
Matt - green color, 6 points, city style approach, tried to use harbor, went after wheat
Keijiro - blue color, 5 points, city style approach, his numbers just didn't come up that often

The initial settlements were all over the place - there were a ton of good wheat spots available right in the middle of the board. Same with wood, there were a lot of good wood spots. Seemed like brick and ore were hard to come by, since there weren't that many good brick spots, and the ore spots were by the edge of the board.

Initial settlements:
I setup my initial settlements around wheat and ore to try to get cities (I think I was on a 8 ore- 9 wood- 4 ore, and 10 sheep- 9 ore- 4 wheat). While I did accomplish this, I didn't follow my own strategy guide that I had typed up which stated that when placing your first settlements you need to try to get them on 6 different numbers, so that whatever number is rolled benefits you. By clumping my settlements on 2 numbers (9 and 4), I was putting all my eggs in 1 basket, which is not a good move. Thinking about it now, I wasn't feeling the best mentally that day, because I spent 6 hours doing homework, that might have contributed to me not being fully there in terms of utilizing the best strategy - I just messed up.

Dort setup on wood/brick and all around resources across different numbers (he placed first and last)

John setup on wood/brick and all around resources across different numbers (he placed 2nd and 2nd to last)

Matt setup on wheat and a wood/brick harbor to try to utilize his wheat field (he placed 3rd and 3rd to last)

Kejiro setup on wheat/ore on both of his settlements to try to get cities (he placed last and then first)

Overall after the initial settlements it seemed like Dort and John had the best overall placements of their settlements - they were evenly spread across many numbers, and diversified in resources.

Game progression:
John and Dort started building first, I think John built a road and then a settlement, and Mike followed thereafter.

I built a city on the 2nd build phase, I only needed 1 more wheat to do so.

Unfortunately Matt's wheat field wasn't producing as much wheat as it should, and he couldn't build as much. Keijiro also wasn't getting as many good rolls - he couldn't get things going as well either.

John got off to a fast start, he was ahead by at least 3 VPs fairly early on, and was raking in the resource cards.

We then started targeting John with the robber, and this slowed him down somewhat.

Dort kept consistently building settlements - and he was also building roads that were reinforced by settlements, so that we couldn't break his longest road.

Dort then got the longest road card, and was now clearly in the lead.
The table then started targeting him with the robber, and even started a trade embargo against him.

During this time Matt and Keijiro each built a couple cities, as did I, so the 3 of us were all behind John and Dort.

5 brick spot that was impossible to reach, haha
There was a 5 brick spot that I was trying to reach, but when I placed my initial settlements I didn't have access to brick, which was a bad mistake on my part at the beginning. So when I had 2 cities, I couldn't build any roads to get a settlement, other than trying to trade away ore and wheat to people for brick. John was also going for the same spot, and he eventually beat me to the spot, and that really sucked. At that point I had 2 cities, and with no real building prospects to go after I just started buying development cards. I got a couple knights, and started going for the largest army - eventually getting it near the end. I also built a settlement and city in the process, ending up at 8 VPs.

During this time John was trying to buy a development card as well, and he couldn't buy one, or else he would have got the largest army before I was able to - he likely would have won the game over Dort if he could have got another knight card.

Dort then built a settlement and a city to get to 10 VPs and win the game.

Lesson learned
It was another great game of Settlers - Dort and John played great games - with diversity of numbers and across resources. I see the power of this, because that way whatever number is rolled you get something. If you bunch your numbers between a couple, your resources come in batches, which can be dangerous for the robber if you can't build right when you get those cards. For the next game, I still do prefer to do the wheat/ore approach with cities, but I need to make sure to diversify my numbers across 6 numbers at first via the 2 settlements.

I really sort of backed into 2nd place, I was doing badly until the very end when I got another city and the largest army, but John was the real one who had a chance to win at the end. Great times in the land of Catan as usual!
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Fred Beukema
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Interesting -- I haven't thought to keep track of dice rolls in Catan before. I recently picked up the Catan Event cards, designed in part to force a bell-curve distribution of rolls. I should try keeping track with the dice in the meantime.

Nice report!
 
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Mike Nelson
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fbeukema wrote:
Interesting -- I haven't thought to keep track of dice rolls in Catan before. I recently picked up the Catan Event cards, designed in part to force a bell-curve distribution of rolls. I should try keeping track with the dice in the meantime.

Nice report!


Thanks!

I wouldn't say that I write down each dice roll, but I just mentally keep track of what numbers come up the most and the least, it is interesting to see what numbers come up each game...
 
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