It's The Winslow!
I got out of gaming about the time Settlers was released, so I kept on hearing about this great game, but never played it. When I recently got back into gaming (about 10 years later!), my first game of Settlers was underwhelming. While I liked the trading aspects (especially in the 5-6 player version), I didn't like the lack of geographic interaction.
Well, our group pulled out Seafarers and played the "Six Islands" scenario for six and had a blast. I did not think the addition of ships would make as large a difference, but the game felt more open in terms of exploration, but more interactive in terms of space. (In particular, I had a lot of fun trying to figure out where I would land on islands.) I also had a much better sense of the beginning, middle, and endgame.
The beginning had us fairly scattered, although Jarrett and I used the same placement strategy: place both settlements on the same island. (We camped out on the seven-hex islands, and I placed both settlements on the same hex - usually a no-no.) Tim, who was just learning the game, seperated his settlements on two different islands, but quickly worked to connect them.
Jarrett took advantage of his virtual ore monopoly to upgrade to cities quickly. We had a grain shortage for quite some time (thanks, robber!) with me pleading for grain on practically every turn. But fearing large hands, I did quite a bit of ship and road building and claimed longest road early on with no competitors.
Tom and Roger did quite a bit of ship-building, leading to a logjam near the middle of the board, with Tom's ships cutting the board in half. Roger also went development card heavy in the midgame looking for victory points.
At the end, it was Jarrett who pulled off a victory with his cities, one setttlement on an unknown island, and development card worth one victory point. I was close: I had eleven points, a hand of 6 brick and 1 grain, a 3:1 port, and thus a chance to trade in for a development card next round.
One concern: the two leaders (Jarrett and myself) were the ones who started and basically controlled the seven-hex islands. If we play the scenario again, we may have to prevent such control.
Jarrett 12/Mark 11/Tim 9/John 5/Roger 5/Tom 4