In spite of the late hour, I convinced Jay, Bill and Willerd to remain for another 'wind down' game. The choice was Settlers of Catan, to which Bill was new.
I don't find Settlers a difficult game to explain or grasp, but for some reason I got the distinct impression that Bill never really did catch on to the mechanics, subtleties or strategies. All of us made efforts to help him along in the initial set-up and throughout the game, offering strategy tips, advice, etc. Still, he maintained a confused, pained expression on his face throughout the entire game. Even the classic double-entendre jokes and one-liners associated with Settlers veterans failed to ease his worried brow.
The game was very congested on one side, with all three mountain tiles appearing adjacent to each other. Jay, Willerd and I each plopped settlements next to these, shutting Bill out. In spite of this, we did tell him the other methods to pursue which could easily make-up for this lack of stone, but it didn't seem to sit too well with him.
Early on, I received a nice influx of stone and wheat, allowing me to upgrade two of my settlements to cities. I also managed to capture the Longest Road card and construct one more settlement. This, however, brought down the wrath of my opponents, who continued to pester me with the robber baron even long after I had lost the Longest Road card to Willerd and was no longer a threat. Of course, it also didn't help that many of my settlements and cities also bordered Willerd's, as once the group finally perceived him as the threat he was, the robber baron was usually placed in such a fashion as to hurt not only him, but me as well. In one turn, I was hit four times by the baron resulting in four of my five resource cards being 'stolen' by my opponents. Slugs.
Willerd certainly dominated this game. He was enjoying an incredible steady supply of stone and wood, and was using his port to trade to get other needed resources. He quickly seized the Longest Road from me and was well on his way to victory. As if to add insult to injury, he drew a total of three development cards during the game, and they were all Knights, giving him the Largest Army as well, along with the victory.
Finals: Willerd 10, Jay 5, Bill 5, Greg 5
Ratings: Willerd 8, Jay 8, Greg 8, Bill .... are you ready for this?... 1
I spent some time with Bill afterwards trying to ascertain why he detested the game so. He felt he didn't have any control over his fate and kept pointing to his lack of stone resources as a key problem. I knew my arguments to the contrary weren't going to change his opinion, so just agreed that obviously this wasn't a game for him. Oh, well ... not everyone can be a Settlers fan!