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Subject: ? - what can red player do? rss

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Happy Froggy
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newbie family players- been playing since Thanksgiving

we've played about 40 games since thanksgiving. (this game is addictive!)

anyways, for giggles tonight I took a pic of starting game:





and ending game. green won.




my question - red got 'stuck'. couldn't put anymore houses - only could upgrade, but it was impossible for him to win with road or settlements/cities. what could he do to help himself?

players were Blue (4yr old), green (adult), brown (adult), red (6yr old), orange (8yr old).



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Joseph Betz
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Yeah if you get boked in then your only hope there was red did get 3 cities built(actually it looks like you all started with 2 cities) red would still need 3 more points which you would have needed to get the most knights and at least 2 point cards. Red picked a bad starting spot with one 2, one 6, and two 11's as his only production rolls.It settlers sometimes the dice will hose you but you can hose yourself by picking a bad starting spots.
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Wally Jones
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Scream and yell that he will never play the game again.

Then flip the table and walk away angrily.


Honestly, not much you can do.

It is part of the game.

However, he can take revenge on the player(s) that blocked him by giving very favorable trades to the other players.

Basically, insure that the player that blocked him does not win either.
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happyfrog wrote:
newbie family players- been playing since Thanksgiving

we've played about 40 games since thanksgiving. (this game is addictive!)

anyways, for giggles tonight I took a pic of starting game:





and ending game. green won.




my question - red got 'stuck'. couldn't put anymore houses - only could upgrade, but it was impossible for him to win with road or settlements/cities. what could he do to help himself?

players were Blue (4yr old), green (adult), brown (adult), red (6yr old), orange (8yr old).



This is one of those situations where you really needed to look ahead and avoid. In games that don't run that long (e.g. Race For The Galaxy, Dominion), you stay in the game as gracefully as you can, then officially lose, but at least you don't waste as much time since the playtime wasn't that long.


Seeing that the red player was 6yo, I may have considered pointing out such a pitfall. I say may b/c when kids and/or family gametime are involved, dynamics can be different, so I'll have to leave that to you guys.

That said, I did play a 4p game of Settlers online where a player got boxed in with only 2 cities and won with LA and 4 VP (dev cards)! However, as there are less VPs in the dev deck are more diluted with the 5/6p exp (5/34 vs. 5/25 cards), this would be harder to pull off, but the red player did have 3 buildings... "eh"... it's still rough being blocked in.
 
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Doug Hook
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Looks like you started with 2 cities (2 points each). Supposed to start with settlements (1 point each).

From the looks of the initial set up red appears doomed from the start (a 2 & 11?!) even if a really good port; even a 9, 11, 11 is an odd choice. Red starts on low yield numbers (except the 9).

Oh, your original question:
Well let's see. Longest red road possible is 9 and yellow already has it. Based on the ending position he can't get more than 4 cities. Red's best chance appears to have been to get all four cities (2 points each) AND hold the Largest Army (2 points). (4x2)+2=10. That could have yielded the maximum total of 10 points needed to win.

Good to see you playing with the wee ones. Based on their ages they did well.

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year. Enjoy!
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    I've seen worse. You have seven points in settlements which is very good, and you have access to multiple resources. Rolling an eleven will let you build damn near anything you want. What remains is to buy resource cards all day, get a hold of a victory pointer and get largest army. That's you're option to success, and with any luck you'll be able to keep the robber off your super-duper hex.

             S.


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Happy Froggy
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thank you for responses!!

player red - (6yr old) we tried to encourage him to put cities in 'good' spots, but he was quite determined that his placement was good.

yep, we intentionally started that game with cities. it was an hour before bedtime so we wanted the game to go quickly and still go to 10 points - so started with 4 points instead of 2. it was intentional, d/t time constraints.

we help the kids along but for the most part, they insist on playing 'their' way - but we saw early on player red was 'stuck' so we tried to figure out a way to help him win anyway, but there weren't many options.

player blue is all about the sheep. that player (4yr old) LOVES the sheep, so as long as she has sheep, she's happy. she's not really about the strategy, lol - although i do push her to trade in her sheep often to build roads and put settlements up.

i forgot about possibility of win with development cards - we use the expansion pack so the extra VP is in there. so it could have been possible - and if i remember, we were kind of encouraging the points - so he could get biggest army at least. . .(he just doesn't like being 'mean' with the robber, lol).

very fun game. will be incorporating the suggestions you all mentioned as well as add'l strategies i've seen on the forum here - i'm trying to encourage the kids to place initial settlements/cities (depends on time which we start with) on highest pip'ed numbers to get best odds, but they don't always prefer that method - 8yr old (orange) has his own strategy involving placing on many different resources, even if numbers aren't the best - he actually wins a LOT!

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Sam Phillips Beckerman
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Starting with cities is not a good way to speed up a game. It removes a balancing path to someone trapped like red. Add that to a plan of buying as many Development cards as possible and you hv a better game.

Better to make game go to 8VP. You can give it another speed-boost by paying everyone at beginning resouces for both of their settlements instead of lad one.
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David P
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chadnorth wrote:
...

Oh, your original question:
Well let's see. Longest red road possible is 9 and yellow already has it. Based on the ending position he can't get more than 4 cities. Red's best chance appears to have been to get all four cities (2 points each) AND hold the Largest Army (2 points). (4x2)+2=10. That could have yielded the maximum total of 10 points needed to win.

...


Actually, red's max path is 10 (look again, please), but your point is well-taken and correct, imo.
 
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furrier wrote:
chadnorth wrote:
...

Oh, your original question:
Well let's see. Longest red road possible is 9 and yellow already has it. Based on the ending position he can't get more than 4 cities. Red's best chance appears to have been to get all four cities (2 points each) AND hold the Largest Army (2 points). (4x2)+2=10. That could have yielded the maximum total of 10 points needed to win.

...


Actually, red's max path is 10 (look again, please), but your point is well-taken and correct, imo.


    Or shorten the path a little with a Victory Point card from the Development Deck. Not an unlikely pickup if you're going for largest army in the first place.

             S.


 
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Happy Froggy
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what a great idea!!! will do in future - settlements, payout on all hex's at start and 8 vp. definitely will!

we had another couple of games today after all school lessons were completed. (we're also a homeschool household.)

thanks so much for the ideas and now to strategize . . .we'll get better at this!
 
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Doug Hook
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furrier wrote:
chadnorth wrote:
...Oh, your original question:
Well let's see. Longest red road possible is 9 and yellow already has it. Based on the ending position he can't get more than 4 cities. Red's best chance appears to have been to get all four cities (2 points each) AND hold the Largest Army (2 points). (4x2)+2=10. That could have yielded the maximum total of 10 points needed to win....


Actually, red's max path is 10 (look again, please), but your point is well-taken and correct, imo.
I looked at that possibility for a long time before responding and counted the paths 3-4 times. I'm rather embarrassed that I missed that!

Sam Houston wrote:
Starting with cities is not a good way to speed up a game. It removes a balancing path to someone trapped like red. Add that to a plan of buying as many Development cards as possible and you hv a better game.

Better to make game go to 8VP. You can give it another speed-boost by paying everyone at beginning resourses for both of their settlements instead of lad one.
As for only going to 8 points I would never recommend that at all. Lowering victory conditions to merely 7-8 points encourages road building strategies. If one is using a Wheat/Ore or Wheat/Sheep/Ore strategy (with goal of Largest Army) victory points come slow at first and crescendo rapidly after circa 7 points; I prefer this whenever possible. Probably I miscounted the roads, eh?
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Joseph Betz
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Starting with cities does speed up the game but i would not start with 2 cities. At the world boardgaming championships for the settlers tournamnet they use a city and settlement to start with and 3 roads.It seeems to knock at least 30 minutes off of games.That is with 4 player games never tried it with 5 or 6 though.
 
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Jörg Baumgartner
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There are several possible rule changes (aka scenarios) to speed the game up.

Support stack:

Take 5 resource cards of each type and shuffle them into a support stack. As long as a player has less than 5 victory points, the player gets to draw one card from that stack at the beginning of his turn. When all players have reached 5 victory points, return any remaining cards to the bank. If all support cards are used up and there still are players with less than 5 victory points, take 3 cards of each type and shuffle them into a replacement stack.


More starting settlements:

Start with three settlements, and require that the first has to be placed on the coast - this will make sure that each player has at least one port, also helping to speed up the game.

Start with two settlements, but upgrade one (of your choice) to a city when all settlements have been placed.


Extra victory points:

Place coins or similar markers on some of the less desirable places on the map, such as the coastal corners with two adjacent water hexes (and no port). These may not be used during the setup phase, but when a settlement is built there during the game, the player nets an extra victory point for every coin he builds on. (In the Geographies, such places only need to be connected with roads - may work as well.)

Use the Harbormaster victory card from Traders and Barbarians, or the Specialist rules from Das Buch.
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Todd Blackhurst
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I've been in red's position before. I ended up winning because the other players wrote me off as impossible to win so they didn't pay attention to my trades. I built up my knights and collected victory points from the dev deck.
With the range in ages, it's tough to adhere to the mechanics of the game anyway. Have you tried any of the other games in the series that are more kid-friendly? You can still enjoy the feel of Catan games with your younger players that way.
 
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Arjen Schouten
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No advice here as many is already given, but just wanted to say I find it awesome to see a family including their young kids have fun playing boardgames!meeple
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chadnorth wrote:
As for only going to 8 points I would never recommend that at all. Lowering victory conditions to merely 7-8 points encourages road building strategies. If one is using a Wheat/Ore or Wheat/Sheep/Ore strategy (with goal of Largest Army) victory points come slow at first and crescendo rapidly after circa 7 points; I prefer this whenever possible. Probably I miscounted the roads, eh?
jbetz45453 wrote:
Starting with cities does speed up the game but i would not start with 2 cities. At the world boardgaming championships for the settlers tournamnet they use a city and settlement to start with and 3 roads.It seeems to knock at least 30 minutes off of games.That is with 4 player games never tried it with 5 or 6 though.
I know of a computer program (Sea3d) that does that, which the variant's called "Tournament Start Rules". It does go by other names. Ironically enough, they do NOT use it in many tournament formats I'm familiar with.

first go around clockwise... 1 sett and one road

2nd go around counter-clockwise from the last player... 1 city, 1 road from that city, and an additional road from anywhere (it has to be a legal placement... IOW, the 3rd road can be placed off the 1st or 2nd road, or any of the buildings).

I've noticed it cuts off about that much time as well. It does allow for that type of win you mentioned...
start off with 1 sett and city for 3pts
build 4 more sett to get to 7pts
LR to get to 9pts
A lucky VP to get to 10

The big disdain about winning like this is you can do so without having to build any (additional) cities.
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Rich Uncle Pennybags
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We took the bridges out of an expansion and allow upgrading of roads - pay wood and brick for a new road AND trade the current road, replacing it with the bridge piece - then allow settling on adjacent hex-points instead of every other one as in standard rules. Nice change that opens up the game; each single hex-piece can theoretically support up to six settlements instead of three. New double road counts as two road-points toward longest road. We add three double roads, either in addition to single roads, or replacing three.
 
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