Tony and Di came round last night to play some Settlers. Still in the first flush of my new cooking enthusiasm I laid on a proper curry spread. I really did sweat and slave over that dinner!
Last night's session reminded me that gamers bored of Settlers are bored of life, or just aren't playing this landmark modern classic with the essential ruthless spirit, namely, "Pick on the person in front!"
Last night's 4 games were notable among other things for my finally finding a good reason to break this, my ironclad strategy of the robber and the soldier in Settlers. I don't know how many games it's been, many dozens over some few years at the very least, but: sitting with no sheep production, and seeing Tony holding 2 resource cards, 1 of which I knew was the only sheep in play, I hit Tony 3 times with the robber looking for that pesky sheep before Diana finally got in on the act and stole it for herself. How we laughed! I wonder how long it'll be before an exception to that rule turns up like that again?
Having watched Di make a brisk march to victory with a 6/6 Ore/Grain city-generator in play, I wasn't going to miss out on a chance to play the same thing on a larger scale in the following game. Di was pipped at the post in that game when my own city-generator delivered me a 2nd 2 cities' worth of resources, I ducked that last seven on my own resource roll, and I sprinted in from 8 VP.
In the 4th and final game a stupid mistake setting up my 2nd settlement left with no lumber production and no immediate access to any either. I had a bad feeling about that. An early investment in a development card came up trumps though, netting me the Monopoly card I used to grab all that lumber which recent resource rolls had churned out in plenty. I husbanded that haul carefully, and although depleted by larceny and the robbers, it still proved enough to overcome the handicap of having no lumber production in that opening phase of road and settlement building typical of Settlers.
The endgame went into top gear when Di pulled out all the stops to generate enough roads from her of endless lumber, which, traded at giveaway rates, enabled Tony in his turn to steal my longest road, which prevented me, in my turn, from winning with a new settlement. The game evened up leaving us all looking for those last couple of points. I enjoyed a stroke of luck when a development card turned up Road Building and, a fortunate resource roll and some off-board trading later, I sprinted in again from 8 VP with 3 very unexepected builds snatching me back my longest road.
Di insisted that the last game was the best, and Tony agreed. I can't argue with that, pleased as I was to win a game where I had no lumber production at all in the opening and mid games. Heh. Mwah, ha, etc. ;)