18 August 2008

Die Siedler von Catan

Our family souvenier from Germany is a board game, Die Siedler von Catan. It's a game of strategy and luck, you collect resources to expand your settlements to a certain size before your opponents can expand theirs. The board changes shape every time you play and resources are collected based on die rolls. A band of robbers move about the board whenever a seven is rolled, depriving you of resources from a particular piece of land and also stealing some resources from your existing hand. Extra points can be earned from things like having the longest road, the largest army or plain luck - you can trade three resources for a development card that might have a library or marketplace worth a point. Lars is especially fond of the game. As soon as he gets over his love of the longest road (he builds ALL his roads before anything else), he will win the game. Until then, I win all the time. I can trail the entire game - by enough points to get depressed about - and then, suddenly grab four points at once and surpass everyone at the end. I like to think it's due to my superior intelligence and ironclad strategy but a lot of it is luck. Either way, it DRIVES CHRIS NUTS. He doesn't mind losing sometimes but losing ALL the time, especially when he's feeling confident of a win right up until the moment of the loss, really gets to him. I'm coaching Lars in head-to-head games a couple of times per week with the hope that he'll be able to share the winning sometime soon!


Grandmoo said...

How wonderful to see a family game not played facing a computer! Do you all play while only speaking German? That would be a great way to keep up your new language skills!

karen said...

Chris and I play in German; the kids are about half and half. They understand everything but still speak mainly in English. Lars says the numbers and one or two of the resources in German, though, and seems to allow a new word or two to creep into his verbal vocabulary every other game or so. Ross will speak in German when forced, always with eyes rolled skyward to show that no other child on the face of the planet has to ask for his resource cards in some other language. Now that I think of it, maybe he's right.


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