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!