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Settlers of Catan

Rachael Oatman

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To truly enjoy the wildly interactive game known as the Settlers of Catan, all the players must come together, bringing with them a right mindset. The most essential part of the game is each players’ unique strategy. Without having one in mind or quickly writing one out, the game could fall apart. There are many strategies to be used, and even a combination of a few is possible.

All players should commence by exercising their rusty vocal cords. It is necessary to be prepared for the intense rounds of trading. By sharpening their words like weapons, they can be ready to pull words out against their opponents. Introverts are put to the test, as they too must battle using communicative skills. They may be forced out of their shells just to ask for a single bundle of wheat. There is an alternative, one that complies with their silent but effective ways. By gaining a few simple cards, a sheep, wheat, and rock, they can sneakily attain victory cards, giving them an unknown advantage. When the time comes, the unsuspected introverts can steal the game with this steady strategy.

To some the game goes by in such a rush, as plays are swiftly made and points continue to rake in with each settlement they build. While these players, with their mad skills of persuasion, get their resources with ease, others find the game slowly droning by with the same useless cards stuck in their hand. The latter may patiently wait for the dice to roll in their favor, but luck is not on their side. In that case trading is the only option. These steady players may wish to act as an ally to all, in hopes that the players will gladly share their resource cards in return. This strategy is immediately foiled when playing with one who desires total domination over his opponents.

The Settlers of Catan is not meant so that everyone can exchange pleasantries. It is not for the gentle-hearted but for the lion-hearted, one who can easily prowl upon his prey. This player cannot reveal his cold-hearted, calculated plans. He must first hide like a wolf among sheep. To stay incognito, he should graciously share his cards at the first part of the game, so as not to arouse suspicion. Once the game begins to get interesting, as more and more people are building roads, cities, and settlements, his claws come out, revealing his vicious tendencies. At that point any attempt by a brave soul who tries to stop him, whipping out a robber card and striking him at the heart of his bounty, will be but any annoyance to him. He has too much power and can easily trample over all with his towering cities in contrast to their puny settlements.

There is no hope for winning with this player in control, unless there is a whiner among the players. The whiner commands all sympathizers in the game, unjustly gaining their cards. All she has to do is pull out a pouty lip, and the resources are distributed for her taking. Although the power of the pout is not meant to be a strategy, it gets the job done. Soon she will have enough cards to build multiple cities. Maybe even, if she sheds a tear, she can get the other players to give all the space she needs to build the longest road.

Sympathizers seem to resort only to the option of caving in to the whiner, eradicating the strategy of the game. They appear to be fine, ignoring their own need for a brick card by passing it off to another player in exchange for a worthless sheep. Some sympathizers may even freely give cards away, like they’re throwing out candy. Once the game comes to an end, all they have to show are three neglected settlements.

The game itself is a puzzle, and without the right assortment of players, it becomes a waste of an hour. One must be careful whom he invites to play because one wrong choice offsets the entire balance of the game. Things quickly become escalated with an overly competitive player, yet when all strategy is thrown away, there is no point to playing anymore. There is a strange sense of harmony required to play the game that is not mentioned in the rule book. Take this advice, and put in extra time and thought for composing the perfect ensemble of players.


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Settlers of Catan