Saturday, September 20, 2008

A session of the Catan card game

Catan Card Game .If you know the game your first thoughts when seeing the title of this post will be "lunchtime(?) how did you manage that????" Indeed the game I'm about to talk about lasted about two and half hours. Did I have an extended lunch?

I'm a lucky son-of-a-bilge-rat because my boss lets me leave games set up at work from one day to the next. I even had a heroscape left set up in the office for an entire two week long game once! In this case, we started the game on Monday and played for about half an hour per lunchtime until finishing on Friday.

Anyway back to the game.

It started out pretty standard, we spent a couple of turns just gathering resources before we could start building. The barbarians came in a couple of times and looted the place. I built two garrisons shortly after the invading hordes and fortunately these protected my goods throughout rest of the game. I didn't suffer again from their depredations.

I always try to focus on getting as many villages as possible when I play, because if I can make an early grab before my opponents he is going to have less spaces to build, and of course less victory points.

In this game my opponent took the same course and actually beat me to the last village, so he had one more than me. This came about because as luck would have it, I found I had the goods to upgrade to a city but not to buy into another village and I chose to upgrade. For the rest of the game I was regretting that decision as his extra resources kept hitting me, as I'll explain.

I was the first to get a knight on the board, and with a couple of fleets I managed to grab the windmill token as well. That gave me a two point lead. However my worthy opponent realising that these could be taken away from me set to the task.

He played out a knight taking the token from me. I played a second knight getting it back. He played another getting the token again, I then played a card that upgraded all of my knights and I managed to keep the knight token from then on. He switched his attack to taking away my windmill token. With just two buildings he gained a total of seven windmill symbols and thus gained the token. Of course no sooner had he done that than the windmill came up on the die and started stealing MY RESOURCES!

He had also managed to play a card that let him search through the stacks of cards for just a single resource when replenishing his hand. This is where the extra resources he was getting came into their own. After four or five turns he had managed to find two stacks each with an arsonist card in it.

So thus armed with this knowledge he commenced a concentrated attack on my buildings where by he used his additional resources to buy these cards first from one stack and from the other and played them one per turn. Normally this tactic would be devastating and impossible to fight off. However the fickle-finger-of-fate was up to it's old tricks. The arsonist card has a 1 in 6 chance of backfiring when used. It backfired on him 3 out of 4 of his attacks, thus decimating his own buildings.

My opponent became disheartened with his method of attacked and ceased. However at that point I had an arsonist card in my hands. So played another building that brought within 1 point of victory and then played the arsonist card against him. I was really hoping that the fickle-finger was pointing the other way and rolled the die. I got a four meaning I could pick a building of his to BURN! I burnt his building that had four windmill symbols, that gave me the windmill token and the final victory point for a win! :)

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