Monday, December 10, 2007


My brother and son are like two peas in a pod and have enjoyed each other's company since Culley was just a wee guy about the age Huck is right now. One thing they love to do is play games and the game of the moment is Settlers. I've been invited many times to join them in playing this game, and I finally made the time on Sunday. Apparently, it is unusual to have 6 willing players which made the game I participated in special, for there were 6 : John, Culley, Andrea, Heather, Adrian, and me.

As a newbie to the game and for the most part a lukewarm games-person, I don't feel qualified to explain how this game works. I can only describe my impressions while playing. At first, I felt overwhelmed by all the permutations. When I got a Development Card called "Monopoly," of all things, I couldn't read the fine print and since my glasses were out in the car, Adrian got me a magnifying glass to read the instructions. I believe that the card gave me the option of collecting all of one type of resource from the other players and what I needed to do was to pay attention to what other folks were getting and cash the card in when I knew there was a lot of something out there I needed. BUT I was still concentrating on the cheat sheet to see what I needed to buy a road, or a settlement, or a city, and I could hardly pay attention to what anyone else was accumulating. The other thing that I had trouble with was trading. Someone would ask to trade say "ore" for "lumber" and before I could figure out if I had ore or if I needed lumber, the trade was over.

So you can imagine my surprise when late in the game I had 9 points, just one point away from winning. Now I'm competitive enough that I was suddenly motivated to win, but the opportunity was ripped away from me when some robber got my cards, the very ones I need to buy a settlement and collect that last point I needed for the win. In the end, Andrea won and with a lovely if smug smile sat regally as John read the notice that we all owed her immeasurable homage is the duchess or some such noble title of was it Cantrel? or Cantra?-- the fantasy land which we were settling and developing.

So I've been baptized as a Settler and look forward to the day when I can knit and bake cookies while playing like Andrea and Heather were able to do, but first I'd better learn to knit and bake, of course not while playing Settlers and all cases with my glasses close at hand.


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