Settlers of Catan: Beginning of 2014 Recap

Weston Poor is an editorial assistant in EDP and runs marathons but has no idea why.

All right, it has been a few months since we last spoke. This could have been avoided, but, let’s face it, I’m lazy. Since we last left off, a hunt for the most wins in 2013 was at its peak. Of course, Terry “the Bandit” Boldan won the title by a narrow margin but, nonetheless, with all the hardiness of a champion. Boldan wouldn’t improve on his eleven wins, but that wouldn’t matter because Shirley Thornton wouldn’t improve either. With only two games left after the Thanksgiving break, the only settlers to improve their win totals were Nathan Putens and Erica Corwin, leaving the 2013 season win totals at:

Terry “the Bandit” Boldan—11 (Winner winner, chicken dinner!)

Shirley “you must be joking” Thornton—9

Erica Corwin—5

Leif Milliken—5

Nathan Putens—5

And my wins are hardly worth mentioning . . . really.

It was a solid accomplishment for the well decorated veteran settler. The Bandit declined to comment on his season win title. He claimed that he didn’t want to give his opponents ammunition. Always thinking defensively, that Bandit. The only indication he would give was that he’s a snake (in terms of Chinese symbols) and it was the year of the snake.

This year marked my discovery of Settlers of Catan, and thus my introduction to life. I made a good start by winning my first two contests. However, I haven’t done much since those two wins. The main takeaway from my rookie year: ensure significant resource flow with initial settlements on frequently rolled numbers, and always, always keep an eye on the Bandit.

Now that 2013 is over, it’s time to get started on the 2014 season. There is no off season for settlers, not like those overpampered pro athletes in highly televised sports. They can have their off-season; we want to play.

Here are some pictures of all the games for the current season.

Image 1 (Corwin, 1-2)

January 2, 2014: Erica Corwin opened the 2014 season with an impressive win. Her signature blue playing pieces are surrounded by some other settlers’ expansive developments. It might not look like she has much on the board, but trust me she won, note the presence of the proverbial sheep. Corwin utilized the smaller field of play by gaining footholds on some of the more useful resources. The two development cards she purchased (a victory point and a monopoly card) aided her victory. Point totals: Corwin—9(time expired), Milliken—8, Boldan—7, me—6.

Image 2 (Corwin, 1-9)

January 9, 2014: Once again the smaller board allowed for a Cor-win (get it?). Fewer competitors and less space seem to be the key to Corwin’s second consecutive victory. With two wins already in 2014, the other settlers will have to work hard to catch up. Point totals: Erica—10, Boldan—7, me—6, Thornton—4.

Image 3 (Boldan, 1-16)

January 16, 2014: Not to be outdone, Terry Boldan would capture the win for the third game of the year. Boldan credited his win to the year of the snake (again). Although he drew a victory point from a development card, his settlement placements were the obvious key to his domination. I’m afraid there isn’t much anyone can do when Boldan gets six mountains every time an eight is rolled. That’s just solid development on his part, and it would pay off with a solid win. Point totals: Boldan—10, Milliken—9, Corwin—9, Putens—8, Thornton—7, me—5.

Image 4 (Boldan, 1-23)

January 23, 2014: Boldan would match Corwin’s two wins and put some distance between him and the rest of the settlers. If you take a closer look at the board, you’ll notice that Boldan edged out Shirley Thornton by one point. He did this by taking the longest road from me with one more road—a narrow victory but a victory nonetheless. Point totals: Boldan—10, Thornton—9, Milliken—8, Corwin—5, me—4.

Image 5 (Boldan, 1-30)

January 30, 2014: Well, well, well, look who’s back in the winner’s circle. Boldan would gain his third consecutive victory by yet another narrow margin. Leif Milliken managed to build the longest road, while settling three churches along it, but that wasn’t enough. The Bandit is no stranger to the bandit game piece, but it was an interesting play when Milliken decided to sacrifice one of his own resources to stifle Boldan’s intake. Despite his valiant effort, it wouldn’t be enough. Point totals: Boldan—10, Milliken—9, Thornton—8, Corwin—6, Putens—4, me—4.

Image 6 (Corwin, 2-6)

February 6, 2014: Here we have the lovely Erica Corwin celebrating her third victory of the year with a big smile. In a relatively standard win, Corwin took the longest road without competition—it was only one piece longer than the five required to secure the two extra victory points. Point totals: Corwin—10, Boldan—8, me—7, Milliken—6, Putens—6, Thornton—5.

Image 7 (Thornton, 2-13)

February 13, 2014: Finally we have a winner in the new season whose name isn’t Terry Boldan or Erica Corwin (I was getting tired of writing about them). Congratulations to Shirley Thornton for finally getting the victory she so furiously fought for. She doesn’t look like much trouble, but don’t let looks deceive you—she’s dangerous. Point totals: Thornton—10, Boldan—9, Putens—7, Corwin—5, me—5.

Image 8 (Putens, 2-20)

February 20, 2014: Now we’re starting to see some variety with the winners. Congratulations to Nathan Putens for ending his tireless pursuit of victory. It would seem that Putens has the ability to utilize the smaller board like Corwin. In the spirit of the popular Most Interesting Man memes: he doesn’t always win, but when he does it’s with the shortest longest road. (Game stats unavailable at time of press**)

Image 9 (me, 2-27)

February 27, 2014: After even more tireless pursuit than Putens’, congratulations goes to this guy right here (me). It has been many months since my last win, but it feels good to be back on top. Much credit goes to my fellow settlers. They put up one heck of a battle, but unfortunately for them I was too strong. Point totals: ME—10, Boldan—9, Putens—9, Corwin—8, Milliken—8, Thornton—7.

Wins and point totals after 8 games for the 2014 season (missing data from February 20, 2014):

Terry “the Bandit” Boldan (3)—70

Erica Corwin (3)—62

Shirley “you must be joking” Thornton (1)—50

Leif Milliken (goose egg)—48

Nathan Putens (1)—44

Me (1 [should count for 2])—46

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