RE: [settlers-43] Early Review of Catan Histories: Struggle for Rome

From: Mark L.
Sent on: Friday, April 27, 2007 12:01 AM
One important thing I learned from this is to send these messages in text
format!   Otherwise you end up with a lot of stray "?" marks everywhere!
But I hope others will chime in with their opinions on "Struggle for Rome"
as it gets played more.   
I would say one other odd little thing about "Struggle" that Vicky and I
noticed was that if you have four people playing, if one person wants to
leave before the end of the game, either because they have no shot at
winning or have to catch the train home, it doesn't seem to hurt the playing
out of the rest of the game with the remaining three players.  The departed
player's cities and tribes just become inactive.
Speaking of games to try, Toby, didn't you acquire "Candamir" for the group
at one point?  I'd love to give it a try.
Also, perhaps we could acquire The Settlers of Catan Card game, for those
times when two people arrive late and have to kill time until the ongoing
games are finished.  I always worry when I see those poor people who aren't
in a game...
I'm willing to be the "mule" for some of these other games.....
Cheers, Mark

-----Original Message-----
From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of
Sent: Thursday, April 26,[masked]:10 PM
To: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [settlers-43] Early Review of Catan Histories: Struggle for

Hi Mark.

Thanks for sending out this review/summary. It's a great way to generate
interest in the game.

Personally, you made me want to try it! I'll ask others about it next Monday
and look into buying a board (or two) for the group.


-----Original Message-----
From: "Mark L." <[address removed]>
Date: Fri, 20 Apr[masked]:37:51 
To:[address removed]
Subject: [settlers-43] Early Review of Catan Histories:  Struggle for Rome

Having played ?Struggle for Rome? twice now (Vicky brought it in to the last
Settlers, and then we played it again at the Boardgamer?s meetup), I wanted
say a bit about it for the benefit of the group!
While probably not suitable for noobs (previous familiarity with resource
production mechanics, dev cards types, 10 points wins the game, etc. allow
you to focus on the just extra rules and twists), it does offer a nice level
of complexity beyond Settlers but below Cities and Knights.
It?s also set in the historical period between those two.?? In essence,
honest and hard-working pioneer Settlers like Toby, Joe, Stacey and Robin
have built up Catan from a wilderness into a glorious empire of cities and
paved roads.?? But, over the centuries, their descendants have become fat
and lazy, and now the kingdom is ripe for invasion by Barbarians like Vicky,
Eric, Tom and me (and of course Oliver, had he been there).? ?Each of us has
two tribes, horsepeople and pedestrians, which spend the first half of the
game running around the board to plunder the mostest cities the quickest.?
There is a third unit, caravans ? building extras of them allow you to haul
off more gold with you.?? Besides greedily hording the exquisitely molded
golden coins, it also is when you can stake your claim to special Victory
Point cards like ?The Scourge of Catan?.? (You can even get two of those if
you are nasty enough.)
In the first half of the game there doesn?t seem to be a clear leader since
only a couple of victory points get scored by anyone (openly, anyway). ?The
second half of the game starts when you decide to settle one of your tribes
down in a city for good, in the manner of a hermit crab choosing its snail
shell.? Each city is worth a victory point.? From then on, that tribe can
expand to another city each turn, as long as you have enough armies and
caravans to do it.? So at that point it plays more like regular Settlers,
except that people?s production of resources can expand quite rapidly,
because they can potentially add TWO cities (and the surrounding hexes) on
EVERY turn (not just their own).? You definitely don?t want to be the last
tribe into its snail shell.? 
In another key difference, when the first player hits 10 points, play
continues until every player has finished out the round, leading to some
nailbiting as to whether another player can build that one or two extra
cities, which together with his victory point dev cards, beats or ties
you.?? In the case of equal victory points, gold becomes the tiebreaker.
Our first game took 3 ? hours, the next 2 ?, and we hope when played by
experienced players it?ll get down to 1 ? to 2 hours, so two games can
gotten in at a Meetup. ?I feel like it like I used to about Settlers --- I
didn?t have a good enough grasp of the game flow to have situational
awareness about the best hope for victory at any particular moment.?? 
Whether to build extra caravans for loot, whether to specialize your tribes
so one goes for the Plunder and one for the Conquer, or whether one settles
in a nice open area while the other moves next door to your opponents to
limit their expansion ?what constitutes a ?good deal? with trades ? these
are what we?ll be working out?? Also we want Stacey to try it as she seems
to be able to figure out all the sneakiest strategies first!
We hope that other Settlers regulars will give it a try in future meetups,
so that Toby can decide if it?s worthy of being part of the regular
repertoire along with Settlers, Seafarers, and Cities and Knights.? 
This message was sent by Mark L. (member profile:
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This message was sent by toby (member profile:
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