Tuesday, January 20, 2015


            I’ve spent much of the last week collecting sheep, building roads, and making enemies.  Don’t worry; it’s not as crazy as it sounds.  We played in high school before basketball games, and apparently so does the Green Bay Packer’s offensive line.  The name of the game is Settlers of Catan.
            Think Monopoly meets Risk but shorter and more competitive.  Three or four players fight to collect resources, build settlements, and score victory points.  The result is about an hour of intense gameplay.  Rivalries emerge, as friendships are broken.  Negotiations and trickery are not only allowed, but encouraged.  Catan is no joke.
            Still, the mechanics of the game do not explain why I’ve forgone many a night out to sit around a coffee table and quarrel with my friends.  The allure of Catan is difficult to articulate.  It’s like a drug; exciting, entertaining, and highly addictive.  One taste of victory is usually all it takes to keep players coming back for more.
            In the past week alone, I’ve taught about half a dozen people how to play.  Throwing the old board game in my bag before my 10-hour drive to Atlanta may have been a last-minute decision, but apparently it was a good one.  Settlers has already become a staple in our household.

            Whether you’ve never played before in your life, you haven’t seen the board in years, or your latest conquest was just yesterday, Catan is definitely worth an hour of your time.  It doesn’t take a whole night to play.  It doesn’t take an expert to win.  It doesn’t take a nerd to enjoy.  Settlers of Catan is a game for everyone, so come by and play anytime.

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