IHS Tattler – May 2020 Edition

From the Principality

A lot has happened in the 3-player principality. In classic rookie fashion, Shawn recently captured the Prince title from Misha in a game with him and Justin by taking advantage of the sage advice of the veterans, their loose application of the rules for the rookie who was allowed to take moves back, general generosity shown him and blind, dumb luck. As described in the “9 Types of Catan Players”, he has not been shown any mercy since then. Getting caught up in the birthday celebration of the then King Misha, Prince Shawn threw his title into a Whiz title match which he promptly lost and has been relegated to peasant status again. The new Prince (and Whiz), Justin promptly lost the Princedom to the now former Sherriff of Nottingham and former prince, Prince John.
Written by Scribe Steven

The Kingdom

The depths of despair have hit the former King and only ever Title Uniter, Misha, as he lost his last remaining title, the Kingship, to the upstart Emmett, who was less gracious in victory than he had been in defeat. As they say power corrupts. He will learn, if he lasts, that to survive in the kingdom one complains when one loses and celebrates when one is victorious. Enjoy the well-earned victory if & while you can. SS.

From The Empire

Justin, former Chancellor, once pretender to the thrown and wannabe King, has successfully defended his title twice since winning the Emperorship from the one time wonder and shepherd of the hills, Sir Charles of Pastureland. Apparently, the poor shepherd boy, unused to the soaring towers, rare air, complicated politics and rich food of the court was felled by the malady, ironically, of too much stone in his system, of which he does not suffer from when playing the game. Emperor Justin owes his recent success to adopting the ore-wheat-sheep strategy.
Written by Herald Harold

The New Whiz

In a brazen move the former Chancellor, Justin, snatched the Whiz title from long time title holding now former Whiz Misha on his birthday. In a conspiracy worthy of Brutus and the Senators on Julius Caesar, Misha was taken down during his birthday celebration where Justin also snatched the Princedom from Shawn who was influenced by the former Whiz to put his title on the line in a failed attempt at unifying the titles, in a double, double cross by Justin.
Written by Crier Christopher

Near Title Unification

In a stunning and ironic turn of events, triple major holder, Prince Emperor The Whiz Sir Justin, narrowly missed becoming only the second ever 4 Title Realm Unification Holder. Clearly leading in a King title match with Misha, Emmett and Charlie, his title unification was thwarted by a poor internet connection and battery charging issues on Charlie’s end who was somewhere far out in sheep country. The irony is that some time ago and in infamous fashion, Justin prevented the elevation of the Wood Witch Karen to the throne by throwing his cat onto his computer and crashing the game. Although the Witch of the Wood has retired to her forest lair recently, it seems her curse still has some power. The realm is now in disarray with Prince John, King Emmett and Emperor/The Whiz Justin all vying for the ore throne. And now broken, beaten and bashed, wandering somewhere in the wilderness is Misha, a miserable pauper, relegated to begging for some wool to craft a decent garment just to keep himself warm and railing against the injustice of the it all; the unfavourable dice, the ambitions of the courtiers and the conspiracies of his usurpers. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
Written by Scribe Steven

9 Types of Catan Players

1 – The Port Authority

When everyone is picking their first placements, the Port Authority always heads for the coasts. Whether wheat, sheep, brick or ore, they firmly believe that the better exchange rate of a port is the key to victory in Catan. They proceed to play the game in pursuit of this now more valuable resource, gobbling it up in trade deals and converting it into settlements with abandon. If things are going particularly well, they might build enough roads to grab a second port.

2 – The New Kid

While the Slow Poke deserves no mercy for his sluggish ways, the passive pace of the New Kid playing for the first time is more forgivable — often evoking pity or even a complete game stoppage as a wisened player will patiently and pedantically offer advice on the misguided first timer’s foolish fumble. “You miiiiiiight not want to point your first road that way. That’s the desert.”
Usually the poor sap will be allowed to break convention and move the road. Sometimes when the game is underway, however, seasoned veterans trade knowing glances at the New Kid’s latest idiotic move without a word or explain why it was a bad choice and move along without remedy. Meanwhile, the New Kid just built his roads in a circle around the desert.

3 – The Robber Baron

Everyone knows that a seven can be a terrible number to roll at the wrong time— and that’s especially true for the Robber Baron. In the last several rounds of turns, this poor soul has amassed a personal deck of resource cards and grand plans for her Catan domination.
Before rolling the dice, she whispers, “I sure hope I don’t roll a seven.” You know what happens next. The dice fall: 4 and 3. That gray grim reaper sweeps over the board. The once proud Robber Baron becomes a barren pauper, forced to surrender half her hand and the hypothetical Victory Points those cards would have wrought.

Cont’d on next page …
4 – The Tattle Tale

This one hits particularly close to home for me, as my wife will attest that I frequently take on the role of Tattle Tale in games that we play against friends and family. My wife happens to be a rather expert Settler of Catan, so sometimes being a bit of a sore loser is my only recourse. (I once famously called her the “Ore of Babylon” when she wouldn’t trade the hundreds of ore she was collecting with every roll. We have an otherwise happy marriage.) The Tattle Tale goes to work during the TRADE phase of a currently winning player’s turn, loudly commanding fellow players to enforce a blockade.
“Don’t trade with her! She’s about to win! What do you want? Wheat? I have wheat!”
The Tattle Tale will also stare at the potential winner’s unplayed Development Cards and shriek about the likelihood that they are unseen Victory Points. To be an effective Tattle Tale, it’s best to include these hypothetical Victory Points when announcing score updates. It gives more credence to your call for a trade embargo.

5 – The Slow Poke

No matter how many times he plays the game, the Slow Poke will never get any more efficient at taking his turn. Everyone else plots out potential moves and decides what resources are needed while it’s someone else’s turn, but not the Slow Poke. He might as well be in a coma until the dice come his way.
Strategy: Yelling at them and rushing them. If things get desperate, pull out the timer on your phone.

6 – The Road Hog

You can always identify a future road hog. When you’re explaining the rules of Catan to someone for the first time, watch their eyes. If you mention the two Victory Points that can be earned by claiming longest road and their pupils dilate, you’ve just created a Road Hog.
Within the first four rounds of play, this creature will not only claim the longest road advantage, but also have cut off any players in the vicinity. You’re not even sure where they’re getting all that brick. The devil, maybe?

7 – The Bomb Cart

Catan isn’t for everyone. Some people just aren’t cut out to succeed at a game that requires long-term planning, short-term cunning, improvisation and lucky rolls of the dice. Sometimes these people realize that their best course of action is to just give up and turn into a Bomb Cart.
Just as the Bomb Cart in Mario Kart gives the losing player a chance to destroy other players, the Catan Bomb Cart will not rest until she’s messed with the plans of those around her. Sometimes this means claiming a sought after port for a resource she doesn’t even collect. Other times it means playing a Monopoly card and demanding everyone’s wood, then trying to trade it back to her lumber-starved neighbors at an even steeper price. On every turn, the Bomb Cart leaves nonsensical chaos in her wake. If you’re not crying, all you can do is laugh.

8 – The Development Card Shark

Actual array of cards on the table in front of a Development Card Shark after just two rounds of play in Catan. Sometimes you’re playing Catan and notice that the player to your left doesn’t have too much property on the board — just a few settlements and one city. Then you realize that they have been collecting Development Cards like it’s going out of style. Soon they’re using a road builder card when no one has brick to build a road, they’re playing knights and moving the robber at will (+2 Victory Points for Largest Army!). Every turn seems to be a Year of Plenty for them, and it’s obvious that at least one of those three unplayed Development Cards on the table is another Victory Point lying in wait for a victorious, game-ending reveal.

9 – The Once and Future King

At last we’ve come to the most annoying Settler of Catan. The Once and Future King is a genius. His turns move quickly and his settlements grow. Eventually he’s in a position where every six that rolls gives him an instant city —
 and sixes keep rolling. The most infuriating part about his march to victory is the fact that he knows he is unstoppable. The game is played with a cool and calculated grace befitting his royal status.
Ganging up on him or strictly enforcing trade embargoes only serve to delay the inevitable. Worst of all, you can’t even pinpoint his strategy…It doesn’t seem like he’s doing anything that different from you! Why can’t you be the king?!

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