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Wood for Sheep - The Mad Schemes of Dr. Tectonic [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Beemer

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Wood for Sheep [May. 11th, 2012|12:48 am]
Beemer
Now I remember why I stopped playing Settlers of Catan...

Second Thursday Games Night at Chris's tonight. We played a round of 7 Wonders, and then I was in the game of Cash & Guns which *Rose* also played in, which was pretty awesome, and then finished off with a game of Settlers. Now, I did have fun, don't get me wrong, but about halfway through I started getting a familiar feeling from it, and I was finally able to identify what I don't like about it. (Other than "playing with insanely overcompetitive people", which is thankfully no longer a factor.) Basically, the structure of the game has lots of points of frustration in it: resource scarcity due to tile placement, getting your development blocked by other players, dice not rolling the numbers you need, finally rolling what you need but getting nothing because of the robber, and so on and so on. The way they add up makes the game feel, to me, like a long string of not quite being able to make a good play, so I spend the whole game feeling like I'm playing poorly and being frustrated over and over. Which really brings out the worst in me as a player, and I don't like being the poor sport that it threatens to turn me into. So I'm gonna work on remembering that in the future...
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: dcseain
2012-05-11 06:53 am (UTC)
Yeah, my regular Friday night games group dropped Settlers in favor of TTR as our intro game for noobs a couple years ago. We've also used as intro Seven Wonders, Power Grid, and Battlestar Galactica (after pre-warning that it'll take 4-5 hours).
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[User Picture]From: drdeleto
2012-05-11 07:06 am (UTC)
Gosh, you're totally right. Games that feel like you're bouncing from success to success really are just more enjoyable that ones where it feels like you've repeatedly got to stagger back from each new jab. (I mean, there's Year of the Dragon, but that's kinda like the Dark Souls of boardgaming or something. You know what you're getting into.)
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2012-05-11 07:22 am (UTC)
Well-put.

I don't even think Year of the Dragon is that bad, though, because the thing about it is that you know what's coming. So you can decide that, yeah, that plague is going to suck two turns from now, but I'm choosing not to take a doctor so I can get these fireworks for the festival. Which feels very different to me from the frustration of the "oh, once again we've rolled a 5 and I get nothing" dynamic in Settlers.
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From: walrusjester
2012-05-11 01:56 pm (UTC)
Someone (hint: drdeleto) once told me the most useful piece of game design advice I've ever heard -- games are about making interesting choices. Settlers doesn't have a whole lot of choice-making so much as it has choice-frustrating. Although I should note that I'm a big ol' Eurogame heretic who finds Settlers and Ticket To Ride and maybe even Carcassone to be dull, bloodless affairs anyway.
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[User Picture]From: shirtlifterbear
2012-05-11 05:57 pm (UTC)
So what your saying is that you don't like a game the frustrates Dr_Tectonic's Evil Scheme To Rule the World?

Well, duh!

*shakes fist at sky*

"Curses, sheeped AGAIN!"
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