I am having a terrible time getting back into the swing of life after a really great holiday season. Winter is always tough for me to bother getting out of bed, and since this holiday seemed so fun this year, I guess I am a little more weird than normal this January.
So, what, you may ask, are we doing to occupy our time during the cold Winter months? My brother gave Isaac a new game for Christmas and we have been enjoying playing it of course! The game is called “The Settlers of Catan“. I have seen it before and sort of always figured it was a little more deep than I wanted in a board game…and by deep I mean I had no intent in playing a game that would take 17+ hours to play or required me to think super hard or that required me to keep the cats away from an elaborate board covered with important pieces. We just never bothered to look into it any further. On our fiasco trip to PA a few months ago, we ended up walking through a book store that had the games for sale. Since we were a somewhat captive audience, we read more about the game and thought it might be worth a go. When my brother gave Isaac the game, it seemed like perfect timing.
It seems a bit complicated at first read of the rules, but the idea really is pretty simple…build settlements (and later cities) using the basics of civilization building – wood, wool, bricks, ore and wheat. (As a side, this makes me think of the saying, “…with caffeine, nicotine, and kerosene, one can take over the world”) It’s a fun mix of Monopoly (but nowhere near as tedious), RISK (with a lot fewer moving pieces) and chess.
All 4 of us played several rounds of the basic map and we have just started making our own maps (it’s all very simple to lay out with the map tiles). We trash talk and make under the table deals. We laugh and fuss (and sometimes cuss) and actually talk with one another. It’s a great diversion from life and just challenging enough to be interesting, but fast enough and simple enough to be a fun evening-time game for 4 nerdy fantasy lovers.
If you are into board games and like fantasy (although it isn’t dwarf or elf-laden at all…it just feels fantasy-ish to me but I suppose I am imposing that on the game), give Settlers of Catan a try. It’s a little spendy, but it has revived our board game playing and has already made for several evenings of laughter and talking and fun!