This week, we were down to three players and we started off with a game that had arrived in that day’s post. The Settlers dice game is all about rolling specific combinations of resources to build roads, villages, cities and knights for victory points. Each turn, you can roll the six dice up to three times to get the best combination of resources, mark on your map whatever items you manage to build and score the relevant VPs in the scoring boxes. This is done for 15 rounds and the player accumulating the highest total wins.
All very simple and Yahtzee-like but there are important choices to be made with your re-rolls. Roads can just about always be built, as can up to 6 knights, but villages and cities are only available in a set order and when connected to by a road. And if you’re unlucky and can’t build anything after three rolls, you lose 2 VPs – as Mark G found out not once but twice. Mark K and I were very close score-wise going into the final round, although I was nicely lined up to connect to a 20 point city. Mark rolled first and put the pressure on by scoring both a village and his final knight, which meant I had to score the city with my last three rolls. I needn’t have worried as I rolled exactly what I needed at the first attempt and also had enough left over for an additional knight to seal the win.
I quite liked this – it’s very quick, easy to explain and has some tension when you’re gambling on getting the right rolls. Luck does play a part but often it’s about adapting your plans to what resources appear and playing the odds accordingly. And I like dice games anyway.