By June 23, 2006

Java Settlers of Catan Tournament II

I know a fair amount of my Gibberish readers play the boardgame Settlers of Catan. For those of you who don’t, Settlers is a three to four player game (up to six with the expansion) and the object is to build towns on a random board made up of landscape tiles. Each tile produces a key resource needed to build roads, settlements, cities, etc.

From the Wikipedia:

The players in the game represent the eponymous Settlers, establishing a colony on the previously uninhabited Island of Catan. The island itself is laid out randomly at the beginning of each game from hexagonal tiles (“hexes”) representing five types of resources: ore, grain, wool, lumber and brick.

As players establish towns and cities on the island, each settlement receives resources for its adjacent hexes. The resources, represented by resource cards, can be used to build more roads, towns, cities, or to obtain chance cards that can be used at any time. Various achievements, such as building a town or establishing the longest road, grant each player one or more victory points. The winner is the first player to accumulate ten victory points.

Players are allowed to trade among each other the resources they have produced, and to trade “off the island” for a hefty price. It is difficult for any one player to produce all the resources necessary for progress, so astute trading is the strategic heart of the game. Player interaction is further complicated by the presence of a robber, which is used to steal from other players and hinder their production of resources. There is no combat. Apart from moving the robber, refusing to trade, and cutting off building routes, there is no way to harm other players.

It’s a great game, but one of the major drawbacks is that you have to have at least three people together in order to play. That is, until we discovered Jsettlers, a free, Java-based Settlers of Catan game originally written as an artificial intelligence project. Stilts runs his own server, and I’ve written a quick acclimation guide to ease the transition into Jsettlers for those familiar only with the boardgame. Quite a few of us play JSOC together, and as is typical with my a-type personality readers, we got to talking about another tournament.

The first tourney had limited success, I think in part to the difficulty of coordinating schedules between players.

Anyway, let’s try this again. It has been suggested that we all chip in $5 for an entry fee, with the cash going to the winner/top x. Or perhaps a non-cash prize of some kind. Who’s in for a JSOC tournament?

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1 Comment on "Java Settlers of Catan Tournament II"

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  1. Ed says:

    I am in, but money for prize seems garish.