I associate board games with people. Othello reminds me of my former neighbor and longtime best friend. Cribbage is a game my other best friend and I used to play often. Euchre reminds me of college friends. My childhood friend and I used to leave games of Monopoly set up for days so we could actually finish them. My mom and I are usually competitive in Scrabble. Apples to Apples makes me think of hilarious moments with both friends and family. We know which friends like to play which card games. The Game of Things is the Game Night choice among my friends right now.
But my real board game obsession is Settlers of Catan.
Stay with me and you can win your own copy of my favorite game, courtesy Toys and Games Online, which has a great selection of online toys and games. [For the record, this is my first blog giveaway, and I'm really excited about it!]
It's been three years since my aunt -- who always knows the best games! -- taught my husband and me to play, as if learning how to trade sheep for brick, convert settlements to cities and build the longest road through Catan was the best Christmas present ever. I bought the game for Greg for Valentine's Day 2007 (Nothing says "I love you" like a new competition, right?) and we haven't stopped playing since. Almost literally.
We play with another couple at least a couple times a month. (Although for awhile we were playing weekly ...) We even have an on-going scoreboard to tally victories. I'm always white (See, I have the longest road in the picture above. That's worth 2 points toward the 10-point goal.) when we play and we sit in the same order around the table, regardless of whose house is hosting. And, in case you're wondering, I'm four tally marks behind Greg and Bryan. I've recently been making a run to catch the guys. Jaclyn is a few behind me, but given the fact we play at least two games every time we have a Settlers night, she can catch up in no time.
We like the expansions likes Seafarers as well as Cities and Knights, but when we play those we may only have time to play one. To feed our obsession, we usually play the original Settlers of Catan because the four of us have established such a rhythm.
If you've never played, the best explanation I can give to this German-made game that has won all sorts of awards is think about mixing Monopoly with Risk. But, really, that description doesn't do Klaus Teuber's invention justice. It's a strategy game with lots of rules. But once you learn all the rules, you won't be sorry. One of the reasons playing never gets old is the way the board changes each time it is set up. The strategy I used last time I played might not work to my advantage next time, depending on where the resources are and what numbers are associated with them.
In honor of the approaching three-year anniversary of the start to my obsession, you can win your own copy, courtesy Toys and Games Online, which offers a variety of online toys for all ages at reasonable prices.
All you have to do is post a comment about what your favorite game is and a memory you associate with that game. (Be sure to include an e-mail address so I can contact you, should you be the lucky winner!)
All of the comments will be placed in a bowl and one winner will be randomly chosen, probably by my 2 1/2-year-old daughter, who has witnessed many Settlers marathons but isn't quite old enough to bargain her way with sheep and wheat to successfully settling Catan.
You have until 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 12 to enter this giveaway.