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No. 100: Settle for nothing less

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Settle for nothing less

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Strip by: Ian Boreham

{A group of farming types are staring up into the sky as a large shadow passes over them.}

{Up in the sky, a large dark circular shape is blotting out the sun.}

{A hexagonal grain field is surrounded by an orange-coloured building, connected to orange roads; a red building connected to a red road; and a blue building connected to blue roads. The farmers are running for the edge of the field, to escape an enormous Settlers-of-Catan "robber" piece being placed on the "6" marker in the middle of the field, by enormous fingers. A farmer is leading a horse and cart out of the blue house.}
Farmer: Hurry!

{The farmer is standing by the cart, loaded with sacks of grain, speaking urgently to his wife and son.}
Farmer: Anna, fetch the ore. Quickly!
Farmer: Johann, take the grain to Grainport and trade it. Buy a passage on a ship to the other side of Catan. There is no future for you here in Grainburg.
Farmer: Trade two for one if you can, or three for one if that's all you can get.

{Johann is looking worried.}
Johann: What if I can only get four for one?

{The farmer's face is cold, and his eyes glare out from beneath the brim of his hat.}
Farmer: Never trade four for one, boy! D'you hear me? NEVER!

The author writes:

If you haven't played Settlers of Catan, this strip probably doesn't make much sense to you.

If you haven't played Settlers of Catan, you have missed out. It's my favourite board game, so by extension, it's the best board game ever! And you must play it! Now!

It's a game that involves strategy, but enough luck/probability that it discourages the overthinkers from planning out the entire game in advance like chess. It's balanced, and rarely lets one player get so far ahead of the others that the conclusion is foregone. It also only takes around an hour to an hour and a half to play, if you know the rules. The rules are fairly straightforward, and you don't have to learn about ten different types of points and currency, ten different cryptic systems of symbols on cards, rules that change in different phases of the game, weird mechanics that seem stupid and random until you become an expert, or any of the other things I find irritating about games.

You can play it with kids, but there is strategy involved. You can't just lumber on, ore you'll hit a brick wall. To really grain an advantage over your opponents, you'll need to pull the wool over their eyes.

Oh, and by the way, this is strip #100! I must admit I wasn't sure I would be able to stick at it for this long, but somehow I've muddled through. Another four strips and it will have been two years, one strip per week. A big thanks to DMM for hosting the comics for me and helping with administrative issues, or I might have just been posting the occasional strip on Google+ instead. Thanks also to the readers, especially the forum regulars. I'd feel a lot less incentive to keep going if I was just firing strips off into the void.

Drawn in Krita and Inkscape.