Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Expand (07/18/13)
- TITLE: Ore for Wood
By Leah Nichols
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It had come from Aaron, his closest rival. Aaron's settlements stood too close for comfort already, and with this road cutting directly into William's territory, it could provide an opportunity for Aaron to erect yet another settlement in the heart of his land.
William had no choice but to beat Aaron at his own game. <i>I've got to build my next settlement here.</i> He had hoped to use his resources to build one on the coast. A harbor location would provide better trade options than overland routes. This location had less than ideal resources, but at least he could obtain extra wood from the forest, and wheat could be harvested in the nearby field.
With two cities recently built, and two settlements supplying the majority of his commodities, he already had an extensive kingdom to maintain. Though William still possessed the longest road system, Aaron had recently extended his roads in order to compete with William's holdings. They had a finite number of ideal locations for settlements, and both of their roads met at the corner of this property.
No, he had no choice but to build here, and stop Aaron's encroachment on his land.
He still needed brick for his settlement, though. John, his other rival, had plenty of brick to trade, and his settlements and cities lay much further away than Aaron's. William would have to trade from his modest supply of ore, however, for John to surrender the brick. He would not have enough ore remaining to extend his own cities.
John had the largest army, and three cities. If William traded him the ore, John could potentially build another city. John had offered the brick-for-ore trade earlier, knowing that William had no brick resources but several quarries to obtain ore. Knowing one's competition proved a challenge, as it made them both reluctant to trade, even though both parties needed what the other possessed.
William added up the numbers in his head. One more settlement here, and one on the coast, would complete his kingdom. He had almost all the resources for such an expansion. It was decided, then - he would discuss the trade with John. If he played his cards right, he could potentially trade his way into the largest territory.
* * * * *
John studied William's expression. What was he hiding? His offer sounded good - too good. That amount of ore could build him another city easily. And clearly William's resources supplied him with plenty of ore to trade. If he wanted to build his own cities, he certainly had the ability to do so.
Aaron had recently built a road into William's territory. That <i>had</i> to be the motivating factor for the trade. William would rather stop Aaron's advance, and expand his territory, than care about John's cities and army.
Fine. So be it. <i>Trading for the win.</i> John smiled.
* * * * *
Aaron frowned as William and John swapped cards. This did not bode well - one of them would come out on top before he had a chance.
"Ha! Foolish trade," John stated triumphantly. "Three ore for only two brick? You just <i>handed</i> me the win."
"Count his cards," Aaron warned. "I'm thinking you just got played."
William laid down his hand. "Two brick, two wood, two wheat, and two sheep. One settlement here - " He paused to place it at the intersection of his and Aaron's roads. "And one settlement on the sheep harbor."
John's face fell. Aaron shook his head. "I knew it."
"Four settlements, two cities, and longest road. I do believe <i>I win</i> this game." William sat back and grinned. "And that, my friends, is how to play Catan."
"Whatever, dude." John scowled. "I was definitely going to win if you hadn't."
Aaron poked John's arm. "So who handed who the win?"
"Yeah, yeah. Alright, let's reset, and see if you can maintain your victory." John gathered his cards.
"I think I'll just bask in my win for a minute." William pulled out his phone. "I want to get a picture of my victory, too."
Aaron laughed. "Forget it, man."
"Seriously, though - this longest road is awesome; probably the longest I've ever built. Expansion was definitely the way to win this time around."
"Well, it's only one game. Next time, you're going down."
William snapped the picture, then sat back and smiled. "Bring it on."
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