My friends and I play a fair amount of Settlers of Catan (normally with 3-4 players). Sometimes I do well and sometimes I do badly; however, the most infuriating games are those where I'm unable to do anything for pretty much the entire game.
For example, in the last game with 4 players, I managed to (in total) build 3 roads and buy 2 development cards (a knight and a victory point). As the starting player, I placed my first settlement in a strong central position in the map with good access to both wood and brick. However, by the time everyone else placed their cities, I was forced to place my last city on the coast to get access to any ore, and I was left completely cut off from wheat (and my other settlement).
My problems became fairly evident in the early stages of the game - without access to wheat, I struggled to gather the resources to build new settlements, and to make matters worse, my initial settlement placement was very hemmed in by other players, meaning I didn't have many options on where to expand to. By the time I managed to scrape together the resources to build a settlement, other players had already built settlements too close, meaning I needed to use up my resources to build more roads. Trading with other players didn't really help me out, as they were all racing for the same settlement positions that I was.
These sorts of games seem to come around reasonably frequently, which leads me to believe that it's something that I'm doing rather than just being something that happens every now and then.
I've read both How to start in Catan games? and In Settlers of Catan, how do you overcome bad initial settlement placement? and now always try to make sure I start with an initial placement that at least involves a good supply of brick and wood. However, I've found it difficult to get a mixture of all resources. For example, in the last game before this, I found myself cut off completely from ore, which seriously hampered my ability to buy cities and development cards.
What can I do to avoid getting stuck in these sorts of situations?