I was playing settlers of Catan with the following players. Note all names are fictitious.

Donny - Me Ned - My brother Bob - Ned's best friend Steve - Donny and Ned's dad CK - two inexperienced players on one team (sister and Ned's girlfriend) Corey - Donnys wife

So I was the first to build something of value when I built a city on a 5. After that point that 5 became a target that would get targeted for most of the game. In the beginning it would switch from that 5 which had me and another player on it (hurt me more) and a 9 which just had me on it.

In about 4 turns I had lost around 6 cards to monopoly and people putting robber on me. All good so far with that. Then other people started to build and I stayed stagnant as I was everyone's target. After everyone else started building out roads and settlements the robber still stayed on me for a good 7 or 8 turns (either no one cares bc it wasn't on them or didn't have anything to move it).

I noticed Ned was starting to look very strong because he was getting ahead as he had maybe 5 VP and second place had 3.. and I was in at least third but yet the robber still on me. Then people started moving the robber to a space Ned was on AND someone else even though he had two settlements on a 9 and was clearly ahead in first place. They would put it on a 5 or 6 to target him but on each of those resources he only had 1 settlement whereas I had two and Corey had two. Also when they would put it on a spot to "target" Ned they would still take from me or Corey.

So throughout the game I was trying to tell people hey maybe we should put it on a spot that targets more than one resource of Ned's and not put it on a spot that hurts me or Corey more. For some reason Bob kept defending Ned stating why not target more than one person even when Ned is clearly winning. He used the example in the last x amount of turns they lost 9 resources. My argument was yes BUT 3 of those were Neds (brick during middle to end game that he didn't need as he only had one city built) and 6 were from Corey who had no chance of winning (blocked in had nowhere to really build). I was saying he would lose more resources and it would hurt him more if they put it on a different spot that only target him with two settlemts on it. Bob still defended that point in favor for Ned.

It got to a point where Ned had two knights played, 7 VP and even started working on Longest road and rest of us not even close yet the robber was on a space that targeted me or Corey more than Ned. Also the space it was on for a while was a 9 which was a brick resource. We were already mid to end game so brick is not as important as say wheat, which was also on a 9 and he had two resources on it. There was also a 6 Sheep Ned was on and he had two for one sheep. For example, when a 9 was rolled he would lose out on one brick but would still gain 3 other cards while Corey would get nothing. So obviously hurting Corey more than Ned even though Ned is crushing us at this point. The overall point I kept trying to make is why are we not targeting his sheep factory or his wheat 9 as opposed to only hurting him by one resource and two resources to the other player. He was literally crushing us, had a bunch of cards and people were still doing one for one trades as well with him. In any game I have played, they have stopped trading with me at 8 VP but this was apparently different somehow. (I have played with Ned and Bob multiple times in the past)

So pretty much drama ensued as I tried to tell people Ned is crushing us, we should probably start targeting him more. What was weird is Bob was defending Ned about everything I said and just saying I was bitter or whatever else trying to get in my head. It got to a point where I felt that Ned and mainly Bob were just pushing my buttons wanting me to explode.

Also the entire game when someone was trying to make a deal with player B and a third player would come in and say done I'll do it, they would accept that deal. I went in and did that trying to get a deal with Bob but he still waited for dad to think and make the deal and made the excuse that he was talking with him even though precedent showed that worked for everyone else before then. I would then make an angry comment about it that which would then lead to more arguing etc. There was even a point where a 7 was rolled and Bob would say to put it on a certain spot that didn't target Ned just because it would be funny how pissed I would be. It got to the point where I'm calling people (yelling) idiots for not seeing that Ned was crushing us and you can put robber there if you are an idiot. Ned even said you're right I'm going to win there is nothing you can do, it's inpossible to hurt me. He would say that yet we were still only hurting him by one resource. What sucks is Ned and Bob were more passive aggressive where I was more outright agressive and loud.

In the end Ned did indeed win the game in dominating fashion which I was calling for all along. I ended up looking crazy because I was the loudest even though I felt I was being instigated by Ned and mainly Bob the entire game. My wife then vowed to never play again. (Which she has vowed before)

Also Bob did a future trade with someone else which is something we have never ever done before. And Bob had never been up Ned's butt so much before. I don't get why he was being so defensive when I'm just trying to not have Ned win yet no one else seemed to understand.

Was I right to be trying to convince players to target Ned more than they were or was I overreacting? Was I right for getting so annoyed at the way people were playing?

What may have been a better way to get people to target the first place person? What strategies have you used, especially while being very angry or picked on.

  • 2
    Step one: don't go on tilt. It's just a game, and obviously at some point the other players decided it was more fun to antagonise you than it was to play optimally (because Settlers is a social game a lot of the time, not necessarily a strategic one).
    – monoRed
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 14:34
  • 1
    You played Settlers with friends and expected to have friends when you were done? Well that'll teach ya!! Honestly, my wife and I removed the robber because it caused too much grumpiness.
    – corsiKa
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 17:35
  • 1
    There are some interesting questions in here, but they're buried in what may be the longest question I've read on this site. Is every detail necessary to understand the overall scenario? Commented Nov 26, 2016 at 15:46

2 Answers 2


Vou have several question regarding this event:

Was I right to be trying to convince players to target Ned more than they were or was I overreacting?

Part of the game is psychology and diplomacy. You are right that you tried to convince people to hit on the leader. But you probably hammered it too much so people got irritated and ignored your advice.

Was I right for getting so annoyed at the way people were playing?

Games are supposed to be fun. So if you are getting annoyed, it is maybe time to get a time out. If you keep playing while annoyed, other players can get annoyed too and this can ruin the game. Or the other people can ignore you completely and continue the game (probably supporting the leader so the game is ready as soon as possible).

What may have been a better way to get people to target the first place person?

So next time. If you sense someone in the lead, notify the rest of the players once (maybe twice). If they don't respond, fine. It is still a game. Loosing it isn't the end of the world.

What strategies have you used, especially while being very angry or picked on.

If I am annoyed with a game. I get a time out or even quit the game. I never enter the anger stage. I play games with friends and I value friendship higher than winning the game.

If you are annoyed with how the game is played, first calm down and next talk to the other players.


First of all, all subjective factors you described aside, the way I read it it comes down to this some players not treating their opponents equally, up to the point where you could interpret it as teaming up against someone, or teaming up around someone. Whatever the reasons may be, this escalated even more due to the fact that you voiced the concern.

I want to preface the following with everything I'm saying is a guess, not being able to know the exact situation, so I tried to phrase it as general as I could.

Assessing the situation

Most multiplayer games have the problem that once some parties join forces, their opponent(s) will be at a diadvantage if they don't take similar efforts.

Settlers of Catan has more randomness involved than other strategy games, so that potentially multiplies that problem further. You're also describing situations where a player doesn't only try to inhibit the most advanced player, but also a less progressed person, which is a rational strategical choice that's very likely to subjectively annoy the unfortunate player happening to have an important structure next to the leading player. Keep in mind that the robber's mechanic is in itself designed to keep your opponents in check while making them hostile towards you.

Placing the blame

I don't think you're the bad guy, and I also don't think the other players were. Most likely, you have a playgroup with clashing interests.

Players have different objectives, and while you might be convinced that keeping the strongest player in check might be the right solution, another player may think that targetting a specific player strongly at any point would be unfair and just tried distributing things equally. Some aren't even all that competitive and might just play for fun and therefore putting less focus on winning - depending on the mindset of these players, they might think that pulling someone's strings would be more fun than playing the game strategically. If you take in more outside factors, maybe players remembered you always did well or even won in previous games, and therefore decided to work against you to have a chance of their own, enjoying the success of their strategy a little too much.

Resolving the issue

Whatever the reason everyone had to act the way they did may be, insults and angry reactions won't help diffuse the situation. Friendlyness doesn't help in all compositions of play groups, but you certainly won't convince anyone playing the game more fair the next time by calling them an idiot.

If a playgroup doesn't function well for everyone by default, talking to players about your problems is usually the best way. As with most types of conversation, you're considerably increasing the chances of others listening to you if you maintain an open and friendly attitude.
That said, not all players are open to suggestions, partly because everyone likes to play the way they do, and adjusting to someone else's idea isn't everyone's first choice.

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