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BGA hosts Settlers of Catan game night

By Juan Carlos Acosta
On February 26, 2013

Amidst the snickers every time someone said, "I have wood for sheep," the Brockport Gaming Association (BGA) held a successful and rather raucous Late Night event. Sixty students, both club members and guests, attended the Late Night with Ellsworth: Settlers of Catan tournament held Friday, Feb. 22.

The event began at 8 p.m. when outside students received a greeting by the club and a quick tutorial on the general mechanics of the game Settlers of Catan

Similar to Monopoly in that players can make purchases from the bank and trade resources with each other, Catan forced students to build a colony successful enough to earn the 10 points necessary to win the game.

The first round placed four students around the table in competition and with the bellowing "Game on!" by BGA President Richard Hulme, the dice began to roll. 

"I thought [the event] went very well," Hulme said. "We had about 36 people who engaged in the tournament, many of which weren't regulars in the club."

Each time the dice rolled the number shown corresponded to a numbered tile on the game board, letting the players know what resources could be collected during that turn. As the
first round progressed, dice rolls became the precursor to joyful cheers from players about to collect and, many times, simultaneous disappointed sighs for those who received nothing during that turn. 

Adding to the jovial and colorful climate, the club held raffle drawings at random intervals for several gaming-related items such as dice, card sleeves and two complete board games. 

Other prizes were reserved for the tournament winners. These included sets of Settlers of Catan with expansions for play with up to six players and new environments, like the ocean. 

A special box designated the "mystery box" also sat on the grand prize table only to be revealed by the winner who chose it. 

No game had a clear winner from the start and many saw complete surprise finishes. Most players met the same result with only one person moving on from each table of four to the second round. The stakes grew higher and the level of strategy needed to advance as each table only had three players to compete for resources. Trades became fiercer and players could be embargoed by the other two for gaining too many points. 

Much to the excitement of the crowd, Hulme announced that the final round would have a time limit as to help keep the game moving with even more methodical players advancing. The third and final round saw the most cutthroat and fun level of play between the three best players. Emerging from the pack a new club member skillfully beat his opponents and won the grand prize. 

No, he did not pick the mystery box. Second and third place were earned by seasoned club members. The last order of the night was settled when the mystery box was opened to reveal a random assortment of items collected by the president and vice president of BGA

"We finished right before midnight, so we took about four hours and got through three rounds of the game," Hulme said. 

This event highlighted the friendship and openness of the BGA to the campus community.

Hulme said he also taught the game to newcomers. 

"It's a very accessible game," Hulme said. "I taught the game effectively to people in about seven minutes."

Future events for the club include weekly board game meetings for students and BGA events attended by large groups of club members. For those interested in playing board games like Settlers of Catan, BGA meetings are in the Seymour Union in room 221 every Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Additional reporting by Nicolette Clark

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