Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Epic - Prologue

In case you're parachuting into the story and want to be able to easily jump through the narrative, here are links to the rest of my tale:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

So I better deliver on that series of entries I promised, or risk a mass exodus of my readership on the order of the Secret Vatican Archive stampede of '09, when two monks left the library within fifteen minutes of each other.

Cue the flashback special effects.

It was back in the mid aughts. I can't be any more specific than that, though I think Scott and Antoinette were in the middle of a race to complete their dissertations. I remember that much the social psychology lounge was where I first caught wind of a game called Settlers of Catan. Months later, Scott came over, as did the bunnies, and I played my first game of this classic board game. If you're not familiar with the game, it basically consists of a board ("the island") made of 19 hexagonal cardboard tiles that are typically shuffled to generate a random configuration each time you play.

Had it stopped there, I wouldn't have anything to write about here. Over time, we picked up the various expansion sets that add various rules and strategies to the basic game. They also added a cardboard frame that fits together like a puzzle to keep the board intact in case it gets disturbed, and some alternative cardboard pieces that replace some of the tiles if you are playing the older version of the game that we have. It always bugged me that the frame pieces had a bit of a warp to them, so they weren't that effective at keeping the board together. And we had one of the cardboard pieces chewed on by a dog one evening.

Surely, there are more practical solutions than the one I eventually acted on. However, if I concluded my story by trying to embellish how I totally sniped an ebay auction for replacement pieces, I would have failed you. Sure, either way, by the time I end my story, you're going to conclude I'm a total geek. But baby, I'm going to earn it.

So as time permits, I'm going to detail in glorious technicolour how I made a 3D Settlers of Catan set. If you know nothing about the game and feel like following along, you should check out that link (here is the wikipedia entry) so that the next few posts make a bit of sense.