The Unsettling Settlers

A couple years ago, we were hanging out with some of our friends when we were introduced to a game called “Settlers” (or “Settlers of Catan”).  Needless to say, we got hooked.  After holding out for a while, we reluctantly forked out the $40 for the game.  All was well.  We played it with friends, got them hooked, and life was good.  Then we found out that the game gets more interesting if you get one of the additions, such as “Cities and Knights,” “Seafarers,” or the all-time great “Settlers of Zarahemla.”  For my birthday, I decided to frivolously spend another $40 for “Seafarers”.  It definitely makes the game even more interesting and gives you a lot more room to play.  The problem, though, is that we bought the original game before July of 2007, so it did not come with border pieces.  While we were able to improvise, it looked awful and messy, so we researched and found that for another $8 we could get an “adapter kit” that would give us border pieces and some other useful bits.  Now life is great. 

Except for the unsettling part about Settlers.

If you’re like me, you would have been doing the math on how much it all cost.  Figuring tax and everything, it costs about a Benjamin Franklin when all is said and done.  So what is the game made of?  Does it come gold plated?  Is it on a nice velvet table like the ones available with super-deluxe versions of Monopoly?  What is the justification? 

The justification is simple.  The game is all cardboard and tiny pieces of wood, but it’s made in Germany.  With the U.S. dollar declining in value lately, that’s what it costs to buy stuff from a European country.  Not that I’m saying the game isn’t worth it, we just need to play it a lot to get our money’s worth.  Maybe we could start charging our friends to play it…  I could handle that.  Getting paid to play Settlers would be awesome.  Anyone want to play me for $1?  It’s much better than a double cheeseburger.

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