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Popular Early-Game Strategies (Part 1) - The Roadblock

Updated: Nov 1, 2022

Hello, and welcome to the first part of our popular early-game strategies series. In this series, we will be discussing specific strategies according to the unique proportions of resources owned by you at the beginning of each game.

To start this series, we introduce you to the infamous offensive road-building strategy in Catan, which we call the Roadblock. First and foremost, what are the minimum requirements for it to be pulled off successfully? Since Brick and Wood are the main focus, their numbers of pips should be at least 07 each. Moreover, as Brick is always used alongside Wood in a 1:1 ratio, the number of pips on Brick should not be more than 02 pips difference in comparison to one on Wood. The dream starting condition for players who follow this playstyle is 02 hexes of Wood, 02 hexes of Brick, 01 Sheep hex, and 01 Wheat hex. Let's make an example of a standard Roadblock.

Your first settlement is placed on 5-8-10 Sheep-Brick-Wood; afterwards, your second settlement is placed on 4-9-11 Wheat-Wood-Brick. The total value of your starting settlements is 21 pips, which is quite decent. Meanwhile, your numbers of pips of Wood and Brick are both 07. Although you have a higher chance of getting Sheep than Wheat, one Wheat in your starting hand balances things out. If good sources of Ore exist along your path of expansion, ports might not even be put into consideration later on.

While the primary objective of a Roadblock is to hold on to the Longest Road when the game ends, the second one is to be a thorn in the opponents' eyes by keeping them out of good locations. Right from the beginning, those players are willing to spend rounds and rounds patiently waiting until they have gathered enough resources to cut people off. Disasters they create usually take the form of "01 or 02 roads and a settlement" or just straight-up "03+ roads". The most annoying thing about the damage they caused is that it cannot be recovered; which is the reason why it has got so many people tilted. Therefore, to reduce the risk of being isolated, stay as far away from them as possible.

Do you find yourself familiar with the playstyle mentioned? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below, and don't forget to drop a Like if you find this article helpful.

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