Settlers of Catan: Oil Springs

An intersection of obsessions from last month’s Harper’s:

“If the fifth number token is removed from one of the hexes, flooding has overwhelmed Catan and all inhabitants are forced to abandon the island, thus ending the game. While no player truly wins, the player who currently holds the Champion of the Environment token is recognized by the international community for his/her efforts to mitigate climate change and is granted the most attractive land on a neighboring island to resettle.”

These rules + the game Pandemic + recent conversations with my friend, Tom, who recently became an amateur game designer, make me wonder: Shouldn’t more games have a way for everyone to lose? Or for multiple people to win? Or for ambiguous interpretations of what actually counts as winning?

Yes! Bring it. Competitive ambiguity.

You can buy the Catan Scenario here.

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