I've always enjoyed playing board games; as a child our family played the usual Monopoly, Scrabble and Cluedo. We also has a game called Totopoly which was all about horse-racing, presumably bought because my Dad was a bookie. I've never seen that game anywhere else.

Picture of the Totopoly game box

There were also a fair few card games played within the family during my childhood - one called Newmarket I remember (definitely a racecourse theme going on), and we also played cribbage. Thinking about it my Dad had quite an influence on our leisure time!

As my own children got older I began looking into the games I remembered as I wondered if they would still be fun to play. That was when I discovered the Board Game Geek website. BGG is the essential online repository for all things of a board-gamery nature and lists details of thousands of games, however obscure. I discovered that there was more to life than Monopoly and Cluedo, and this led to our first Eurogame: The Settlers of Catan.

Settlers (or Catan as it is now known) was unlike any game I had seen or played before. There is no board, no player pieces, no track to move along. There are dice but they do not determine how you 'move' - because you don't!

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