Neste verán, un dos memes que agromou na galego-esfera do twitter foi o de actualizarmos o perfil poñendo o artigo antes do nome: a Berta, o Ricardo, a Teodora, etc.
Este meme inspiroume a revisar a historia e normativa da antroponimia galega.
Dentro das linguas románicas, o uso do artigo con antropónimos e topónimos é característica do Galego-Português, compartida con outras como o Catalán mais que non teñen o Castelán ou o Italiano, por exemplo. É, ademáis, unha forma que, na oralidade, tivo certa vitalidade na Galiza até ben recente: vai no Canadá, falei co Pepe, compreino na Pobra, etc son estruturas que eu ouvía de mozo e, de cando en vez, aínda ouzo. Así tamén quedou recollida na Gramática elemental del gallego común de Carvalho Calero.
Catan, formerly known as The Settlers of Catan, is a game designed by Klaus Teuber and released in 1995. This year marks its 25th anniversary, a good time to resume playing. It’s one of the classic Eurogames and has become a franchise with many extensions and related games. At the time of writing, it sits within the top 100 games in the family category at BGG (so do Azul and SushiGo). There are only 6 other games published before 2000 that are in the top 100, which speaks to the importance of the game as a classic.
I had only played once or twice before. It didn’t make an impression on me at the time, it was just fine. However, since I joined the board game club I’ve had renewed enthusiasm to try new games or old ones with an open mind. When I learned that the people at the club decided to organize a local Catan tournament I was delighted. I didn’t know such things existed. Sure, there are tournaments for e-sports that host hundreds of thousands of people, but, for board games? I thought that was something of a family thing, a private entertainment. It turns out I was quite wrong, there is a fair excitement about Catan through the world with national, European, American, and world championships. You can even watch finals on YouTube. Let that sink in for a moment: watch other people playing board games on YouTube. Yes. I know. It’s a lot of fun!
Now that I’ve played it more, I came to appreciate its characteristics:
Theme. You’re one of the new settlers of an island that produces materials and your goal is to become the patron of the island.
How you win. By getting 10 points. This requires creating new settlements, cities, or roads, for which you need materials in different quantities: wood, grain, brick, sheep, stone.
How materials are distributed. By rolling dice. The board is made of hexagonal tiles that represent the materials. Each round, the rolled number indicates which tiles produce. All participants whose properties touch the producing tiles get new materials.
For a board game to stay relevant after so many years, it has to have something that creates a different experience each time you play. For Catan this is the board positioning. The tiles of the board are placed randomly and so are the numbers on top of them: participants have to adapt to different scenarios. Granted, there are a few well-known tips&tricks you can learn but your chances of winning greatly depend on your starting position — if your properties are adjacent to an uneven set of resources or to low-probability tiles, your development is going to be much slower than other player’s. You don’t want that.
So, essentially, this game is about racing to build properties that enable you to get more materials you use to create more properties so you can acquire even more materials to build properties. And it’s not a level playing field: your starting position greatly influences your chances of winning. There’s no denying it’s got an expansive capitalist kind of mentality. It shouldn’t come as a surprise what some people say:
The artwork doesn’t dissapoint. The board materials are very well designed and look durable — nice touch: it includes a linen bag for the tiles that goes well with the Moorish aesthetics.
I tend to think that card games are more newbies-friendly than board games due to lower setup time, simpler rules and quicker turns. However, Azul has that same feeling, perhaps infused by the lack of a central board -everyone has their own- and the fact that most of your time/energy is focused on completing your own geometrical figures, rather than strategizing to block your opponents.
I’ve only played once so far, in a group of four (kids and adults). I’ve found the mechanics abstract and was surprised how the kids managed to beat the grown-ups — it was them who asked to play! I’ve got the feeling that this is the kind of game that I’d enjoy having in my collection.