Our First Anniversary

Katimavik Bay is One Year Old

With the start of the new game season, Katimavik Bay will be one year old! The city was established in April 2010 by a group of pioneers consisting of DemonHunter, bigs, Pengypam, Energyboy, cookie, wvminerswife, Pourpreclair and waterboy. Whilst seven of the original pioneers left to build a new city at Settlers Gate at the end of our first season, waterboy remains with us and was, for the best part of the past season, our Mayor.

Many of you who have joined Katimavik Bay over the course of the past few months may not even realise that our city is barely a year old. So I think it is worth taking some time to reflect on how far we have come in that year and look forward to where we want to be in a year's time.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has made such a valuable contribution to the growth of the city to date, as well as to those who have stepped forward to help me keep things running for the next season. Details of all of those who have taken on new roles is available on our Council Information page.

Summary

The following table summarises the advances made by the city between our first and second seasons:

Category Season 1 (24 cities) Season 2 (26 cities)
Number of Citizens 50 108
Capital of Catan 19th 12th
City of Champions 22nd 10th
Riddle Masters 24th 17th
Dice Masters 24th 15th
Highest Tournament Ranking 16th 6th

This illustrates that we have managed to improve in every possible category in the Catan World. More details follow on how we have done this and where we think we have further room for improvement.

The Factor of 15

A really important concept in the success of the city is the factor of 15. According to Catan rules, the minimum number of people we need to partipate in the various city competitions is 15. This is true of the riddle and the dice and all city tournaments. Our city position is determined by taking the aggregate scores of the best 15 players and dividing by 15. Where we have less than 15 players enter, the vacant positions are scored as 0. So, for example, if we only get 10 players enter at any one time, our score is effectively diluted by 33%. This is why it is so important to get as many people participating in these activities as possible. We need a minimum of 15 to ensure that our score is not diminished - more than 15 will enable us to take the best 15 scores. Even if you do not want to play the metagame, you can still help your city by entering the riddle, dice and city tournaments.

Membership

Katimavik Bay essentially covers all of Canada. Canadian players who joined before KB was established were assigned to Port Niagara, and before that to World Village, so you may encounter Canadians playing in other cities. Some Canadians from other cities are starting to "come home" to Katimavik Bay and we also continue to attract players of other nationalities who see Katimavik Bay as a forward looking city and a fun place to play the games and/or advance in the Metagame.

For a city which started a year ago with just 8 pioneers, the growth in membership has been incredible. When I joined in July 2010 we had 32 citizens (premium members) in KB. Today we have over 100, despite a steady and inevitable loss of citizens who decide not to renew their membership. That makes us the tenth largest city in the Catan World in terms of the number of citizens and the sixth largest in overall members (ie including non-premiums). But what really makes a difference in the Catan World is the number of active citizens (it those who are actively playing the Metagame) and in this respect we still continue to trail in 18th position (from a total of 26 cities). While our stats show that we are already punching above our weight, if we really want to be competitive in the Catan World we need to increase the number of people who are actively participating in the growth of the city.

Equally important, we'd like more of our citizens to get involved with the way the city is run. The Catan forumula for deciding the make up of Council is based on the 15 citizens who have made the most city and guard donations over the past 28 days. But here in Katimavik Bay we believe that everybody should have a voice in the way the city is run, regardless of whether or not you are currently technically on Council. You can get more involved by joinging our skype chats (if you wish to join send a Catan message with your skype details to Vixter, Islandwonder or Drinksonme) or by visiting our forum pages to cast your vote.

Capital of Catan

The Capital of Catan is determined by the final number of culture points amassed by each city at the end of the game period, averaged out by the number of active citizens. The key here is to ensure a balance in the way we accumulate those culture points in order to ensure that we don't get so many so early as to make them impossible to defend. This is why we recommend that the early stages of development (both city and personal) focus on housing and city developments which generate further income. Clothing, gardens, pets and buildings such as the Church amass lots of culture points without bringing any other benefits, so we recommend that this type of expenditure be left until after the last barbarian attack.

This season we have made massive progress in the race for capital going from 19th from 24 to 12th from 26. Much of this progress is down to a combination of our larger membership, better defence and the right decisions by Council in terms of our expansion priorities. We are currently having a lively debate in our skype council chat over whether those priorities need to change to reflect our gorwth and will continue to try to choose the buildings which are in the best interests of the city and its citizens.

Our finish this time round has already started to raise awareness of our city amongst the more established cities of the Catan World. In 12th we are in touching distance of Pacifica and Port Niagara and just a step and a hop behind World Village. I personally believe that our goal for next season should be to overtake all three of these cities to become the top English speaking city in the Catan World, which would leave us well-placed the following season to challenge the top German cities and make a run for Capital of Catan. There are many in our city - including on Council - who think I'm completely barmy. They may well be right, but anybody who has ever played CK with me will know that I have tremendous faith that anything is possible if you never give up trying.

City Expansions

In order to develop the city we depend on city donations from our citizens. The donations received are used to expand buildings which are to everybody's benefit, whether it be to shore up our defences (the arsenal and the wall); to provide additional income for our citizens (the library); to help with trades and coin exchange (the market and the bank); or to provide additional gold which the city can use as incentives and to subsidise the cost of expansion and defence (the town hall, assembly hall, bathhouse, park).

To date we have been counting on regular donations from a relatively small group of people within the city. As you build up your own housing and your income increases please ensure that you also make contributions towards the growth of the city. Making city donations is also the fastest way to move up the citizen list and improve your title for the following season. If every citizen were to make just one city donation (brick, ore and wood made at the Merchants Guild) per week, this would result in a steady growth in donations. Even those who don't play the metagame could help the city by making one donation per week from the resources they receive.

Defence of the City

Some of us will remember the desperate fights agains the barbarians in our first season. The city finished in the bottom zone in defence against the first barbarian attack, resulting in the whole city losing a level of housing, clothing and one city building. In the second attack, a last minute rally orchestrated by waterboy saw us climb from the bottom to the middle third, which saved us from losing two levels but once again saw us pegged back by a level. A magnificent all night rally at the third attack was the first time Katimavik Bay managed to successfully defend the attack and earn a Barbarian statue for the city.

In our second season, Fleet as Minister of Defence did the most incredible job in predicting exactly what it would take to defend at every attack. Most of the citizens rallied and made the necessary guard donations, and we were able to cover those who didn't through a combination of the arsenal, the wall and a handful of additional donations made by council members. As a result, we successfully defended every single barbarian attack without loss to the city or individuals.

After initially stepping down, Fleet has agreed to continue to coordinate our defences for the next game period. As the city grows and more people start the next season with higher housing and clothing levels, we are going to need every single citizen to ensure that they make sufficient guard donations to cover their personal effects. You can see how many donations you need by checking in the bookcase in your house - but please remember to keep checking every time you update your housing or clothing. We will be looking to build the arsenal and possibly the wall to help with defence, but these will be needed to cover the city buildings and it is unlikely there will be much slack to cover individuals who fail to make their donations.

The Barbarosa Riddle

The Riddle is an important part of the Metagame because it provides additional gold for the city if we can make the top ten list of cities each month. Our riddle master, gootchums, has done a great job in rallying people to come up with answers to the riddle and mailing our suggestions to all our active citizens. This effort has seen us climb from last place overall last season, to 17th from 26 this time around. But we have yet to reap any reward for this effort by making it into the top ten list, in spite of the fact that gootchums has often managed to come up with the correct answer on the first day. We are still looking for somebody to take over coordination of the riddle for the new season but between us we will continue to try to come up with suggestions and mail them to our citizens. You can help your city by taking a minute when you log on each day to enter a riddle answer. For those of you who have not yet tried it, you enter the riddle by clicking on the Barbarosa Statue just north of the city gates.

The Dice Game

As with the riddle, success in the dice game can earn the city valuable gold in the metagame. We have done a great job in moving up from last place in our first season to 15th (from 26) in season two, With 20 players having played the dice in March, the signs are encouraging that we can continue to climb further and, hopefully, start to make the top ten monthly lists in the new season. But to do this we need more people playing dice more regularly. The dice game only takes 2-3 minutes to play and is an enjoyable way to kill a few minutes whilst waiting for market. There is a good tutorial if you are playing for the first time and once you have the mechanics of the game you should try to improve your strategy by using our city strategy guide. The dice game is found in the Assembly Hall.

City Tournaments

The city tournaments (which normally take place every two weeks) not only earn gold for a top ten placement, but also determine our final ranking in the City of Champions. This is probably where we have made the most progress overall, going from 22nd from 24 last season to just tipping Steinfurt to make it into the top ten this time around. What disappoints me, however, is the knowledge that we could have done even better had we not been hampered by the factor of 15. Many of our very positive results could have been much better had scores not been diluted by having less than 15 players. And even when we have had more than 15, it is still notable that some of our most talented players who feature regularly in the monthly gold lists, don't come out and play for their city in the tournaments.

As of now, we are the second top English city in tournament play and are within touching distance of World Village. I believe that if we can get a regular turnout of more than 15 players for every tournament, next season we should be aiming for a top five finish. If we can combine that with getting our best players to play in the tournaments, then we might even be able to surprise a few people and make a run for the title.

Catan Games

One of the reasons I believe that Katimavik Bay has become so successful - and why people from other cities want to join us - is because of the time we invest in helping our citizens to learn new games. When I joined last year I spent literally hours playing with waterboy over skype voice and the things I learnt from him have proved invaluable. I have tried to pass on that teaching to other players and we also have other players such as Islandwonder and Pediatron who are ready and willing to help people learn new games.

Playing a range of different games not only makes you well placed for the city tournaments, but it could also win you gold on the monthly gold list. There are 12 categories of games which provide gold to the top five players in the city each motnh - that's a total of 72 gold available to the city every month (two for first place). But too often this gold goes unclaimed because we don't have enough players making the list. As an example, the city lost out on 25 gold thorugh unclaimed places in March alone.

In her role as Games Meister, Pediatron will be coordinating efforts to help those interested in learning new games and we also have a wiki page for those who wish to sign up for instruction. Taking the time to learn new games will benefit both you and the city.

Play Often, Play Well, Have Fun

This is the motto of our city. I personally believe that all three of these things are circular. The more often you play the better you will play, the better you play the more fun you will, and the more fun you have the more often you will play. As a city we want to be able to compete against the very best in the Catan world. We believe we can do it. But we don't want to do it unless we do it the right way. Which means continuing to make the game as much fun as possible for everybody involved in our city.

Here is to another great season!!! Play Often, Play well, Have Fun!

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