Mike, went down to Oxcon this year to play Settlers, he sent this report
Well, in the end, as the driving conditions looked OK, I decided to go down to Oxford for Oxcon Sunday and go for the Settlers tournament. Tournament organisation was frankly a bit shambolic, with the organiser forgetting that if he was to keep to the ambitious schedule of 5 games starting at 11 a.m. finishing before 5.30-ish then he'd better set strict time limits on rounds. In the end we managed 4 rounds, 27 participants featuring two Halesowen Boardgamers - me and Mark Stretch.
1st game was a disaster, got badly boxed in quickly and had to dump cards to a '7' throw twice in the first 5 rounds, never recovered and didn't even manage a city build before the end! 2nd game was much better but ultimately frustrating, I was unstoppably about to play my 3rd Knight card to take Largest Army and win, when the player going immediately before me got to 10pts to snatch victory!
After a long wait for it meant a hurried lunch, 3rd game was disappointing, the only game wrecked for me by lousy dice rolls, I was the only player not to benefit from 4's and there were ridiculous numbers of them. It was a two-horse race more or less from the start and I think I was a distant joint third. 4th game started very bleakly, was only on three commodity types and another player accidentally blocked me from being able to build on a key commodity port - wouldn't have minded so much if he'd actually meant it! However, managed to get some city building going, kept under the radar while the others attacked each other (there were a lot of 7's rolled and knights played), and the card accumulation kicked in, including a couple of rounds where I was sitting on 20+ commodity cards. After being 1 card short of the Longest Road for a win, I had to sweat for a further two rounds (including one where I was robbed of the only card which losing stopped me winning!) before I finished things off with a satisfying win.
Didn't hang around for the results or presentation, but feel pretty confident I didn't miss the opportunity to be presented with a trophy...