With all the hexes, all the resources, all the roads and settlements and cities I've seen…why have I never heard of this?
Leave it to an obnoxious Internet list to bring to my attention a subtle bit of Settlers of Catan strategy.
I personally love driving a road straight through the middle of the board, cutting the mobility of my opponents in half and drastically reducing their chances of ever wresting the Longest Road card away from me.
What I never considered was the legality of someone inserting their settlement between my road bits to smash my nefarious plans into irrecoverable pieces. The rules do state this is legal, provided the distance rule (new settlement has to be at least 2 roads away from another settlement) is maintained. So unless you add a town every now and then, it is quite possible for someone to slip right by you.
And continue building roads on the other side!
Back in Catan: Junior land, my son is getting more and more capable with his blocking moves. Yes, believe it or not, blocking is very possible even in the sparsely populated 2 player game. He has learned to make a run for one of my sides, hopefully plugging up my chances of advancing into the coveted gold hex position.
Very coveted, because gold gets you 1/3 of the way to the infernal Polly Card and thusly also to a easy victory. You either play "The Game" and at least try to keep up with your opponent's Polly Cards or you are left in the dust.
If only there were a longest "boat" victory!