I never liked Settlers because it was so easy to be cut off and fall hopelessly behind the snowballing. Fans have always told me, “Just use the ports then!” but even with the ports you’re making inefficient trades that can’t possibly keep up with the people who beat you early on in the road game and now have towns on the best resource spots.
Once you fall hopelessly behind, the temptation to play kingmaker is overwhelming. Just hand over all your cards to the leader to make it end faster. It might make me a jerk, but you’re the one who made me play Settlers of Catan!