I employ this tactic in most competitive games, I found it works especially well in poker. People generally don’t like to see other people win. If you can convince the other players even for a few rounds that the chip leader is way ahead you can see people ganging up on that person. Often times people will do crazy things.
A few months ago I was playing RISK, with a few friends. I had a mission card that was to kill all of blue’s men and to win the game. So for the rest of the game I was slowly taking over blue’s area, and being uncooperative with blue. Down to about a dozen men, blue decides to go all out and attack the current leader, white, in all in kamikaze. The blue and white player have a history of being jerks to each other in real life so we all assumed he was just doing it out of his real life spite. After a series of lucky rolls the vastly smaller army of blue was able to seriously wound the white player, reducing white’s army to half its original size. The red player, seeing the white player in a state of weakness decides he wants white’s army bonus cards (cards you get for conquering lands, trading 3 gives you a large army boost). Red manages to completely eliminate white’s game pieces from Africa all the way to eastern Asia. With the white players army gone, the blue player announced that he had won the game. Turns out blue had a mission card of killing all of white’s units. The blue player decided he had no way of doing it himself, as I had been hindering him the entire game. It shocked all of us, but it shocked me the most as blue only had a few soldiers left, all within my green army’s range. Blue didn’t have any aggression towards white the entire game, so the win was really out of nowhere.
In Catan, the posing starts even before the first roll of the dice; who has the best placement? What was their initial resource supply? Who has the best brick-wood supply? (Brick and wood are important in the early game, as they’re used to build roads and expand your territory.) An early lead in Catan could be your doom. Much like the Tour de France, it’s nice to be in second place, up until the end when you slam down your tenth victory point.