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"Settlers of Catan" at first glance looks and sounds like a nerdy game that will be difficult to follow and even more difficult to enjoy (unless you're a nerd of course). When I was first introduced to the game I was sceptical, expecting that I would take a long time to understand what was going on. With hindsight this was probably because my boyfriend tried to explain all the rules before we began, a necessary step that never fails to baffle new players and make them wonder if they've made the right decision to play and sometimes question whether they've accidentally joined some sort of cult without realising (this was my initial thought and certainly it seemed the same for my mum when I tried to introduce her to the world of Catan).
When I began playing however, the rules and aims of the game began to make a lot more sense. There was a handy reference card to remind me which resources were needed to buy certain items in the game (such as a settlement or a development card) and consequently how much these items contributed to my quest to win the game. I won my first game however I probably would not have realised it had I not been with experienced players. In a group of people completely new to the game, it is probably possible for everyone to play and not even realise for a couple of hours that someone has won, however this adds to the experience of the game when it is eventually established who the winner is.
For those of you who are not familiar with "Settlers of Catan", I apologise for being vague on how exactly the game works. As you can probably tell from what I've wrote above, it can be quite a challenge to explain how the game works, even with the board and all the pieces set out on a table. The easiest way I can explain it is as a unique cross between Monopoly and Happy Families, great fun to play and well worth the effort of trying to get my head around the rules!
Settlers of Catan has long been extremely popular and one of the bestselling board games. The game originated in Germany and was created by Klaus Teuber in 1995. Meanwhile it has been translated into 25 languages.
The island of Catan is hexagonal and divided into various areas such as commodities and as forests, mountains and meadows. As a player it is your goal to get as many resources on the island, faster than your opponents. You're in need of commodities to create new towns, streets and city building. The building of towns and cities are worth points and those who get ten points first wins the game.
You do not just get points for building cities and such, but also for the longest continuous route you get points. Players can trade with each other and choosing to help or sabotage other players.
The board: In the basic game you have 37 land tiles available. These are hexagonal. The following tiles are available:
4 Arable land
9 Sea ports
Victory Points you can earn in various ways. Namely:
Every village is worth a victory point.
Every city has two victory points.
The longest trade route (ie the longest path), is worth two points. The longest trade route only counts if you have five or more contiguous roads.
There are developments cards are worth points.
It's a great family game but also a thrilling game. To win the game you need to apply the necessary different tactics what makes the game different every time. You can use different tactics for each game and take your opponents by surprise. You can also apply additional rules to make it even more exciting. There are many expansion sets available in the game. For me I love this game Settlers of Catan and it's a great game to play with a group.
Catan is a German board game which was invented in 1995 by Klaus Teuber and immediately won awards in its native country but remains relatively unknown worldwide. I was only introduced to the board game a couple of months ago by my cousin (who is currently competing in the World Of Catan world championships where she is in the quarter finals!) when the game was explained to me I just thought it sounded weird but since then I have become hooked.
The island of Catan is hexagonal and divided up into 19 different hexes, 18 of which produce either logs, metal, sheep or bricks with one non productive desert hex. The way the board is set up each time varies with the tiles placed at random over the board and then numbers placed on top. It is your goal to build up your resources to build on the island more quickly than your opponents.
In the game you play the part of a settler on the island of Catan. Each settler (or player) starts of by building 2 settlements on the edges of production hexes. Each hex is numbered from 2 to 12 and when the dice roll your number it yields one unit of production for every settlement built there. Players choose where to base their settlements trying to get a good mix of both resources and numbers; obviously a 6 or 8 will be far more likely to roll than a 2 or 12. You use your resources you build roads on the island and when you reach other hexes you can build more settlements and upgrade to cities. You can also buy development cards which are like wild cards; some allow you to steal resources from other players or build roads or use a knight to drive away the robber.
The winner is the first person to reach ten victory points. Each settlement gives a point, a city two. There are also points for the longest road or the person who has used the most knights which can swap between players several times over the course of a game.
Players have the option of trading resources with one another and also the bank at various rates depending on where they have built (like Monopoly somebody has to act as banker to dish out resources and cards) so there is always a lot of interaction and chat going on round the game table. Players set their own rate for each trade and can choose to help or hinder other players. The game gets really competitive with everyone vying for the best spaces on the board and trying to sabotage the other players.
Catan can throw up some nasty surprises. Every time a 7 is rolled, the person who rolled gets to move the robber onto an opponents hex. The robber stops this hex producing anything and the person who rolled a 7 also gets to draw a card from the other person's hand. There is much gnashing of teeth and wailing when the robber is moved.
Catan probably sounds very complicated to those who have never played before and I will admit being lost for the first game but you pick up the rules surprisingly quickly and learn tips and tricks to get ahead. The beauty of the game is that there is a new board built every time so you cannot stick to one strategy, you have to be flexible and adapt your game play to each new board in order to win. I play monopoly every so often but once you have learned the rules it gets dull as you use the same strategy for every game but every game of Catan is different. A game lasts from around 30 to 45 minutes and you need at least 3 players. It is a game primarily for adults, the teenagers in my family play but I don't see a child under 11 being able to pick it up.
My family have all become great fans of the original Settlers Of Catan game as well as the more advanced variants. I received a brand new game for my birthday, the game costs around £25 from various retailers. The game itself is really visually striking and the pieces all of great quality with lovely wooden game pieces and nicely illustrated cards. It is advisable to splash out on the new game rather than the second hand one as the newer version has a nicer surround to stop the pieces of the island moving around which was a problem with older versions.
The Settlers of Catan is a brilliant board game and I wish I had discovered it years ago. It combines the fun of a property trading game with the thought needed for a strategy game and also provides a great way for families to interact.
I was initially introduced to Settlers of Catan through my boyfriend who is fairly interested in 'geekier' board games.
I found it quite easy to pick up, by the end of the first game I felt I had really got the hang of it, unlike other "grown-up" board games where I've played through three or so times and still felt utter confusion.
What I found most appealing about Catan was the fact that there is something for every player to do (pick up rescources) ever time the dice is rolled. I have found with other board games that concentration can be lost while people are waiting for their turn to come around, and Catan nicely sidesteps that downfall.
Although, as I say I found it easy to understand I have played it with numerous people who have found the idea of the 'robber' tricky. Particularly those at the younger end of the playing age seem to find it fairly complex.
The playing time is fairly fast and doesn't drag out so long that reluctant players (in my family someone is often bullied into playing when they don't want to) don't begin to throw tantrums.
Catan for me has never got boring, my only real problem with it is that four players do not seem like enough, and at the release of the 5-6 player expansion, that problem was solved!
Settlers of Catan is unique, unlike any other board game I had played before. It has remained a firm favourite both with my kids as well as after dinner entertainment. It's less prescriptive than Monopoly, and less cut-throat than Risk - and more interesting than both of them. The real strength is in the way the board and dice work together to make the game different every time.by<a href="http://settlersofcatanboardgame.info/">Settlers of Catan Board Game</a> dot info
I was first introduced to this game about 4 years ago and avoided it for a while just becasue of its outward appearance...i was wrong! Dont be put off by the basic look of the box, it may not look quite as 'flashy' as some other board games but what it lacks in outward style it more than makes up for in riveting game play!
This game is simply a fantasic game, for anyone who likes thinking strategically this game is for you. The board is essentially an 'island' made up of may hexagonal pieces, each of which represents a 'resource' - wheat, ore/stone, brick and wood. Players build settlements and roads, collecting resources based on where their settlements are built. Each 'resource' hexagon has a number, each time that number is rolled on the dice any player with a settlement on that number collects a resource card...collect resource cards, build more settlements, win the game.
This game will really draw you in, its strategic like monopoly but can be played in a much shorter time. You definately need to think several moves ahead!
Dont be put off by its appearance, especially in the age of computer games, this really is a gem and is rightly getting the following it deserves.
Being a member of the "electronic generation", when I'm asked "do you want to play some games?" my first reaction is generally "sure, pass me a controller"...I've not found a great deal of time for boardgames since I was a child - and tend to view them as a little "wholesome" - there's just something a little..."healthy" about sitting down in the evening and playing a boardgames, or cards, or reading to each other from a book.
Anyway, one of my friends introduced me to Settlers of Catan when I popped round for a visit - and I've been hooked ever since.
A quick summary of the game (without being too pedantic):
The board is made up of a number of hexagonal tiles, or "hexes", that represent different resources. Each time the board is constructed, the hexes are randomised - this ensures that each game feels new and fresh. Each hex is awarded a number between 1 and 12. These correspond to the role of two dice - and each number is given a probability - where 6 and 8 are the most likely to be rolled (7 is actually most likely, but that's reserved for "the robber") and 1 and 12 the least likely.
Players can build roads and settlements (and later cities) across the map, running along the sides of the hexes. Victory Points are awarded for every settlement(1) or city(2) that is built, as well as certain other milestones - the first player to 10VP wins.
Each turn then runs in phases:
1) Player rolls the die and in doing so decides which resources are to be awarded. Any players that have settlements or cities bordering those resources will be awarded an amount of that resource. (in the form of cards)
eg A six is rolled. The number 6 may have been placed on brick, sheep and wood - anyone with settlements on the brick marked with 6 will be awarded bricks - anyone with settlements on the wood marked with 6 is awarded wood etc
2) Trade - players can swap their cards with other players, or "the bank" (preferential rates with the bank can be facilitated by building settlements on special "port" points around the coast) in order to get the correct cards they need in order to...
3) ...Build. Players can exchange resource cards in order to build roads (wood and brick), settlements (wood, brick, wheat, sheep) etc. They can also buy "development cards" (a little like "community chest" cards in monopoly).
These phases are repeated until someone hits the magic 10VP - a process which has taken anywhere between 20 and 120 minutes in my household.
There are a number of things that make Settlers awesome in my book:
1) As the board is never the same, you're always up against new challenges.
2) There are a variety of ways that you can win - you can collect Victory Points for:
* Building settlements
* Building cities
* Building the longest road
* Having the largest army (by playing "knight" cards, a subset of the development cards mentioned above)
* Collecting VP development cards
- so you need to be able to think on your feet, use different strategies etc
3) It's got a competitive edge - some games are incredibly close, winning a single turn before an opponent was about to win - and there's a fair amount you can do to hinder your opponent's success: cutting them off from accessing part of the board, using knight cards to starve them of resource, refusing to trade with them and so on. It doesn't, however, descends into the cruel thuggery that I remember from playing Monopoly and Risk as a youngster...
4) It's expandable - The standard game is for 3-4 players, but you can buy an expansion pack for 5/6 players - and you can also buy scenario packs to add additional elements to the game, leading to even more variety. Seafarers, for example, adds the ability to use boats to cross between islands.
5) It's easy to play, but hard to master - it seems complicated for the first couple of turns, but after that it's really easy to play - getting your tactics right, however, is an absolute art...to quote wiki: "its mechanics are relatively simple, while its dynamics are quite complex". There's no sure-fire way to win, so you have to be willing to use a host of strategies to prosper. It's also easy enough for older children to play...I think the box says 12+, but I've played with 10 year olds without issue.
The game comes in a decent looking box and includes:
The hexes and border
Roads, settlements and cities for each player
Resource + development cards
Rules, getting started guy
"Development cost cards" for each player (reminds you how much things cost)
I believe the game's available in the UK for around £20 and is an absolute steal at that - I've spend many hours now around the table into the earlier hours with my family, playing the game and knocking back the wine - it really is a great, sociable way to spend an evening.
My only disappointment with the game is that it still seems to be very much a "speciality game" in this country - which means it's hard to get hold of outside of the internet and specialist gaming shops. Whilst this isn't a huge problem, it stops me from impulse-buying all of the expansions -which I'd surely have done by now were they available in, say, Argos.
Overall, this is a great, entertaining game that doesn't get old and keeps you on your toes every time you play. It's quicker and less painful than Monopoly or Risk, but maintains a healthy competitive edge. Highly recommended to anyone.
We were introduced to Settlers of Catan (Settlers to its fans) several years ago before it was as popular as it is now. Since then I have played well over a hundred games of settlers and am still always keen to play it. A problem with some other board games is that after you have played them a number of times you begin to feel like you have nothing more to learn and always know what to do in a given situation. Settlers in no way suffers from this problem; you play on a different board every time as the board is made up of hexagons that are arranged randomly at the start of each game. Trading ports around the edge of the board are also arranged randomly. This means every game is unique and interesting even for experienced players.
We have taught the game to many others and most were very keen on it, if only we had earned commission from all the sets they went on to buy for themselves! We have found that when teaching people it is helpful to spell out different options for them if they are having trouble deciding what to do, and pointing out if they make an unwise decision as this can easily lead to inexperienced players getting very far behind and a bit fed up. The one thing we never discuss is robber placement as this is so key to the game. It is the sort of game that is hard to win initially against experienced players, but it is always possible due to the luck element of the dice. After two or three games most people feel as if they are really getting the hand of it and are enjoying it.
Settlers plays best with four players and is fine with three although the dynamics are a little different as there is so much more room on the board. There are various two player adaptations but it doesn't really work the same as a two player game, as trading is an important element. When we fancy a game of settlers and there are just the two of us we usually play the variant where the game continues until the winner reaches 20 instead of 10.
You can buy a 5-6 player expansion that gives a bigger playing board, and various other expansions that add ways to gain points, and increase the complexity. I would never try and teach anything other than the basic game to a new player as it gets far too complicated and you need to be competent at the basic game before you attempt any expansions.
This is a really fantastic game that is not very well known (at least outside of board gaming circles). It is very hard to describe how it works but I will attempt: There are no moving playing pieces, and the board is made up of lots of hexagons. At the start each player gets to place two towns, these go at the vertices of the hexagons so that generally speaking each town is adjacent to two or three hexagons. Each hexagon has a picture representing a commodity and also a number. On each players turn they roll two dice and if the dice total is equal to the number of the commodity/hexagon, then any player with a town adjacent to that hexagon gets a card for that commodity.
The commodity cards can be used to get new towns, upgrade towns or get mystery cards. The aim of the game is to get 10 victory points, these come from towns, cites and can come from mystery cards.
If you are looking for a new boardgame then you should really think about getting this one because it is very good. If you want to try it out then you can play it online- I'm not sure I should give the link, but it is a java game and a google search should find it for you.
I was given the settlers of catan by my husband for Christmas. It was one of those 'filler' presents because he'd got me something expensive and wanted to get a few more things for me to unwrap. I think it's RRP is about £25. When I opened it his first comment was something about it being on special offer and it was OK if I didn't like it.
A few days later we decided to play. Expectations were low as myself, my husband and my father in law sat down round the kitchen table. We read through the rules and set up the board. What then started was the best and most nail-biting game I've played in a very long time, if ever!
The set up is a little bit fiddly because you have to place a lot of tiles into a frame, and make them stay there. This is because the game can be randomised by shuffling the tiles and placing them randomly. It does make set up a slightly lengthy process though.
As the game is played each player collects resources (wool, ore, grain, wood and clay) and uses them to build settlements, cities and roads. These structures earn you points and the first to 10 is the winner. It sounds easy enough but some of the points can move about fairly fast. e.g. the road points are 2 to the person with the longest road and that can change so 2 points might move at a crutial point in the game.
I found the game very exciting as the points were moving and we were all very close to winning for a long time. We have played many times since that first one and have found that anyone can win. It just takes someone making a wrong move or a particular number on the dice to change things significantly. It's also great for kids because if there is no chance of them winning they can still have smaller aims such as building one more settlement or upgrading one more city.
We love this game, the only drawback is that it can only be played by 4 players. We have invested in the expansion pack to allow it to be played by 6 but this still isn't really quite enough for us.
This was a chance discovery made while browsing Amazon - the description intrigued me and, being a bit of a board game addict, I just had to try it! Its quickly become on of my favourites and I'd wholeheartedy recommend it to anyone who want to try something a bit different to the usual Monopoly/Risk/Cluedo.
Play is begun by setting up your first settlements on the board and strategic placement at this point can make or break the game as easy access to a variety of rescources is necessary to develop settlement and roads. Gameplay then involves rolling dice to determine who gets access to their rescources each turn, followed by exchanging cards for roads and buildings, or taking a chance on gaining something better.
I've only played a two player game so far (this is possible, and very enjoyable, though the box recommends a minimum of three). However, I can see more players would make for a much better game as trading among players would become a bigger part of play as each try to gain the best advantage for themselves while making life difficult for all the others.
While it may initially take a little while to learn Catan is essentially easy to understand and the fact that everybody stays involved for the entire game (unlike family favourites like Monoploy or Cluedo no-one can lose and go 'out' before the game ends) make it a wonderful addition to any collection.
The strategic element to play and the fact that the whole board layout can change for every game, giving different advantates and disadvantages to players each time, also mean that the game is great for pretty much any group of players - the game can be as simple or complex as the players ability dictates and the fact that there are dice involved allows for just that little element of chance which can make a game so much more fun. It certainly outshines most other boardgames I've played for sheer enjoyment. I can't wait to get a bigger group together to play again!
Settler's is an exciting. Board game which involves using strategic moves throughout..........
I have owned settlers for over four years and I think this is one of those games that you just can pick up and play for an hour or two with plenty of enjoyment. The aim of the game is simple, the first person to reach ten points! You get the points by building houses, roads, cities and by getting victory points. You build houses, cities and roads by collecting bricks, wood, iron ore, wheat, and sheep! With these items you can exchange different combinations of these for different buildings or roads. As well as aiming to get 10 points you need to build the biggest settlement!
Throughout the game you use strategic moves to gain points, to block (and frustrate) your opponents! The game lasts for roughly 50 to 90 minutes and can be played with unfortunately 2 to 4 players; this can be a problem when all our family wants to play! However this problem can be solved with an additional expansion pack which can be purchased!
The game has separate board pieces that can be set in a different way every time, this is great as it completely changes how you should play the game, it also creates a greater challenge and means greater mental stimulation!
I personally think this game is suitable for anyone over the age of ten as the rules can be seen as complicated, but once you get into it it is very easy to understand.
Settlers is a great game that will keep you occupied for a good afternoon, it is a great way of beating your friends and family at something!
I came across this game whilst browsing on the internet for interesting board games to play as my husband and I enjoy playing board games but get bored with the same old games that are widely available. However, we are by no means 'gamers' and I would class us as novices when it comes to strategy games.
Settlers of Catan was given consistently high ratings on gaming websites. I liked the idea of using strategies within the game, but didn't want a) something too complicated for us to be bothered to learn, or b) something with a lot of strategy but little imagination. For me, Settlers of Catan fulfilled my requirements completely.
The basic idea of the game is that you collect different resources throughout the game and different combinations of these resources are needed to build roads, settlements, cities, etc. By building and expanding your towns on the island, you increase your chances of picking up new resources and extending your towns further.
There are a number of strategies involved in the game (as well as some luck). As another reviewer commented, deciding where to put your initial settlement and road at the beginning of the game is crucial to how the game will turn out.
It does take a bit of time to get your head around the rules but it's not complicated when you have got to grips with them. I have found that, when teaching the game to friends, it takes more than one game for them to really grasp the ideas and strategies involved.
It says that the game is for 3 or 4 players but, to be honest, with a few minor adjustments, my husband and I have happily played it many times with only 2 players.
All in all, I would highly recommend this game. It rejuvenated my interest in board games and I have gone on to buy other games off the back of this one.
The Settlers of Catan is a German board game that has a range of expansions and add ons that can be purchased online (I recommend looking it up on Wikipedia to see the full range and what goes with what, etc.). There's a card game and a travel game, but I'll be reviewing the board game which is the one I'm most familiar with.
The idea is that you (and the people you're playing with) are settling on an island. You build two settlements to start with on hexagons, and the hexagons have a type (wood, wheat, ore, brick and sheep) and a number (2-12, except 7). Whenever the dice gets rolled (at the beginning of someone's turn), you get 1 resource if a number gets rolled that you have a settlement on. Settlements can be upgraded to cities, and then you get 2 resources per number of the dice roll. With the resources, you build more roads, settlements and cities, and you can buy development cards. These do things such as you can pick two resources of your choice from the bank (Year of Plenty) etc., with the most common being Knights (you can steal a random resource from a player and the person with the most knights gets the 'Largest Army' card, worth 2 points).
There is also a robber, who can be moved on a 7 to steal from your opponents and block them from gaining resources on a certain hexagon/number.
The winner is first to 10 points (settlements are worth 1, cities 2, plus there is the aforementioned Largest Army, and also the Longest Road - at least 5 pieces unbroken).
You can pick it up for £20-25, and it's not cheap but it is an amazing and very addictive game. It's designed for 3-4 players, but you can play it with 2 (search online), and you can also get a 5-6 player expansion. You can also work in teams if there are too many people.
If you want to try it out you can play the basic game for free at playcatan.com, but I recommend getting a game in with someone who knows what they're doing or you will probably get very confused if it's your first time!
I was introduced to this game at the end of my first year of University. I had always heard tales of how my parents had enjoyed lengthy games of RISK in their student days. And now it was my turn to have a wonderfully fun night in with the guys and enjoy a new generation of truly magnificent strategy gaming.
The first thing that struck me about Settlers, all those years ago, was the ingenuity of the board design. The island of "Catan" (which is the main playing area) is constructed from hexagonal tiles. Each tile represents a different resource (such as Wood, Brick or Wheat). The tiles slot together to form a "map" of the island. Players can then build settlements, cities and roads across the map. Each tile produces vital resources for each player to collect, trade then spend to expand their miniature empire. Players can freely trade goods with one another or use sea ports on the edge of the island to bring in the goods they need. For example, one unit of road can be purchased with 1x Wood and 1x Brick.
The game is won by achieving certain goals, or building a certain number of settlements / cities. The game comes with an extremely comprehensive instruction book, complete with examples and colour diagrams of suggested map layouts. You can make the game as simple (a 30 minute sprint to victory) or as complex as you want by rearranging the map, increasing the number of "victory points" you need to win or imposing rules of your own.
The "Settlers" series of games really comes into its own when you start buying the expansion packs. The standard game (on display here) is for four players. An expansion set can be bought for about £20 which increases the map size so six players can comfortably compete on the island. Then there's "Seafarers of Catan" which brings in multiple islands as well as the joy of sea-faring routes and "Cities and Knights" which gets pretty hardcore!
My family and I love playing this in the holidays. It is strangely addictive and one of those games you really get "in to". Indeed, my sister now refuses to play with us because she gets so emotionally involved in the game! Excellent design, fully customizable and a joy to play again and again.
This is an award-winning board game for three or four players. Catan is an imaginary unexplored island, and players are explorers and settlers. The playing surface is made of hexagonal tiles that, depending on their placement, create a different environment each time the game is played. Settlers must use their resources to develop their island home, building roads and houses to create new towns. But watch out! There's a robber on the island, and that renegade can show up at any time to steal your valuable resources. The game includes a rules booklet, a game almanac (with examples and advanced rules), cardboard hexagonal tiles, a plastic game sheet, small wooden markers (for settlements, cities, and roads), playing cards, and wooden dice. Settlers of Catan takes only 15 minutes to learn, and the game can be played in a simple version for beginners or in a more complex version for experienced players.