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on September 11, 2013
It's a functional board, but I'll dissent from the glowing reviews. It should be noted that initial Kickstarter supporters are/were encouraged to write reviews in order to get themselves added to a pool for a random giveaway to win an additional board. They didn't have to write glowing reviews, but, come on.

1. The tabs that connect the board are acceptable, but strike me as breakable if you aren't careful with board handling and don't store the board in the box it arrives in (e.g., you drop the board, it falls off a shelf, or some other accident occurs). This isn't a huge issue as the box is about the size of a traditional mainstream boardgame box (Sorry, Monopoly, etc.).

2. While the blue color of the board is great for simulating the ocean surrounding the Catan island, I find it very distracting in the interior of the island where game pieces are placed. A much lighter color is needed. The color choice was an issue in the development of the board, with Kickstarter supporters voting on a color choice to defeat a production challenge. In hindsight, I would have voted for the board being tan colored because the tan looked lighter than the blue, at least to me. The space between tiles is just too wide, adding too much blue to the interior of the island, providing a greater visual distraction while surveying the distribution of pieces across the board.

Ya, downvote me for dissenting; it's just my opinion.
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on September 11, 2013
Finally a stable way to play Settlers of Catan. I have been a bit of a Catan nut for a long time. Like any Catan nut, the biggest headache has been keeping the board together and the pieces in their place if anything so much as looks at the table in the wrong way. As a dog owner (well, they really own me, but that's a different story) there have been some frantic game reassembly incidents.

When the kickstarter project popped up for this product I backed it immediately and got one 5-6 player board, one seafarers board (yet to be finished) and some resource card holders (yet to be finished). I also frantically called my wife to get her to get a 3-4 player board for a close friend. We were in the "early bird" group for both, so got the boards a while ago. We could not be happier. Dogs have bumped the table hard enough to knock over drink glasses (happily empty at the time) and not even moved a settlement. You can lift the board with pieces in tact, with one hand: unpossible! It's really a great way to play.

Logistically the 5-6 player version is the same as the 3-4 player version with an insert in the middle for the times when you want to play the 5-6 player sized board. You can use either config. It comes in a decent box for storage.
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on September 11, 2013
I was one of the kickstarter backers of this product, and have not been disappointed in it. This board makes Settlers so much easier to play. I don't have to worry about the frame around the outside that never seems to sit level on the 4th edition or somebody accidentally moving hexes around from a bump of the table or an errant die roll. Simply a fantastic product, one that will be used for many years.
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on September 11, 2013
I received my board a fortnight ago and it is an absolute joy. Unfortunately my house is slightly damp, meaning that the original cardboard frame edges supplied in Catan had warped slightly. This board works wonders in providing a flat, secure island to play on without having to constantly fix the board.

As an added bonus, we like to play Catan with the island hexes placed upside down when we start the game so we don't know what resources we are getting until a settlement is built. This board made playing in that style much easier.

It is also sturdy enough that you can lift and move your game around - we started playing on the lounge floor in the sun, then picked up the board and moved it to the table when it got cooler. Note - you do need to hold the board securely with both hands before you move it!

The blue in the centre of the island can be distracting at first, however after getting into the game play we stopped noticing fairly early into our game, and the advantages far outweighed this minor issue for us.
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on September 11, 2013
I received my Catan board in August of 2013. I have played so far only with the 3-4 player version. I have the 5-6 extension but have not tried it yet.

I love this board. With my original game, I have the version where the entire board is made up of hexes, even the outside port border. The problem during play is that the hexes would constantly get knocked. With the Catan board, it keeps everything perfectly in place. The hexes nestle into the board beautifully, the roads fit perfectly and my game stays in place. I haven't needed to move the game during play yet, but I imagine it will be super easy with the board.
One note: If you have the original hex only version like me, you will have to buy the adapter kit from Mayfair because the ports on this plastic board are for the little "flag-shaped" port pieces, not the entire hex port pieces. Mayfair sells the adapter set on their website. I need to do this. I have to play right now with the port hexes hanging off the board.

I would highly recommend this Catan board to the Catan lovers out there! Some people complain about the bright blue color of the plastic, it did not bother me. The storage box for the board is quite long. But if you're a gamer like me, you're used to awkward boxes for storage. Some people feel that the tabs that join the plastic boards together are weak. I simply plan on taking care of my board.

Full Disclosure: I'm an original backer and the makers of this board, Bill and Nate, are holding a contest for writing reviews. It doesn't matter, this review is written as my honest opinion, not affected by the contest.
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on September 11, 2013
I've played many games of settlers of catan. It's always been an issue trying to keep the board together. I've tried things from a giant sheet of glass to using the borders included in the later revisions of the game. None of them keep the board together nearly as well as I felt they should have. The pieces would slide, the roads would fall in-between the tiles. It was a losing battle attempting to actually keep the board together.

When I heard that there was a kickstarter for a board to keep all the pieces in place I knew this was something that would improve the game greatly. I've already played several games with the new board and the board no longer slips or slides thanks to the catan board. All in all the game is a much more pleasant experience thanks to this. I highly suggest any fans of the game to consider purchasing this board. Trust me, it'll make things so much easier to manage.
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on September 11, 2013
Settlers is by far one of the greatest if the the best board game. It has provided hours and hours of fun over hundreds of games. Only bad part...if you bump the table then the game goes everywhere. This product does what it says it keeps the game in place making the playing experience that much better. If you catan afford this board then you should pick it up.
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on April 12, 2014
This plastic catan board is great. Pieces fit nice, it keeps the tiles altogether, but it is quite an expensive product.

Cons: The board is more expensive than the expensive cardboard game. I feel this board should only be about $20, especially since the engineering costs were paid upfront on Kickstarter.

Also, the interlocking system is not as strong as it could be. The pieces don't really snap together, they slide together, and could easily slide apart of you were not careful. We were able to move our catan game from the table to the floor and back without losing it, but I think it could lock better. I have seen suggestions where folks glue their boards together, but that breaks the functionality of using it for either a 3-4 player or 5-6 player game, and I shouldn't have to glue together something I just paid $45 for.
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on July 9, 2015
I want to give this board 5 stars because I love Catan, but let me explain why I opted for 4 stars instead...

> First, the cost. It's outrageous in my opinion. Coming in at more than the game itself, it's a tough buy. While I feel good about the purchase and have been very happy with the item, my perceived value is about $10 less than what they have it priced at currently.

> Second, the build quality. While it's pretty solid, I have found that the pieces don't hold together as well as they did right out of the box. This is after maybe half a dozen uses. The board still works and it does hold together, it's just not as snug as it used to be.

While some reviews say that storage and transportation are difficult, I disagree. The box it comes in is really nice (would love it if it had a handle) and how else are you supposed to transport something this big and have it still be solid? Come on guys, be realistic. As far as the color, I thought I would be more disappointed in the blue pieces on the blue, but it honestly isn't a big deal at all and the contrast between the two is enough that unless you have terrible eyesight, it's fine.

Overall, it was a good purchase, just wish it was a bit more cost effective. The border pieces that came with our Catan set were garbage, so this was a big reason why we made the purchase. Otherwise, I may not have sprung for the cost. Maybe. :)
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on September 11, 2013
Until I purchased this board, I used a Clear Acrylic Sheet (or plexiglass) that I would lay on top of the hexagons to keep from warping.

- Designed specifically for The Settlers of Catan.
The resource hexagons fit perfectly into their slots and are flush at the intersections where settlements/cities are placed. The roads fit perfectly into their slots. "They shared their idea with the teams at Catan Inc. and Mayfair Games and have been working closely with them ever since to bring these boards to the entire Catan community." By working with Catan Inc. and Mayfair Games, they have made a product that is up to high quality standards of Catan.

- No more shifting of "tectonic plates."
After heavy use of the Catan Board, the hexagons tend to shift and pop-up during setup, or mid-game. This is no longer an issue.

- Board Transportation now a possibility
I would not suggest taking this board on road-trips to play in the car, but when you are playing on the kitchen table, and pizza arrives, you can easily move the board (with one hand) to another location.

- Elevated board
The board is elevated. Not too much, but just enough to prevent "natural disasters" from the dice rolling onto the board and moving settlements/cities/roads. Also, I would imagine this would help keep the hexagons clean in case of a drink spill. (Although, my group has never had a problem with spilling drinks, knock-on-wood)

- Improved set-up time.
I have found that setting up the board takes much less time with the plastic board to guide the pieces. No more struggling to set up the board and preventing the pieces from popping up and shifting.

- Storage Box.
I am not sure if this was intentional or not, but the shipping container for the Catan Board also doubles as a nice storage container (complete with the Catan logo).

These are not negatives, but personal preferences/critiques.

- I'm not sure why there are so many slots available for the harbors. When compared with the bamboo board, there are significantly more slots for the harbor tokens. I count 11 slots on the 5-6 player bamboo board, and 38 possible slots for the plastic 5-6 player board. I would assume this gives potential for more variety in gameplay. Personally, I would prefer to have the 11 slots to fill, instead of 38 spots to choose from.

- Solid blue color is nice, but I miss my tan-colored island. I did find this blog with a tutorial on how to paint the board, but I think I'll leave it blue. [...]
It would be nice to see a board in the future with the island painted on, or molded in to the plastic.

5 stars. No question. The only things that could make this better are strictly based on personal preferences, and not on anything that inhibits the gameplay experience. I would go as far to say, if you play Catan frequently, this is a MUST HAVE for those that frequently play The Settlers of Catan.

( I am patiently waiting for the 5-6 Seafarers board. )
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