Customer Reviews: Catan: Traders & Barbarians Expansion 4th Edition
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on January 11, 2011
If you've read my other Catan reviews, you know by now that my friends and I are some pretty advanced Settlers of Catan players. If you've added Seafarers and Cities & Knights expansions, then here is the final expansion to Catan. This one is different than the others though. This expansion presents you with different scenarios or storylines, if you will, to the game. I'll outline them and tell you what we think:

Fishermen of Catan: This adds fishing ports and a lake to Catan. You can use the fish to trade for things or take small actions. Easily added to any other expansion. We often do, just to throw something extra in.

Rivers of Catan: This actually came out a long time ago; the pieces were in a gaming magazine. But there are elements added in this set to make it more interesting. Build along the river and you get gold coins; bridges can be built over the river, as well. But the main challenge is the idea of "poor settler/rich settler". If you have the fewest gold coins you lose victory points; maintain the most and gain a victory point. We don't play this one too much because the river really doesn't add anything to the game.

Camels: This is our name for the scenario. Basically there are desert nomads that must come out and trade for wool and wheat, things that are hard to come by in the desert. When you build a settlement, a camel may be placed like a road, except that everyone bids wool/wheat on the camel. The person who bids the most gets to place the camel. Camels let your road count twice for Longest Road, but more important, if your settlement/city gets a camel on both sides, it is worth an extra Victory Point.

Barbarian Attacks: This is a variation of a scenario that was also previously released. The outer rim of catan is subject to barbarian attack. Three barbarians land on a spot and that spot no longer produces. To get the barbarians off you land you must build and send out knights. Get more knights than barbarians and you drive them off. Collect the barbarians for victory points.

Traders: There are special land tiles that produce commodities such as glass, tools, and marble. Each tile produces one thing and requires two things. You have a wagon that travels between these spots and drops off an item, picks up another, and goes off to deliver that. Victory point earned for each delivery. The catch is you can only move your wagon so many times and it costs you more if you don't travel on your own road. And there are barbarians that can block the way. This is my personal favorite.

There is also a game that replaces the dice with cards, but none of us likes to play that way so we never do and I can't speak to that scenario. There is also a new card to try and obtain, the Harbormaster. We play with this card EVERY game now, no matter if we are playing out of this expansion set or not. It gives you two victory points for controlling 3 points of harbors, but it also adds a victory point to the total needed to win.

All that said, we have taken the ultimate challenge and combined all three expansions into one game. The official rules are at to print off. Our favorites are to have a random board from Seafarers, along with Cities & Knights played with either the Barbarian Attack or Traders. There is A LOT to keep up with and it is very complicated. I daresay that 90% of Catan players play just the base set; very few even get Seafarers alone or Cities & Knights alone. So just know that if you come this far, (not to sound snobby) you're in an elite group of Catan players. This is our favorite way to play. Games typically last about 2-2.5 hours with all expansions added together. Check out the combined rules if you are interested!
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on June 9, 2013
This is probably the best of the large expansions for Settlers of Catan. I think so because it contains both simple variants to improve the base game as well as slightly more complex scenarios also. If you look at my base Catan review, you will see the variants that I highly recommend others try out for the base game. Specifically, Tournament Set up and Welfare variant.

This Traders and Barbarians expansion has additional simple variants to add to those two, Harbormaster, Fishermen's of Catan, River of Catan, Event cards. These are simple enough without requiring flipping through the rules and generally do not increase the game play time. Traders/Barbarians of course still offer more complicated scenarios, such as Caravans, Barbarian Attacks, and Traders and Barbarians. These last scenarios will increase the game play time of the game. Majority of the time, we just play with the earlier described variants in this expansion, but it's nice there are of these deeper scenarios included. We also include the Tournament and Welfare variants in every game.

Like I stated earlier, in my opinion, if you asking which expansion I recommend, it's this one. From reading all the rulebooks from each large expansions, this was the one I felt will get more play value for the general player. If you are a hardcore Catan player, your opinion may differ from mine.

Please click YES if my review have been helpful to you, it will encourage me to continue writing and updating my reviews, and leave a comment if you have any questions, I will be more than happy to answer if I can be of help.
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on March 26, 2009
First of all, you must already have the original Settlers of Catan to be able to play this expansion. If you are here reading this than chances are you do. With this expansion it presents different campaign scenarios to the Catan story. Many scenarios. This is like having several games in one box! You can choose to play the Fishermen of Catan, or the Rivers of Catan, or the Caravans, or Barbarian Attack, or Traders & Barbarians. The new pieces include wagons, bridges, camels, etc. You also get new game hexes with rivers, swamps, etc. But the best part is you can now play with just two players. It gives you the tools and rules so you and a friend can play Catan for two! All these campaigns are available in a two player version as well as up to 4 players. The only game you can't play in a two player version is Cities and Knights if you own this expansion (sold seperately). Another great thing is that if you are not lucky at rolling dice it has event cards that replace having to roll dice if you choose to do so. Not mandatory but it eliminates the randomness of dice. On your turn you don't roll the dice but instead you turn the top card of the Event Card deck face up. Not only does the card determine what number is "rolled", but it also causes an event. There are 11 different events, and almost half of the cards have events. (36 event cards are included) The statistically correct distribution of the numbers on the cards reduces the randomness produced by dice rolls. In exchange, the events inject new elements of chance into the game. Producing a slightly different ambience. The events are: Robber Attacks!, Epidemic, Earthquake, Good Neighbors, Tournament, Trade Advantage, Calm Sea, Robber Flees, Neighborly Assistance, Conflict, Plentiful Year, and New Year (you reshuffle). You can also use these "dice cards" with any of the different campaigns including Cities & Knights if you own this expansion already. Now on to the new Fishermen of Catan you get a new lake hex, 6 fishing ground tiles which you place along the coast, 20 fish tokens and 1 old boot token. The fishing ground tiles allow you to produce "fish" when your coastal settlements or cities are adjacent to them. So now coastal settlements can mean more than they did in the origanal Settlers of Catan. In Rivers of Catan you receive 2 sea frame pieces, 3 river tiles: a 3 hex river on 1 tile, and a 4 hex river on 2 tiles. You also get 12 bridges (3 of each color), 40 gold coins, 1 Wealthiest Settler tile, and 4 Poor Settlers tiles. For each road and settlement you build adjacent to a river hex, you receive 1 coin. You can trade 2 coins for any one resource of your choice. If you have the most coins, you are the Wealthiest Settler, which earns you a Victory Point. If you are a poor settler you lose -2 victory points. So you can see how this can affect the outcome when you are trying to win. You have to build bridges over the rivers instead of roads. (there are dotted lines on the hexes indicating which ones require bridges)Building a bridge takes 2 bricks and 1 lumber whereas a road only takes 1 and 1. Game ends at 10 victory points. The Caravans campaign includes 1 oasis hex and 22 camels. The camels make up the caravan and you use them to carry certain resources. I haven't played this one yet. The Barbarian Attack campaign includes 24 knights, 40 gold coins, 30 barbarians, 1 castle hex and 26 development cards. Haven't played this yet either. The last campaign Traders & Barbarians include 2 sea frame pieces, 3 terrain hexes, 36 commodity tokens, 4 wagons, 40 gold coins, 30 barbarians, 20 Baggage Train Cards, and 25 development cards. Haven't played this yet either. So you can see there are many different games all in this one box! If you have Settlers of Catan, this is the perfect expansion because of the many different scenarios included. More importantly the ability to play with 2 people up to 4.
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on January 7, 2009
If you love the original Settlers of Catan, then you will love the expansion, Barbarians and Traders! The additions to the game make it more interesting and involves a lot more strategy then luck. There is also a family friendly addition if wanted. One of the fun things is the HarborMaster card. Like the Longest Road and Largest Army, the player with the most harbors (beginning with 3) gets the HarborMaster card. This game is worth buying!
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on September 20, 2010
This is a fantastic expansion for the Settlers of Catan game. I bought the Seafarers expansion and played it a few times before buying this one, and though that one was fun, I almost felt it got too far away from the original game. The Traders and Barbarians expansion however, is great because it has several variants that can change the game slightly, as well as scenarios that are almost in themselves new games. Settlers of Catan Seafarers Game Expansion

These are great because they don't change the game too much, and you can pick and choose which ones you would like to use. For example I like to use the Event Card which replace the dice. There is one card for each possible number you can roll with two dice (one way to roll a "2" so there is only one "2 card, but six ways to draw a "7" so there are six "7" cards) This takes out the luck that is involved with rolling dice and levels the playing field a bit.

Other variants include the Harbor Master Card (+ 2 victory points to whoever has three settlements/cities built at harbors), the Fishermen of Catan (originally sold separately SETTLERS OF CATAN: THE FISHERMEN OF CATAN, Catan For Two (which allows the game to be played with 2 players rather than the necessary 3-4), and the Friendly Robber.

Like the Seafarers expansion, this box includes some scenarios that change the game up quite a bit. These would best be enjoyed by players that are familiar with how to play the original game but are looking for something to spice it up a bit. One of the scenarios, The Rivers of Catan, is another that was originally sold separately, but comes in this box Settlers of Catan River Tile)

Other Scenarios include The Caravans (with golden camels), Barbarian Attack (with golden barbarians invading from all sides of the board), and Traders & Barbarians (where you must form deliver materials to and from locations on the board using a wagon piece).

Overall I highly recommend this expansion for anyone who is new or a long time fan of the Settlers of Catan. Just be sure you have the original game or buying this will do you no good! The Settlers of Catan
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on December 15, 2009
This game isn't overpriced, because you get a ton of compoenents in the box. The problem is that it's a jumbled collection of mini expansions instead of one clearly themed major expansion like Seafarers, which I love.
You've got the fisherman of Catan, the Traders of Catan, a bunch of Camals, the River, the Niner, my head wants to explode. We tried most of the variants and found the only one that was really fun was the fish, which you can get for like 4 bucks by themselves. That and the Harbormaster card which gives you 2 VP's for building the most cities on Ports. That's cool too, but I wouldn't pay 25 extra bucks for a single "Harbormaster" card. (same as Longest Road and Largest Army card)

In short, you can skip this one and just buy the fish cheaper.
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on January 6, 2009
I have been a avid player of Catan games for the past few years. I was a little hesitant as to whether this version would be enjoyable or just a little too much. Thus far, I have only played one scenario (Fishermen of Catan). I have played it with the two player version and with four players. The four player scenario is fun, but surprisingly, the two player version is just great. The fish and tokens change the game.

The Fishermen of Catan scenario makes this worth buying, but there are another four senarios that I have yet to play included with this addition. I am looking forward to years of enjoyment!
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on December 21, 2010
I picked up this expansion first after my friends and I got a little bored with plain ol' Settlers. We've been playing with it at least four nights a week we enjoy it so much!

We started with the fish, and that was such an easy add-on, we decided to just try adding the other variants to it slowly. Right now, our perfect balance of fun and complicated is using the Fishermen & Rivers, and a mash-up of Barbarian Attack and Traders & Barbarians all at once. We only leave out the camels, 'cuz we'd always forget to bid on them, and then there were too many darn pieces on the board. We also bumped up the number of points we need to win, and made both captured barbarians and completed Trade cards worth half a point. It's not as hard as you think to combine most of the scenarios together. We just cover up Swamps with the Tradeposts, and leave the castle on the side of the main board so we know which Knight may have perished in battle.

I really like the Event Cards instead of rolling the dice. It makes the game "happen" better. There's no nights where everyone's somehow rolling the same damn number that ain't yours!

We can't get enough Catan!
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on June 9, 2016
Adding and mixing this expansion with others truly takes the game into a whole other realm. The depth it provides is fantastic but some of the scenarios and variants require some house rule modifications as they tend to help the player ahead get a bigger advantage. In any case, it adds rich and emergent gameplay that you will not really find in other expansion - I recommend mixing with seafarers and cities and knights
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on February 19, 2013
You can use this expansion with the Original Settlers of Catan (4th Edition, Red Box) I guess you can use with older version, but you'll need to buy the pre-2007 adapter kit and the graphics won't match. So, you're better off to just buy the 4th edition of Settlers of Catan.

Bunch of more scenarios! If you have the Seafarer Expansion (also 4th edition), you can combine it too. Since the Seafarer expansion creates additional smaller island and allows you to use ships as roads. And more Fish!

Have fun!
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