on September 5, 2008
We are avid players of Settlers (and love it), but this newest edition has some flaws that make us wish we would have bought the 3rd edition. We have had the game for about 8 months, and the interlocking border (instead of the regular hexagon pieces in the 3rd edition) have never fit right. It takes three people to get everything into place, and even then the border warps and the pieces pop out. They interlock like a puzzle piece, and they are starting to wear out, so we have finally given up on getting everything together correctly. If you were worried about the 3rd edition getting bumped and jumbled, you simply had to set up the game on a tablecloth or piece of fabric. This newer edition is impossible to setup correctly, especially as it ages.
Also note you cannot use your old expansion packs with the newer edition, as the pieces are different. You now have to pay for all the newer versions of the expansion packs, how convenient.
We still love this game and will play it regularly, it just seems the "advancements" were not tested or well planned. It is also bothersome that they made the newer editions incompatible with the old expansions, you can easily spend $150 on this game and the expansions, and you would expect that investment to last... it is a board game after all!
on January 25, 2012
I ordered this game, having played the third edition in the past, put the board together... and go figure, it doesn't fit. Obviously the hex pieces fit fine, but the ocean border doesn't. Either the whole thing warps up like a bowl when snapped together, or the middle starts popping out.
I figure that this might happen occasionally so I requested an exchange from Amazon. They sent me a new copy and I immediately took out the pieces, put them together... same problem.
If you manage to get a board that fits together, this is a really fun game, but clearly this edition has some issues with how they're cutting the pieces and I'm not the first to complain.
I'll be returning this copy and waiting for another edition to be released or a local shop trying to get rid of one of their third editions.
on April 30, 2009
I grew up playing Monopoly, Risk, Chinese Checkers, whatever I could get my hands on (I realize Chinese Checkers seems a bit odd in that list, but I did play it sometimes...). I even would play Monopoly by myself when I couldn't find anyone else to play with (I know... I know...).
Now in my 30s, I try and have people over whenever possible (once every 2 or 3 months) to have a "Game Night" where we play whatever games the number of people over will accommodate. When my wife and I are on vacation, we play Rook or other games.
So, basically, I love games.
When I read a Wired article about this game (the title "Monopoly Killer" is why I bought the magazine), I had to rush out and get it (on Amazon... I figure saving money is better than playing the next day).
I was not dissapointed... I loved it. My wife loved it. Three different couples we had over loved it. Everyone loves it. The first time I've ever had a game that not a single person said "I'll sit the next one out". When we had to get up at 4am for a flight the next day, we played until 1am.
The only downside (which isn't really a downside) is that it's only 3 or 4 players. Not 2, not 5. However, there is a 5-6 player extension (which is being delivered to my house in 2 days). There are also a gazillion extensions for other game play.
I cannot rave enough about this game. I absolutely believe in 5-10 years (maybe sooner) it will become a household name (game) like Monopoly. If you like games that involve more than just rolling the dice (like Yatzee, which I will also gladly play), pick it up.
Not only is every game different, but there are many different strategies to try and get to the goal. Each of which will not work in every game (depending on the board layout).
To quote another favorite game of mine, it takes a few minutes to learn, and a lifetime to master.
If you have played the game Risk, then you will see the similarities between that game and this one. However, Catan is set in an agrarian society, and, as such, may appeal more to families. It is rarely "violent," although your fellow game players may be tempted to throttle you should you place the Robber Baron on their property.
Contrary to the box's assertion, this game is not easily learned in 15 minutes. It is one that you really need to play repeatedly and fairly frequently in order to fully enjoy. The learning experience is much more enjoyable if you are able to play with experienced Catan players. One caveat, if you are playing with a "shady" character - beware their advice, they are probably setting you up to their advantage!
Almost anyone will enjoy this game. We have played with our daughter and her husband; they frequently play with their pastor and his wife. Our nephews (13 and 15) loved playing this and have requested it for Christmas. Quite a feat when you consider they are serious video-gamers!
On a personal note, I have noticed that individuals who are engineers or pilots tend to do better at playing the game overall. They seem to be able to view the game in total, taking in the "big picture," rather than focusing on separate distinct parts. Individuals, who are not spatially oriented or have more of an artistic penchant, enjoy the game, but not to the extent that more technically oriented players seem to.
We bought the fourth edition because there were no more third editions available. The quality has definitely deteriorated; the card stock is thinner, and the dice seem to roll 7's much more frequently than is statistically probable. If the second set we purchased for friends has the same characteristic, we are going to replace the dice. On the other hand, the interlocking border is a welcome addition, and we had no trouble connecting the pieces.
I rated this item as four stars rather than five because it is not universally appealing and because it does take some time to learn to play.
on November 15, 2011
One-Line Review: I know people who sing Black Eyed Peas songs with Settlers-inspired lyrics when they get the resource cards they want.
The Settlers of Catan is the game that jump-started my interest in board games, and it completely changed my idea of what a board game could be. With many expansions, an iPhone game bearing its name, and being carried in Barnes & Noble, Settlers may be the best known German board game.
When The Settlers of Catan burst onto the scene in 1995, it turned heads, garnered critical praise, and won the Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year); German board gaming's highest honor. Rightly so, I might add.
In Settlers, 3-4 good friends each assume the role of a colonist who has come upon an uncharted island. Beginning the game with two settlements each, players explore the island and lay claim to the resources it has to offer, gaining victory points along the way.
The rules of Settlers are simple. Each island tile provides a resource: ore, clay, grain, sheep, or wood, and each tile has a number. On your turn, you roll a pair of dice and the tile(s) whose number matches your roll produces resources. Everyone who has a settlement or city bordering that tile gets a resource card.
Next, you can trade resources with other players or with the bank to get the resources you need (or deny other the resources they need). Finally, you can use your resources to build. You can build roads to explore the island and block in other players, settlements to collect more resources, cities to increase the production of your settlements, or you can buy development cards which serve to give you resources or victory points.
You gain victory points through building settlements and cities, but bonus points are also awarded to the player who has the longest continuous road and to the player who has the most Knight cards acquired from the development card deck. The first player to reach 10 victory points wins.
I think that The Settlers of Catan is a very well-designed game. The first thing that stands out to me is that each player is always busy. Even when it isn't your turn, you're collecting resources, bargaining with other players, and plotting your next move. Having little player downtime is great for keeping everyone interested and keeping the game moving.
Next is the Robber. The Robber is a mechanic in Settlers to ensure that no one can run away with the lead. Players may place the Robber on an island tile to prevent that tile from generating resources. In this way, players have the power to burden the guy in the lead a little bit while they catch up. The Robber tends to even out the playing field in a game of Settlers, and because the Robber is moved every time someone rolls 7 (or plays a Knight card), no one is ever penalized for too long.
Another shining quality of this game is its variable setup. No game of Settlers is ever really the same because the island tiles are places randomly so your strategy has to be a little bit different each time. At the start of the game when players choose where to place their starting settlements, you have to look to see where the most important resources are, and plan how you're going to get there Wood and clay are in dire need at first, but as the game progresses, everyone will need ore and grain. Choices!
The set up phase is where my games are at their most stressful; Everyone carefully eyes everyone else and hopes that the spot they want isn't taken.
Long story short, The Settlers of Catan is a great game for new and seasoned gamers alike. While the veterans may dislike Settlers for the amount of luck present in the game, I think that this game is perfect for showing people just how fun a board game can be.
on September 3, 2008
I love this game. I had the old version but not the expansion so I got the new version with the expansion. To my disappointment, the quality on the new version is terrible. After a day of opening my game, I found that the cardboard pieces would bend, which made it more difficult to build the board. Not only did the individual hexes bend, but also the outside water pieces. Very annoying and very disappointed. I also feel that I can no longer play with it now.
on January 17, 2008
The Settlers of Catan opened me and a number of my friends and family to a game that is easy to learn as monopoly or risk but ten times more enjoyable. I had not been willing to play anything but card games for years. This game incorporates strategy, chance, and negotiating skills (you must convince your opponents to trade resources with you even though it may mean that you will win the game). The initial game only allows 3-4 players so most people will want to purchase the expansion pack which allows up to 6. However, the 3-4 person games are usually shorter, allowing time for more than one game. When teaching new players the game may take several hours to finish, especially as the number of players grows. The game indicates that the age range is 10 and up. I think this is about right. We taught it to our 10 year old niece and she won the game. Our 8 year old nephew needed to be teamed up with an adult (he loves playing the game though). Once everyone gets the hang of the rules, a game can finish in an hour. Definitely a great addition to low key, small group social gatherings.
on April 25, 2008
I bought the 3rd edition of Settlers and the expansion for our game group about a year ago. I recently purchased the new versions including Seafarers and Cities & Knights, excited about the artwork and frame pieces, but I was extremely disappointed.
1) The new SLAP YOU IN THE FACE blue water pieces' color do not match our original version. This makes it impossible to mix with our older games for our large groups.
2) The new "white" pieces are actually painted white now which I think is an improvement, but now they don't match earlier versions of the game.
3) The hexes are (incredibly) even flimsier than the 3rd edition. They are also coated with a very glossy surface coating that makes it hard to play with light coming in the windows.
4) The snap-together edges seem like an improvement, but since I have one of those awesome wooden boards from eBay, we don't use them.
5) The clay hexes, that used to be clearly red, are now so similar in color to the wheat hexes that it's harder to differentiate between them.
6) Gold, wheat, and even desert look very similar as well, but the cards' backgrounds haven't changed to help you match the resource with the card. With the exception of forest, the new hex artwork actually makes the game harder to play, imo.
Catan is still a fantastic game and our game groups' favorite. But I am so disappointed with the new version that I am very seriously considering selling my 4th edition to go back to the easier to play with older versions.
on February 8, 2008
My husband and I played Settlers of Catan at a friend's house and decided we wanted a copy of our own. It's a great, easy to learn game that even my 8 year old granddaughter has played and had fun. Downside: The board pieces are made from a light-weight cardboard, and we don't think they'll be as durable as some other snap-together board games, such as Descent and Doom.
on July 3, 2015
Extraordinary board game. Bought it for my 10 year old son . Rules are extremely simple - we learned the game in 5 minutes. Once you start playing you realize how deep the gameplay is, how much you need to think and how much the whole experience reflects real world trading and political relationship decisions. Very intriguing. My 10 year old was able to grasp it immediately and our games are very close. My 6 year old plays with us sometimes as well and she is able to hold her own against other players.OverallI this game is a superb testament to the brilliantly simple execution of a complex subject.