The Settlers of Catan
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- Players: 3-4, Time To Play: 90 Minutes
- Dimensions: 9.25" H x 11.5" W x 3" D, Ship Weight: 2.098 pounds
- The Settlers of Catan is fun, easy to learn, and keeps advanced players on their toes
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How fast can you match? That's the key to BLINK. Shape, count, or color - any way you can match it, do it fast to get rid of your cards. You need a sharp eye and a fast hand to win this lightning-fast game! Play all your cards to win Rapid-fire matching action Great travel game, too Includes 60 symbol cards and instructions for regular and quick play.
The Settlers of Catan from Mayfair Games is an award-winning strategy game where players collect resources and use them to build roads, settlements and cities on their way to victory. The board itself is variable, making each game a little different from the next. Each round of The Settlers of Catan is intended to keep three or four players ages 10 and above engaged for up to 90 minutes.
The game rules and almanac booklet sets out four pages of guidelines for getting started. Don't worry, the rules are straightforward and the four pages include plenty of illustrations. There's a starting map that shows a well-balanced set-up for beginners to follow and directions that allow more advanced players to lay out the map of the island at random. You'll have to pop the die-cut components of the game out of their cardboard holders before you play your first game.
The almanac portion of the booklet is laid out alphabetically, so while playing you can find answers to specific questions quickly. Useful entries remind you exactly what role pieces like the robber play, how actions like maritime trade work, and how to set up the board or finish the game.
Exploring and Developing Catan
The board consists of 19 terrain hexes surrounded by the ocean. Each type of terrain produces a different type of resource: brick, wool, ore, grain or lumber. There's also a desert hex that produces no resources. As the game progresses, players use resources to build roads along the edges of these hexes and settlements or cities on the intersections where three hexes meet. Each player begins the game with two settlements and two roads.
Each player's roll of the dice causes certain hexes to produce resources, which you collect if you have a settlement on one of them. On your turn, you'll use various combinations of the resources you've acquired to build new roads and settlements, upgrade settlements to cities, or purchase development cards. The ability to trade resources with other players adds a new level of strategy and ensures that the game includes lots of interaction between players. You can also trade without worrying about other players using an unfavorable maritime trade rate. Elements including a robber piece that lets you steal from other players and a variety of development cards add intrigue to the game.
The objective of The Settlers of Catan is to be the first one who collects 10 victory points. Each settlement is worth one victory point and each city is worth two victory points. You can also earn victory points by holding the "Longest Road" card, the "Largest Army" card, or special victory point development cards.
Best-Selling Game of the Year
It's easy to see why The Settlers of Catan has been recognized as a best-selling Game of the Year in both Germany and the U. S. We found this game to be fun and engaging for both children and adults, and the variable nature of the playing field really made us want to play again and again. When we started pausing to contemplate our opponents' strategy and factoring the probability of different dice rolls into our moves, the game sometimes took longer than expected, but we were so engrossed we didn't even notice until it was all over.
Due to the widespread popularity of the original game, several expansion sets (sold separately) are available that allow you to explore new aspects of the game or add more players. The only downside to this game is that you need to have either three or four players to play, so it's great that expansion sets are available that will allow you to add players.
What's in the Box
Six sea frame pieces, 19 terrain hexes, nine harbor pieces, 18 circular number tokens, 126 game cards, 16 cities, 20 settlements, 60 roads, two dice, a robber and a rules and almanac booklet.
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|Are Batteries Required||—||No||No||No||No||No|
|Item Dimensions||11.62 x 3.12 x 9.38 in||9.5 x 11.62 x 3 in||6.38 x 8.5 x 1.88 in||11.75 x 11.75 x 3 in||9.5 x 11.62 x 3 in||10.5 x 10.5 x 3 in|
|Item Weight||3 lbs||2 lbs||1.12 lbs||2.8 lbs||2.15 lbs||1.98 lbs|
Top customer reviews
It is a game of strategy, in my opinion a slightly more complicated/sophisticated version of Monopoly (although my friends vehemently disagree). Instead of building houses and hotels you build towns and cities, instead of collecting rent, you collect resources, and instead of chance cards you have victory cards... but somehow it seems more fun. There is an element of Chess- because you do have to build roads to tie your cities together, and to do that you have to have foresight and plan ahead.
This is a game of champions- and voted best Table Game by folks who vote on those things- be warned that once you start playing it may become addictive. Be prepared to be suckered into the sport for years to come.
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Despite the simple rules, a great deal of strategy goes into deciding where you want to place your settlements and cities (that determines which resources you get) and how you want to expand around the map. The map can be shuffled and recreated randomly for each game, making it infinitely playable with different results every time. There is an element of chance in which resources are distributed when, but most of that can be handled with a little foresight and planning.
After a single game, Settlers of Catan became a favorite of our gaming group and we play it pretty regularly.
Despite it's towering role in the recent history of the hobby, among serious gamers, it's fashionable to proclaim Settlers of Catan to be overrated, or a fun but shallow offering. Also, among American gamers, there is a rising contempt for the occasionally anodyne themes of Eurogames, and Settlers is practically synonymous with the style.
Nevertheless, I feel that all these criticisms are misguided, and Settlers of Catan is a once-a-generation classic for a reason. For a number of reasons, actually, which I will outline for you here:
Settlers of Catan is shockingly balanced for a game that relies so heavily on dice. The secret sauce of Catan - and this is going to come up again - is the social dimension. In any game of four players, the ability to gang up on a leader ends up flattening out a lot of the randomness.
By the way, and this is a quick aside, Settlers of Catan should be played with four players. Fewer players throws off the balance and flow a little, and two is barely tenable. I've played with five and six players via the expansion, and it does as good a job as it could, but the truth is that four-player Catan is the way to go.
Part of the appeal of Eurogames is that they are designed for a more family-oriented market. Settlers of Catan has extremely simple rules that can be explained to a child, or a tipsy uncle. There are no adult or controversial themes that could alienate any audience I can think of (dice haters?). Nobody is eliminated, and the balancing that comes with the social dimension can keep the race interesting until the final turn. Games are of a manageable length, and they don't interfere with more casual conversations between players and non-players.
I flatly disagree that Settlers is a shallow game. It is true that it's simple, but complexity and depth are not the same things at all. Despite this great simplicity, there are several different paths to winning the game, with a variety of overlapping strategies. Play benefits from careful planning, but requires constant adaptation. And again, the social element adds as many layers as you and your fellow players bring to the game.
I've had a hard time finding a game that provokes the same kind of experience in players, hardcore or casual, young or old, whatever. The fact that it remains a horse race till the end, and so much of the game is trading and interacting, keeps it totally engaging for the duration. It succeeds at the rare accomplishment of actually facilitating human interaction between players. Very few of even the most lauded games in the hobby are able to promote the same kind of fun socializing, unless we're talking about actual party games (a genre which is probably underrated by many serious gamers, anyway).
All that being said...
Put together, these are the ingredients of a true classic. You could play it with parents and children at Thanksgiving, in a college dorm room, in the lunchroom in the right kind of corporate environment...to be honest, I've seen it played in all these places and more. You can learn it as a child and still enjoy it as an adult. It's balanced, nuanced, and painstakingly designed to be fun for everyone in the universe. It's a goddamn work of art, so bow down to Settlers of Catan!
As for the rest of the usual stuff: attractive, durable and simple components. Very Euro. It can be tricky to get everything back in the tray after unboxing, but when isn't it? The rules could be organized a little better, but if you look for it, you can derive an unambiguous ruling for pretty much whatever happens. Only once did we have to resolve a debate by consulting the online consensus (I forget what it was about, but I think I was wrong).
Any game collection is incomplete with it. For casual gamers, it should be a go-to for board game situations. For more devoted hobbyists, it simply needs to be studied and appreciated, and dusted off when you need to remember how good it is. It's the closest thing we've seen to chess in quite some time (I'm going to avoid hyperbole by refraining from specifying a time period, here).
Most recent customer reviews
The best part of this game is that it is easy to pickup and...Read more