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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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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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.
Top customer reviews
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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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- The game is fairly durable. We've been teaching my four year old to play and the only damage has been some bending of resource cards. Everything else is wood or thick cardboard.
-The gameplay is simple enough that my four year old is able to play, yet deep enough that neither myself or my wife feel we've mastered it. Between the strategic and diplomatic aspects of the game and the ability to randomize the board, the game plays well time and time again without the feeling of repetition or blandness of some games ("Sorry!" Comes to mind...). In addition, gameplay is fairly short, an hour is our average, and setup is quick. Great for a rainy day.
-It is a handsome game. The level of detail in the hex pieces draws the eye, the resource cards look similar enough that my four year old grasped the relationship intuitively, and the player pieces are elegantly simple.
-The price. At almost double the price of a regular board game, I was uncertain of the value. We love it, and the only problem I have with the price now is that I hesitated for almost two years because of it. I wish I'd bought it sooner.
-The resource cards. They aren't very sturdy compared to all the other pieces. Not even as hardy as good playing cards.
-Two player games leave something to be desired. This is a fairly common problem with boardgames, but I'd like to find something captivating enough to play weekly and not have it age from being played with just me and my wife. This definitely needs three players, and I believe the box states just that.
The take home points: My only regret is not buying it sooner. If you have two people you can play with regularly, this will provide hours of entertainment.
This is a fun game for players of all ages. Adults will play with much more strategy, of course. There are different options for strategy: go for longest road, go for biggest army, go for development cards, go for cities, etc. You also have to think about what resources you want to build next to, knowing that which resources you need will change throughout the game.
This is most fun with 4 players, as it makes it the most challenging. Of course, it then can become easy to be cut off from parts of the map, or unable to expand. Technically you can play this game with 2 people, but it's a bit too easy and thus not very exciting. There is a 5-6 player expansion, which makes the board larger.
There are of course many expansions to this game. Seafarers is a blast and is an easy transition, as it makes only minor changes to the game, but really changes the strategies you can use.
Highly recommend this game, especially for people who are not big into board games. (This is often considered the #1 "gateway" game.)
Catan also has an element of luck, but there is a lot of strategy as well. Here is my opinion:
1. Kids can learn the strategies, and enjoy the game.
2. Lots of opportunity for future expansion.
3. Apparently there is a community that plays the game online.
1. There are many dozens of pieces, and it takes a while to set the game up.
2. If you have an active six-year-old, you will eventually lose a few pieces.
3. On the basic board, the player who rolls first has a huge advantage.
4. If you have to put the game aside (for dinner, or whatever), it can be very hard to move.
Although the company includes a suggested layout for beginners, there is still a huge advantage to which-ever player stakes out their territory first. Although there are some alternate strategies for different layouts, the strategies don't work very well for the default board. We usually play with just three players, and the players who rolls first wins about 80% to 90% of the time.