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Friday, July 25, 2014

Settlers of Catan - Part 1

Posted Tuesday, March 31, 2009, at 12:05 PM

I said it was coming and I meant it. The review for the excellent board game, Settlers of Catan. This blog, I will go through the basics of the game without much detail.

Catan is a board game designed by Klaus Tueber and distributed by Mayfair Games. It has won many Game of the Year awards in Germany and the US. It is a favorite of most households that give it a chance and once you play it's easy to see why. Catan is a strategy game where the players all compete against each other to build roads, settlements, and cities to gain victory points. The first player to 10 victory points wins. Most games end up lasting about an hour and offers a changeable game board so every game is different. This keeps even the most experienced players in check as they have to change strategies based on how the game board gets randomly put together.

The basic foundation of the game is fairly simple. On each player's turn, he will roll a pair of 6-sided dice and every resource on the game board (which could be sheep, wheat, ore, bricks, or lumber) that has that number is given to every player who has a city or settlement touching that resource. So, even on my opponents turn, I may get a bunch of resources based on where I placed my cities and settlements. The next step of a player's turn is the build and trade phase. During your turn, you may build more cites, settlements, or roads to gain victory points or cut other people off from getting to areas you want to control. To build, you must trade in an appropriate amount of your resources gained from the first phase. If you want to build a road, you need one lumber and one brick card to trade to the bank. If you only have one brick and no lumber, you may trade any of your other resources to any other player to get that extra lumber that you need to build the road. The trick is, nobody has to trade with you, so you must make a good trade with someone else playing the game. If you are unable to get a lumber card, you will not be able to build the road and must pass your turn. Game play proceeds around the table until someone builds enough cities and settlements to get 10 victory points. Each person starts the game with 2 settlements that are worth 1 victory point a piece. If a player decides to place a city, he will remove a settlement to put a city in its place that is now worth 2 victory points. All of your cities and settlements must be connected by roads which are worth no points.

That is the basic outline of gameplay for Settlers of Catan. The real fun comes from trading and manipulating friends for your own gain. It always comes down to the last couple turns with most players able to get victory points at about the same time as others if the trades are equal. But for those that are about to win, the game gets increasingly hard because the other players will no longer trade you the necessary resources to get your last victory point. Catan is fast, fun, and sometimes frustrating, but always fresh. This game is very competitive but easy to learn and well worth trying. For a long time, I used to play this game almost twice every week - I got too busy to do that right now, but I can't wait to get back into that routine.

Next blog, I will go over some advance rules and tactics in Catan as well as the extreme amount of supplemental Catan products that are out there. In the meantime, if you are curious or want to try a game, Game On has game nights that are free for anyone to come play any of the demo games including Settlers of Catan. Call or stop by Game On(308-345-8888) for more information.



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A blog devoted to all forms of gaming - mostly the non-sports related, however, we will throw in some sports every once in awhile.
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