The primary, and best, addition in this 4th edition of Settlers is a very nice interlocking border which is placed around the game tiles. This replaces the individual hex tiles of previous editions. No longer will your tiles/pieces scatter/split apart when someone accidentally bumps the playing surface! One side of the border has the ports "built in" but you still get a bit of randomness when assembling the pieces. The flip side of the border is blank "sea" on which you can put the included port tokens for a truly random placement.
The updated graphics are nice and colorful but take a bit of getting use to if you regularly play with an older edition.
The box has a vacu-formed type insert designed to hold all the pieces and keep everything neat.
All-in-all a nice upgrade to the 3rd edition.
It's a simple sounding premise: You gather resources in order to build roads and settlements to earn points.
However, there is a wonderful randomness which lends complexity to the game as the layout of the game board tiles differs with each play right down to the number on the dice needed to harvest a resource from a given tile. This makes *every* game unique. Strategy comes into play as you must determine the best location for your settlements and roads to get maximum value/points.
If you've never played Settlers, find someone who has a copy and give it a try. If no one you know owns a copy, go to your local comic shop. Odds are someone there will have a copy readily available and delight in teaching the game to a new player! It's easy to learn, difficult to master, and quick to play with a typical game lasting only an hour or less.
This is one of the truly classic games and belongs on the shelf of anyone who enjoys board gaming.
Fantastic family/strategy game in a new edition with more useful accessories
Settlers of Catan is an absolutely fantastic family strategy game. I won't belabor my discussion of the game, except to say that my wife (only a 'casual boardgamer', not as hardcore like me) and two boys (ages 8 and 10) have been playing it for over a year, many dozens of times, with continued enjoyment. I have successfully hooked other gamers in my family (brother in law, father) on it as well, so that it shares equal time with Monopoly in our family game marathons over the holidays.
The big point to take away about this new edition of the game is that, without changing any rules, the edition includes some very handy extra pieces, esp. an interlocking set of holders to fit the tiles into, which helps prevent incidental dislocations of the pieces on the board (so common with the older edition). For those of you who have the Seafarers of Catan extension, the holding tiles are much those included in that extension (except shaped to fit the Settlers hex board).
Settlers of Catan Rules
Settlers is one of the greatest games ever. I think it was originally created to teach capitalism. Here are my pros/cons:
*There is enough strategy for most gamers
*There is some luck which can make things interesting. If you want to
minimize the luck factor then use 12-sided dice
*Great interaction as you get to trade and barter with other players
(even when it is not your turn.) Kids can definitely learn the concept
of re-investing in your assets and great negotiation skills.
*You can change the boardgame set up everytime so you get a different
*There are 2 expansions (seafarers & Cities & Knights) & other add-ons to
change up the game to continue to make the game new and interesting.
*There are extensions that expand the game to 6 players.
*Also, there are ways to "gang up" on the leader, so there are many games
where virtualy every player will be close to winning which makes it more
fun than when one player blows out everyone every game.
*Setting up the board and clean up can be a little tedious if you are not
*purchasing the game, its 2 expansions and each corrsponding 5-6
extension can be a bit pricey. However, my experience is that the price
is worth it because you play this game so many time compared to other
games that may be cheaper.
Overall, this game is fun and can be re-played countless times due to the variable game set up. Well worth the money.
Probably the Best Board Game I've Ever Played
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 OnlineShopDealer... 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.
A whole new world of board games
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.
A fantastic introduction to Eurogames
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.
THE Best Board Game You Can Buy
Settlers of Catan is one of those games that keeps you coming back for more. The game changes every time you play, so you need to invoke new strategies to win for every game. 3 or 4 people can play, but it's the most fun to play with 5 or 6 (you can buy an extension that allows you to play with more people). After playing only 2 games of Catan, I realized I needed to buy the extemsion because this game is just that fun. And now it's even MORE fun! 20 games later, I'm still fully enjoying it! Players must achieve victory by collecting 10 Victory Points. Victory Points are acquired by building settlements and cities, and by collection Victory Point Cards. Players collect various resources throughout the game which they can use to build roads and settlements etc. The beauty of this game is the fact that a 10 year old can enjoy it just as much as a 50 year old. The 10 year old will build whatever he can to try to achieve victory, the 50 year old will try to base his game play on strategy. And believe me, there is so much strategy involved in Catan. Trading is an important aspect of the game. Players trade resources with each other so they can build more on the board. A fun twist me and my friends add to trading is this: Any deal is fair. Where some people would only trade resources, we trade ANYTHING. This means we could agree to not build on a certain spot on the game board if the person gives us the resource we want. It also means that we could pay someone $1 for one of there resources if we so choose. This special rule really adds a lot to the game because trading is important. Catan is an AMAZING game, I'd recommend it to anyone! It's my favorite board game I've ever played, and I love board games.
Great board game!
Do you like a good board game that requires more thinking than luck? A little skill compared to random success? Then this is the game for you.
We love playing Settlers and also have purchased the add ons of Seafarers and also Knights. The game requires some strategy and some planning in order to do well and win. Assessing proper location, stockpiling resources, placing the robber or pirate, undermining other players -- well it all adds up to great fun -- and perhaps even a friendly argument or two.
Highly recommended for teens and adults who can grasp the overall concept and outwit opponents to claim victory. It is not usually a fast game and does take awhile to set up and get going. Enjoy!
Another Excellent German-Based Game
FUN: This game has provided us endless hours of family fun as we've played this with our three sons ages 12, 9, and 7. We are a TV-free family, so we look for games that have high-repeatability. We also purchased the expansion pack so we can play with up to 4 players.
EDUCATIONAL VALUE: Unlike American-based games that seems to be based on the "obliterate everyone on the board and make them suffer to the bitter end", this game keeps you engaged to the very end. What I like is that fact that there is no one tried-and-true strategy to winning. You have to adapt as the game progresses, which is a great lesson for life. With the trading aspect of the game, one has to look out for their own interest - but as you work to reach your goal you work with others to receive the resources you need while helping them obtain the resources they need. While the goal is to ultimately win at the end, when the end does arrive it's not so much a matter of "I won and you are all losers" vs "While I happened to win, it was fun to play along with you in the process".
DURABLE: I've had problems with the edge pieces slightly cupping, which makes it difficult to keep all the hexagons tightly in place, as they slip underneath. I've been able to mostly overcome this by ensuring the side pieces lay flat in the box during storage, and place two packs of the wooden game pieces on top for a little weight to keep them flat. Also have similar problems with the hexagons, but now store them tightly with a rubber band and no longer have a problem. For the price, it would be desirable if the pieces were made of thicker cardboard/backing board - the kind they used to make the puzzles out of when we were children.
SUMMARY: This game has a high rate of "replayability" since each game has a new random generated playing board, and I believe is equally suited for children to easily learn as it is for adults. Highly recommended.
A fabulous step up from Monopoly
Settlers of Catan is a great light game with more thought required than your average Monopoly game but far less than say with Caylus.
1. The board is made up of hexes that form an island. Each player is playing a settler of the island and starts off playing placing settlements (or settlements and cities if playing by tournament rules) at the corners of these hexes and placing roads along the sides of the hexes.
2. At the start of each turn, the dice are rolled. As long as a 7 isn't rolled, everyone who has a settlement or city adjacent to a hex that has the # that was rolled collects the appropriate resource. (Settlements give 1 of that resource, cities give 2 of that resource.) If a 7 is rolled, the robber is activated and the roller of the dice gets to move the robber to a new hex, which shuts it down (doesn't produce resources while the robber is there) and allows the person to steal a resouce card from anyone who has a settlement/city adjacent to that hex.
3. After collecting resources, people can offer trades of resources to the active player (whomever rolled the dice) or the active player can trade them in to the bank at a 4:1 ratio (trade in 4 of the same resource to get 1 other one back) or use a port (generally offers either 3:1 trades or 2 of a specific resource:1). The active player can then buy settlements, roads, cities, or bonus cards (give extra pts., resources, or ability to move the robber without having to roll the dice). The dice are then passed on to the next player who becomes the active player.
4. The game is played to 10 pts. Settlements = 1 pt. each, cities = 2 pts. each, plus some bonus cards and special circumstances (ex. having the longest contiguous road on the board is worth 2 extra pts.).
5. The game is for 3 or 4 players but you can get an expansion that will allows up to 6 to play it.
It is a really light game that is a lot of fun. The board is not fixed, so for each new game, you can "build" a new island with different configurations. It's a great social game that I've played in a tournament setting as well as with my nieces as it is very easy to pick up. Unlike Monopoly, which just drags on, this has a clear end point (10 pts.), which isn't hard to acquire. Even if no player will trade with you, you can always trade with the bank or a port, so there is never really a situation of being denied a resource (just a question of how economically feasible it is to get said resource). It isn't as deep as a game like Caylus and doesn't take anywhere near as long to play.
Bottom line: If you're looking for something a bit more engaging than Monopoly, this probably is the game for you. It still allows luck to play a factor (w/ dice rolling) but doesn't generally dominate the outcome of the game. It offers a lot of player interaction and is great for both new and seasoned gamers.