Catan or Settlers of catan is a game that revolves around rolling dice to gain resources, use those resources to build your trade route, advance in victory points. Resources can be traded with other players so long as they want to or have the correct item you wish to trade with them.
But is catan fun? Yes, it is fun. Is it a simple family fun game? Yes, it is. Is it filled with complex strategy to have one of those math-wiz to break the game? Yes, it is.
Wait, a minute you just said it was a family fun casual game? How can it be a gruelling strategy game as well as a need easy to play casual game?
Well to answer all of those questions, it’s actually both. Depending on the setup the game can be quite fun and random or mind-numbingly complex but it is still fun.
I play this game with my good friends and my brother, and with many other people just wanting to play something simple.
With my friends we play with the most chaotic setup for the game. With that the game is unbiased and is far fairer. The game involves so much dice rolling and resource trading that the game either moves fast with a lot of progression or barely any development and the game stays in the same place with people rolling 7s and just stealing the same resource that no one needs.
with my friends the game ends with a lot of laughs and a lot of complains, I usually lose because my greed or avarice tends to block me from claiming victory, but I always have fun when playing this game.
With other casual players, the game ends with a few laughs here and there and even less complaining because they seem to have forgotten about the complication of the game and just had a fun time.
Settlers of Catan is one of those classic board games that you either love or hate, have fun with or just get bored with but the chaos of the game is always present with each roll of the dice.
Game 1 – Played Catan with some of my friends
Traders and Barbarians variant
- Gold coins : you can use up to 4 gold coins to trade with the bank to get resources (a 2:1 trade ratio)
- Wagons : you use wagons to travel accross the island of catan, to gain points as well as gold coins.
- Traders’ varant development cards : Used to gain advantage in the game or to disrupt your rivals.
- Commodity tiles : Used to trade to different hex locations on catan to gain points and gold coins.
- Caps : His numbers are usually 5s or 9s or 7s
- Me : I roll nothing but 2s, 3s, 11s, and 12s
- David : average roller like 6s,7s,8s
- Josh: High roller 8+ numbers and the rare 4.
The object of the game is to be the first to obtain 11 points.
How to get points
- Build a village/town for 1 point
- upgrade village/town to a city for 1 point
- build the largest army for 2 points
- get development cards that have points usually 1 point each
- trade 1 commodity tile to the corresponding city hex 1 point
This is an example. Having 2x cities (4 points) plus the largest army (2 points) and 5 commodity tiles traded (5 points). This will get you 11 points (4 + 2 + 5 = 11).
Ok before I start writing about the game I will need to talk about the players of this game. Josh and Caps are my good friends and David is one of the casual gamers that comes to play on Tuesday. In this game we had all played catan before in one form or another but only I had played the Traders and Barbarians variant. Caps was very curious about this expansion because he had only played the Cities and Knights expansion and the Seafarers expansion (in his opinion is the wrost expansion for catan but I have never played a full game of it) and wanted to experience it so that he could properly recommend the game to new players/gamers. Josh has only played the base game and the Cities and Knights expansion but it must have been at least a year since his last game of Catan. David has only played the base game and was very excited about this variant (he loves the game apparently). I on the other hand have played all but the Pirates and Adventurers expansion and a proper game of Seafarers where people weren’t cheating and fighting over the rules (Some people just don’t know how to play nice?).
This variant is not just about luck like most Catan games where the one with the best locations on the board just dominates the game. There is alot more strategy to it as you don’t have to totally rely on your numbers to get resources. Also in this variant there is NO longest road. There is a reason to that as I will explain. The reason is in this variant roads are used like highways for the Wagon. If a player moves his wagon on a side of a hex it will cost him a certain amount of movement. The movement is listed below.
- Without a road = 2 movement
- With a road (regatdless if the road is your colour or not)= 1 movement
- With a Barbarian blocking the way = +2 movement
So here is an example of a wagon’s movement. Total movement of a level 2 Wagon is 5 per turn. Moves 3 sides of a Hex tile. 1 movement for moving on a road and 4 for moving pass a hex side without a road and a barbarian blocking the way.
If you wish to travel much faster towards your goal, you can use a rival’s road. But the player must pay a toll to the owner of that road. So for that turn he may use those roads and travel 1 for 1, rather than going the long way and rough paths. Toll is expense at first but it becomes very cheap (if your not me that is… I’ll tell you soon). It costs 1 golld coin. All players start off will 2 villages with roads adjacent to it and 4 gold coins.