Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Settlers of Catan

The Settlers of Catan is an EXCITING game about gaining resources and allocating them to create roads and cities!!!!!

Um. . . let me try that again.

The Settlers of Catan is a CUT-THROAT game in which you trade resources with the other people and manipulate them into giving you all of their. . . sheep. . . sigh

Okay, maybe The Settlers of Catan doesn’t have the best hook, but it’s probably the best board game you’ve never played.

Most people growing up play board games. Milton Bradley has made a mint with games like Monopoly, Clue, Risk and Candyland. While these games are fun, they are pretty flawed. Clue is all about lucky dice roles, Risk is about who goes first and Monopoly doesn’t really so much end as people get tired of playing. What’s the deal with Candyland?!? IT'S ALL LUCK!!!

Over in Europe people have developing board games for adults, games not for children because of the complexity and skills involved in playing. One of the greatest games to come from Europe is The Settlers Of Catan.

The Settlers of Catan addresses almost every annoyance people have with board games. No one in knocked out of the game. Even in you’re losing you can still play and work for personal goals. The game is different every single time because the board is made out of hex pieces that are randomly arranged to make up the board. If someone in hoarding cards and not contributing to the game the in game robber takes care of that. There are multiple ways to win the game and even though there are complexities and nuances to this game it only takes a couple rounds through a practice game to understand the rules and enjoy the game.

The basic gist of the game is that you are trying to get victory points. You get one point per settlement which can be upgrading to cities, which give you two points (like the hotels in monopoly). The way you build things are by collecting resources according to players die roles at the beginning of each turn. For example, if you have a city that is touching a sheep hex that has the number 10 on it and someone roles a 10 you get a sheep card.

Here’s a quick tutorial you should check out.

I know, this game STILL doesn’t sound very exciting, but trust, it’s awesome.

To celebrate my birthday I got together with four good friends and along with my wife we played six-player game of Catan (The game is originally made for four players but there is an expansion pack that allows more people to play).

We played for four hours, and it was EPIC. When you sit around a table to play a game like this your eyes are on the board and each other not away at a television. You’re interacting with each other, problem solving but also making jokes. It’s mentally challenging but also relaxing.

The Settlers of Catan is the perfect mix between chance and skill. It’s smart, fun, quick, sometimes frustrating, but overall an awarding experience to play and a great way to spend an afternoon with friends.

Buy this game. It’s only $30 on Amazon. That’s four movie tickets. Get the game, sit down with a couple friends and you will more than get your money’s worth in entertainment.

If you don’t . . . well . . . there’s always Candyland.

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