Geek Game Night: The Settlers Of Catan
Welcome to a new feature where we review all kinds of awesome board games, card games, dice games and any other kinds of games you can think of. Whether you are a part of a game night or just playing with a few friends and family members, we want to help you get to know some cool new games. In our first review we will be taking a look at a modern classic. The Settlers of Catan. Join me below to check it out.
In Settlers of Catan you are one of the factions of settlers of the island of Catan and it’s up to you to use your resources to build settlements, roads, cities and developments so that your little civilization can flourish. It’s a favorite among board gamers and that’s because it is a good solid game with a lot of replay value. This review covers the base game, but this series is so popular now that it has several expansions which make gameplay even more interesting. First you set up the hexagon tiles inside the coastline which contains your ports. Once that’s finished, you’ll place round number tiles on the hexagons. You’ll notice in the image that one of these tiles has no number. That’s the robbers tile (that grey game-piece on the board). More on him in a minute. Once the numbers are in place you are ready to play the game.
Now you take turns placing a few settlements on the board. Where you put your settlements is important because it determines what resources you get. (Ore, Grain, Lumber, Wool, Brick) Let’s say that I put a settlement between an ore tile marked 3 and a wood tile marked 6. That means that when anyone rolls a 3 or a 6 I get the corresponding resource. And I need resources to build everything. So, on each turn players roll the dice to determine what resources are produced. You collect resources and build your way to victory. 10 victory points wins the game.
The robber comes into play when anyone rolls a 7. When that happens you can place the robber on any territory an opponent controls and block their number. They also have to discard cards if they have more than 7. Let’s say I roll a 7. I am going to move the robber onto a space that someone else controls, putting the robber on the number in that space. Let’s say that’s a 6 on a wood area. Now when 6s are rolled they do not get the wood resource from that area. And as soon as I place the robber on their spot I also get to steal one of their resource cards, which is great for me, not so great for them.
How do you get victory points? Well, if I build a settlement, I have 1 point. If I build a city I have 2 points. If I build the longest road in the game, that is worth points as well. You can also use resources to purchase development cards that do many special things like, give you a point, let you build some free roads or draw the Knight card which lets you do the robber action and block someone/steal a card. If I have drawn 3 knight cards, I earn the largest army card which automatically gives me 2 victory points. I’m that much closer to winning. After a player has a minimum of 5 road pieces connected, he can get the longest road card and automatically earn 2 victory points. Prepare to trade that one back and forth a lot as you fight for it.
The ports on the edge of the board give you special bonuses as far as trading in your resources. Let’s say I am trying to build a road. I need 1 brick and 1 wood to build it, but the problem is that I have 3 ore cards and only one wood. You can always trade in 4 of any resource for any resource you want, but in this case I have only 3 ore. If I have a settlement on a port that allows you to trade in 2 or 3 cards instead of 4, I would still be able to trade in my ore, get a wood and build my road.
It’s all very basic gameplay that anyone can get a handle on super fast and you’ll find yourself replaying this one again and again on game night or just with the family. The games can get pretty heated and I’ve won as many close games as I have lost.
If you are looking for something more challenging than a game of Monopoly, but not so deep that you are playing all night, this is a great one to play. The games last about 1 hour to 90 minutes. For 3-4 players. You can find The Settlers Of Catan on Amazon for $33.60 and if you are interested in the various expansions to get even more out of this game you can find them on Amazon as well.