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Settlers of Catan


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#1 Kyle

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 08:17 PM

While much has already been said about Settlers of Catan at the general favorite board game thread, I thought it deserved its own.

I don't have much to say except that last night my friend invented a new variation: "Corporate Welfare of Catan". The rules are the same except that near the end of the game, the person in last place receives a corporate bailout in the form of a generous influx of free capital (aka resources).

#2 Jim Janknegt

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 10:29 AM

I have never played this game. Is it playable with 2 or 3 people? Is it fun with 2 or 3 people?

#3 Kyle

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 11:59 AM

The game is meant to be played with 3 to 6 people. The basic version is designed for 3 or 4 people. With a purchase of an expansion pack, it can be played with up to 6 people.

Without a doubt, Settlers of Catan is my favorite board game of all time. I've been consistently playing it for six years now and have never grown tired of it.

#4 CrimsonLine

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 04:46 PM

It's my favorite game, too. My wife's one complaint, though it's a big one for her, is that there are times when playing it that you know - beyond the shadow of any doubt - that you cannot win the game, even though you are only 30 minutes in to a 2 hour game. And you have to play it out, regardless. That's kind of a hope-killer, and she hates that.

But I love the game, even when I know I'm going to lose.

#5 Jason Panella

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 05:53 PM

QUOTE (CrimsonLine @ Nov 17 2008, 04:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My wife's one complaint, though it's a big one for her, is that there are times when playing it that you know - beyond the shadow of any doubt - that you cannot win the game, even though you are only 30 minutes in to a 2 hour game. And you have to play it out, regardless. That's kind of a hope-killer, and she hates that.


I completely agree with this, Denes; one thing I mentioned in the Board Game thread is that when this happens, I tend to make up little minigames that won't make me win win in the end, but make me lose track of time. (Such as trying to collect the most sheep and hoard it, etc.)

#6 M. Leary

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 07:09 PM

QUOTE (Jason Panella @ Nov 17 2008, 06:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I completely agree with this, Denes; one thing I mentioned in the Board Game thread is that when this happens, I tend to make up little minigames that won't make me win win in the end, but make me lose track of time. (Such as trying to collect the most sheep and hoard it, etc.)


Haha, same here. I try to make certain shapes with the roads, hoard certain cards, get 25 soldiers, etc... Regardless, it is the kind of game where it is no biggie if you are losing, it is such a convenient way to hang out with people.

We like games, but aren't competitive at all. This has led to a few rule changes for us: If you roll the burglar, you can either place it on someone's tile and draw a card from their hand OR leave it where it is and draw one of your choice from the bank. This changes the dynamic somewhat, but it also cools everything down a notch. Another helpful variation is to set up the board really evenly and lay all the number tiles face down. Everyone places their first two settlements and THEN you turn the number tiles over. Alternatively, lay a random board and just don't mess with it even if there are 7 rock tiles next to each other.

We should set up an A&F online tournament.


#7 CrimsonLine

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 07:57 PM

QUOTE (MLeary @ Nov 17 2008, 07:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We should set up an A&F online tournament.

I would love this! Unfortunately, last I looked the online version was not Mac-usable. Is it now?

#8 Kyle

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 09:22 PM

QUOTE (Jason Panella @ Nov 17 2008, 02:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (CrimsonLine @ Nov 17 2008, 04:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My wife's one complaint, though it's a big one for her, is that there are times when playing it that you know - beyond the shadow of any doubt - that you cannot win the game, even though you are only 30 minutes in to a 2 hour game. And you have to play it out, regardless. That's kind of a hope-killer, and she hates that.


I completely agree with this, Denes; one thing I mentioned in the Board Game thread is that when this happens, I tend to make up little minigames that won't make me win win in the end, but make me lose track of time. (Such as trying to collect the most sheep and hoard it, etc.)


Thus the beauty of Corporate Welfare of Catan. Even though you're out of the game you're never out of the game. The people of Catan need you!

QUOTE (MLeary @ Nov 17 2008, 04:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We like games, but aren't competitive at all. This has led to a few rule changes for us: If you roll the burglar, you can either place it on someone's tile and draw a card from their hand OR leave it where it is and draw one of your choice from the bank. This changes the dynamic somewhat, but it also cools everything down a notch. Another helpful variation is to set up the board really evenly and lay all the number tiles face down. Everyone places their first two settlements and THEN you turn the number tiles over. Alternatively, lay a random board and just don't mess with it even if there are 7 rock tiles next to each other.

We should set up an A&F online tournament.


I like those variations. We frequently employ a "no 7 round". If a 7 is rolled, nothing happens; you just re-roll. This is done when we're tired of 7's being rolled too often.

We usually distribute the land tiles and the number tiles at random. Usually though we move around the numbers to ensure a fair distribution of numbers per resource. This is done to move the game along. There is no worse way to start a game than to have wood and brick on horrible numbers. The game never ends.

#9 M. Leary

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:28 AM

QUOTE (CrimsonLine @ Nov 17 2008, 09:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (MLeary @ Nov 17 2008, 07:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We should set up an A&F online tournament.

I would love this! Unfortunately, last I looked the online version was not Mac-usable. Is it now?


Not sure, we should poke around and find one. How could we set up the rotation?

jsettlers.com wouldn't work for you?

Edited by MLeary, 18 November 2008 - 09:37 AM.


#10 CrimsonLine

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 11:36 AM

QUOTE (MLeary @ Nov 18 2008, 09:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (CrimsonLine @ Nov 17 2008, 09:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (MLeary @ Nov 17 2008, 07:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We should set up an A&F online tournament.

I would love this! Unfortunately, last I looked the online version was not Mac-usable. Is it now?


Not sure, we should poke around and find one. How could we set up the rotation?

jsettlers.com wouldn't work for you?

It seems to! This is a real-time Settlers online game, right? Not a turn-by-turn game?

#11 M. Leary

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 12:55 PM

Last time I played it was real time, but I may be mistaken. If you guys want to figure out an elimination system, let's do it.

Edited by MLeary, 18 November 2008 - 12:55 PM.


#12 Jeff

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 10:32 PM

I love this game, though it's been a while since I played. I remember reading an article about how European historical board games are usually more economically based than America's typically war-related games.

I like having both. I realized while playing Risk (and, on the computer, Age of Empires III) that war strategy, while fun, is not always what I am looking for. Sometimes, building, planning, and trying to outsmart your opponent is better than tearing down, blowing up, and trying to bayonet your opponent. smile.gif Hence, I came to enjoy playing Settlers with my sibs. It's the economy, stupid! biggrin.gif

I have never tried the online play. Looks like fun. smile.gif

#13 Jason Panella

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 11:39 PM

Yeah, you can usually tell German boards games from American ones when your object isn't to overwhelm the enemy with force (just overwhelm them with art, power plants, or train tracks). smile.gif

#14 Darrel Manson

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 12:28 AM

Played the basic Catan game at my son's house last weekend. Just staring to get the hang of it by the time we left. One game was interesting 3 of us were pretty much stuck at 9 points and all trying to hit a victory point card (which I finally got) to win. The other person had 8 points, I think, and had potential to get more but wasn't getting the rolls.

#15 Kyle

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 09:03 PM

Played the basic Catan game at my son's house last weekend. Just staring to get the hang of it by the time we left. One game was interesting 3 of us were pretty much stuck at 9 points and all trying to hit a victory point card (which I finally got) to win. The other person had 8 points, I think, and had potential to get more but wasn't getting the rolls.


Ha! You've drank the kool-aid.



Going through the thread, I realized I failed to mention my favorite mini-game in a game I can't win: having a settlement on every number or as many as possible. I realize that's good strategy for winning, but somethings it's fun to truck on over to that desert/12 sheep spot just to have them all.

#16 M. Leary

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 10:25 AM

Another good mini-game is a guaranteed game winning move we named after my wife. The goal is to take one point (intersection of three hexes) and build three settlements equidistant from each other (so build three roads radiating from that central point). It only takes three total roads to do, and for a sum of three settlements and three roads you get exposure to six total tiles, three of which will yield two cards per roll.

If you can make two of these on decent numbers, there is no way you can lose.

#17 Jason Panella

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 11:24 AM

Another good mini-game is a guaranteed game winning move we named after my wife. The goal is to take one point (intersection of three hexes) and build three settlements equidistant from each other (so build three roads radiating from that central point). It only takes three total roads to do, and for a sum of three settlements and three roads you get exposure to six total tiles, three of which will yield two cards per roll.

If you can make two of these on decent numbers, there is no way you can lose.


Oh, this is fantastic. I'll have to try this the next time I play.

#18 M. Leary

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 12:06 PM

The ultimate move in this strategy is the double, in which one of the settlements becomes the first node on a second set, which gives you an instant three settlement tile and an extra double. Only seen that once.

#19 Kyle

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 07:21 PM

Another good mini-game is a guaranteed game winning move we named after my wife. The goal is to take one point (intersection of three hexes) and build three settlements equidistant from each other (so build three roads radiating from that central point). It only takes three total roads to do, and for a sum of three settlements and three roads you get exposure to six total tiles, three of which will yield two cards per roll.

If you can make two of these on decent numbers, there is no way you can lose.


We call this the Flex Capaciter, ala Back to the Future.

#20 Jason Panella

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 10:54 AM

So I tried this on Cities and Knights the other night (which, by the way, was the first time I've played C&K in over a year, and the second time ever). As someone said after the game, "if you would've tried to build that on hexes that weren't marked 11 and 12, maybe it would've worked."

Still, it's something I'm going to try again. :)