Spreading the love of board games one meeple at a time
The Settlers of Catan game board is set up using 18 hexagon tiles consisting of 5 different productive terrains; Forest, Hills, Pastures, Fields, and Mountains along with one non productive Desert tile. Each of these terrain tiles produces resources needed for the game.
Forest produces Lumber
Hills produce Brick
Pasture produces Wool
Fields produce Grain
Mountains produce Ore
Each productive tile has a number placed on it and each turn a player rolls the dice to see what numbered resource produces for that round. If you have a settlement or city bordering the number rolled you get the corresponding resource.
You use your resources of wood, brick, ore, grain, and wool to build roads, settlements, and cities. You win the game by building a combination of these gaining 1 Victory Point (VP) for each settlement and 2 VP for each city. Some development cards will also yield additional Victory Points along with building the Longest Road or amassing the largest Army. The Lord of The Board is the first person to gain 10VP.
Settlers of Catan is my all-time favourite game, and the one game I would consider a must own for anyone even a little interested in board games. Catan has all the key elements needed for an entertaining evening with your friends or family. It’s a game that is simple to learn and has a lot of social interaction. It combines the right amount of strategy and luck to keep it competitive and fun for everyone. More often than not, Settlers of Catan is the game I use to introduce people to board game.
Catan allows players who are more familiar with chance-based games to have an opportunity to win, but it also requires strategy and negotiating. For first time players, the game offers an even balance of strategy, chance and time commitment. One of the key features of Settlers of Catan, as a new player or an experienced player, is that it involves each player no matter whose turn it happens to be. The right number rolled could reward a player with resources, or could result in the robber coming along stealing them. Players can always trade resources with the player whose turn it is and it is often fun and thrilling to see what you can barter for. Trading with each other, combined with the chance of getting (or losing) a resource each turn, keeps everyone active regardless of who is rolling the dice.
The game also has lasting appeal due to the ever changing game board. Experienced players don’t get bored because of the random set up of the game, and because of the element of chance with dice rolls. Over time, however, it stays engaging because of the strategy required to win, the diversity of negotiating personality and the fact that it’s just fun.
Settlers of Catan is the most popular German board game. It has many expansions, an online version and has even been featured in an episode of The Big Bang Theory (and there’s a reason I refer to it as lumber and not wood…). It seems to have the most mass appeal of any of the games of it’s type and you if you Google search “Settlers of Catan cupcakes” well, you’ll see. Clearly it’s not just me who likes this game.
Settlers of Catan is an addictive game, and a great way to broaden your, or your friends game playing horizons. It is the number one requested game in my household, and is often the gateway to more complex strategy game. If I could convince anyone to try a new game and get into the wide world of board games, this would be it.