Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Board Game Review - Settlers of Catan

So while hanging around in Dublin last weekend I finally picked up my own copy of Settlers of Catan (Settlers). So I thought I would write a fairly basic review of the game that, even though I've played it more than any other board game, is still my favourite.
Note the proximity of those sheep to that woods. 
Settlers has a special place in my heart as it's the first board game I ever played with the SkibbWargamers before I ever even started playing 40k. The game is fantastic for playing with people who are not gamers for many reasons:
The rules are simple and take very little time to explain.
Nobody is eliminated, all players play until the end of every game.
You get to say "Has anyone got wood for sheep?"

Settlers is a 3-4 player(3-6 if you buy the expansion) board-game about a group of settlers trying to control the most influence on Catan, the most hexagonal of all the islands.
I would settle the shit out of this place. 
The game revolves around collecting, trading and spending resources. Each one of those hexagonal tiles(hexs) denotes a resource. Mines for Ore, forests for Wood, quarries for Brick, fields for Sheep and other, yellower fields for Wheat. Settlements can be built on the outlines of these tiles. each player at the start of their turn rolls 2 dice. Any hex with the rolled number on it produces resources. Now I'm not going to go in depth into what the odds of each number on a 2d6 is, I'll leave that up to this guy. However, I will tell you the most likely number to come up is 7.

You might notice there is no 7 on the board above. That's because the 7 activates "the robber", my favourite part of the game. A little grey counter that whoever rolls the 7 gets to place on any hex. That hex cannot produce resources while it contains the robber, also the person who places the counter can steal 1 resource from someone with a settlement touching that hex.
And then I said "No more wood for you!"
The object of the game is to acquire the most victory points. 10 victory points will net you a win. You get victory points by building items. You can build roads, villages, cities and development cards. Each item takes a certain amount of resources to create. That's basically the game. Pretty easy, huh? The fact that all the hexs are in different positions every game means it's seriously re-playable. If you'd like a more in-depth run down of the rules and the game here is a video of Wil Wheaton and some people playing.

After buying the game I was surprised to hear that some of the guys I was up in Dublin with had never played it before. I quickly remedied this as we had 2 games on the way home. The board fit on those tiny train tables really easily and will now be my go to game to bring for trips to Dublin. The game was hilarious as always with somebody(Dan) building 3 cities around a single hex and not being too happy when I dropped the robber right into the middle of it. Ivan was that player who never had any of his hexes get rolled while Dave was saying things like, "I'll roll a 3, it'll be fine" and, true to form, rolling a multitude of 3s. Standard.
I'm not saying anything.
It's also worth noting there are several expansions. Seafarers, which brings building boats to travel to islands into the equation. Cities and Knights, which emphasis city development and armies. And finally, Traders and Barbarians, which, I don't know, involves traders and barbarians n' stuff. (I only heard about this one when I googled some images of Settlers)
Know in America as Catan: Boats and Hoes

So that's essentially the game. I urge anyone who hasn't played it to give it a go at their earliest convenience and anyone around my general vicinity, give me a shout and we'll organise a game.


  1. Fucking rigged. But class, the Child's ability to call them was just retarded. Need quad 9's? Give it a go like, BAM

  2. Love this game. Awesome review.

  3. Catan is Class and great fun. I loved when I had the robber on Ivan's industrial estate and kept rolling Dem 6's.

  4. @Jalnock: Totally rigged. Surprised he kept coming last.

    @Caolán: some game for one game.

    @Lucius: Dat Citttttty.

  5. @Jalnock: Totally rigged. Surprised he kept coming last.

    Yeah, what I said, rigged like :D