Friday, December 6, 2013

Settlers of Catan

“Settlers of Catan” is a strategy board game for 3-4 players (2-6 depending on the edition and expansion you get).  It is one of the most popular board games to come out, having won numerous awards.  The Washington Post even called it “the board game of our time”. 
You are an adventurer who has set out to discover a new land, and build a settlement there.  After traveling on the sea for many months, you find a new, uncharted island, which is called Catan.   Unfortunately, you are not the only adventurer who has found this land.  You must now compete with rival settlers to build up the strongest settlement and control the island.  You interact with others by trading resources to help you in your goal of gaining a set number of points.  The first player to get the required amount of points wins the game.  Players are never eliminated, so everyone gets to experience the game right until the end.  Players gain points based on the number of cities or settlements they have, or by building other things such as roads.  They may also gain points through the completion of in game achievements. 
In order to build things, you have to use resources that are acquired through collection (die roll), or through trade.  Different things require different amounts of resources, and different kinds (such as brick, lumber, grain, etc.). 
The game is designed for a wide range of ages (10+) and includes detailed instructions, as well as online instructions, so it is not too complex to pick up and start playing.  The strategy of the game increases the complexity slightly, but not enough to deter anyone from playing. 
The game allows you to build your island new each time you play, with removable hexagonal board pieces.  This ensures that the game never gets stagnant. 

Overall, this is one of the best games that you can own.  With the numerous expansions and alternative games (such as Seafarers of Catan, Cities and Knights, or Settlers of America), there is something in this franchise for everyone.  If you enjoy playing board games, Settlers of Catan is a game that you will not be disappointed with.