The Starfarers of Catan 5-6 player expansion
English language edition
List Price: $30.00
Your Price: $24.00
(Worth 2,400 Funagain Points!)
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This expansion contains everything you need to include two additional players in The Starfarers of Catan, the exciting, fast moving, science fiction game. Here you'll find 2 mother ships, 2 sets of playing pieces, additional cards, 2 reusable game board overlays, and a new alien race ripe for encounter.
Now you can play any one of the five or six Starfarers commissioned to explore the galaxy, build new colonies, and expand commercial ties with various races of the Galactic Council. Accept the challenge! Careful diplomacy, clever trade, a firm stance against pirates, and the bold colonization of distant planetary systems will win you the support of humanity, and the other races of the galaxy and make you humanities' ambassador to the Galactic Council.
Note: Of course you can also use the new planetary systems and the fifth race of aliens, the Travelers, in games of only 3-4 players. The shorter flight times will accelerate your exploration, add more action and increase the fun!
If you've played the various other 5- and 6-player Settlers games, you probably noticed that none of them work particularly well. Adding the 5th and 6th player just tends to slow down the game (a lot) and makes it longer, without adding much value. Fortunately, Kosmos and Herr Teuber have done a much more thorough job with the 5-6 player version of Starfarers: the production has been ramped up a bit to accelerate the game a bit, the new alien race has a bunch of solid new special powers (and additionally increase the number of VPs available, which helps), and there have been a few other rules tweaks. The mapboard alterations have been nicely done, with little overlays with a nice tacky substance on the back which doesn't seem to degrade much.It still works slightly less well than 4-player Starfarers (I rated Starfarers as a 4-star game when it first came out; that was a mistake, it's 5 stars). The game is a bit slower and takes longer, perhaps a bit too long. But, it's still a very good game and it handles the extra players much more gracefully than Settlers does. Being able to play this great game with 5 or 6 is certainly worth it.
In reality all the pieces that they add are exactly enough for the two addition motherships.
The extra tradeposts are creative but some are overpowering. In a game where slow and steady wins the race merely grabbing the correct card could change the whole outcome of the game. One card removes ship components off of the leader and gives them to the holder of the card. I think this is a little too powerful and unbalances the game somewhat. I suppose I can just remove the card and play with the others.
The stickers that you stick onto the board work surprisingly well but crowds the board. Adding a small board segment would have been a better idea.
Buy it if you like Starfarers and want to play with more people.
Be warned... the reported weakness in the booster clips are in these motherships as well. One of my motherships cracked during play.
I have enjoyed my flights into Starfarer space, especially with the two-player Starship Catan. This expansion of the original, however, just leads to a glacially slow game with 6 players. Turns take a bit longer because there are more cards due to more resources being obtained. As with most Catan games, bad placement or problematic rolls can mean you have little to no resources, however.
I am interested to try the game WITH the expansion worlds, but with only 4 players. As the review above says, this means you get more things to explore more quickly - thus cutting down the game time (hopefully).
Settlers in space occupy an enormous, evocative board with home planets and alien empires! Still, evidence of the Settlers' homeland is abundant. Roll the dice to determine which planets will produce resources. Exchange resources to trade ships or to buy and build colony ships, spaceports, and expansions for the Mother Ship. These expansions give you extra space, strength, or speed. Shake the Mother Ship: The balls that fall into the bottom compartment determine how many spaces you move and whether you have an encounter. In an encounter, you choose your response to a given situation (read by another player from a card) and get rewarded or penalized. Now you explore planets, establish colonies and trading posts, and battle pirates. Win by earning 15 Victory Points during your explorations and adventures. By the way, the Mother Ships are so incredibly cool-looking, you'll find yourself playing with them long after the game is over.
Having been a fan of the whole [page scan/se=0041/sf=category/fi=stockin.asc/ml=20]Settlers series, I wasn't going to pass this one up. Especially when I was told (at Essen) that there were some aspects of the expansion that would work with less than five players! Before you could say 45DM, I had added another box to the collection. Fortunately, by using the deep Jumbo bags, no-one noticed.
The game contains a mass of extra pieces, led by two more starships. If you are not familiar with the game, these starships are tall, have pointy ends and really are the business. Additionally you can attach a variety of things to them -- guns, speed boosters, fame monitors -- all of which make them appear even more impressive. The starships also serve a key game purpose, as they are used for random result generators. By shaking the starship a number of coloured balls are displayed in the fuel ejection area. Each player needs one of these and that's why there are two more in the expansion.
The clever designers at Kosmos have also allowed for more bases and planets by providing sticky backed overlays for the board, which can easily be peeled off and placed back in their original packaging. I wasn't sure this would work OK at first, but it is well designed and my fears were groundless. There are also some additional aliens to parley with (gain trade bases). These have some particularly useful technology that allows you to move at great speed across the universe and thereby make the game board somewhat smaller. The final good change to the rules is that whenever someone trades to gain a new game benefit everyone may do so. What this does is dramatically speed up the game so that the down time is reduced and the active time watching the board and other's turns is made productive. It can also be risky -- in my last game, I upgraded some technology and this allowed another player to win by upgrading at the same time. Admittedly, he would probably have won anyway, but it was a point I missed in play.
Games with 5 or 6 players usually take disproportionately longer, but with this one rule change the game flows along very smoothly. Congratulations to Kosmos on a fine expansion to a good game and well done to Mayfair for getting the game out at Essen!