Die Siedler von Catan
original German edition
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from 5 customer reviews
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In Settlers of Catan, groups of settlers try to become the dominant group on a remote island by building settlements and cities across its uncharted wilderness. Each player tries to guide their settlers to victory by clever building and trading. Building is based on resources that you gain based on where you build and the roll of the dice. This combination of strategy and luck makes Settlers an excellent game for players of all skill levels.
We really like this game...noticed that a lot of people didn't like the two-person game...not sure what the actual rules for the two-person game are 'cause we've been using a dutch version and can't read the rules (we were taught by our friend)..but we made up a two-person version that we think is reasonable...Each player plays two colors, alternate placing of towns and taking turns, player cannot trade with himself but can use monopoly card to transfer a resource, play each color to 7 points...
Siedler has definitely turned into a favorite between me and my friends. We are so hooked on this game, that we have already purchased the expansion set to allow more than 4 people to play. The interesting thing about the expansion set is that the rules change a bit, so the game goes much faster.
We have the German edition, which we think compared to the English version, is much more colorful. But I guess if you cannot read German, you might have a problem.
I was first introduced to this game by a friend who brought it back from Germany. I was hooked from the beginning!
Then I went there myself for a few months. Needless to say, this provided many hours of entertainment with friends I made there. A great bonding time! It is challenging and exciting!
Don't get me wrong. I loved this game the first 15 or 20 times I played it. (And for me, getting 15 or 20 playings out of a game is Nirvana.) But it has a significant problem.
In general, assuming relatively normal distribution of die rolls, Siedler does a good job of rewarding skillful play and penalizing bad play, as a game should.
But in about one game in three, maybe one in four, at least one player will be completely, irretrievably hosed by the production dice roll. There's nothing that player can do to stand a chance of winning. It doesn't matter how well he picks his starting positions. It doesn't matter how sharp a trader he is. His settlements won't produce resources in usable or tradable quantities for the first 15-20 turns of the game.
When this happens, it's really not fun. And the game is not quick enough that you can just ride with it and say 'oh well, better luck next time.' And it happens more often than it should.
That said, most of the time this is an outstanding game. It's captivating, easy to learn, fun to play, offers a whole lot of interesting and competing choices, and has really attractive components. It's well worth owning and well worth playing.
In short, the game is simple to learn, and takes up about 2 hrs. That is good. However:
- A 2 person game is not fun. The game is very dependent on trade, and the trade concept is weak and poor compared to Advanced Civilization, for instance.
- The dice are too influential.
- The starting position influences 60% of your success.
- You can't blow up anything. It is all so constructive (made for families, the best market).
So it does NOT deserve all those stars, however it is a commercial success.
Mind you, the above concerns only the base board game.