Die Siedler von Catan: 5-6 player expansion
original German edition
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from 2 customer reviews
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This expansion set is extremely straightforward: a bunch of extra playing pieces and one rule change to allow you to play Siedler with five or six people.
I particularly like that the backs of the additional board hexes and number chips are marked, so you can tell which ones come from the expansion set, and which ones come from the original game. This facilitates reducing the game back to its original pieces when you want to play with 3 or 4 people.
The only rule change in the 5-6 player expansion allows all players to build on any player's turn. I think this change is important, because it becomes much more difficult to avoid attacks by the robber when there are more players in between each of your turns. It also serves to increase the involvement of players between turns, preventing the longer intervals from becoming boring. However, it does affect the strategic balance, because while you're allowed to build on other people's turns, you can still only trade with the player whose turn it is -- meaning that you can't take advantage of your ports. Therefore, players who are relying on a port-based strategy are at a disadvantage with this rule.
Siedler is, if anything, a better game with a larger board and more players. I'd definitely recommend it.
Die Siedler von Catan is one of our favorite games. It is a game that can be very enjoyable both for those who are really into games and those who might not otherwise think about playing a game.
Having said that, though, I have to say the 5-6 player expansion set does not add a great deal to the game. If you like the original, but really need a game you can play with more than 4 people, go ahead and pick it up. It's not bad. On the other hand, don't expect the game to be vastly improved. The rule change is a negative, but I guess you can always play the expanded game with the original rules.
Bottom line - if you really want to play with more people, it's not a bad deal. A better option might be to play Die Siedler when you only have 3-4 players and to pick up a different game (RoboRally, Formula De, Detroit-Cleveland Grand Prix, etc.) for play with larger groups.