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The Seafarers of Catan
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The Seafarers of Catan

English language edition

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Ages Play Time Players
12+ 60-120 minutes 3-4

Designer(s): Klaus Teuber

Publisher(s): Mayfair Games

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To play The Seafarers of Catan, you must have:

The Settlers of Catan English language edition; third edition Out of Stock

Product Description

In The Seafarers of Catan you control a group of seafaring settlers exploring and taming the uncharted Isles of Catan.

Embark on a quest to settle the island, build ships, and chart the nearby waters. Guide your settlers to victory with clever trading, cunning development, and by establishing the most productive sea lanes. Acquire your resources through card play and the luck of the dice. Discover far-off mines and use gold and combinations of resources--grain, wool, ore, brick, and timber--to develop your ever-expanding empire.

Of course, the best strategy and a dash of luck decides who will be the undisputed ruler of the Isles of Catan.

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Klaus Teuber

  • Publisher(s): Mayfair Games

  • Year: 1998

  • Players: 3 - 4

  • Time: 60 - 120 minutes

  • Ages: 12 and up

  • Weight: 765 grams


  • 14 edge pieces
  • 24 hexagons:
    • 12 water
    • 2 gold fields
    • 3 deserts
    • 1 farmland
    • 1 forest
    • 1 pasture
    • 2 mountains
    • 2 hills
  • 8 victory point chits
  • 10 numbered chits
  • 12 harbor tokens
  • 60 wooden ships in 4 colors (15 of each)
  • 1 pirate ship (black)
The Seafarers of Catan has the following expansions available:

The Seafarers of Catan 5-6 player expansion English language edition Out of Stock

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.2 in 24 reviews

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Fun, but not great.
July 20, 2006

This game is very easy to learn, with simple logical strategy. Its fun to play, but luck is too much of a factor, especially in a game where after you play once or twice you are just as good as most other people. If you like this game you really need to try some more advanced strategy games like Puerto Rico (Im amazed that some people still haven't played this game,) or Caylus with little or no luck factor involved that really test your strategic thinking.

In the end I enjoyed playing this game but I would not play it if I was looking for a challenging thought provoking game.

A worthy expansion - simple but worth it.
March 16, 2005

The Settlers of Catan is a fantastic game, and it would seem that in the board game world that means that a sequel was inevitable. So, eventually the Seafarers of Catan was released. It was a fitting expansion, and so simple were the add-on rules, that I almost always include it in with the base game. The game offers very few more choices with the expansion included, and the amount of scenarios included with the book are excellent; some of them are truly fun! The Seafarers expansion adds a number of things to the base game, including...

1.) Gold Fields: These are basically “wild” hexes that produce whatever resource the player wants if they have a settlement or a city bordering them. This makes the gold fields very valuable, with everyone wanting a piece of the action. The scenarios counter this by putting gold fields in hard to reach places, with less than an optimal number on them, like a “3”. Still, it doesn’t stop me from trying to get to them!

2.) Water Hexes: As well as adding in some additional hexes of each of the five resources (and the gold hexes), twelve water hexes are added to the game. When combined with the fourteen edge pieces that hold all the hexes together, one can create many maps - many with more than one island. When using the water hexes, players usually start with their first two settlements on one island, and then must expand to the other islands. The edge pieces hold the board together in a large rectangle, keeping the tiles from sliding around on the table. Cities and Knights also comes with a frame; but it’s more of a hexagonal one, allowing only the setup from the basic game - so I prefer the Seafarers one more.

3.) Ships: Players expand in the seas with ship pieces. Each player receives fifteen ship pieces in their color at the beginning of the game. Ships cost one wool and one lumber to build (this raises the value of wool). Ships are placed between two water hexes and act similar to roads. In fact, the Longest Road (Now called the Longest Trade Route) now includes ships as well as roads. The first ship must be built next to a settlement on the shore, and then can be placed adjacent to other ships. Ships can also move, if they are the last ship in an “open” shipping lane (does not connect two cities). Players may move one ship per turn, to a location that they could have built. This makes ships sound more exciting than they really are - in reality, they aren’t moved that often. But either way, the ships are a big improvement, and they are the only way to get to other islands. Players are allowed to start with a ship instead of a road if one of their starting settlements is on the coastline. Ships are the crux of the game (that IS why it’s called “seafarers”); and while they don’t add much in terms of complexity, they add one more option for players to explore and make games more interesting.

4.) Special Victory Points: Some scenarios award special victory points - tokens included with the game. Many times this occurs when a player lands on a new island. This allows a scenario to dictate a change in strategy and a bit of variety to the game.

5.) Pirate Ship: A pirate ship is added to the game and is the counterpoint to the Robber. Whenever a player rolls a “7”, they may move the pirate ship instead of the Robber, placing the Pirate on any ocean hex. The player then can steal one resource from one of the players who has a ship adjacent to that hex. New ships can’t be placed next to the Pirate, giving even more reason to move him. Either way, it seems that the Robber is moved a lot less in games involving the Pirate. This actually increases the power of the Robber, and the game can get slightly nastier. If the Robber is stifling the production of your best cities/settlements for dozens of turns, it can get rather annoying. Players must think even more carefully when moving the Robber/Pirate, and Soldier cards become that much more useful.

6.) Scenarios: There are eleven scenarios included with the book, some of them rather good, others good for maybe one play or two. Either way, if a player would get tired of these scenarios, there is plenty more available on the internet. The first scenario, “New Shores”, can be played many times, as it’s basically the generic setup for Seafarers. The last two scenarios require multiple sets of the basic Settlers, so I’m not sure how often they’ll come into play.

Seafarers offers a lot of variety to Settlers without adding very many rules - probably the best epitaph an expansion can have. I won’t say that it’s necessary; indeed, one can play Settlers many times without the expansion and never miss it. But I doubt that you would return to basic Settlers after trying Seafarers - especially when you see the variety it includes. I’m certainly glad I picked the expansion up; Settlers fans will enjoy it greatly.

Tom Vasel
“Real men play board games.”

Ultimately Indispensible
December 26, 2003

True, you don't get enough bang for your buck with this package as with the original Settlers or the Cities & Knights expansion. This should cost less (not funagain's fault). Nevertheless, in my group we never play Settlers without Seafarers. We figure newbies can do without the added complexity of Knights, but the added variability of the setup in Seafarers is great, and can open things up a bit compared to basic Settlers when you are closed in by other players' initial placements. Sheep also become less useless.

Seafarers kicks the 'hose the leader' factor up a notch with the introduction of the pirate ship. (We use a rubber octopus.) The pirate ship is not so devastating in its own right, but the existence of the pirate allows the player rolling a 7 to keep the robber where he is... on one of my 6s or 8s.

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