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Die Siedler von Catan: Das Kartenspiel: Zauberer & Drachen
original German edition
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Average Rating: 2.5 in 2 reviews
Zauberer & Drachen (wizards and dragons) is one of five theme sets Kosmos has released for its Settlers of Catan card game. This set is made up of previously unseen cards submitted by fans for a competition in 1997.
Like the other theme sets, this one can be played with one copy of the basic game for an expanded version of the basic game, or, for those who like building decks, you can combine cards from this set and others to form a specialized deck of cards to be played in a tournament against someone else who has done the same thing with his or her own sets of cards.
By far the most different from the basic game, Zauberer & Drachen introduces magic to the island of Catan. Magic is made possible through the building of a citadel, which is much the same as a city but with a focus on magic. You install wizards in the lands beside this citadel. Each wizard is able to convert a resource in its adjacent land into a point of magic (effectively making magic a seventh kind of resource), which can later be spent to cast spells. Spells are cast from spellbooks (which are placed in citadels in the same way as buildings and units are placed in settlements) and each kind of spell costs between one and three magic points. There are some magical buildings and magical units (dragons) too, to keep some continuity with the concepts of the basic game.
It is not possible to win the game using only magic (there are not enough victory points in the theme set cards for this), so you are required to balance your magical aspirations with normal settlements, cities and buildings. The magic can help you to achieve this by giving you power over things you would not normally have, such as the ability to re-order the event card deck. At the same time, the magic can royally mess you up if it happens at an inopportune moment.
The Zauberer & Drachen set certainly provides the most different feel of any of the theme sets for the Settlers of Catan card game, yet the game still has that Catan aura to it. For Settlers fans, this set is doubtless one to get.
Building a magic castle simply costs you a city. Although you could afford that, one citadel is weak and gives you few extras. You need two citadels before you can reap the magics and wreak havoc on the game rules as well as on the opponent.
Two cities are, however, really necessary. So in the end you will win if you completely ignore the magic and build the classic way.
If you count a citadel as 3 VP it still would not help.
A bad idea.