Die Siedler von Catan: Das Buch zum Spielen
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We will not be offering a translation (it is a book, after all), but this item will still interest Siedler von Catan (Settlers of Catan) collectors who don't mind a little German... ok, a lot of German, along with some wonderful illustrations.
The "Siedler Book", as we know it, contains 15 scenarios and 18 variants for the basic game or for the Seefahrer expansion. In addition, the book contains lots of tips and tricks, tactical notes, suggestions on how to create your own decks for the card game, and a Siedler puzzle.
But wait, there's more! Many of the scenarios and variants need new components, and these are provided in a separate box: 10 sheets filled with new Hexes, small cards and chits including Jungle, Volcanoes, Locomotive, a Spring Tide, Forts, Indian Tribes, etc. Edited by renowned artist Franz Vohwinkel and published by Siedler designer Klaus Teuber.
15 Scenarios and 20 variants, enough to keep your head happily spinning for a few years to come. Some of the scenarios/variants are very simple and accessible to those not as familiar with the game, but others are quite difficult and should only be played by hardcore fans. All of the variants and most of the scenarios have been translated and are available on the web at the BoardgameGeek web site. Make sure you look for errata files as well to find links to scenario translations on other sites.
If you enjoy the Städte & Ritter expansion for Die Siedler, you will find more games at the same level (The Colonists, Catan Express). If you prefer simpler games because you don't get to play as often as you'd like, there are plenty of those (The Bermuda Triangle, The Treasure Hunters).
The book itself is beautiful. Hard cover, colorful pages and good quality printing. And the material box with the extra pieces (a lot of cardboard cutouts and a set of plastic stands and a spinner) is well thought out.
All in all, if you're a Die Siedler fan (and what's wrong with you if you're not?), you should get this book. We've already found one variant (Poverty is no Shame) to play with every game, and are looking forward to playing more of the scenarios and variants.
This is a gem of a title. I just got my copy from Funagain yeterday. After having read though most of it I wanted to call all my friends over for a few games. There are approximately fifteen new scenarios, written mainly by German fans of Siedler, and about twenty new variants on the game also written by fans. To assist you with these variants there are ten sheets of counters and miscellaneous game pieces.
If you play the two player card game you will be pleasantly supprised also--there are tips and stragies for building tournament decks. Also there are some play variants of the card game that looked as though they would be swell to try.
Finally, the best part. Scattered throughout the book there are images of the original mock-ups that Klaus Teuber made for the game. Seeing how the game looked before being published is very cool.
All in all this is a wonderful product that I want to recommend to everybody, but since it is a 180 page book in German it will be largely inaccessable to most of us outside of the German lands. This is why I give it only four stars. Were the book in English, it would be five stars for sure.