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The Starfarers of Catan
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The Starfarers of Catan

English language edition of Die Sternenfahrer von Catan

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Product Awards:  
International Gamers Awards
Best Strategy Game Nominee, 2000

Ages Play Time Players
12+ 120 minutes 3-4

Designer(s): Klaus Teuber

Publisher(s): Mayfair Games, Kosmos

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Product Description

A brilliant and stunning foray into space, sometime near the year 2700 A.D. Compete for the prestigious post of Ambassador to the Galactic Council. To attain this lofty position, players must leave Terra and the known planets to explore and colonize the galaxy, while working to establish trade with alien cultures, encounter aliens and defeat pirates. Glory and victory to the brave and astute explorer who luck smiles upon.

The known worlds lie at one end of the game board where each of the 3 or 4 players begins from known solar systems, each with 3 planets producing raw materials needed for the travels into deep space. Each player begins with 2 Colonies and a Space Port (all components are made from plastic). The Space Port makes starships to transport your new colonies and trade posts to distant lands. Throughout the game all the colonies and spaceports enable the production of resources when the dice match the numbers of adjacent planets. Resources are traded for colony ships, trade ships, and fleet upgrades of freight rings, booster rockets, and cannon. Beware as you explore; some planets are covered in ice, and some conceal dangerous pirates.

This game contains a myriad of components. Each player has a 13 cm tall Mothership upon which your star ship fleet enhancements are placed. This mothership contains the traits for all of a players starships, as well as being the random generator of encounters and movement points. There are more than 200 other plastic components -- colonies, trading posts, and space port rings for all four players, booster rockets (to speed your ships on their way), cannons (to defeat pirates), freight rings (to assist in placement of trading posts and colonization of ice planets, and glory rings (which represent fame from acts of bravery). There are 4 Alien races and a assortment of Alien Friendship cards flavored to the individual races, 5 types of commodities cards, the wonderful Encounter cards deck, 4 player reference cards, 4 victory point markers, 4 alien tokens, 2 dice, 1 quick start rules sheet, a basic rules book, a detailed almanac, and last but not least, those wonderful Spaceships.

The mother ship features a random generator incorporated into the hull. This generator contains 4 colored balls, of which two are visible through a small dome on the bottom of the ship. The balls are red, yellow, blue, and black in color. The two visible balls will determine the speed of a player's star ships and if an encounter card must be enacted. The first player to reach the victory point level wins.

Product Awards

International Gamers Awards
Best Strategy Game Nominee, 2000

Product Information


  • 4 Plastic Mother Ships
  • 108 Mother Ship Expansion Pieces
  • 38 Resource Chips
  • 12 Spaceport Rings
  • 12 Transporters
  • 36 Colonies
  • 28 Trading Outposts
  • 4 Friendship Chips
  • 4 Game Overview Cards
  • 4 Victory Point Markers
  • 32 Encounter Cards
  • 100 Resource Cards
  • 20 Friendship Cards
  • Rules
  • Almanac
  • Plastic Trays
  • Illustrated Game Board
  • 2 Dice
The Starfarers of Catan has the following expansions available:

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

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Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.6 in 37 reviews

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by SciFi
SciFi Catan
May 04, 2008

Best Catan game ever... I'm a big fan of catan and scifi so it's my game!

Starfarers of Catan
May 23, 2006

Starfarers of Catan

‘Starfarers of Catan’ by Klaus Teuber (Entdecker, Domaine and many more) is a ‘Settlers of Catan’ alternate that suffers more than benefits from its association with the original. Starfarers is a very different game to Settlers, where Settlers is very definitely a development game – and feels it; Starfarers feels more like a racing game.

Starfarers is bigger, brighter, better produced and longer than Settlers, yet despite it’s length is gripping, exciting, intelligent, enjoyable and gorgeous. This game has seemed to get a lot of bad press from people who bought it expecting something similar to Settlers, and if you buy expecting ‘Sci-Fi Settlers’ you’re in for a disappointment. If you take Starfarers as a game on its own, sit back and enjoy the ride, because almost more than any other game I own – this one evokes a great atmosphere.

At its core Starfarers is a development game, but through its various in-game systems it generates the feeling that the development is a race, a race technologically, and a race in terms of Victory Points.

Through clever reward systems for those players low on Victory Points Starfarers ensures that no one can end up well ahead of the pack, Starfarers is a battle until the very end of the game.

This game is great fun – especially when you have sci-fi or futuristic music playing in the background, I almost always play Daft Punk, the Planets or music from the Star Wars movies. The ‘Galactic Counsel for Welfare’ does a good job of keeping progress ticking over, and at the same time forms a neat way of ensuring that the player in 1st place can’t run away with the game. Trading doesn’t form as big a part of Starfarers as it does in Settlers, but players interact in other ways – technology is very important, and being as fast, or having as many cannons as the player next to you can be very important.

Starfarers feels like a racing game, falling behind technologically can be a fatal mistake, not exploring enough can be a fatal mistake, not building as many trading colonies can be a fatal mistake. There are so many areas of this game that can be explored, and that can provide the necessary Victory Points that every game is different.

Many things have been said about the quality of the pieces that come with Starfarers, in my experience the only problem has been with the booster clips (the little teeth that hold on to the yellow rocket boosters), which seem to break very easily. Not enough, however, has been said about the high level of customer service from Mayfair Games, if you e-mail their customer service people they will send you out a set of plastic rings, that fit very neatly over the Motherships, for free.

Starfarers of Catan is one of the best buys in my collection, a great game that is gorgeous to play and look at and that invokes the theme brilliantly. Almost every game I’ve played has been a close run to 1st place and some of the most enjoyable gaming I’ve had. Full congratulations must be given to Teuber for this fantastic creation!

Too many pieces and rules
May 01, 2006

My friends and I loved Settlers of Catan and we own all of the expansions for it. The genius to that games is that you have some simple rules and it all just fits. It took us about an hour just to figure out how to play Starfarers. There are just too many pieces and too many rules. My motherships also broke about 50% of the time we put an engine on them. It seems some engines are thicker than others. It's not really a big factor in the game, but it makes the price tag that much less appealing.

If you haven't played any of the Catan games, go for the original first. If you've been playing the Catan games and are looking for something new, I recommend trying Elasund. I think it's much better done than Starfarers (and 2 - 4 players).

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