Catan: Dice Game
List Price: $25.00
Your Price: $22.50
(Worth 2,250 Funagain Points!)
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Discover, explore, and settle Catan anywhere and anytime... even solo!
The Catan Dice Game is a fast, fun way to experience Catan on-the-go. Play it in only 15-30 minutes! It's a great casual introduction to the world of Catan. With 6 colorful, high quality, embossed plastic dice, a generous pad of full color double-sided score sheets featuring two maps for alternate play, and an exquisite lidded leather dice cup. The dice cup will hold dice, rules and score pad. Roll your way to victory.
So get ready to toss! Challenge the odds and discover a fresh way to master Catan!
- 6 colorful, high quality, embossed plastic dice
- 1 pad of full color double-sided score sheets
- exquisite lidded leather dice cup
Average Rating: 3.2 in 3 reviews
I've played this game several times now and have been repeatedly struck by how much game is packed into this little box and at such a modest price. It is easily worth the money.
The strategies for winning, however, are subtle, contrary to the review I see below. The main thing is that your strategy will vary depending on what you have previously rolled. And then, based on your particular path, you will try to roll for certain things and not for others. It rapidly pulls in some statistics that are context-dependent and stretch even this ex-physicist's brain.
Of course, this is not a big game with tons of different strategies. But I have given it 4.5 stars because it is so easily worth the money.
The Settlers of Catan juggernaut continues to roll. Not only has there been dozens and dozens of published scenarios for the original game, there has also been numerous stand-alone games and even a popular card game version. Of course, it should come as no surprise that a dice game version was inevitable.
The Catan Dice Game does a good job of remaining faithful to the atmosphere of the original. Instead of a central board, each player receives a sheet depicting six tiles arranged in a circular pattern. There is one tile for each type of resource, as well as one wild tile. Scattered about the tiles are various towns and cities that can be constructed, all of these connected by roads, which also must be constructed. Each item constructed earns victory points, with more points being earned for construction that is further from the starting tile.
Each turn, players will roll the six dice up to three times, setting aside dice after each roll, if desired. A player may re-roll set aside dice if he desires. Dice depict the common resource symbols found in Settlers: lumber, wheat, sheep, ore and brick, as well as gold. The object is to accumulate a set of resource symbols that will allow the player to construct buildings, roads and/or knights.
Once finished rolling, the player will utilize the resources to construct the next road, building or knight along the path. The path does branch at several points, so players do have some options, but the side paths are dead-ends, leading to the site of a town or city. Ultimately, all players will progress along the same path, but on their own sheet. Thus, there is no competition for territories, or for being the first to construct in an area. Sadly, that eliminates much of the tension that is present in Settlers.
Building costs are the same as in Settlers, and a player may make several builds during his turn, marking them on his sheet. He cannot build a town, city or knight unless he has constructed the road immediately preceding it, but he may bypass a building in order to continue constructing roads. However, settlements must be constructed in order, so a player cannot rush ahead to the more valuable buildings. After building, the player marks the points scored on the score chart on his sheet. If nothing was built, the player marks an "x" on his chart for that turn.
Knights act as "resource jokers", allowing the player to convert one die into the resource matching the knight built. While this can be quite useful, and multiple knights can be used on a turn, each knight can only be used in this manner once during the course of the game. Gold is the other "wild" resource. If a player rolls two gold resources on a turn, he may trade them for one other resource of his choice. Rolling just one gold is useless.
The game ends after each player has completed fifteen turns, which is easily tracked via the score chart. Players tally their points, subtracting two points for each "x" on their chart. The player with the most points is victorious.
The Catan Dice Game does a decent job of maintaining some of the atmosphere of Settlers. The familiar resources are present, as are the items being constructed. Absent, however, is the tension caused by the competition for expansion outlets and desirable areas. When you add this to the absence of trading and the robber, you have a game that has been sapped of most of what makes Settlers so engaging.
Perhaps I'm jaded, but I find many dice games play in the same manner. Roll the dice a few times and hope to get the symbols you need. Use those symbols, score some points, and continue. Sure, all have a slight twist, and an effort is usually made to paste-on a theme, but at their core, many of them feel the same. Sadly, I couldn't help but get that "same old, same old" feel from the Catan Dice Game. There really isn't much new or different to set the game apart from the rest of the genre. And if the game doesn't offer anything significantly different, why bother?
I'm a big Catan fan, but not sure this game earns its "Catan" branding.
It's really not much more than Yahtzee with Catan resources on the die faces instead of numbers (the sixth side is gold, which you can use to "buy" any other resource at a rate of 2:1).
Instead of a Yahtzee scorecard, you have a simple map (which basically amounts to 6 Catan board game hexes) of roads, settlements, cities, and knights to fill in as you get the rolls needed for each. Although there is some variabilty in the path you take, it has fairly linear progression. Once you play it for a while, you realize that there's a way to progress that makes the most sense; e.g. best to get knights and roads early, which will open up your options later.
You have 6 dice total that you roll. You get 3 chances to roll the dice, where you're able to set aside any dice that show the faces you want to keep (like Yahtzee).
the six sides of the dice are:
1 = wood
2 = brick
3 = wool
4 = wheat
5 = ore
6 = gold
Hence you need:
1,2 for a road
1,2,3,4 for a settlement
3,4,5 for a knight
4,4,5,5,5 for a city
a roll of 1,1,2,2,X,X would allow you to fill in 2 roads on the map (like a Yahtzee 2 pair)
a roll of 1,2,3,4,5,X gets you a road and a knight (like a Yahtzee straight)
a roll of 4,4,5,5,5,X gets you a city (like a Yahtzee full house)
a roll of 4,4,5,5,6,6 could also get you a city, because you can use the 2 gold (6's) to buy 1 ore (5's)
There are 6 knights that can be built at any time, but in a preset order, which may be used as "jokers". Each of the 6 knights represent a different resource that you can swap out for one die. Each joker can only be used once during a game.
The object of the game is to get the most points. Each road you build is worth 1 point. Settlements, cities and knights are worth progressively more points, where cities are the big points.