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Settlers Of Catan: Rivals For Catan
List Price: $20.00
Your Price: $18.00
(Worth 1,800 Funagain Points!)
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from 47 customer reviews
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Build your domain to best your Rivals! The Rivals for Catan puts you in charge of one of the two factions developing newly-settled Catan. Use your under card mix to create your own principality. Explore and settle new lands, acquiring resources through card play and the luck of the dice. Use gold, response combinations, and trade to develop your domain. Expand your settlements and cities, recruit heroes, and defend your lands through politics, invention, and intrigue. Your cunning and a dash of luck decides who will be Prince of Catan!
Average Rating: 3.8 in 47 reviews
Most of the reviews on this game refer to the old Settlers of Catan Card Game, so I thought I'd update it with a review of the current "Rivals for Catan" game, a major redesign that is wonderfully done.
I was looking for a two-player game to help take 'Dominion' off our table once in a while. This game is just what the Doctor ordered! For under $20, you get 180 cards, a pair of dice (a Production Die numbered 1-6 and an event die laden with symbols),and a couple of 'Advantage' tokens. The cards are divided into 90 'basic' cards used in the introductory game, and three theme sets, each which can be added sepearately or all three at once. It's like five games in one. Not a bad deal.
The gameplay here moves forward quickly. You lay out your starting principality and start off with two victory points (VP) and one each of wwod, bricks, wheat, sheep, and ore (but no gold). You take three cards (action cards, buildings, ships, and heroes) into your hand. The object is to grow your principality in several ways and obtain 12 VP.
Roads, Settlements, and Cities must be built to give you more VP and additional regions in which to produce resources. A Settlement is worth 1 point, while Cities are worth 2. Buildings and ships will benefit your production and trading (you trade resources with yourself - not your opponent). Some of these also give you VP and/or Trade points and progress pointst. 'Heroes' are also placed in your principality, and give you strength points and skill points which can benefit you in the game on certain die rolls.
Though I’m not a big fan of dice, the dice rolling in this game is fun. The Production die (1-6) denotes which resource you gain for the turn, while the event die will trigger a bonus for one player or the other based on how many skill points or trade points a player has, let you draw a card from the event stack (to be resolved immediately, or produce a Brigand Attack, this game’s version of ‘the thief’!!!
For fans of the Settlers of Catan board game, it should be noted that this game is strictly a 2P game. My personal opinion is that it compares favorably to the board game in that the variety of Buildings, Heroes, Ships, Actions, etc. really add a lot of strategy to the game and minimizes the luck factor of the dice. There’s lots of room for decision making in the areas of hand management, resource management, and building strategy.
Best of all, we've NEVER kicked ourselves in the middle of the game, saying 'oh man, we should have played Dominion!' (at least not yet)!!!! My wife and I recommend this game wholeheartedly.
Well, the first thing to be said about the Settlers Card Game is that it's not "Settler's Lite"... this is still a big game that will easily take an hour and possibly 2 to play.
One good thing about the card game is that it pretty much allows focusing on specific and essential elements of the board game. I mean, how important is the board in settlers? Sure it's an element, but almost peripheral as far as I'm concerned: Settlers is about resources and infrastructure, and the "geographic" element was never that strong. Settlers Card game focuses on the essentials and amplifies on them.
Another big plus is the EXCELLENT card art, easily surpassing anything I've seen so far. Even the roads link up with matching spaces in the city and settlement cards. It's excellent.
One weakness that tempted me to give it a 4 may go away with experienced players. Basically, it's possible for one player to get a certain set of cards and resources that can allow that player to dominate the game.
In the end, it is surprising that such a big and epic game comes out of such a small box.
I came across my copy a few years ago, largely by accident, but have never looked back or regretted a single penny that I spent on it.
I'd walked into my local wargames shop, and asked what sorts of games they had for two players that had plenty of strategy, but that wouldn't take too long to play. I was shown SoC the card game. It intrigued me, and the chap who owned the store commented how much he'd enjoyed it himself.
I was sold!
Looking around the 'net to see if anything new had been done with the franchise is how I found this site and it's reviews, and thought I might share my thoughts on it.
Firstly, 'The Settlers of Catan' card game is not really comparable to the board game. This might seem obvious, but reading some of the reviews here it is clear that many people thought it would be and were thus disappointed.
This doesn't mean that it doesn't play well, that it lacks strategy or that it feels as if the game and its namesake are unconnected. Quite the reverse in fact; it is an excellent game in its own right, whilst keeping the 'feel' of the original.
The rules are deceptively straightforward, and actually allow a lot of freedom for players to negotiate with each other or fight a war or anything else in their bid for domination. It is quite possible to recover from a bad start with a bit of luck, and there are many cards and events that can be used to further your cause, or protect you from certain events in future.
There are several main strategies to winning, and several subtle variations of each. Broadly speaking these are:
- Expansion (allowing you more resources to build with as well as more building room)
- Warfare (military dominance of your opponent has benefits!)
- Commerce (taking resources from your opponent and negotiating better deals for yourself)
- Politics (holding more cards than your opponent and sifting through the decks for less/no resource penalty gives you better control of events in the game)
The nature of the game is such that any player who relies soley on one strategy throughout the game can be beaten. The key is to use the flexibility of the rules and the game to your advantage.
It is a testament to this game's broad appeal that I've not only convinced people who dislike boardgames to play, but that said people often ask me for a game of SoC!
As for the product itself, it is well turned out. The cards are attractive, and the tokens are embossed lacquered wood. There is a comprehensive rulebook, complete with a full illustrations and an almanac of all the cards in the game.
I've scored The Settlers of Catan card game a 5. I feel that more could have been made of the military features, and that cultural points could have been added in addition to the existing commercial and military ones. Despite this, I've yet to play a more engaging two-player game (and believe me, I've played a lot!)
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