The Seafarers of Catan
English language edition
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In The Seafarers of Catan you control a group of seafaring settlers exploring and taming the uncharted Isles of Catan.
Embark on a quest to settle the island, build ships, and chart the nearby waters. Guide your settlers to victory with clever trading, cunning development, and by establishing the most productive sea lanes. Acquire your resources through card play and the luck of the dice. Discover far-off mines and use gold and combinations of resources--grain, wool, ore, brick, and timber--to develop your ever-expanding empire.
Of course, the best strategy and a dash of luck decides who will be the undisputed ruler of the Isles of Catan.
True, you don't get enough bang for your buck with this package as with the original Settlers or the Cities & Knights expansion. This should cost less (not funagain's fault). Nevertheless, in my group we never play Settlers without Seafarers. We figure newbies can do without the added complexity of Knights, but the added variability of the setup in Seafarers is great, and can open things up a bit compared to basic Settlers when you are closed in by other players' initial placements. Sheep also become less useless.
Seafarers kicks the 'hose the leader' factor up a notch with the introduction of the pirate ship. (We use a rubber octopus.) The pirate ship is not so devastating in its own right, but the existence of the pirate allows the player rolling a 7 to keep the robber where he is... on one of my 6s or 8s.
You have played Settlers of Catan... You love the game and the great times spent playing with your friends, but... now you want more. Well, if you're not looking for a radicaly diferent game, the Seafarers of Catan expansion is a great choice; the game is basicly the same but the board is bigger and has a Goldmine, ports and boats. It's one level up.
Settlers of Catan is a VERY fu game for non-gamers and gamers alike (I am an old-school wargamer. Probably the best introductory game to the new German game boom. The only thing I found lacking was alot of variance in repeated plays, despite the map changes with different hex placement.
I have Knights and Castles and found that it took away alot of the GOOD from Settlers (trading, light strategy, and back-stabbing: racing roads to a new settlement after trading and breaking roads). It adds unwanted complexity and lowers player interaction, in short -makes the game LESS fun.
Seafarers on the other hand, adds tremendously to the game. My gaming group absolutely loves Settlers (Im the one that suggests new games). Seafarers adds the same kind of light strategy, trading, double-dealing, but manages to keep ALL of these aspects of the original AND still give you more options!
An expansion NO Settlers of Catan player should be without, this one completes the (original) Settlers of Catan experience.
You'll need Settlers of Catan, the best-selling Teuber design that touched off Germany's current craze for board games in order to play the Seafarers expansion. Getting aboard is money well spent; you'll want to experience our favorite of Teuber's many landscapes. There's no mistaking the atmosphere and sense of adventure that are sometimes lost in the local constructions of Settlers. You can still explore your locality, or see what's beyond the desert, but it's exhilarating to sail the seas to new islands. The "longest roads," helped by adding sea routes, can be really long. Seafarers' 10 scenarios are highly recommended to poor landlubbers who still haven't been introduced to this fine Settlers variant.