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Catan: Cities & Knights» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Settlers Expansion Impression rss

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JPG
Canada
Sherwood Park
Alberta
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When I first got back into board gaming over a year ago, Settlers was one of the first games I bought. Love it or hate it, Catan is one of the most well known board games of recent memory. I would even argue that Catan revived mainstream board gaming in the late 1990's and early 2000's similar to Trivial Pursuit in the 1980's.

That said, I was disappointed. I bought the game without trying it, and found it one dimensional. I like my games a bit more complicated, and Catan seemed too dependant on lucky die rolls.

However, yesterday at our FLGS gaming day, I got roped into trying it again, but this time with the Seafarers and the Cities & Knights expansions. I was pleasantly surprised.

The expansions, especially Cities & Knights, add a lot more strategy and flexibility to the game. The addition of commodities and using them to improve your cities to receive development cards adds some variation and prevents some of the well known resource tricks (like the sheep port).

Our 4 player game started with me picking last. The way the board was set up, there were 3 good spaces to start, so by going last I got a sub optimal spot. This was slightly offset by having the 5th placement immediately after. Everything went well for the first part of the game, with some good rolls coming up allowing me (Orange) to remain in the lead with Red. Then things started to go south. Green, who had horrible rolls for the first part, was so far behind by this time, that the game is already over for him. Two or more rounds go by for me without receiving even one resource. This allows Brown to catch up to me, but Red, who seems to live a charmed life, runs away with it, at one point building multiple roads and settlements.

Final score: Red 13 victory points, Me with 7, Brown with 6 (only behind me because Barbarians attacked on the last turn and his Knights were not activated), and Green not worth mentioning.

Overall, for me this was much better experience with Settlers of Catan and that was due to the addition of the expansions. I like what Cities & Knights added, but I am not sure about Seafarers. Due to the way our map was laid out, no one even built a boat in our game.

Settlers of Catan remains, in my view, a gateway to modern board gaming and I will use it to ease non gamers into gaming. However, without the expansions, I will tend to avoid it, as it is too simple and reliant on good die rolls in determining the victor.
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John Holder
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Centennial
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I agree, base Settlers is not interesting for me to play. I pretty much only play with C&K. One or two of the Traders & Barbarians variants are alright as well.
 
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Martin Larouche
Canada
Longueuil
Quebec
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I find Settlers with C&K a good game. It's only problem is the early barbarian attacks. If you are not set to protect yourself in their first attack, you are screwed for the rest of the game as you lost your one and only city... There's always a player or two who cannot get his knight ready (even if he wanted to) and gets screwed early. That's the only bummer really to that expansion.

I'd never play vanilla settlers anymore unless it's a quick electronic/computer version. I'd only play with C&K if i can.

Seafarers adds complexity and not much else in terms of strategy, while adding not a lot more options. The interesting maps for seafarers don't really mix well with Cities and Knights, which is why we usually don't play with that expansion.
Seafarers just spreads the players over a bigger play surface and prevents more conflicts in road and settlements positioning between players, which is a big minus for me.
 
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Paul Sinkovits
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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I like the C&K expansion, but find playing up to 13 VP a slow crawl. We prefer to still play to the original 10 VP. 90% of the time first player to make it to 10 VP will be the first one to 13 VP, 90 minutes later.
 
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Johannes Sjolte
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Copenhagen
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I like Catan: Seafarers much better than Catan: Cities & Knights. I have never tried to play them together though.
 
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Mark Thomason
United States
Washington
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Paul210 wrote:
I like the C&K expansion, but find playing up to 13 VP a slow crawl. We prefer to still play to the original 10 VP. 90% of the time first player to make it to 10 VP will be the first one to 13 VP, 90 minutes later.


Fascinating. I usually find the last 3 VP to be a matter of about 2 turns, very rapid.
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Kevin Shillinglaw
Canada
Kitchener
Ontario
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I think C&K is the best expansion of Catan. I have to have at least this to play, otherwise it seems boring.
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