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Subject: Catan...Started It All For Me rss

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In Flight Games
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Growing up I liked playing Risk, Monopoly, and other similar games, but when I played Catan, my world was changed and my eyes were opened. This game inspired me and was the spark of imagination and creativity for me to create my own board games.

I would definitely say Catan is a must have. There are a lot of good things about it, with minimal cons.

1. Strategic, Fun, Interactive, Ingenuitive, complex, and light elements of luck.
2. Playing with other people is a whole lot of fun, even when they aren't huge gamers.
3. It has a simple playing concept, but a complex element of strategy.
4. Every game is unique.
5. You can play it over and over again and still enjoy it, develop, and get better.
6. Interaction between players is fun as you trade, outsmart, and fight for 1st place. Also, it is very harmless conflict that takes place.
7. All the expansions offered for the game add creative twists and development.

Cons:
1. Takes awhile to setup and breakdown.
2. Board pieces, while being good cardboard, effect the whole game if they are broken, cracked, or bent.
3. Lots of money for the game and expansions, which don't give many more parts.

Overall: I give Catan a 9 out of 10. I am not entirely sure what kind of game would be a 10, but Catan is pretty close in my book.
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Glenn Martin
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I would reccommend playing with the welfare variant. It cna sometimes happen that a string of bad dice roll in the early game can cripple a player. It's incredibly frustrating to have plans but not be able to carry them out because the game won't let you.

THE WELFARE VARIANT: Every turn you don't get a resource and the robber hasn't been rolled you get a token unless it's the robber
blocking your production instead of bad luck.
Tokens can't be stolen, traded or halved. On your turn you can trade in a number of tokens equal to the number
of victory points you had at the start of that turn (no VP cards, longest road/biggest army count) for one resource of your choice.
The better you do, the less help these tokens give.
This speeds up the game, especially at the beginning,gives you more choices
(you can afford to build to block instead of maximizing production) and greatly reduces the effect of luck.
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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InFlightGamesUS wrote:
...but when I played Catan, my world was changed and my eyes were opened. This game inspired me and...

I like the game too but it's not a flipping religious experience.
 
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Greg Cornell
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whac3 wrote:
InFlightGamesUS wrote:
...but when I played Catan, my world was changed and my eyes were opened. This game inspired me and...

I like the game too but it's not a flipping religious experience.


Perhaps not religious, but flipping profound!

I bought any game that looked like fun my whole life. However, I could only find the simple family games we all grew up with or the Avalon Hill type games that took 3-5 hrs. to play and my wife would never sit through.

Thankfully Catan came along to change our perceptions of what a game could be and opened up our minds to even better gaming experiences for just about anybody who dared try.
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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Dredry Toenail wrote:
whac3 wrote:
InFlightGamesUS wrote:
...but when I played Catan, my world was changed and my eyes were opened. This game inspired me and...

I like the game too but it's not a flipping religious experience.


Perhaps not religious, but flipping profound!

I bought any game that looked like fun my whole life. However, I could only find the simple family games we all grew up with or the Avalon Hill type games that took 3-5 hrs. to play and my wife would never sit through.

Thankfully Catan came along to change our perceptions of what a game could be and opened up our minds to even better gaming experiences for just about anybody who dared try.

I had a good few games playable in 1-2 hrs before I ever heard of Catan.

Anyway, I don't want to take this review off on a tangent. It's simply so much of the OP's review echoes the things which put me off of trying the game for so long.
 
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Chris Funk
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whac3 wrote:
Dredry Toenail wrote:
whac3 wrote:
InFlightGamesUS wrote:
...but when I played Catan, my world was changed and my eyes were opened. This game inspired me and...

I like the game too but it's not a flipping religious experience.


Perhaps not religious, but flipping profound!

I bought any game that looked like fun my whole life. However, I could only find the simple family games we all grew up with or the Avalon Hill type games that took 3-5 hrs. to play and my wife would never sit through.

Thankfully Catan came along to change our perceptions of what a game could be and opened up our minds to even better gaming experiences for just about anybody who dared try.

I had a good few games playable in 1-2 hrs before I ever heard of Catan.

Anyway, I don't want to take this review off on a tangent. It's simply so much of the OP's review echoes the things which put me off of trying the game for so long.


Then let me bring up the cultural differences. Most areas on your side of the pond treat games differently. As a family thing or as a all-ages thing. Over on this side, most Americans used to (and many still do) think that games were only for children and as such were only made to their level. The "adult" games were vocabulary games or party games, but even those were designed in a way that kids had no trouble playing. When you say "I had 1-2 hr games before I even heard of Catan", that's probably true but that's far from the reality of how we've had it over here.

It wasn't until I'm going to guess around 2006 that people started to notice the hobby game market and whereas most of Europe and the surrounding regions saw Catan in 1995, most of America had no idea of its existence until almost 10 years later. Even now, there are swaths of people that have never tried the game and are finding it for the first time.

Catan is a great game. Are there games I enjoy more than Catan? Sure there are now, after I've been embroiled in the gaming hobby for several years. If I'm the average American that has only ever had the same three games in my cabinets (Monopoly, Risk, and Scrabble) and had seen Catan for the first time, you get the exact same reaction as the OP. Almost every time.

That's why it's considered a gateway game into the hobby along with TTR and Carc. It's a wonderfully balanced game with a lot of elements that many players here had never experienced in games before. Most of our mass market games only have player interaction when you're directly attacking one another. They're very confrontational with more of the enjoyment factor being "Ha ha! I screwed you!" You would never do something like trade with the other players. It was all about how much you could screw each other which was most enjoyed by the younger mindset.

America has been behind the curve until the last 5 years but strides are being made. Before you take the "You love Catan. That old thing? I played that 10 years ago." route, remember that there a lot of people that are just discovering it and starting the delve into bigger and better games. There's no need to deflate their newfound enthusiasm because something was old hat to you.

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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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Actually, I'm Israeli but was raised in the States.

In any case, here in Israel, the idea that "Games are toys and only children play with toys," is still prevalent.
 
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Chris Funk
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whac3 wrote:
Actually, I'm Israeli but was raised in the States.

In any case, here in Israel, the idea that "Games are toys and only children play with toys," is still prevalent.


Still no reason to be That Guy(tm) and make someone excited about something new to them feel inferior just because you no longer shared the same. Especially a new user that's excited about finding the hobby.
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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FunkyBlue wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Actually, I'm Israeli but was raised in the States.

In any case, here in Israel, the idea that "Games are toys and only children play with toys," is still prevalent.


Still no reason to be That Guy(tm) and make someone excited about something new to them feel inferior just because you no longer shared the same. Especially a new user that's excited about finding the hobby.

That was not my intention, although I don't think I ever felt that way about a game.

Like I said it just seemed to me to echo some of the things which put me off trying the game for many years.
 
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In Flight Games
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Yeah it all makes sense, sounds like you've experienced the hype of something which makes it become uninteresting. As in, if so many people enjoy it, maybe they're just apart of a wave/movement, and kind of getting brainwashed.

My statement was merely referring to my experience in that I haven't experienced a board game like Catan, and growing up there were no games like Catan. All I had was Risk and Monopoly. So playing Catan felt really good.

I appreciate the feedback tho.
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Liam
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This was my experience with Catan . My rating many years on is still 9/10 I've just had far too many good times to rate it lower.

Highly recommend Catan: Cities & Knights by far the best expansion in my opinion. We play it with a slightly bigger board or to less victory points to speed it up a little.
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Larry L
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InFlightGamesUS wrote:
Yeah it all makes sense, sounds like you've experienced the hype of something which makes it become uninteresting. As in, if so many people enjoy it, maybe they're just apart of a wave/movement, and kind of getting brainwashed.

My statement was merely referring to my experience in that I haven't experienced a board game like Catan, and growing up there were no games like Catan. All I had was Risk and Monopoly. So playing Catan felt really good.

I appreciate the feedback tho.


I was in the same boat. A buddy turned me on to Carcassone a few years ago and after I got to liking that, he told me about Catan. Last year I got Seafarers expansion for my birthday (in September). I liked it so much I started searching for more expansions. Amazon with their "if you like this, you'll probably like this" thing really expanded my awareness of what was out there in the game world. Mage Knight caught my eye. I bought it in October and my collection of games has been growing ever since.

I've even begun doing something I thought was impossible for me: Paining minis. I find it unbelievably therapeutic.

This is a great hobby, and while Catan isn't necessarily the first game I reach for, it certainly broke down a wall for me and got me started on a super-fun hobby.
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