Having discovered there are a number of two player options for Settlers of Catan, we wanted to try one. We played using the official rules. Okay, not exactly...but we did start out that way. Our first three or four games were completely lopsided. Whichever player won, it was by a landslide. By landslide, I mean the final score was something like 10-5. When this happened after the first game, we thought this was maybe just us getting used to the new rules. When there was a landslide victory the second game we grew suspicious. But by the third consecutive massive win, we were not impressed; at all. These rules were not working for us...
We felt that the major problem was the Robber. He was slowing down the lagging player far too much. If this was the case, we needed to alter the rules to suit us. What we ended up creating was a “Wandering Robber” variant. What we did was start the Robber in the desert, as usual, until a seven was rolled. At this point hand size was checked, and the Robber was placed on the hexagon holding the number disk/chit with the letter ‘A’. If a player had built on that hex, the opposing player drew a card from his hand. This happened regardless of who rolled the seven. If both players had built on that hex, each player drew a card from the other. Each time the seven rolled, hand size was pared down to seven cards (if necessary) and the Robber would then move to the next letter...B then C and so on.
At any time, a player who had the Robber on his hex could pay a Commercial Chip (as per the rules) and banish the Robber to the desert. As soon as a 7 was rolled again the Robber came back into play, continuing from where he was most recently, to the next letter. (Before he was removed to the desert, we slid the number chip to the side of the hex he was leaving to remind us where he was last standing.)
A Soldier card would allow a player to move the Robber to any hex. The Wandering Robber would now continue his journey from that spot. In this way, several letters may be skipped. When the Robber arrived at the last letter, he would begin again at ‘A’.
The first game we played using our variant was tight. Immediately we felt our runaway problem had been solved. Of course, it also meant we needed to play test it a few more times. We continued for the next couple weeks, playing at least one game a day. Overall, we enjoyed our two player games (using this variant) much better. A couple of them were extremely close. And one game victory was snatched from the other player by stealing the longest road and building a settlement for the win...which took the game from 9-7 to 7-10. There seemed no chance of such maneuvering with the original two-player rules. At least, we struggled to make it happen.
Overall, we enjoyed our two player experience....but only using the “official” rules in an altered state. However, neither of us found the same level of excitement or tension as found in multi-player games. When our curiosity was sufficiently satisfied, the game was put away (after playing on the dining room table for two weeks) and out came Attika. We may try another two-player again sometime, but we will definitely not be using the official Klaus Teuber rules.
- Last edited Wed May 16, 2007 2:21 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Wed May 16, 2007 1:20 am
Overall, we enjoyed our two player experience....but only using the “official” rules in an altered state.
Yes, that definitely helps.