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Subject: Which Settlers of Catan expansion to get? rss

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Shawn
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Looking for some input from Settlers seasoned gamers. My gaming group likes to play the original Settlers of Catan before and/or after our weekend gaming sessions. We usually play on the nights we play Axis and Allies so have a group of 5 to 6 players.

The original Settlers is fun but our group is looking for something "more" out of ths game. I tried checking out the reviews on the expansion sets but since I'm new to boardgamegeek up to date reviews are hard to come by since these expansions are old news due to them coming out years ago.

I was hoping the experienced gamers could give some insight on what expansion to recommend between Seafarers, Cities and Knights, or Traders and Barbarians (or ones I might be leaving out). Please keep in mind when we play we have 4 to 6 players almost every time. I never play any games with just 2 players.

Thanks from a noob.
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Ian Klinck
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I've only played Cities & Knights (other than the basic game), but I'd really recommend it. It adds a lot of extra depth to the game, and makes for interesting play if you've kind of "played out" the basic game.

Ian
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Mikael Ölmestig
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I would second the recommendation of Cities & Knights, since you seem to want something more out of the game. It really shakes things up and even if it does make the game more complex and especially the first times longer play time, it feels more of a game.

I recommend playing Settlers with four players. Usually, I don't mind chaotic games, but with 5 or 6 players things usually turn out a little random.
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Daric Morris
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Cities and Knights for me, too. Almost always play with 5-6 and no other expansions than C&K. Games take 2-3 hours. Normally about the time I start to get bored, I look at the game and realize I can win in a turn or two.
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Bruce Miller
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With 5&6 players Seafarers is a better choice. It is easier to understand and teach. With Cities and Knights new players can focus on commodities and don't do well. In the games with 5&6 in which I've played, barbarians can often destroy cities causing the game to run rather long.

Both expansions will add to the play time, but Seafarers will add less time.

Bruce
 
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Jonathan Hsieh
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I had played the regular Settlers a handful of times, but didn't really fall in love with the game until I was introduced to Cities and Knights. Great expansion if you really want to increase the complexity of a great game.
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jon dee
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Seafares are the " natural expansion" that does not change the game alot
it ads replayability in custumising the map, playing different setups, but the core game is the same

Citys and knights are alot more like a whole new game. There is alot more interaction as the new resources and especial cards do change the game experience a lot more

Both are expansions i havent regretted. But I moved on before getting around to the rest of the expansions.

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Froggy McFrogface
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Cities & Knights most definitely, but I'd also add the Event Card deck, in lieu of dice rolling. It evens out the probabilities, and adds a few little "extras" each turn. The Event Deck also improves the base SoC game.
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Roy Thomson
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For only a couple of dollars....you can't go wrong with The Settlers of Catan: The Great River Expansions don't get much cheaper than that.
 
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Don Weed
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Die Siedler von Catan: Das Buch zum Spielen

Koldfoot wrote:

If you can find them, the Scenario expansions are good, but I believe they are only available in German. Nevertheless, I highly recommend them.


If you can find 'Das Buch' it's a great bargain for the amount of components and variations that it has. It is in German, but I bought it packaged with an English translation of the rules bound with it.
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Nicolas Varela
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I agree with Koldfoot's logic... BUT Seafarers won't accomplish your goal. It's a fun (though longer) game of Settlers, but it's really the same game with different maps.

I'd suggest The Settlers of Catan: The Fishermen of Catan for just a couple of bucks, or maybe Die Siedler von Catan: Das Buch zum Spielen for many, many different scenarios and twists of the game. T&B includes expansions which are also included in Das Buch, but prettier... it's almost like a Days of Wonder abridged version of the book.

 
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Jeff Miller
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nvarela wrote:
Seafarers won't accomplish your goal. It's a fun (though longer) game of Settlers, but it's really the same game with different maps.


Seconded.

Seafarers, in my opinion, does not even come close to adding enough to be worth the money and is more of a gimmick.

Cities & Knights, while adding a fair bit more, does come closer to what you're looking for, but I'd still suggest spending the money elsewhere. If you're playing 5-6 people, you'll need C&K + C&K:5-6 exp. That's $50 with a standard 20% discount!

There are plenty of good 5-6 player games outside of the Catan world that will achieve your goal better and probably for less money (Power Grid, Railroad Tycoon, etc.).

If you must stick with Catan... C&K gets my recommendation.
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James Palmer
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I completely agree with Jeff. For the cost of an expansion plus the 5-6 player expansion expansion, you could get an entirely different game that works with 5-6 players.

If you must go, go with C&K, it adds both more conflict and more cooperation to the game, and is just overall a blast to play.

But for the same price, I think getting a different 5-6 player game will get you more bang for your buck.
 
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I've played a lot of Settlers over the years as this was the game that re-instated by interest in board gaming and introduced tons of newbies into the fold.

So let me re-iterate what several have said here already:

1) I find that Settlers at 5 & 6 players isn't all that great. The few small changes really modify the dynamics of the game. Not bad every once in a while, but Settlers really is best at 3 or 4 players.

2) Seafarers is the most "natural" expansion - doesn't change the rules much but allows you to scramble the tiles a lot more and make archipelagos. But the game takes more time which means that if you fall behind early, it's not that fun for that much longer.

3) Cities & Knights is almost a completely different game. I like it but my preference lies with the simplicity of the original.

My advice:

Don't bother expanding Settlers. Play it at 3-4 players when possible or heck get a second copy of the basic game (or give it as a gift to a friend) and play in 2 groups of 3 or 4 each.

Invest money in a completely different game that better handles 5 or 6 players for those times when you want to play in a big group.

Cheers!
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James Palmer
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For 5-6 players, our group likes Bohnanza and Galactic Emperor.

There are lots of games good for 5 players but not for 6, like Race for the Galaxy, Agricola, Ticket to Ride.

I must admit that with 5-6 players, we're more likely to go towards party-type games or filler games, because they're generally faster paced, and other games tend to create a lot of down-time with that many players. So games like No Thanks, For Sale, Ostrakon, Apples to Apples, and Things: Humour in a Box will tend to come out for those kinds of numbers.

But that's our group, where we only have 3 of 4 real "gamers"... if we have more than 4, chances are there are non-gamers in the group who wouldn't want anything remotely heavy.
 
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Rakeman wrote:
Often it is said that instead of playing settlers, you should play games "better suited for 5-6 players. So what are these games?


Like Felkor said, 5-player is pretty common and you shouldn't have a hard time finding good titles across different difficulty categories.

It's harder for 6P, but there are many geeklists that tackle the subject: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist_controller.php?action=...
 
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Jeff Miller
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Rakeman wrote:
Often it is said that instead of playing settlers, you should play games "better suited for 5-6 players. So what are these games?


All these games are either at their best or very good with either 5 or 6 players:

Power Grid
Railways of the World
Citadels
Shadows Over Camelot
Bohnanza

...to name a few
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Shawn
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Thanks for the replies folks. James it appears my scenario co-incides with yours the closest. Our group has 4 hardcore gamers almost all the time and 2-3 more non gamers when we bring our kids along. The kids (even though they are 17-19 years old) play the early and late games then usually play xbox 360 while we get into the meaty games. Only once in a while do they join the gamers since we are pretty rowdy and cutthroat to each other.

I will probably pick up Cities and Knights from your comments but will definately look over the games recommended for 6+ players. I already have citatdels but the kids take a shine to settlers. Any other mid level games for 6+ players? Would Power Grid fall in that range you think?
 
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Jeff Miller
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skipster13 wrote:
Any other mid level games for 6+ players? Would Power Grid fall in that range you think?


I think Power Grid would be too heavy to be considered 'mid level.' Shadows Over Camelot would still be great though.

Doing a little more homework here, some other middle-weight 5-6 players are:

Medici
Formula Dé (or the new update: Formula D)
Winner's Circle
RoboRally

 
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Dennis Sison
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Well, since we're just throwing in suggestions now, how 'bout Citadels it's one of my faves and plays well with varied #s of players. The two player variant is excellent IMO.

D.
 
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