I just received the 5-6 player expansions, thus completing my Catan-collection. With 5 players on a Tuesday night, this was the moment to give this monster Catan a try. We played on the large island with 2 6-tile islands next to it and the Knights and Cities expansion. To juice it up a bit more, we also played with a 12-sided die (1 D12) instead of 2 six-sided dices (2 D6).
This made things weird at the start. No longer were there a few perfect starting spots on the map. Since every number has the same chance of being thrown, almost every intersection became interesting. So strategic placing of the first settlements was really important.
The game had a good start and no cities were lost after the first raid. Due to the better placement of cities, commodities were ‘harvested’ at a high rate which put the extra cards into play very quick. Card exchange however was slow throughout the game since it was unclear what the next throw would give. In a normal 2 D6 game, there is no problem exchanging sheep if you are next to a sheep-tile with an ‘8’. In a 1 D12 game however, it was harder to predict which number would be thrown and this made dealing far more difficult.
Since this was a try-out and it was Tuesday, we decided to play up to 11 points. Bregt managed to get there first but if we played for another round, I guess at least two other players would have got 11 points as well. But since Bregt forgot to use his aquaduct several times, his victory was surely well earned.
It took us about three hours to set up and play the game although it surely didn’t feel that long. It would have taken longer if we would have played with 2 D6 but I have the feeling that it would have been more strategic as well. The game started of fast and fair since everybody had a good starting point but in the second half of the game, the luck of the dice throw became a bit too important.
With a 1 you had to move the robber since the 7 is not thrown as much. With 3D4 you will throw an even steeper distribution (more 7's and less 2's). I don't think that will be as much fun but let me know how it turns out.