On one sunny day in down town The Village there was Lief, talking to Steve and Bill about his plans to become one of the great Settlers of Catan.
"I’m going to do it." Said Lief, "I’m going to become one of the great settlers of Catan. If I manufacture chests and window covers and swords, the great men of The Village will give me seeds, and lambs, and Candamir said he’ll probably help me build a place of my own!"
Steve shook his head incredulously and Bill made that whistling noise he always made when he had heard something he knew he couldn’t un-hear.
"You silly pill," said Steve, "You can’t possibly succeed, you barely have the intelligence to chew before you swallow."
"I will," replied Lief, in a fierce whisper, "I have heard that there is lumber in the forest, far to the East."
"Lumber in the forest eh, you great vegetable, you don’t need to trek far to the East to find the bloody stuff, the forest starts just out of town." Steve shook his head and spat. Folding his arms he gave Lief a hard look.
"I heard tell, in the tavern, that there is Ore in the mountains to the West" Lief went on heedless of his friends scorn.
"Ore in the mountains," breathed Bill with a smile, "I’ll be."
"Yes," Lief cried, "I have it on good authority, and I plan to find it." He spun quickly around, he decided that his first goal was get some lumber from the spot where he had heard there was lumber to be had - a good two-day walk into the forest. Packing the few possessions of value that he knew he would need on his trip (a large urn of potion that had magic properties, a pile of lumber he already had, some animal pelts he had found out in the plains and a jar of honey) he set off immediately.
A day passed with Lief venturing ever deeper into the forest in search of the place where he heard he could get lumber. He passed tree upon tree, climbed over dead branches and through thickets. He looked ahead, a bear! To the left there was a snake and to the right was Candamir, a famous settler, who wanted to challenge Lief in a trial of strength, because he was mainly bored. Behind him, the way he had come, Lief sensed there were some hidden herbs, if only he had studied Herbology in settler school.
Lief was beset on all sides, he wanted to head East, toward the place in the forest he could get some wood, but that way was blocked by a bear! To either side there were troubles too - a snake, and of course his old foe Candamir, who happened to be out looking for people to wrestle rather than do any actual work.
"Grr" growled the bear, and Lief nearly dropped his urn of potion.
"sss" hissed the snake, and Lief’s teeth chattered in fright at the terrible leglessness of it.
"Come over here and let’s have a wrestle" jeered Candamir, "in a completely manly and platonic way of course." Candamir added hurriedly. "I’ll give you some wood for a wrestle Lief." He taunted again, and then was silent, confused by his own allusions and secretly concerned he was falling for the manly Lief. Lief felt a little nervous.
It was an impossible choice, snake, bear, Candamir or go back the way he had come. Lief licked his lips, "I don’t want you to get angry Candamir, but I’m going to tackle the snake."
Candamir looked more confused, "do you... I mean..." but before the rugged settler could finish Lief bounded across toward the legless reptile, quaffing great mouthfuls of the magic potion as he did.
"I can out-agility you." Lief cried. "It’s a dance off!" The snake hissed, writhed on the ground a bit and then cocked an eye at Lief to see his response.
"That’s no worm!" Lief yelled, his voice shrill in his ears. He felt the potion take him and the swirl of the dance consume his legs. Lief did the worm - his body leaping and rolling and writhing. He did the Robot, even though robots weren’t invented (this temporal impossibility confused the snake completely). Lief reversed a cart and then even did the U-Turn: the snake was baffled. To finish the snake off Lief moon-walked across the forest floor. The snake, being a legless creature, had enough trouble with normal walking, but seeing a man walk forwards yet move backwards blew its little mind. There was no doubt that Lief was the victor...
And so began the saga of Lief the Nearly Settled of Catan.
Candamir is an adventure game, a part of the Catan Adventures series, and designed by Klaus Teuber. Players control characters, who travel the mapboard collecting resources, items, experience and having adventures. The resources can be used to create things for the other villagers, and thus earn points, experience will make you better at your skills, as will items, and adventures will usually provide you with items, experience or resources.
Candamir is a light game, that is quite fun to play. There is no grand strategy to make here, though tactical choices will help. There is luck, in the movement cards you draw (which will tell you what you encounter and sometimes influence the direction you travel in), and also in the dice you will roll when facing challenges. Luck also exists in the encounter tokens scattered over the board, although generally you will know what you are heading for.
The one draw back I feel for this game is that it is a little long, something typical for games in this genre. Candamir is easily modified though, by choosing to play to fewer points (say 8).
This is a solid and enjoyable game, it lacks the epic theme that many adventure games contain, and yet is accessible to gamers who prefer more designer style games. It straddles a very curious border.
My opinion is that, in the end, when played in the right spirit - one of light-hearted fun - played quickly, or with a modification to the points needed to win, Candamir is a fun and amusing game. It is not as great as some other games from the Catan stable, like Elasund or Starfarers, but it is an enjoyable adventure I can see my wife and I playing and enjoying on occasion for a while to come.
I own this game and enjoy it myself. It is not amazing but it is enjoyable from time to time. Your review was really entertaining to read. Its written like an inside joke for those who have played the game. Great review more entertaining than a lot of reviews I have read.
That was hysterical.
I've become greatly interested in this game recently, my group loves Catan games and this seems to add a little bit of an Adventure/RPG spin on the theme.