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Subject: Complete Scenario Guide rss

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Kelvin Chung
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I'm currently in the process of compiling a "complete scenario guide" - listing virtually every official scenario that I can find (including 3e and 4e setups of Seafarers over the years, Das Buch scenarios, Catan-News scenarios, T&B combinations, etc.) with a rule summary and setup. So far, it's going to easily break 200 pages, but I'm not sure if I have the complete list of "official sources". It would be helpful if I can get help compiling these sources.

So far I have everything from Seafarers 3e and 4e (except the 2008 revisions of the German game - which have different maps and rules), T&B, combinations on the catan.com site (including T&B XXL), Das Buch (which should cover Atlantis), and Catan-News. (I think the Historical Scenarios and the map expansions are too big to include, so I'm purposely excluding them - at least until later). Any official sources I missed?
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Mark Jackson
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Kevlin - there's some older "official" scenarios that were just published to the Web. Poke me (geekmail) and I'll check to see what I have on my old website.
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Mark Jackson
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BTW, thanks for doing this. When you're finished, I'd love to post information about it on my blog. (I miss playing Settlers... my game has kind of burned out on it.)
 
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Robert Sweeney
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Me too! Especially if its too big to be placed here. My gang still plays this about once or twice a month and we would LOVE a all inclusive package!
 
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Troy Davis
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Kelvin, it sounds like this'll be a fantastic piece of work. I look forward to seeing it. I'm hoping you can look past the fact that I'm an Edmontonian since I'm willing to look past the fact that you're a Flames and Stampeder fan.

Bet you've never heard this one:

Q. Why do all the trees in Edmonton lean toward Calgary?
A. Because Calgary sucks!

Cheers
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Kelvin Chung
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OK. After a few issues, I have a preliminary version online. It's (predictably enough) too big for BGG (at 203 pages and 15MB - the Word doc I compiled it with is about twice that size), so I've posted it elsewhere.

As stated in the document, a few scenarios are still missing (still looking into summarizing the rules for those), and I've also contemplated adding official variants as well (so far, it's scenarios only). If there is anything that I can do to improve the guide, either email me at the address indicated in the document, or simply GeekMail me.

The document is at http://homepage.mac.com/kelvSYC/catan-scenario-0.5.pdf. I hope to get some constructive feedback.
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Nicolás Mutis Mesa
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Hm, I'm getting a 404 when trying to download the file.
 
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Kelvin Chung
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It's working fine for me...
 
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Rob Newman
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Excellent work. Thanks for sharing this.

There are a couple of 7-8 player scenarios printed in either the 1st or 2nd edition English rule book. Not sure if you wanted to add them or not. Another BGG'er recently sent me a pdf of the rules. If you need, I can send it on to you. Just let me know.

Rob
 
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Robert Sweeney
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WOW! What an effort! Am reviewing now but my preliminary reaction is WOW! Thumbs Up! Geek Gold! May both flow like Manna to you!
 
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I'm surprised the file is so large, given that the images are so low-res and are generally solid fills instead of patterns. Did you try adjusting the image compression settings in the PDF generator?

Alternatively, you could split it into volumes...

Great work!

edit: In fact, I just opened the file it to a PDF file again with distiller adjusting some of the compression settings and the resulting file was only 5 megs. There is no visual difference.
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Nicolás Mutis Mesa
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kelvSYC wrote:
It's working fine for me...

Yeah, it's working now; thanks!
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Kelvin Chung
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I haven't considered image compression - at least not for 0.5. Maybe for the 1.0...

I'm working on 0.6 right now, which adds at least The Marine Researchers (Catan-News 2/2001), Regatta (Catan-News 2/1998), a version of the Desert Riders with no jungle or volcano (Catan-News 2/1997). Those, the winner of the Mayfair contest, the C&K-PC exclusive scenarios, and the 1e/2e 8-player variant are the major omissions right now. Anything I could have missed?
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Mark Jackson
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kelvSYC wrote:
Anything I could have missed?


http://web.archive.org/web/20010412175758/http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Metro/5303/catanvaria.html#section1

That's the URL for one part of my old (sadly defunct) Catan site... it's a list of "official" variants. (You'll need to copy the whole string... it's from the internet archive.)
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Kelvin Chung
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0.6 is finished, and has the Historicals (including Uprising), the missing Catan-News scenarios (all but two are now included - I'm checking on one, while the other one is in T&B and is more a variant than a scenario...)

http://homepage.mac.com/kelvsyc/catan-scenario-0.6.pdf

For 0.7 I'm at a crossroads (though not all official stuff from catan.com is still included - I'm still working on a few that are left - not to mention that I still have to source Winds of Change, the Mayfair contest winner). I'm going to straw poll the users of the scenario guide for this one: since there are still a lot of variants out there, I'd probably compile a "Complete Variant Guide" in much the same vein as the scenario guide (this would probably be a separate document so as to not balloon the 225-page guide any more). The question is, what do you think separates a scenario from a variant?

T&B does have both scenarios and variants, though it can be argued that Fishermen and Caravans (and to a lesser extent, Rivers) blur that line (say, compared to BA/T&B, which are clearly scenarios, and FR/Cf2/HM, which are clearly variants). Das Buch (and Atlantis) also have both scenarios and variants, though again the position is a bit mixed (Dragonslayers is arguably more of a scenario even though it's in the variants section, Magic 7 is as much scenario as Caravans even though it's in the variants section, etc.)

(BTW, what's with the 4e 5-6P frame? The 3e 5-6P frame is balanced for Fishermen, but the 4e frame throws it all off...)

I'll probably need some help in trying to tell the two apart, so that they can go in the proper guide. Any input to that?
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Jeffrey L
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I agree that it is hard to tell the difference. Even in the introduction to the Traders and Barbarians it describes the game as "Variants of the Basic Game" even though it is really talking about the scenarios.

My first opinion is the complexity level -- Variants have small rule changes like maybe something new to build, some other way to get points, or some protection from the robber, etc. One could argue that Fisherman is more complex than Dragonslayers since you produce tokens and you can perform more actions with them than you can in Dragonslayers. Through the Desert Scenario may take more imagination....

Second opinion is connectivity-- Harbormaster can be tossed into any game, whereas The Pirate Islands requires its own setup. The problem is that the Traders and Barbarians Scenarios are really good at joining with other scenarios, but I suppose one could point out that you can't really combine The Rivers with The Four Islands.

Third opinion is the scenario map. Even simple scenarios like Through the Desert have a scenario map, which are not needed with variants like the Harbormaster. I do not know if this is the case with Das Buch.

... Then of course you can just throw your hands in the air and just say that if the source calls it a variant, then its a variant.

... Also, I see what you mean about the fisherman 5-6 player board. I would guess that they probably want you to arrange the frame pieces like the other Traders and Barbarians 5-6 player scenarios instead of the original 5-6 player board, since none of those other ones wind up with more than one fishing ground tile touching the same intersection.
 
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This really is an awesome collection you have put together. Really clear and concise, with one exception: I'm really having a hard time telling gold from wheat from desert.

Perhaps adding a pattern to gold & desert would clear it up.

Thanks for your work!
 
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Kelvin Chung
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I'll have to look into that. I've been trying to use (of all things) web-safe colors so that they should look identical on all monitors, but I haven't actually tried to print a page out. The color for grain is #FFCC00, the color for desert is #FFFF99, and the color for gold fields is #CCCC66 (all of which should have been the closest web-safe color to the color scheme found on a 4e set). So deserts should be the lightest of the three, and gold fields the darkest and most muted of the three (and farmlands the brightest of the three).

If anything, I would have thought that there would be some confusion over mountains and jungles (both are shades of gray even though an actual jungle tile is more of a really dark green), or forests and pastures (different shades of green).

And yes, I'm working on 0.7. I have at least two new scenarios (Unexplored Land and No Ore), and a version of Greater Catan that doesn't require Seafarers (from Catan-News). Still stuck on how to include variants (also a few T&B combination outliers I missed) in an elegant manner.

A side project is to ensure that as many scenarios are playable using solely English 4e (or 3e with T&B, which is what I have) components, and perhaps some editor's notes and such, but that's on the back burner for now.
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Rob Newman
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www.catan.de has many of the Das Buch scenarios redesigned for the 4e frame. Check it out here:
http://www.catan.de/literatur/buch-zum-spielen.html

It would be nice if these were in your book also.

Rob
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Kelvin Chung
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All of them are in the guide as of v.0.6.
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Andrew Wye
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I noticed that on page 135 of 0.6 ('the explorers' 4th edition 3-4 player map) The sea hex beneath the desert on the right should in fact be a hex with a question mark (this fits in with the number of sea and undiscovered hexes mentioned, and also the german files show that it should be an undiscovered hex).

I look forward to 0.7!
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Kelvin Chung
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Thanks. That will be in for 0.7.
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Kelvin Chung
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Sorry I haven't checked in for about a month with new updates, but the sheer size of the thing is starting to take its toll - my word processor is crashing just enough to drive me nuts, and the raw file I have weighs in at just over 40 megs. I'm starting to think that I should use a better knowledge management system to keep track...

Anyways, for 0.7 I've made one major change (besides including variants): I've split up the guide into several volumes. The first is an introductory volume, while the next four are scenarios. The last two are variants. Because of this massive refactor, it's still a bit rough on the edges. It will be out probably later this week - I'm still working on the last volume.

It still leaves out a few things (I'm debating whether to add a third variants volume for variants unassociated with T&B and Das Buch, but what's on the Catan site is, for lack of a better term, ridiculous - raising the land limit to 10 in a 5-6 player game is a variant with a name attributable to a person?!), which hopefully by 0.8 I will include. Unfortunately, Winds of Change (the Mayfair contest winner) is still a ways off, as I can't find the rules for it anywhere...
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Kelvin Chung
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Whoo. The 9 (originally 8) volumes is finally done. Exporting volume 2 (the largest volume at 8MB) of the guide to PDF still crashes Word on my main computer. You can find links to all nine volumes at http://homepage.mac.com/kelvSYC/catan-guide.xhtml

Overview of the nine volumes: volume 1 is an intro. Volume 2 is Seafarers scenarios, volume 3 is T&B scenarios, volume 4 is Historicals, volume 5 is Das Buch, and volume 6 is all other scenarios. Volume 7 is T&B variants, volume 8 is Das Buch, and volume 9 is all other variants.

Hopefully I can get the volumes down to a small enough size to actually post all nine volumes on BGG...
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Robert Sweeney
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Cannot wait to wade through the material!!! It looks great so far!
 
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