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Subject: Kolonists Variant?? rss

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Ben Stanley
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Background: there was a game on the iPhone similar to Settlers of Catan called Kolonists. I downloaded the lite (free, limited version), and decided to buy it, but it seems like it was removed from the Apple store today. Maybe it is some intellectual property dispute with the rights holder of Settlers of Catan. I won't opine on the merits of an allegation that Kolonists infringes on those rights, but I will say the resources in the game are equivalent, but the resource gathering mechanic was totally different, and I believe it may actually be dramatically superior!

In Kolonists, settlements and cities provide workers that are placed on nearby hexes and thus resources are not predicated on dice rolls. It's no longer a game of hopefully normalized distribution luck, but rather pure strategy (other than starting player and draws of development card equivalents).

Has anyone played out this variant and have any thoughts on it? Is a worker placement instead of dice roll system used in any official Catan game? Where did the idea come from? It seems so much better potentially.

Unfortunately, with the full game just removed from the iPhone App store, it's hard for me to really test it out (the lite version ends at 6 Victory Points, so it's difficult to really see what's possible in the system).

At any rate, I want to learn everything I can about this variant.
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Trent Hamm
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See this text? It's a gratuitous waste of GeekGold.
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The game itself isn't important. Spending time intellectually jousting with likeminded folks is the real reason to game.
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A true Settlers of Catan port is about to appear on the iPhone. Just wait a week or two.
 
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David Moffett
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Seems interesting and, like you said, removes a bit of the significant luck aspect of Settlers (though nobody can ever say the luckiest person always wins). Why not try it out yourself? Grab some meeples from other games and use them instead of the dice for resources. What about the robber though? Would you still roll just to see if the robber moves? And what of Cities and Knights? That would cause all sorts of problems with that expansion.
 
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Ben Stanley
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trenttsd wrote:
A true Settlers of Catan port is about to appear on the iPhone. Just wait a week or two.

I've seen that, but I'm not sure I'm really interested in a "true Settlers port." I have Settlers, have it on my xbox 360, and have it on my PC, but I think this Kolonists game is actually a better true gamer's game. It probably isn't as good of a gateway game, but it has the potential to be the superior game overall, and it is the one I want on my iPhone, not another copy of Catan.

ReinhartTR wrote:
Seems interesting and, like you said, removes a bit of the significant luck aspect of Settlers (though nobody can ever say the luckiest person always wins).

It is extremely interesting, and while Settlers certainly isn't all about the luck (you can usually count on something of a normalized distribution of dice rolls), with the inherent possibility of the dice not going your way and no one trading with the leader, or beginners making poor trades or unbalanced trades with their friends, or what not, Settlers isn't a really deep strategic game most of the time, either. It's an ideal gateway game, but not the perfect gamer's game. Kolonists may be, though!


ReinhartTR wrote:
Why not try it out yourself? Grab some meeples from other games and use them instead of the dice for resources.

That's a great suggestion, though it would take a lot longer and a few other players who are as curious about the variant as I am. It would be nice to play it out with AI on the iPhone and get a feel for it really quickly. I was hoping someone might know where the variant came from originally and have enough experience with it to just tell me its strengths and weaknesses.

ReinhartTR wrote:
What about the robber though? Would you still roll just to see if the robber moves? And what of Cities and Knights? That would cause all sorts of problems with that expansion.

The Barbarian (the entire game has a Roman theme), who is a robber equivalent, only moves when someone plays a soldier card, and that is also the only time anyone who has been hoarding cards (more than 7) has to discard half. It seems to work just fine. Settlements get 1 worker, and Villas (cities) get 2 workers, which you can assign each round to the hexes next to the structure. If someone else has a worker in one of the hexes you want to use, you can forgo any resource collection for the round in order to "bribe" that worker off of the hex so that you can occupy it. And finally, there is no trading with other players, just the bank (through a standard 4:1 ratio or with ports around the island to improve the ratio). So there is less interaction between players, more "take that" ways to interfere with each others' plans, and more strategy overall.

I think it may be a perfect version of the original game, but you are right that it does not work with any of the standard Catan expansions like Cities and Knights. I don't care, though, I want Kolonists and I want to know where the idea came from!
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Lee Smith
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I was lucky enough to get a copy before the game was pulled. There is a credits section, but it is the same as the lite version. It says it was designed by some guys, but I don't know if it refers to the iPhone app or the mechanics.
On the copyright part, I am pretty sure mechanics are not copyrightable just because of reasons like this: someone can come up with a better idea. As much as I love and respect the original game, I guess this time Catan is taking advantage of their fortune to bully someone smaller out of the market. Why not let us decide which app to buy?
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Jason Schwartz
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Since this is the only place where I have seen Kolonists being discussed, would the guys from Kayxo A/S write in to explain whats going on? Their website isn't very helpful: http://www.getifun.com/kolonists/index01.html
 
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Kory Bockman
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I also bought Kolonists before it was pulled from the App Store. I now also own Settlers of Catan. I find myself playing Kolonists MUCH more frequently than SoC. In fact, I can't go to the "career" screen which shows your win-loss record because it always crashes the game! I've played this game a LOT.

One of the bad things about Kolonists is that if the AI players get a lot of resources, they can spend a long time "thinking" and you just have to wait -- sometimes several minutes. Of course, there are so many damn buttons to press in SoC, it takes several minutes for EVERY turn. I hope they streamline things.

If Kolonists comes back, buy it immediately.
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Warren Sistrom
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I downloaded the lite version but had not been playing it until recently. Now I am very disappointed the full game is no longer available. While it is very similar to Settlers, it is not Settlers and I would love to explore it in full.
One can only presume they have been bullied by someone associated with Catan, not sure if at the source or the electronic publishers, to pull their product. While I understand why the sellers of Catan games would not want to see this for sale, I don't understand what legal right they could possibly have to stop it. Game mechanics are not covered by copyright, that would require a patent which to my knowledge Catan does not have.
 
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Shane Loader
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I would really like to know what the rule changes are in Kolonists.
If anyone could list them that would be much appreciated.
 
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Warren Sistrom
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I think most of the variants are described in the posts above, but to bring them all together. Everything in the game is renamed to Roman theme, but I will use the Settlers term even when referring to Kolonists here so it is understandable to those who only know settlers

Setup is identical to regular except no numbers are placed on the board.

Whenever a player places a settlement they get a worker piece, or if they upgrade to a city they get a second worker for that piece. This worker can be placed on any empty hex adjacent to the settlement or city. If there are no empty hexes not to the relevant settlement they cannot place that worker.

At the start of your turn before you can choose to forgo receiving any resources to bribe one opponents work off the hex they are on. Usually you would do this so you can move one of your resources onto the hex.

Instead of rolling the dice you instead automatically receive a resource corresponding to every hex you have a worker on.

You can buy all the same things as original settlers, but are limited to only 3 or 4 cities available (depending on number of players?)

You need to discard half your resources if you have more than seven and someone plays a knight card. Note: knights (legionaries) are the only way to move the robber (barbarian) as there are no dice.

Longest road and largest army are worth two points each.

There is not trading between players, only with the bank (natives)

At the end of your turn you can rearrange your workers however you want as long as only one worker per hex and they are all next to their settlement or city.
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Steven
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waza wrote:
I think most of the variants are described in the posts above, but to bring them all together. Everything in the game is renamed to Roman theme, but I will use the Settlers term even when referring to Kolonists here so it is understandable to those who only know settlers

Setup is identical to regular except no numbers are placed on the board.

Whenever a player places a settlement they get a worker piece, or if they upgrade to a city they get a second worker for that piece. This worker can be placed on any empty hex adjacent to the settlement or city. If there are no empty hexes not to the relevant settlement they cannot place that worker.

At the start of your turn before you can choose to forgo receiving any resources to bribe one opponents work off the hex they are on. Usually you would do this so you can move one of your resources onto the hex.

Instead of rolling the dice you instead automatically receive a resource corresponding to every hex you have a worker on.

You can buy all the same things as original settlers, but are limited to only 3 or 4 cities available (depending on number of players?)

You need to discard half your resources if you have more than seven and someone plays a knight card. Note: knights (legionaries) are the only way to move the robber (barbarian) as there are no dice.

Longest road and largest army are worth two points each.

There is not trading between players, only with the bank (natives)

At the end of your turn you can rearrange your workers however you want as long as only one worker per hex and they are all next to their settlement or city.

You should put this in a separate post (or the file section) to make it easier to find. This sounds very interesting.
 
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Shane Loader
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waza wrote:
Whenever a player places a settlement they get a worker piece, or if they upgrade to a city they get a second worker for that piece. This worker can be placed on any empty hex adjacent to the settlement or city. If there are no empty hexes not to the relevant settlement they cannot place that worker.


I always thought settlers & Keythedral were bery similar. This is just taking the keythedral method of gathering resources & applying it to settlere.
INTERESTING. The difference is Keythedral requires the workers to be removed & replaced every round.
I will have to try it.
 
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Erdrick Hornswaggle
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So, you bought the full version? not the Lite version?

Would you be willing to email me the game file from your iTunes Mobile Apps folder? =) Pretty Please?

It may or may not allow it to sync with my iPhone, but I'd at least like to try it. I never got the opportunity to pay for and download the full version, just the Lite. Before I ever even knew it was in the AppStore, they had already pulled it out!

I emailed Catan too. They replied and said blah, blah, blah, protecting our intellectual property rights.... I naturally told them that Kolonists was a way better and more fun game to play than the screwed up version they created of Catan, their very own board game.

Let me know, and I'll send you my email address, k?

thanks!
 
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Erdrick Hornswaggle
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So, you bought the full version? not the Lite version?

Would you be willing to email me the game file from your iTunes Mobile Apps folder? =) Pretty Please?

It may or may not allow it to sync with my iPhone, but I'd at least like to try it. I never got the opportunity to pay for and download the full version, just the Lite. Before I ever even knew it was in the AppStore, they had already pulled it out!

I emailed Catan too. They replied and said blah, blah, blah, protecting our intellectual property rights.... I naturally told them that Kolonists was a way better and more fun game to play than the screwed up version they created of Catan, their very own board game.

Let me know, and I'll send you my email address, k?

thanks!
 
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Kory Bockman
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I realize this is an old thread, but it was a fun game so I'm still interested in playing it. Unfortunately, it hasn't been able to launch on iOS for many versions now.

If anyone else is interested in this game being revived, I found the original creators of the game (well, the programmers): http://agileroute.com/index.html.

I hit the "Contact Us" link. The page was made in 2010, though, so who knows if the company is still active.
 
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Andrew
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Anyone have clarification on this piece of the variant:
Quote:

At the start of your turn before you can choose to forgo receiving any resources to bribe one opponents work off the hex they are on. Usually you would do this so you can move one of your resources onto the hex.


I take it the workers stay on each hex round to round, and bribing only lets you remove one worker, but still place all your workers? You just won't receive any materials that turn?

I could also see an interesting variant where the number of workers allowed on a hex would be only as many pips as are on the number token. This makes lower numbers much more valuable spaces and higher numbers high-volume commodity spaces.
 
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