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Subject: Carcassonne and Settlers rss

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Dave Koert
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Great forum and site, been lurking for a bit and decided to get some feedback.

Bit of history...I have loved playing games all my life, but never really had much exposure to the kinds of games you guys here play. We played a lot of card games and the usual Ameritrash(I'm a geek now too?) games. I play all forms of poker as well.

Games I have: Carcassonne the Discovery, Backgammon, Chess, Stratego, Risk, Yahtzee and a bunch of other common games.

So I'm going to grab some new games that I will be playing with other people who haven't played Carcassonne and Settlers much, if at all, but are up for it and fairly good at games I play with them.

I was thinking of grabbing Inns & Catherdrals and Traders & Builders for Carcassonne, and Seafarer + Cities & Knights for Settlers. Are those typically the best expansions to get?

Couple questions on those...Should I start playing only the original versions and add on the other expansions after some play, or should I just start using all the expansions available?

Also, are the 5-6 player versions added on to the add ons, or should I go ahead and grab those versions just in case I need it for family game days.

 
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The 5-6 player expansions for settlers are just extra player pieces and a few extra tiles. Personally I'd skip seafarers and just get cities and knights. I don't think seafarers adds much for the price you pay, it could have easily been part of the base set.

As for Carcassonne I think inns and cathedrals is best but don't get too involved with the expansions. They really don't add much for their value either. I'd suggest trying a new game instead. Ticket to ride would be an easy jump from the other 2. Stone age is a bit simple for my tastes but would be a reasonable progression for your group as well.
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Brad N
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Hi Dave. Thanks for posting your thoughts and questions.

I ended up getting Inns & Cathedrals for Carc and Seafarers for Catan. However, if people are up for learning new games then I would recommend trying out some new games altogether. For the most part, these expansions don't really change the games too much... they just add a bit to what is already there. To me, it's fun to play new stuff with new ideas. Of course, if you're worried about their willingness to accept new games then maybe the expansions are a safer route.

If you go the expansion route, I would play the base games first a few times before adding the expansions. There is usually enough going on with the games for new players to start with before the expansions are added.

If you want to explore some new games, here are a few that I would consider because they are fun to play and relatively easy to learn:

- Stone Age
- Pandemic
- Ra
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Klaus Brune
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bnordeng wrote:
However, if people are up for learning new games then I would recommend trying out some new games altogether. For the most part, these expansions don't really change the games too much... they just add a bit to what is already there. To me, it's fun to play new stuff with new ideas.


Couldn't agree more. A larger variety of games is better than a narrow selection with expansions that usually make the game too long. For example, Catan: Cities & Knights changes Settlers into something different, too complex for beginners, and too long for what it is. If you're after a civilization-building sort of game with more depth and a longer game length, then for just a bit more than the price of C&K you may as well get Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization instead. Don't take my word for it... just look at the difference in the ratings (though of course ratings should always be taken with a boulder of salt).
 
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KoertOrganics wrote:
...
Games I have: Carcassonne the Discovery, Backgammon, Chess, Stratego, Risk, Yahtzee and a bunch of other common games.

...

I was thinking of grabbing Inns & Catherdrals and Traders & Builders for Carcassonne, and Seafarer + Cities & Knights for Settlers. Are those typically the best expansions to get?
...



Sorry - maybe I'm confused here. The Carcassonne expansions you mentioned only work with the base game, not with The Discovery (which you apparently own). You probably know that already, but it's worth mentioning just in case.

More to the point, I would start out with the base games and not buy any expansions until after you have already played a few times. Expansions are best when you already know that you like the basic game, and want some extra variety.

That said, I do particularly like both Carcassonne expansions you mentioned and the Cities & Knights Catan expansion. The 5-6 player expansions for Catan are probably not worth the asking price... but of course that depends on how many people you know who really want to play.
 
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Matt Mehlhoff
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I would agree that your initial expansions are good choices. For settlers I'd take it one expansion at a time though, especially for non gamers. I would stay away from 5-6plr settlers.
 
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Duane Bruun
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Carcassonne base game with I&C is a great game. You can play the base game first and then add the expansion or just add it in from the start. It does not add anything too complex that would over-complicate the game for new learners... though I might suggest keeping the mega-meeple out at the start and possibly add in after a few plays. T&B adds a few more rules so I'd not add it in right away. You can do without it though until you are sure it's a game your group will like.

I'd also suggest getting one of the river expansions (if it is not included in the base game you purchase - depends on timing as RGG is now NOT including it with the base game). It's cheap enough for the amount of impact it has, IMHO.

Settlers is a different beast. Do not add in an expansion until you have played the base game a few times. Many people also caution on the 5/6 player extensions as it really draws out the game past it's prime time length but I cannot speak to that specifically as I've never played with more than 4.

I've found that Cities & Knights adds more depth/complexity to the game than Seafarers, so I'd likely start with Seafarers before I tried C&K if you are really looking to add to SoC. But still play the base game first to make sure the expansions are something you really want. No use buying the expansions if it's not a game you'll play enough.
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Sicaria Occaeco
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Get new games. Ignore the expansions for now if not forever. Carcassonne and Settlers has too many expansions and most if not all of them aren't worth it.


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JoLene Ramm
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My husband and I are in a similar situation where we had played a lot of traditional games (cards, board games available at Target), but just discovered Carcassonne in March. Since then, we've gone a bit crazy in terms of purchasing about 17 games and a some expansions since then.

As other posters mentioned, I would probably start with the base games of both and maybe a few other games before investing in the expansions.
This way you get exposed to several different types of games with unique mechanism and also discover some things that you might not like. You can also find out what the folks that you are playing with like/dislike --- since if you own a game, but no one will play it with you, then it's just taking up valuable game storage space

Beyond Carcassonne, the new games that we are enjoying the most are:
Dominion
Race for the Galaxy
10 Days in Europe
Catan Card Game -- we don't have settlers because it's mostly just two of us, so this is a great substitute (and we did end up buying the expansions since we play this at least once a week)
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Rusty Patterson
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I have recently just gotten in along a similar path as you Dave, so I know what you are going through. I bought a copy of Settlers from Amazon and am lucky enough to have 2 kids that are just old enough (8 & 11) who love gaming and a very competitive wife. We were all hooked but like you I was wondering where to go from there to feed my new addiction. Fortunately I found the BGG crackhouse and now I have all these friends who are willing to allow me into their group therapy sessions.

I will go along with the other suggestions here to avoid the expansions until you know what you do or do not like. Better to spend that money on a different game. Personally I picked up the Seafarers expansion (against my will, but the wife insisted it be a part of the next order.) Then I went with Ticket to Ride and Stone Age. I chose those games based upon what I learned on this site. Both have served their purpose of keeping the experience varied while maintaining the pleasure and involvement of the whole family. The thing is, different family members have different favorites and now I have more information to go on when making my next purchase.

My suggestion is to buy as many different games as possible and do your research here to decide which are best for you.
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Max Maloney
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I don't like the expansions for Settlers of Catan (well, I don't love Settlers in the first place). I think it's best as-is. If you want more variety, add a new game to your collection instead of expanding this one.
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Dave Koert
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Thanks all! Good suggestions. So, I think I will get Settlers by itself for now, and Carcassonne + Cities and Knights, since it's not too expensive.

I was thinking of getting a Ticket to Ride, but I'm really torn on which one to get. Its sounds to me like the Europe one is a bit better, but the North American one with the 1910 pack is good too. The Nordic one is the best if you can find it?

Here are some other games I was considering getting...
TTR*
Samurai*
Small World
Go
Memoir 44
Power Grid
Dominion
Race For the Galaxy
Tikal
Puerto Rico
Oltre Mare
El Grande

* = 95% sure I want to purchse

and of the ones ppl have suggested...

Stone age
Ra
Through the Ages CIV

I think all 3 of these I would consider purchasing.

Mainly looking for games that are higher on strategy and lower on luck, and a plus is good playability for 2 players, as well as more players.



 
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Dave Koert
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Sooo, I got Carcassonne + I&C, TTR usa w 1910, Race for the Galaxy, and Stone Age. Should be good for now. Still want to get Through the ages, Tikal and Samurai. Thanks for all your guys's help.
 
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