Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
14 Posts

Catan» Forums » Variants

Subject: Settlers of Middle-Earth rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Ming Aldrich-Gan
United States
Connecticut
flag msg tools
mb
Hi, this is my first post on BGG, though I've been lurking around these forums for months. Inspired by UanarchyK's Christmas-themed custom Catan design, I was thinking of designing a Middle-Earth-themed set (in fact, I'm surprised this hasn't been done already... or has it?).

Each player (and thus color) would represent either a race (Elves, Men, Dwarves, Hobbits, Orcs, ...) or a region of Middle-Earth (Rivendell, Lothlorien, Gondor, Rohan, Isengard, Mordor) though the latter probably makes less sense since each player's initial settlements won't necessarily be near each other.

Each player's pieces would be different; the roads would probably be the standard Mayfair roads, but the settlements and cities could be square or disc pieces with printed images pasted onto them, e.g. Osgiliath, Minas Tirith, etc.

The hex tiles and resource cards would also have Middle-Earth-themed art, though I don't think the types of tiles and resources need to be altered significantly; perhaps the mountain tiles could depict the caves of Moria and instead of ore we'd have mithril, but then again I don't think mithril was a particularly widespread resource in Middle-Earth. Perhaps mithril could replace gold in Seafarers?

For the robber, I was thinking of either Gollum or Smaug the dragon. A miniature would be awesome if I could acquire one of the right size (and for fairly cheap); otherwise, a disc with an image pasted onto it will have to do. For the Seafarers pirate ship, probably the Corsairs of Umbar. I would love to have a Middle-Earth-themed Cities and Knights game but I fear that creating all those elements may be more effort than it's worth...

As for the artwork, it would be awesome to go with paintings of Alan Lee and John Howe, but it would probably be easier to use screenshots from the films.

Anyhow, these are just my initial thoughts... please chime in with your own!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Regards,
United States
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Well hey, I wanted to respond because I also had a similar idea inspired by the various variants, as well as the game Smallworld. I wanted to make a Discworld-themed Settlers variant, which is essentially taken from the same fantasy archetypes that Tolkien pioneered.

The difference is that instead of trying to make a custom set for it, I was thinking of making custom rules that would actually change how the game works. Naturally, it would be intensely cool to have both, but also much more work.

Since you are thinking of making a custom set and I am thinking of making a variant, though, we could work together. And by that I mean, you work on your pieces and I take note of what you have to work with while making a variant. The only necessary difference between a Discworld theme and a Middle Earth theme would be the races.

My idea is to give each race an ability or two which affects how they are played. I could always make something similar to Civilizations of Catan, but I'd rather not imitate another BGGer's idea too closely, and I'm also not sure I'd want to alter the trading/building mechanics in exactly that manner.

What do you think?..
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Derek Whaley
New Zealand
Christchurch
flag msg tools
Darius I – 73rd Great Khan of the Illustrius Barbarian Horde, Duque San Lorenzo, Marquis de Feltón, Chief of the Zayante, Baron von Whaleyland, Lord Kennedy
badge
Arrgh!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sorry Radien, but KOSMOS already beat you to the punch. There are in fact TWO Discworld expansions already available for Catan. They were promotional scenarios released a few years back on a double-sided mat. Each side has a different scenario. It has two entries here on BGG. One at Die Siedler von Catan: Rincewind und der Tourist / Die Gilden von Ankh-Morpork and the other at Die Siedler von Catan: Rincewind und der Tourist / Die Gilden von Ankh-Morpork. I'd suggest checking them out.

PS Love the idea for a Middle Earth scenario. Do it!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Regards,
United States
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Whaleyland wrote:
Sorry Radien, but KOSMOS already beat you to the punch. There are in fact TWO Discworld expansions already available for Catan. They were promotional scenarios released a few years back on a double-sided mat. Each side has a different scenario. It has two entries here on BGG. One at Die Siedler von Catan: Rincewind und der Tourist / Die Gilden von Ankh-Morpork and the other at Die Siedler von Catan: Rincewind und der Tourist / Die Gilden von Ankh-Morpork. I'd suggest checking them out.

I suppose I should have qualified my statement.

My idea was specifically to do a Discworld-themed variant of Catan with the RACES of Discworld, because the Discworld theme alone had already been done.

Yes, I've seen the Discworld-themed Catan games, and I was thrilled... or at least, as thrilled as I could get while realizing I would probably never be able to get my hands on them, and if I did they'd be in German.

But in any case, neither of them makes use of the "different races for different players" idea. I'm not sure whether the "competing guilds" idea worked well, but the other game focuses on Rincewind and Twoflower, who are actually my least favorite Discworld subseries (blasphemy, I know).

So as it stands, I'm thinking of having four races to choose from during starting placement: human, dwarf, troll, and... well... a fourth one. I'm not sure which. Elves are too rare/mystical/evil. Gnomes and other minor races are not affluent enough. Undead, maybe? The problem is that the undead are highly subdivided, and they all function very differently.

That's one of the nice things about the Middle Earth idea. There are definitely enough races to choose from.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ming Aldrich-Gan
United States
Connecticut
flag msg tools
mb
Ahhh... Discworld. Somehow, I never managed to get into that mythology. I've only ever read one or two Discworld novels... I don't remember their titles or what they're about... all I remember is thinking that there was wayyyy too much going on to keep track of everything. (I did enjoy Good Omens, though, so I certainly have nothing against Terry Pratchett!)

If I end up working on this project for real, I'm pretty adamant about not changing any of the game mechanics, as that would make it a brand new game rather than a Settlers of Catan set with Middle-Earth-themed artwork.

EDIT: Of course, if someone else comes up with a Middle-Earth map and scenario for Catan, even with radically different mechanics, I wouldn't be opposed to trying it out!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Mehlhoff
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I assume you're semi new to board games. Although its a good idea why not just try out some of the Lord of the Rings games that are out there? You might discover all kinds of cool NEW stuff there instead of rehashing settlers with a different theme.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ming Aldrich-Gan
United States
Connecticut
flag msg tools
mb
Why? Because it would be cool to play Settlers with Middle-Earth-themed artwork, just like it's cool to play Lord of the Rings Risk or Star Wars Monopoly even if I dislike both games. =)

Honestly, I was looking at a lot of the lovely (and not so lovely) hand-crafted versions of Catan out there, and I was thinking that if I were to make my own Catan set, it should be something different... and then I became enamored of the idea of a Middle-Earth-themed Catan. Simply because of the cool factor.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Regards,
United States
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
mingaldrichgan wrote:
Ahhh... Discworld. Somehow, I never managed to get into that mythology. I've only ever read one or two Discworld novels... I don't remember their titles or what they're about... all I remember is thinking that there was wayyyy too much going on to keep track of everything. (I did enjoy Good Omens, though, so I certainly have nothing against Terry Pratchett!)

I love Terry Pratchett but was not enthusiastic about Good Omens. Apparently I'm an anomaly among fans in that respect.

As for the rest of his novels, personally, I think he got much better over time. I don't like his earliest books very much. If you only read the ones at the "beginning" of the series, you might be missing out. Pratchett intentionally made it easy to jump around and read them in any order.

mingaldrichgan wrote:
If I end up working on this project for real, I'm pretty adamant about not changing any of the game mechanics, as that would make it a brand new game rather than a Settlers of Catan set with Middle-Earth-themed artwork.

EDIT: Of course, if someone else comes up with a Middle-Earth map and scenario for Catan, even with radically different mechanics, I wouldn't be opposed to trying it out!

Any variant I'd create would still use all the same pieces. It wouldn't be a far cry from the official variants that have been published... So I guess it suits your preferences? I wasn't suggesting you change anything for your cool Middle-Earth set idea.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kenny VenOsdel
United States
Saint Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
mingaldrichgan wrote:
Why? Because it would be cool to play Settlers with Middle-Earth-themed artwork, just like it's cool to play Lord of the Rings Risk or Star Wars Monopoly even if I dislike both games. =)

Honestly, I was looking at a lot of the lovely (and not so lovely) hand-crafted versions of Catan out there, and I was thinking that if I were to make my own Catan set, it should be something different... and then I became enamored of the idea of a Middle-Earth-themed Catan. Simply because of the cool factor.


Only problem is that it won't really feel like Middle Earth since there is a modular board. It would be hard to get a good representation unless you did something like The Settlers of Canaan with a static map.

Personally, I'm much more interested in a Middle Earth TTR map, but alas I have no such skills to make one.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Regards,
United States
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
kvenosdel wrote:
Only problem is that it won't really feel like Middle Earth since there is a modular board. It would be hard to get a good representation unless you did something like The Settlers of Canaan with a static map.

Personally, I'm much more interested in a Middle Earth TTR map, but alas I have no such skills to make one.

I think some people would be bothered by that, while others wouldn't. After all, think of all the themed Chess sets out there. People can tolerate a little bit of abstractness if necessary.

But yes, a static, printable map would be an excellent alternative for people who really want it to look like Middle Earth. Or perhaps a scenario guide which details a specific map layout.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe H
msg tools
mbmb
Just thought you might be curious to see a hypothetical Settlers of Middle-Earth map I created in Photoshop: http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/settlers-of-catan/images/3619186...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Regards,
United States
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
That map is kind of enormous, but it looks good!!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Regards,
United States
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Sorry, I realized that I missed a reply:

LannisterGold wrote:
I assume you're semi new to board games. Although its a good idea why not just try out some of the Lord of the Rings games that are out there? You might discover all kinds of cool NEW stuff there instead of rehashing settlers with a different theme.


Semi-new? I guess some of the people here would count me as such. I've noticed that many people on BGG consider Catan a "beginner's" game and expect seasoned gamers to move on to other games.

However, among my friends who are potential board gaming partners, there's a very broad mix of beginners and seasoned board game veterans. If I want to play board games regularly without excluding anybody, I need to bring games with a wide variety of different learning curves.

I honestly really enjoy Catan, and its expansion-based system makes it fairly easy to take a group of players and work them up to more complicated scenarios over a period of time. My favorite types of games are simple ones with a good amount of extra depth you can explore once you completely understand the rules. That provides me with options for all occasions.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe H
msg tools
mbmb
So I ended up making an actual playable version of Rohan and Gondor for Catan. It's 5-6 person map, and somewhat resembles the mountain ranges of that region. I've just been going crazy making all sorts of maps like Westeros, Galapagos Islands, etc... It's a lot of fun! http://www.catanmaps.com/
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.