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Subject: Catan Dice Game - Another quick filler, or a game for on the road. rss

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Cédric DZ
Hoevenen, Antwerp
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Hey dudes & dudettes,

I always find it quite hard to write an introduction to a review or a sessions report, but sometimes you just can't find anything useful to say. Well, that's the case right here and now, so I'll just start the review and I hope you dudes & dudettes enjoy it.

How did I get (to know) this game?
I've always been a bit of a gamer as I used to play tons of 'Magic: The Gathering'. After that I started boardgaming and of course I started with the all time classics: 'Carcassonne' and 'Catan'. When browsing the shelves of a local toy store (Bart Smit, for the Dutch and Belgian people reading this) I noticed that they not only sold expansions and scenarios, but also 'the Catan Dice Game'.

After seeing this several times I walked into the same toy store with my girlfriend some time mid december and when I saw 'the Catan Dice Game' again I said to her "I should really buy that game some day!". She replied "Maybe you should wait untill after the holidays ;p".

At my girlfriends house it's the custom to buy each other many small gifts rather than one big gift and I'm sure none of you saw this coming, but on christmas eve' my girlfriends little sister gave me a rather small box: 'the Catan Dice Game'! Hooray!

What's that theme?
What can I say? You try to build up a colony by gathering resources, and building towns and cities with them. No surprise there.

And how about those components?
It's a pretty simple game so it doesn't have a lot of components, but I like the ones it has. In my version the dice are wood and nicely printed and the scoring sheets are clear. I like the idea of the sheets representing a piece of board from the boardgame too.

How does it work?
Each player has a score sheet with a 15 turn scoring track and a colony with several building options on it:
- 16 roads
- 6 towns
- 4 cities
- 6 traders

The rolling phase of a turn is loosely based on the classic 'Yahtzee' dice rolling mechanic: You roll the dice and put whatever you can use to the side. You may roll the other dice again and add dice to the ones you've put away. You may roll a third and last time, and you may even re-roll dice you've put aside earlier. You'll notice that there's gold on the dice, but it's not used to build or buy anything. Well, you can trade it for any resource 2 to 1.

Next is the building phase in which you spend the resources you've gathered by rolling to build or buy items on your scoring sheet.
* The roads have to be be built connected to each other, just like in the board game. Each road is worth one point.
* The towns have to be built along your roads. Again just like in the board game. Towns are worth 3 to 11 points and have to get built in this order.
* The cities are the exact same story. These are worth 7, 12, 20 and 30 points.
* The traders are quite special. You can build them whenever you want, but you have to build these in order too. They're worth 1 to 6 points and when you've built one you can use it to trade one resource on one of your dice for the one the trader holds. The 6 point trader is a joker. You can do this only once in the entire game for each of the traders (you don't lose their points by using their ability!).

The last phase is the scoring phase. This is where you add up the points of everything you've built this turn and write them on your scoring track.

So how do you win again?
Well, at the end of the game you add up all the points on your track and the player with the most points wins.

Any tricky parts?
Not really, as long as you understand a few minor details:
* Except for the roads EVERYTHING is built IN ORDER!
* Gold can be traded for anything 2 to 1.
* Traders trade anything 1 to 1 for the resource they hold.
* Cities are hard to built and you have to invest quite a lot to get them, but in the long run they get you a lot of points too.
* Keep in mind that you only get 15 turns!

So what exactly do I think about this game?
I like it...
Again: I won't dedicate a whole game night to it, but it's a very nice and especially very short filler. This little game is ideal to play in between games, when waiting for another group of players to finish their game or just to play on the train and such.

I'm Belgian, so my summer consists of festivals and camping and stuff. This game is great to take with you: It doesn't take up a lot of room in your backpack (I leave the box at home and just put the dice and the scoring sheets in a bigger zip locked bag). Try doing that with other fillers like '7 Wonders'!
(Don't know '7 Wonders'? Check out

Hmm, somehow I always end up saying I'm Belgian and adding a consequence to it :/

Anyway, I hope you guys got a bit wiser from this review, or at least enjoyed reading it .
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