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Subject: Settlers Of Catan rss

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Tony Sanfilippo
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Thinking of getting this game and possibly 2 expansions. Which 2 would you recommend and why? Which 2 would you stay clear away from and why.? Not interested in a 5 or 6 player game
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Cory Ledoux
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Get Cities and Knights. It improves the game astronomically. The only downside is that adds about an hour to the play time, but I would honestly not even bother playing the base game anymore without this expansion.
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I think Seafarers literally spreads the board out a bit more. Really, if you're getting 2 expansions for this game, then by far the 2 most highly rated and most popular are Seafarers and Knights and Cities. I'm not sure that Catan + K&C + Seafarers is a game I want to play. For that amount of time and money investment, there are a lot of other games I'd rather play. Have fun with it though!
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Mike Flynn
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I think Seafarers is the best expansion if you want to keep the game as is. It adds a new feel to the game like you're playing in a world, rather than a cramped little island. It also adds in one new scoring opportunity, by crossing the sea and settling in a new land. But, the game play is still the same.

Cities & Knights on the other hand, is fun, but changes the game A LOT. It makes the game more complex, which may be good or bad, depending on tastes. And as Cory mentioned, it does significantly increase game time. So keep that in mind.

If you're just starting out with this game, perhaps just stick with Seafarers. Cities & Knights would be better to add in later once you feel you're ready to take it to the next level.
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Ed Bradley
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I have a strong dislike for Seafarers. The game didn't need a second type of road.

I would recommend Cities and Knights. As people have said it makes it a different game to an extent but it's very good.
I would then recommend Barbarians and Traders. Mainly for the event deck but the 5+ other mini-variants are worth exploring as well.
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Chris Miller
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Why not get the base game and see how it goes over and what aspects you like then base which expansions you get off of that. I've had C&K for a while and keep on meaning to break it out, but the fun simplicity of the base game seems to fit a good niche so I haven't had much drive to expand it.
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Matt Sommer
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millercv wrote:
Why not get the base game and see how it goes over and what aspects you like then base which expansions you get off of that. I've had C&K for a while and keep on meaning to break it out, but the fun simplicity of the base game seems to fit a good niche so I haven't had much drive to expand it.


+1

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Martin Manning
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I have both Seafarers and Cities and Knights, and after trying them out once or twice, I've stuck to playing the base game. My advice is to get just the base game, and if you then feel you need some more variety, for the cost of two expansions you could easily buy another full game instead.
 
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Richard Morris
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I would steer clear of the whole thing, unless your group has already played Catan, and likes it. I think it sucks: and my group agrees. Every game we have played has been unsuccessful, frustrating and disappointing. My copy is unlikely to ever be pulled from the shelf again.
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Liam
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Just Catan: Cities & Knights
 
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John Heynes
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Get Seafarers and Cities and Knights They are both really great fun in different ways.
 
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J T
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I'll disagree with the majority and recommend staying away from Cities and Knights. The hour+ extra play time for the little it brings to the game (more complexity does not equal more fun imo) just isn't worth it. I would stick with the base set and see how it goes over first. The only expansions we play with are the 5-6 player ones and (occasionally) Seafarers.
 
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Another vote for Catan: Seafarers. This expansion makes Catan a better game. It balances the resources by making wool more important, and provides a number of scenarios that give variety. My favorite is a scenario where tiles begin face down and it isn't until a player reaches them via ship that they are revealed.

OTOH, as others have advised, it may be prudent to see if you even like the base game before investing in expansions. They aren't exactly cheap.

Cheers

 
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Michael Berg
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The base game is amazing, the expansions are seriously lackluster. A second game is a better investment - perhaps Ticket to Ride or Dominion would make a better purchase, depending on your group.

AnnuverScotinExile wrote:
I would steer clear of the whole thing, unless your group has already played Catan, and likes it. I think it sucks: and my group agrees. Every game we have played has been unsuccessful, frustrating and disappointing. My copy is unlikely to ever be pulled from the shelf again.


I'm surprised that Settlers didn't go over - and especially that it went so horribly wrong! What made it unsuccessful?
 
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Richard Morris
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CasualSax wrote:
The base game is amazing, the expansions are seriously lackluster. A second game is a better investment - perhaps Ticket to Ride or Dominion would make a better purchase, depending on your group.

AnnuverScotinExile wrote:
I would steer clear of the whole thing, unless your group has already played Catan, and likes it. I think it sucks: and my group agrees. Every game we have played has been unsuccessful, frustrating and disappointing. My copy is unlikely to ever be pulled from the shelf again.


I'm surprised that Settlers didn't go over - and especially that it went so horribly wrong! What made it unsuccessful?


Oh, where to start ...
1) dislike of or refusal to trade
2) runaway leader problem
3) getting locked out of areas you want to build into
4) The whole dependence on dice for what resources appear and who gets them

and so on. I suspect that some of these would lessen as we got to know the game better, but it is a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy: we don't like it so we don't play very often, so we have not learned the game properly, so we start every game as if we are noobs, so we still do not know what strategy we should use on building until it becomes obvious in the game, but by then it is too late to do anything about it, and you have to sit there for ages with no chance of catching up, and often nothing to do.
 
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Cody Holden
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AnnuverScotinExile wrote:
Oh, where to start ...
1) dislike of or refusal to trade
2) runaway leader problem
3) getting locked out of areas you want to build into
4) The whole dependence on dice for what resources appear and who gets them


From this, it seems that Catan may have simply been a bad fit for your group. 1 and 3 are play style issues, and 4 is a mechanical preference. 2 you could probably chalk up to the players being newbies. But life goes on.

Anyhow, to address the OP, I would recommend against C&K as well. I played it a couple of times (don't own Seafarers) and have had no desire to play anything other than the base game. I wasn't playing critically, so I'm not sure what the problem was, but the base game just felt tighter.
 
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Johan Haglert
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[q="vantageGT"]I think Seafarers literally spreads the board out a bit more. Really, if you're getting 2 expansions for this game, then by far the 2 most highly rated and most popular are Seafarers and Knights and Cities. I'm not sure that Catan + K&C + Seafarers is a game I want to play. For that amount of time and money investment, there are a lot of other games I'd rather play. Have fun with it though![/qI feel similar for kinda all games.

Race for the galaxy with all expansions?

Mission: Red Planet vs RFTG + one expansion?

Cyclades vs RFTG + two expansions?

Mission: Red Planet + Citadels vs a FFG title?
 
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Johan Haglert
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Wasn't Tom Vasels suggestion only Traders & Barbarians

Or atleast that he thought it gave the better parts of the other two?
 
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Doug Click
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Fwing wrote:
I have a strong dislike for Seafarers. The game didn't need a second type of road.
Actually, it did, because it gave Wool a purpose later in the game. I like it quite a bit.

I would say Seafarers and K&C... But, don't try them all at once. Base game a time or two, add seafarers for a time or two, then the last one. Trying to learn them all at once would be overwhelming.
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Sharon Khan
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I think you can get a lot of mileage with the base Catan game, without needing to buy expansions immediately, until you're sure you like it. It's a game that polarises people - our university game group absolutely loved it so we played it a lot, and still do when we meet up, but I find there are lots of other gamers who aren't as into it, especially now that there are so many games out there.

Once you do start looking at expansions in my opinion the best two are Seafarers of Catan for basic maps that just add a little extra variety without greatly changing the base rules (and making sheep actually useful!), and then our preferred expansion - Cities and Knights - which dramatically changes the game experience, making it more complex and adding more depth to the base game, but at the cost of a little length and making it a lot less friendly to newer players. I would never use Cities and Knights with anyone unfamiliar with the game though.

Das Buch is also good, if you're just wanting a bit more variety, but without greatly changing the game, but I don't know how easy it is to find. The smaller expansions such as the card deck and the river, and possibly even fishermen (although I personally hate that expansion!) also are worth picking up if you become a huge fan of the game, but are in no way essential, and it's worth playing the base game until you're bored with it first before you even look at them.
 
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Ernest S
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Our group played the base game a lot but once we got Cities & Knights, we always played with the expansion. We liked the additional complexity. (However this was a number of years ago. We rarely play any Catan now with so many other great games that have come out since then).
 
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Mark McEvoy
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Not specific to Settlers, but in general - don't buy expansions at the same time as the base game. Buy the base game, find out if your group hates it, likes it, or loves it, and if/when your group decides it wants to 'enhance' the base game, THAT'S when you get an expansion.

Getting an expansion right away just lends to (a) being overcommitted in cost to a game that may never have been a hit with your group in any form, and (b) risking overwhelming your group with a mostrously bloated ruleset all at once when the game was designed to be simple to teach with expansion bits getting incrementally added on once the basics are well understood.
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Clyde W
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I know you don't think you're interested in playing with 5-6 players, but I found it incredibly easy to talk 2 more people into playing the game with you. How about instead of getting the main expansions, you pick up the 5-6 mini-expansion just in case (you'll kick yourself when that fifth player shows up and you have to play with teams) and then pick up Rivals for Catan. Then you can play Catan with 2-6 players!

That, or get Catan plus Ticket to Ride. Trust me, I bought Cities and Knights about a year ago and it's still sitting on the shelf in shrink. A total mistake. If I HAD to buy an expansion (and then subsequently actually play it), it'd be Traders and Barbarians or whatever it's called, but I have no intention of ever buying another expansion beyond the 5-6 one.
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Richard Morris
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thatmarkguy wrote:
Not specific to Settlers, but in general - don't buy expansions at the same time as the base game. Buy the base game, find out if your group hates it, likes it, or loves it, and if/when your group decides it wants to 'enhance' the base game, THAT'S when you get an expansion.

Getting an expansion right away just lends to (a) being overcommitted in cost to a game that may never have been a hit with your group in any form, and (b) risking overwhelming your group with a mostrously bloated ruleset all at once when the game was designed to be simple to teach with expansion bits getting incrementally added on once the basics are well understood.


The only time I would tend to disagree with this is a financial one. If there is a 'bundle' available, so the expansions are effectively available ata big discount, but only when you buy the base game, then it may well be worth it. ((I bought Carcassonne this way with one of the big boxes)). But otherwise, I'm with Mark, here: make sure you like the base game before buying expansions.
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Brook Gentlestream
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I rather enjoy and prefer playing with Cities & Knights. Many people complain that Settlers of Catan is too simple or that they have grown out of it, or that it was a gateway to more complex games. What impresses me is that once you add in the Cities & Knights expansion, you have a more complex development game suitable for serious gamers. Or you can take out the expansion and play it as a gateway game for non-gamers. It makes Settlers of Catan into my most versatile game, especially since I have the 5-6 player expansion for the basic set (but not for the expansions).

On the other hand, Seafarers adds to the base game so it doesn't give you a "different experience". It doesn't feel at all like a different game. If you like Settlers of Catan, you can jump in with Seafarers without a problem and be up to speed in less than a minute of explanation.

Cities & Knights is different. Cities & Knights has to be taught, and strategies need to be re-learned and experimented with. In addition, my group created a variant rule "Viscious Hordes!" that makes the game much harder and balances out some minor aspects. We never had to make house rules for Settlers of Catan until we got that expansion.

I've never tried Traders & Barbarians, but I don't really intend to. It's got a lot of optional rules you can use to customize your game "How should we play this time?" but so does Seafarers. Once I realized Seafarers gives me this experience as well, I had no intention of picking up Traders & Barbarians.

I think I eventually want to pick up the 5-6 player expansion for Seafarers. But if you see yourself playing Catan and considering getting a more "meaty" game, take some time to consider the Cities & Knights expansion instead. It is still one of my favorite games.

Regarding cost: The versatility of this makes it appealing to me. Settlers of Catan is a terrific semi-casual game that almost anyone can play and love. Seafarers adds tremendously to the replay value and to spice things up. Cities & Knights adds complexity of people get bored and want something non-casual. It just works. It's just a shame the game doesn't scale really well, but works only with that 3-4 player sweet spot (or 5-6 players only if you pick up the additional expansions).

In summary, I recommend getting Settlers of Catan and Cities & Knights. Seafarers can wait until you're ready to spice things up a bit, but those "two games" should get a lot of mileage.
 
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