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Subject: The seventh blog: the full game rss

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Jörg Baumgartner
Germany
Kiel
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The seventh of eight blogs is out in German, showing the full game (same considerable size for 3 and 4 players).

There are no mechanics to be learned - instead we get to see the maximum board this extension can offer, and we get to see two end situations, one each for a 3-player and a 4-player game.

So now we know that the sixth hex type in the regular hex fields is water rather than desert. The discovery area is mostly land hexes - I would have expected more water to be discovered, but on each half we get 3 fish shoals and 1 water hex, the rest is land.

More interesting than what we get as material are the remarks what scenarios didn't make it into the box for space and price reasons (a hunt for artifacts, evacuation of an island threatened by massive volcanic eruptions, and a storm flood scenario), and that there are (currently) no plans for an expansion for 5-6 players.

One more blog to follow, in which Klaus Teuber ponders the combination with Cities and Knights and how to play the game with 5 and 6 players, then Nürnberg toy fair will see the German edition of the game.
 
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Jörg Baumgartner
Germany
Kiel
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Just in case you are waiting for me commenting on the 8th German blog - I just read an update in the comments sections of the 7th German blog that the info on how this game plays with 5-6 players or Cities&Knights won't come as a blog, but as an information page to accompany the product. Probably much the same style as the combinations suggestions for T&B.

I'd really like to see Klaus Teuber's take on this.

I have enough ideas how to provide equally good (or in this case, bad) starting positions for a 5 or 6 player game without adding a vertical extension (using Seafarer tiles if no internal frame extensions are coming up). Of course, I have more ideas how to use some of this expansion's mechanics in other games, or how to reintroduce more of either the standard mediaeval Catan games or the Starfarers game, but those haven't been tested yet, and I trust the publishers to have done serious testing for making E&P a streamlined, balanced game.

I hoped they would include some of these rules as variants to add to other scenarios or variants, instead it is these five scenarios in the rules with the game. I guess it is a case of "don't make the customer feel they missed out something from the other expansions after having laid down their cash for this game." As a publisher, that's a sound policy to cater for the casual players picking up this expansion.

Now, however, they ought to come out and cater to those junkies who already have every little expansion and extension they ever published for this game, and give them a means to integrate the new toys (missions, moveable ships, extra sea hex fields and destination hex fields) to their existing combination games, like three sets of T&B variants together with additional overseas discovery to one side, or the usual C&K/Seafarers/Das Buch/T&B variant combination with added overseas.



 
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Aaron
Switzerland
Leysin
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Will we be looking at wooden pieces for the NA edition? Plastic wouldn't suit the game I have at all with its wonderful wooden bits!
 
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Mik Svellov
Denmark
Copenhagen N
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Catan Gmbh. has announced that the Mayfair edition will contain wooden bits.
 
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Jörg Baumgartner
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Ok, the official advisory for combinations of other variants with E&P is on the German Catan pages:
http://www.catan.de/spiel/die-siedler-von-catan-entdecker-pi...

Seafarers: a lot of text, and basically along the lines "we don't see how this could work." I have quite a few ideas how that could work.

Cities and Knights: A useful description how to add C&K to the Explorer game - I'll make that a separate topic.

Traders and Barbarians: mostly sceptical comments on compability. Mostly hung up on how there is no robber and there are no harbors in E&P. (What's the problem with reintroducing them?) So, no Friendly Robber variant, no Events on Catan, no Harbormaster.

Almost surprisingly, using the T&B Fishers of Catan with E&P appears to be feasible:

The arrow inside the island indicates a possible position for the lake hex.
The results dealing with the robber or development cards get re-interpreted:
- for 2 fish you can sail past the robber without paying any gold;
- for 5 fish you can build a road or a ship;
- for 7 fish one of your ships may execute another full move (I guess no additional expense for wool allowed).

T&B The Rivers: theoretically applicable, but having the rivers end on the seaward coast would be to the detriment of the player having to place a harbor settlement on a useless wetlands hex.
Big deal? I'd say make that homeland one hex wider and let the rivers run in another direction. Or use some other material to create rivers in the interior, e.g. from Das Buch - Westwärts.

T&B The Caravans: theoretically applicable, but without a Longest Road VP card much weakened, only small starting island, ... me again: use a frame extension for the starting island (in case of doubt from Seafarers), and make the room, and use the longest road VPs, increasing total VP count by one.

T&B Barbarian Invasion and Traders and Barbarians: "These work well-balanced only with the (round) starting island from the basic game. I don't see any possibility for a combination here."
Me again: add some hex fields and frame extensions from Seafarers to build a round starting island, then add starting 1-hex-islands for the E&P expansion with predefined positions for the first harbor settlements. No need for harbor settlements on the round island, but don't forbid them. Like in the C&K adaptation, decide whether a coastal settlement is to become a city or a harbor settlement. Harbor settlements are not attacked by the barbarians. Use the pasture field on the frame instead of the desert hex of Barbarian Invasion, and place the castle next to council island, rotate the rest accordingly. Do use harbors (from the Seafarer expansion).

The advisory for 5-6 players reads: "At this time the extension for 5-6 players is tested. It hasn't been decided yet whether the extension will be published. As soon as we come to a decision, we will let you know at this place":
http://www.catan.de/spiel/die-siedler-von-catan-entdecker-pi...
 
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