Settlers of Catan
Release Date: Thursday 23rd April
Catan is a multi-player board game designed by Klaus Teuber first released in 1995 in Germany. It is one of the first German style board games to become popular outside of Europe.
The Catan series has sold over 15 million games worldwide and has many expansion packs which have been translated into 30 different languages.
The Washington Post called it, 'The board game of our time' which signifies the games popularity in the US along with a documentary entitled Going Cardboard which featured the games creator Klaus Teuber and enforces the games impact on America's gaming communities.
In the game, players assume the roles of settlers who have just arrived on the uncharted, unsettled Island of Catan.
The board that represents this Island does so with hexagonal titles which consist of different land types, each of which produce a different resource (apart from the unproductive desert).
The player then must gather supplies and resources (brick, lumber, wool, grain and ore) in hope to build and develop more areas while focusing on trading the resource you have, for the ones you need with other players to further progress your cause. During the course of the game each player receives points for the settlements they build, with the winner being the first to reach a set amount of points!
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Due to the success of the original base game, Teuber began to publish expansions packs. There are four main expansion packs for The Settlers of Catan. (*base game is required along with these expansions). These four expansions can then be combined in various ways to create even more scenarios and situations and can also be enlarged with extensions.
The first expansion pack, called Catan: Seafarers was released in 1997 and gives the player the option to add ships allowing them to cross sea hexes along with scenarios where players explore an archipelago of Islands. A new resource of gold was introduced that can be traded for any resource of the players choice.
Catan: Cities and Knights
The second expansion of the game was released in 1998 and is called Catan: Cities and Knights . This expanded on the ideas in the Catan card game including Knights who must defend Catan against invading barbarians. Three new commodities (paper, coin and cloth) were introduced as original resources.
Catan: Traders & Barbarians
The third expansion pack Catan: Traders & Barbarians was released in 2008 and features a 2 player variant of the game. The expansion also features several different scenarios.
Catan: Explorers and Pirates
The forth expansion Catan: Explorers and Pirates was released in 2013 and expands the size of the original base game quite significantly for a larger scale game. It introduces some new mechanics to the original game and features more scenarios and situations than ever before!
Variants and Scenarios
Along with the expansion packs many variations of the main game and new scenario packs have been released.
Helpers of Catan
This small expansion pack added support characters to the base game leading to more diverse outcomes and strategies. Some of these support characters include Candamir - who makes it easier for you to buy development cards. Louis - who allows you to move roads, and Lin - who can send the robber back to the desert.
This expansion was released in 2011 to draw attention to environmental issues. The scenario adds oil fields that can be used to make other resource however if too much oil is stuck disaster can strike. Oil can also be taken out of the game for victory points.
Star Trek Catan
Star Trek Catan was released in 2012 and is a spin-off of the original series. The game features most of the same basic components but with new names, new graphics and a few minor rule changes.
Card Game and Expansions
As well as the board games a card game has been released for two players called The Rivals of Catan with several expansion packs available also. The game features similar objectives and rules to the board game but in the format of a card game.