Settlers of Catan!

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by John Gates, Sep 23, 2004.

  1. John Gates

    John Gates Second Unit

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    I have been playing Settlers of Catan for the last several months after buying it. What an amazing game!

    Never the same game twice, requires adaptive strategy, lots of player interaction. This is a wonderful game.

    How many here play it?

    Does anyone pursue primarily a development card strategy to win?

    What are your initial placement strategies?

    Does anyone own the supplements? I have been considering Spacefarers of Catan, but I'd like some feedback before I buy.

    John
     
  2. Nathan*W

    Nathan*W Screenwriter

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    Settlers player here. Never played any of the expansions, but you don't have to ask me twice to get me to play the original! My wife and I LOVE the game.
    I usually try to place on as many different numbers as possible with no repeats. If I get all 5 resources, I consider it a bonus, but the numbers (to me) are paramount. That way, no matter the roll, I'm getting cards to spend or trade.

    Do you play strictly by the rules, or do you have any modifications?
     
  3. John Gates

    John Gates Second Unit

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    Nathan,

    So far, I have been playing strictly by the rules (they are sufficient for an excellent game). Are there any modifications you would recommend trying?

    Oops... My wife and I did try one mod: 2-player game rules (for when the kids don't feel like playing):

    1. Each player places 3 settlements and 3 roads per normal placement rules.

    2. Placement goes Player 1, 2, 1, 2, 2, 1. This seemed to produce the best balance in initial placement. As an alternative, you could try placing your 3rd settlement and road section as if it were built by the normal rules (extended from an already built road). We haven't tried this idea yet.

    3. 15 victory points to win.

    I'm with you on the development card thing. I have considered placing initial settlements just for the sake of easy development cards, but I have never actually done so.

    I like your strategy for getting lots of numbers. That seems to work well for me when I use it. More often than not, however, I'm placing to get easy roads. I have found I MUST have easy bricks or easy wood AT LEAST. If one or the other is going to be rare, I try to get to it in early placement. Roads are key, but not the only way to win.

    John
     
  4. Allan Petersen

    Allan Petersen Stunt Coordinator

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    I've played it quite a lot with a group of friends who are complete Settlers fanatics. Since we live pretty far from each other, we have taken to S3D, which is a complete online multiplayer version of the basic rules (they're even implementing the expansions - Seafarers is already in there). With Teamspeak it's not far removed from sitting around the table.

    There's even an online ladder system.

    It's free and legal to use as long as you own a copy of the boardgame. [​IMG]
     
  5. Nathan*W

    Nathan*W Screenwriter

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    The mod we use (and like) is that is you have a road down that you don't want anymore (because you've been blocked in, etc) you can remove the road from the board and get either a brick or a wood for it. (1/2 the value)

    You must at all times have your settlements connected to at least 1 road. (no leapfrogging)
     
  6. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    Usually the only strategy I try to pursue every game is to snatch up either a wood or a brick hex with a low (5-9) multiplier on it if possible. This is because you need roads and towns right away, usually the person that expands first gets a nice edge. You can trade or expand into coal and wheat later, but wood and brick is crucial in the first few rounds.

    The great part about Settlers is that almost any strategy can win under the right board and player conditions.

    Another game we love in our house is Acquire. It's like a much quicker and more enjoyable Monopoly. Really a slick little game, play it whenever we can.
     
  7. Matt Gordon

    Matt Gordon Supporting Actor

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    Love it!!!

    My wife and I bought it and have played it a few times with family and friends. No rule changes, but we might try the 2-player mod (kids are only 5 and 3).
     
  8. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Settlers is one of my favorite games. A friend introduced me to this about six years ago, and I've ben playing it ever since.

    I also enjoy the Seafarers expansion, though it tends to be a much slower game. I've only played the Knights and Merchants expansion (is that the right name) twice, but it seems really good.

    My favorite games are six people with two boards combined.
     
  9. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    I've played most of the expansion versions and own the Cities and Knights expansion. I don't always pursue 1 strategy (although I'm not a big fan of largest army). I look for the resources that are going to be rare (based on die probabilities and resource intersections) and try to get onto those spaces. For example, if brick is on a 3, 10, and 6 spot, you better believe I'm going to try and tie up all the 6 spots (to force people to trade with me or the ports).

    For those who like Settlers, consider checking out Puerto Rico. It is another step up in strategy and slightly harder to learn. I like it because the game _completely_ changes depending on the number of people playing.
     
  10. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I played Puerto Rico once with friends a few months ago. Rather confusing the first time through, but I see how it would be a fun game once I understood the rules.

    As for Settlers strategies: I've got about three basic approaches.

    The first is what I consider the basic strategy. During inital setup, place my settlements on corners of three (no ports, avoid the desert), get wood and clay if at all possible, and go for 6's and 8's. During initial rounds, strive to get settlements and roads early on and expand towards more wood or clay, and wheat, maybe rock. As I build settlements, trade or expand for rock and start building cities. Use discovery cards, but don't generally persue them vigorously.

    The second approach is early cities; during setup get as much good rock and wheat as possible and build two cities as fast as possible. Then, with a strong income of wheat and rock, trade for wood and clay to build roads and then expand for settlements. In a perfect play, my opponents are trying to move from settlements to cities when I'm doing the opposite. And so they are willing to trade wood/clay for my rock/wheat. Also, with an excess of rock/wheat and sheep becoming less valuable, I can pick of discovery cards more easily.

    Finally, third factor I try is to purposefully setup on duplicate numbers. It makes production riskier (more sporadic) but when I rpoduce, I get a lot and have a better chance of building on the same turn.

    In terms of trading and using the robber, I'm generally pretty gentle. But I do play house rules where everything, except discovery cards, are negotiable. So I'll trade my next clay production for a wheat right now. Or someone can pay me two wheat to place the robber on a player of his choosing.
     
  11. Brian Elwood

    Brian Elwood Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm a Settlers player. Great game. Have a couple expansions kits but have not played them yet.
     
  12. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    Used to play with friends who live out of town, but they also were playing together a lot and burned out on it since they could play a lot more than me. The last few times I've gone back to visit, we've played other games instead.

    They had Seafarers but we only played it a couple of times and quit using it because it made for longer games without really enhancing the fun. I tried to get them to go for the Cities & Knights expansion but no one was interested.

    I bought the two player card game variety so my wife and I could play. Pretty fun though nowhere near as good as the boardgame version.

    Now we will play a card game called Overlord and we still play Magic and the occasional game of Risk.
     
  13. Anthony F.

    Anthony F. Stunt Coordinator

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    Played a lot in the last couple of years--great game! We play much less recently after learning to play bridge.
     

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