Little change of pace this Tuesday. Instead of explaining a game that merely involves thought as in previous entries, this will be a review of a fairly well established board game. Still, it is a great time waster, and something I suggest you pursue if you are willing to try a bit of group time wasting with manufactured supplies.
Recently, I fell into a circle of people who like to play strategy board games. (Believe me, I’m quite thrilled!) However, they are all rather seasoned and have played together for years whereas I’m just a newbie. So, at times these fun gaming sessions can be a bit intimidating for me. One game that I had heard much about but never played myself was Settlers of Catan.
When I first arrived at a game night with this as the choice, I was rather nervous that I would be a miserable failure due to my lack of previous game knowledge. Luckily, it did not turn out that way at all. Although the game is a bit complicated at first, the rules are fairly simple to get down and they give you a nice cheat card for remembering the most important ones. So, if you are invited to join into a round of Settlers of Catan, I really recommend that you do.
The game basically is about settling an island by building roads and structures using resources, and the goal is to obtain 10 points by these means before anyone else can do so. It is a true strategy game that involves coming up with and implementing a plan and rolling with the inevitable bumps that will come along throughout the game play.
Here are some of my tips to make your first experience even better if you decide to try it out:
The game doesn’t have a board per se, but rather it is created from random pieces. As the board is being laid out, I recommend that you ask your companions to explain what each piece and element means. This will keep you from the awkwardness of having to interrupt game play later with such questions.
I also recommend choosing to focus on just a few elements of game play at a time when you get started. During my first game, I concentrated on just targeting certain resources and building settlements rather than worrying about how development cards work or how to best use ports. You can definitely ignore some parts of the game as you are learning and still play competitively.
Each time you play a new round, you can focus on something new and soon you will have incorporated more and more elements into your strategy.
This really is a great game because of the complexity, randomness, and re-playability. Just don’t let it overwhelm you from the start and have fun time wasting!
Have you played Settlers of Catan? Let us know what you think in the comments!