There has been a recent increase in interest in one of the most beloved euro’s of all time, Settlers of Catan. I suspect this is due to the fantastic video play session on the Geek & Sundry’s new TableTop series. Hit this link for the video.
I felt compelled to breakout my CATAN 3D Collector’s Edition set for its first play. My copy of the collector’s edition rested unplayed on my shelf for a year as I struggled to decide if I should keep it, or resell it.
As I’m sure you can already tell, I opened the large wooden treasure chest and set the game up for its first play. I also wanted to use this opportunity to try out an interesting variant that replaces the fun-crushing robber with a friendly market. If you want the details about this variant, they can be found here.
Of course no game of Settlers would be complete without some soul-crushing dice behavior. In this game, there were no 5’s rolled, but 9 was rolled over and over again. I happened to be on the happy side of this equation, as I had set up a nice little sheep factory with the port allowing me to trade those nice little sheep at 2:1. The dice gods had smiled upon me as I fairly easily took the victory.
As for the effect of the market variant on the game. The market seems to make the game go a bit faster as it increases resource output throughout the game. The overall tone of the game felt much friendlier. In the standard rules, playing the robber on a hex was essentially a declaration of war for some players. In this variant, player would invariably place the robber on one their resource producing hexes.
I felt that that market variant made the game much more enjoyable. I will have to play it a few more times to see if that assessment will stand the test of time.
Don’t forget to check out GameKnight’s awesome strategy guide to brush up on your skills before you play your next game.