Settlers of Catan

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Ok, last week I was going to write about a game we like to play in our family (most of us like it anyway- with at least one notable exception).  The game is called Settlers of Catan.  Well, last week I got a little sidetracked when I could hear my family watching one of our most favorite movies, Courageous, and I just had to write about that one…    

So this week I get to write about one of our favorite games- Settlers of Catan.  To help give me focus for writing about this game, I asked my children what they like about Settlers of Catan.  I was thinking they would give me a ton of great things to talk about in this Family Fun Times post.  In fact, I went so far as to make it a homeschool assignment.  That is one of my favorite things about homeschooling is that I get to be the administrator, and make children do all kinds of stuff in the name of education… It comes in handy!  Anyway, so I tell the children they need to do reports over dinner where they tell me the things they like about Settlers of Catan…  My 4 year old was looking at me like, “Setttlers of what??”  Ok, so I didn’t think about the fact that he has not yet played the game…  He got a pass from the assignment… 

Settlers of Catan

Setttlers of Catan is a great game for family fun time.  Basically, the idea is that each player builds a network of villages and cities and roads.  They do this in such a way as to maximize the acquisition of resources, which come in the form of resource cards.  Then, these resource cards are used to do everything important in the game.  When you do important things with the right combination of these cards, like build settlements, or upgrade a settlement to a city, etc, then you gain victory points.  The first one to get 10 victory points wins the game.  So, as you can imagine, much of the game has to do with getting the right cards together in the right combinations so you can build the stuff you need to build to win the game.  Resource cards come to you (and go away) in a number of ways.  

Settlers of Catan

The easiest way to get resource cards depends on where you have located your settlements (which is a huge part of the strategy of the game).  A player earns a resource card when any player rolls the dice for their turn and the number corresponds to the number on the resource space where they have a settlement or city.  So spaces with commonly rolled numbers like 6 or 8 are quite valuable, but it always seems that every game has its own number that always gets rolled and if you only knew what that number was in the beginning when you were placing the settlements, this whole thing would be much easier…  But for those of us who seem to mess up the placement of the settlements, there is another great way to get resource cards – you get to wheel and deal with the other players to trade!  This part is great fun!  So, work out trades with the other players to get the resources you need, but be careful not to give them too much of what they need!  It is good stuff.

Oh, one more important thing… Don’t hang onto too many resource cards or the robber will steal half of them whenever a “7” is rolled!  Yes, it is terrible and always happens when you have worked out the perfect combination of cards to do just what you need to do most.   

Settlers of Catan
The dreaded (or desired if you are one of our children) robber!

So RaShell and the children had some interesting inputs on things they like about the game. RaShell likes that the game is always different- the board gets shuffled every time.  So the resources and the number required to roll to get them changes every game.  One child likes that the game requires developing a strategy instead of just luck.  One child likes the robber because he likes taking a card from another player…  (Seriously?? At least I guess he’s honest…)

Another likes the special “longest road” card (which is worth a valuable 2 victory points) except when someone else gets it…  Well, I think you get the idea!

Settlers of Catan
The longest road card- 2 Victory points!

We have the extension pack so we can add a 5th and 6th player to the game.  There are also expansion games.  You need the base Catan game to play any of the expansion games.  Currently we own Cities & Knights and Seafarers expansion packs.  There are also Traders & Barbarians and Explorers & Pirates.  The expansion games are a fun way to  change up the game even further.

So, we really enjoy the game and recommend it as a great family fun time activity!  We hope you do too!  

P.S. Your homework assignment is to comment below on what you like about Settlers of Catan, or whatever games your family plays, to add to the discussion!

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This post was written by Jason Southerland

One thought on “Settlers of Catan

  1. We’ve never played this game before! I’ve been curious about it for quite some time knowing your family liked it and seeing it show up at church family camp and homeschool game days. But alas, something about it has made me hesitant. It seems difficult, or boring or too much like monopoly or…….. but really? It couldn’t be if ALL these people enjoy it so much! So maybe this will encourage me to bite the bullet and give it a try.
    We really enjoy playing Apples to Apples. Sometimes an inappropriate card will come up so we just throw it away. Other than that, we really love it! The kids and I enjoy playing card games such as golf, speed, and spoons. Trouble and Sorry are some favorites as well.

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