If you are looking for an exciting, stimulating, strategic board game to keep your brain busy, ‘Catan’ is for you. But be warned, it is addictive!
The aim of the game is so simple, get 10 points, but the process is much harder and involves a lot of planning and trading to get there.
The game goes like this:
The board is built up of hexagons which contain sheep, brick, wheat, stone and wood tiles. At the start of the game you place your settlement on some of these resources and when the roll of the dice lands on your tile, you get the resources from that tile. From the resources you can build roads, more settlements (+1 point), cities (+2 points), or development cards. Development cards are surprise cards that help you gain points and help make the game fun. You need to trade and save up to build these point builders and once you’ve got 10 points (there are so many different ways to do this) you win!
Though it may sound a little complicated, the game is truly brilliant. It is challenging and pushes you to think outside the box to compete with other players and get the points before them. You have to think quickly and hope you’ve made the right decision, or be able to change strategy and adapt to what the board has given you. Though luck is involved with the rolls of the dice, it’s down to you where you place your settlements and how you analyse the board to exploit the most from it.
I’ll be the first to admit that it sounds like kind of a weird game. Sheep? Wood? Brick? Building? It sounds rather industrial and based in nature. Not everyone’s thing at all, and not my thing, or so I thought. Once you’ve played one game, you won’t be able to stop. Chasing that Catan victory will become all-consuming, because it isn’t actually that hard to get the 10 points, and sometimes you’ll be so so close to the 10 but someone will get there before you. Catan is a battle of wills and really puts your mind and patience to the test. Though it does appear weirdly simple and old fashioned because there’s no engagement with technology or anything seemingly in the modern world, it actually feels so refreshing and it’s so lovely to switch your mind off from all the technological and scary things in the modern world and just focus on simple things we can obtain from the natural environment around us.
I absolutely recommend this game to anyone if you can get your hands on it.