Bunker Project Log

18 Sep

Settlers of Catan – The Card Game

I don’t know why I keep buying these things, other than the skull elf keeps telling me to.

Card Games

I hate card games. I never played cards when I was a kid, and my dad was the kind of guy who would occasionally play 52-card pickup with me. (I got to play the pick-up phase of the game, just in case you are wondering.)

?That’s not for lack of trying though. At some point I discovered the magnificent phenomena known as the?”Collectible Card Game” or CCG for short. I don’t know how it happened, but I was in a Shinders in the frozen north, and discovered Mythos. I am an H.P. Lovecraft fan, so I had to buy it! Then… I bought some more, and I convinced my friends to buy some, then… we never really played it. (This is kind of my modus operandi.)

I also found the X-Files CCG, Star Wars, a tiny bit of Magic the Gathering, inherited a few hundred Pokemon cards, and although not technically a CCG, I recently discovered Pirates of the Spanish Main. Oh boy… that was a doozy.

So, I had pretty much written off getting more card anythings when I found myself in my friendly neighborhood thrift store. There, on the shelf between the 27 copies of Trivial Pursuit, and the 3 different versions of Operation, and?below the shelf with both 13 and 1313 Dead End Drive, I found,? Settlers of Catan, the Card Game. For 80 freakin cents.

I was ecstatic. I ran all around the office with a big fat smile on my face and told all?one of the people who would give a rat’s ass about it.

If I remember correctly, she was non-plussed. I think the exact response was: “Settlers? As a card game?” followed by a drawling “I don’t know…”

Anyway, I was still stoked, so I took my prize home and?promptly forgot it.

Until?last night!

That’s when I finally decided…?I’m going to play this game with Mrs. G!?And we are going to love it!

Here’s how it goes: (For the rest of this… whatever it is… I will refer to “Real Settlers” as RS.)?

There are?four types of cards. They are all square, and about the size of the short edge of a standard playing card.

Regions -??these are like the?hexes in RS. Each represents one of the classic Catan resource types??and has a number in the middle designated by a face of a standard d6. On?three edges are pictures of the corresponding resource. For example, the mountain region has one ore symbol on one side, two ore symbols on the next, and three on the other. The fourth side is blank. Unlike in RS, where you are given cards representing?commodities, the card itself is rotated to indicate how many?of each type you have. To?decrement a commodity, you rotate the card to the next lower amount. To add, you rotate to the next higher. You can never have?more than three?of any commodity on a card.
Settlements, Roads, and Cities -?these are similar to their counterparts in RS.
Expansions -?these are like the cards found in Cities and Knights of Catan. These include buildings, knights, and nasty cards like the Spy. You also find the equivalents of the RS harbors, “Fleets”.
Events -?these have a large question mark on the back, and various effects on the face. These range from Plagues and Civil Wars, to general Conflict.?Each is usually a “bad thing” that happens to one or both of you. Usually by stealing your resources or killing your knights or whatnot.

Each player begins with their principality. This is comprised of two settlements, separated by a road, and one of each of the region types. The regions are equally distributed from 1-6.

city

To the side are placed the cards do be drawn. The expansion cards are separated into five approximately equal stacks. The other types get their own stacks

pickingcards

To start, each player picks one of the expansion stacks and picks through it?for any three cards. It isn’t explicitely stated in the rules, but I order the cards so that the next good ones are on top. (Don’t tell anyone this super secret strategy! It’s our secret!)

The rest of the game is fairly simple. The current player rolls two chunky D6 dice.?One is the?”Production” die whit the usual numbers 1-6?, and the other, the “Event” die?has five different symbols:

Sun – Year of Plenty – Each player takes an extra resource of their choice
Knight – Tournament – Whichever player has the best “show knights” gets a resource of their choice
Question Mark – Event – An event card is drawn, and it’s effects are determined (this symbol appears twice)
Club – Brigand Attack – Any player who has more than seven unprotected resources loses all their ore and wool
Windmill – Commerce?- The player in control of the Commerce marker may take one resource from their opponent

First, the?event die is resolved. When this is done, the results of the production die are applied.?

Then, the player can build just like in RS. You rotate your cards to spend the resources, and add roads, and settlements.

Here I have expanded to the right with a new road and settlement.

city2

When you build a new settlement, you also acquire a pair of region cards, possibly increasing the number of commodities produced with each die roll.

Each settlement can have two expansions,?physically located at the top and bottom?of the settlement card. Here I’ve?used up all of my expansion options, without adding an entirely new settlement.

city3

Eventually, settlements can be converted to cities, which allow four expansions, as seen below.

city4

The goal is to?acquire 12 victory points, which you get?through the normal course of expansion. As an example, a settlement is worth?one victory point. A city is worth?two.?

So, was it fun?

I loved it. I like the action of turning the cards for production. I also like the fact that your starting principality has regions for each side of a d6. This means that you get something on every roll. (I am always picking the worst hexes in?RS!) I also like that fact that it can be played with two.?The addition of the event die?adds tension, and balances?the?steady?flow of commodities by constantly taking them in?various ways.?

The problem is, ?Mrs. G wasn’t thrilled. I tried to encourage trading, even though I really had nothing to trade. This got her pretty grouchy. I also kinda… sorta… TOTALLY KICKED HER ASS! (Which I wouldn’t normally gloat about, but it is just very unusual for me to win in any game I play with her.)

So, I took it to work and played it with Dangerkitty over lunch. Then I showed The Los how to play it. Then… I drove home with the box open on the passenger seat. I gazed at the cards lovingly, and even shuffled them?at the stop lights.?

Yeah… I’m healthy.

So, if you liked “Real Settlers”, and frequently find yourself with only one gaming partner, this is the game for you.

5 Responses to “Settlers of Catan – The Card Game”

  1. 1
    Stub Daddy Says:

    you are a sick puppy! If I got you into miniatures, you would be penniless.

  2. 2
    Dangerkitty Says:

    Does the ore card still have Curry sauce on it???

  3. 3
    Gangrene Says:

    Maybe/prolly. Just try to forget which one.

    This is the second time I have to edit yr own gamer handle. What is wrong with you Dangetkitty?

  4. 4
    Gangrene Says:

    Hey Stub… IIRC, you had more than a little to do with my short-lived, but expensive miniature obsession.

  5. 5
    DangerKitty Says:

    I didnt post that… I think you po’ed some guy called DangerRitty.

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