A periodic blog about Games, Books, Movies, Pop culture, Technology and whatever else I happen to feel like writing about...

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Settlers of Catan Card Game

Sunday evening, Cim and I sat down to play the Settlers of Catan Card Game, using only the original set. I rarely get to play this game, as it is only for two players, and if we have three or more, regular Settlers will certainly come out.

I can see why some people love/hate this game. While it is certainly Settlers-like, it is not Settlers. It is very recognizable as a Teuber design, and fans of Anno 1503 will see many similarities with SCCG.

One of the things that strikes me about the game is the elegance of the design. The land cards are also the resources, and you add or remove resources by tapping the land card in a certain direction. Lands can only hold up to three of a resource, and the only way to get more is to get another land of that type.

The action cards, like the Spy, the Arsonist, etc. give the game a certain amount of SYB, and the competition for the Commerce and Knight tokens replaces the longest road and largest army races. Players are also racing to build the limited common roads, settlements and cities, which adds a nice bit of urgency to the game.

Even though the game can last 2 hours, when I was playing with Cim the time seemed to fly by, as he caught on to the mechanics quickly. SCCG is certainly not a fast game by any means, but with two thoughtful, and relatively quick thinking players, it can be a great way to play something Settlers like.

Because I have played so rarely, I do not think that I have begun to really grok the strategies of the game to any real degree. I can see the utility of paying 2 resources to draw the card of your choice from an expansion stack, but this was done very few times during our game. Next time, I should probably do this earlier in the game, to get the lay of each expansion stack early.

All in all, it was a good, and a very close game. Cim won 12-10, and are both looking forward to playing again.


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