In Settlers of Catan, players try to be the dominant force on the island of Catan by building settlements, cities, and roads. On each turn dice are rolled to determine what resources the island produces. Players collect these resources to build up their civilizations to get to 10 victory points and win the game.
I’m amazed I haven’t mentioned Settlers yet. It’s a classic, well maybe not Scrabble classic, but a classic nonetheless. I actually won last weekend when we played, with 10 solid points, no longest road, largest army or victory point cards. I was pretty happy.
In reality, I should be bad at this game. I’m not really good at cooperating with other players, and this game does encourage trading, especially how we play, but I manage, mostly because I try to only make trades that are advantageous to me. I rarely if ever help out another player in the expectation of an exceptionally nice trade later on.
I think the great thing about this game is it’s good for “gamers” and “non-gamers.” It’s one of the first games our group got when we started branching out and it’s still a blast. It’s not too complicated and is playable in under two hours. We’ve played with 3-6 players, with the expansion. My personal preference is 5, but the other numbers work well, too. Also nice is that the tiles are sturdy and a little beer spilled on them won’t ruin them.
There are a million and two expansions and variations are available. Our group has the 5-6 player expansion and the Seafarer’s expansions. If you enjoy boardgames, you need to give Settlers a try if you haven’t yet.