One may not think that the New York Magazine would be
the place to look for board game recommendations, but for the past couple of
years the magazine has featured articles on board gaming as part of life and
culture in New York City. Its latest
article, featured in its Strategist section which helps shoppers focus
on getting the best value for their money, identified the
best four-player board games according to experts. These experts included game
store owners, board game reviewers, and even a board game illustrator, so it
should be no surprise that the list included some heavy hitters in the board
game hobby and include several Spiel des Jahres winners. Some of the
games on the list do play more than four players, but the experts felt that
these games played best with four players.
was named Best overall four-player board game.
Other categories on the list include best four player strategic board game,
best four-player board game for beginners, best four-player thematic board game,
best family-friendly four-player game, best board game for advanced gamers, best
cooperative four-player board game, best world-building board game, best
four-player party games, best word-association four-player board game, best
fast-paced four-player board game, best app-compatible four-player board game. Sheriff of
Nottingham, from the Dice Tower
Essentials line, was named one of the best family-friendly four-player games. Read the full
article here to learn more about which games were consider the best
four-player games. In case you missed
it, take a look at their list of best
two-player games published earlier last month.
Catan, one of the pillars of the board game hobby, made the jump to digital form some time ago, and has been available on most platforms. The notable exception has been the Nintendo Switch, but given the Switch’s immense popularity, it was only a matter of time. Asmodee Digital has announced that Catan will be available on the Nintendo Switch on June 20, 2019.
Asmodee Digital’s announcement did not contain many details on this version of the game, only that “The game will be showcased with all the benefits of the Nintendo Switch system…” A page for Catan is up on Ninentdo’s website, but it doesn’t provide any additional information at this time.
The hybrid nature of the Switch seems like a natural fit for the digital version of Catan.
It is with a very heavy heart I report that we have recently lost a giant in the industry, Darwin Bromley. Darwin started as the co-designer of Empire Builder (1982), one of the first popular route connection games, and founded the company to distribute it, Mayfair Games. Later, Mayfair was almost single-handedly responsible for bringing European style board games to the U.S., distributing the English versions of Catan (then Settlers of Catan), Agricola, and many many others until Asmodee bought the company in 2016. Numerous outpourings have come from the gaming community, best summed up by famed Munchkin artist John Kovalic, who called Darwin’s passing “the end of an era.” I know that my life would be very different if Mr. Bromley had not made all those boxes, now in my shelves, available and popular on these shores. Thank you Mayfair Games. Thank You, Darwin Bromley.
Catan GmbH is debuting a new CATAN release at Essen, which will not only add new game elements to Klaus Teuber’s award-winning fan favorite but will donate all proceeds from the scenario to the Global Crop Diversity Trust (Crop Trust). CATAN – Crop Trust is a collaboration between Crop Trust and Catan GmbH, introducing a new semi-cooperative way to play the classic game as well as teaching players about one of the greatest challenges facing the planet today.
Players’ must balance their individual need to harvest crops against their collective goal to store and preserve seeds in the Seed Vault. Players who harvest too much endanger the seed diversity, and in doing so, threaten the land with mass extinctions and a collapse of the food supply.
“As a part of our mission to support the conservation of natural resources, Catan GmbH will donate all proceeds from the scenario to the Crop Trust. Catan Studio, the publisher for the English-speaking market, will also donate a portion of their revenue per printed copy and will offer support to organizations who want to use the scenario for educational or charitable causes.”
CATAN – Crop Trust contains educational information in addition to the board game. A specially-produced almanac which explains the history of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Frequently Asked Questions, and examples of the importance of crop conservation are also included.
There are 100+ videos that pertain to CATAN on The Dice Tower so check some of them out.
CATAN – Crop Trust will debut at the Essen Game Fair and will be available in stores and online on November 8, 2018.
A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch will add 5-6 player support and a number of new features in the upcoming extension to the existing game by Fantasy Flight Games. A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch adds several new mechanisms to the classic Catan gameplay. Players step into the roles of brothers of the Night’s Watch, who are tasked with recruiting guards for the wall and developing the Gift.
“The northern region known as the Gift was bestowed on the Night’s Watch thousands of years ago. This fertile land provides the Watch with lumber, brick, wool, grain, and ore. At least, it used to. As the Watch has become forgotten by the lords and ladies of Westeros, the infrastructure of the Gift has fallen into disrepair and the Lord Commander, Jeor Mormont, is willing to give anything to one who can restore the Gift to its former glory, even naming them as his successor.”[source]
Players are locked in competition to become the next Lord Commander by building roads, settlements, and keeps. Purchasing Development Cards and recruiting guards to defend the Wall are also crucial in proving players’ worth. With the addition of two more players, more land and paths are made available in an extended version of the game. The addition of a Special Build Phase in each player’s turn allows them to set each other apart as they spend their resources on unique, new opportunities.
4 new hero cards have also been added to hero display including the iconic Jon Snow who is able to protect a player from the robber, Tormund Giantsbane. The other heroes making their debut are Osha, Gilly, and Aemon Targaryen. Of course, to help balance out the boost to the players there’s an equal boost to the opposition in the form of mammoths to assist the two new Wildling clans.
A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch supports 3-4 players without the expansion, and 3-6 players including it. A typical game lasts 60-75 minutes though that will probably be lengthier with the extra players. The game was designed by Klaus Teuber and Benjamin Teuber and the extension should be released soon.
Asmodee, which has the largest catalog of games under it’s wide umbrella thanks to it’s partnerships with Days of Wonder, ZMAN Games, Fantasy Flight, Catan Games and more, has announced it’s Modern Classics line. This new category is for games that are easy to get into yet offer tremendous depth and make for excellent staples in any new or existing collection. The titles in this series together cover a wide range of mechanisms and modes-of-play and each one is considered a gateway of it’s respective genre. As stated by Asmodee in their announcement:
“Modern Classics refers to a small group of pioneering titles that have left a lasting legacy on the board-games market and have stood the test of time to remain preferred gateway purchases in a constantly changing landscape of products. […] Each of the highlighted titles is easy to learn but hard to master, making them well suited for any gaming situation that you might encounter. The Modern Classics range consists of the following games: Ticket to Ride Europe, Catan, Carcassonne, Dixit,Pandemic, andSplendor.“
While this really is just a matter of showcasing for new customers, the games chosen here are, I feel, irrefutably ‘Modern Classics’ and deserve to be called as such. These quintessential games also cover a lot of ground as well, certain to prepare even the newest of gamers for the great many strategy games that lie beyond. Just with these six games there’s card drafting, network building, tile laying, set collection, storytelling, cooperation, trading, and resource management game mechanisms. Hoo! The question I have now is, will there be any more games added to this list in the future? Only time will tell.
Catan fans can rejoice as there’s a lot of fun announcements for the most deservedly-lauded board games of our era. All of this news comes courtesy of the Catan Newsletter which was chock-full of everything Catan-related that one could possibly imagine. So without further ado, let’s talk about the exciting stuff!
As far as news goes for the Catan line of standalone games – Game of Thrones Catan had quickly sold out and is being reprinted with an estimated street date of November 2018. There is also a new game in the Catan Histories line, Rise of the Inkas, which is slated to arrive this summer and so far it sounds really cool. In addition to the standard rules of play, each player will have to decline their settlements twice over the course of the game, with the first player to rebuild their third era civilization being the winner. Old, retired settlements will do nothing more than provide resources for you, but they can also be built over by opponents only, so long-term planning is a must! As described via the press release:
“The strategic choices you face in Catan are even more nuanced in Rise of the Inkas. As you approach the pinnacle of a tribe’s development, your opponents look for ways to take advantage of your settlements in decline and try to take the best locations for their own! Deciding when to advance your tribe is something that you must carefully consider, for simply rushing to advance can put you in a compromised position as the resources you relied on can be claimed by your opponents.”
On the digital front, there’s Catan Universe – an online ecosystem for the base game and it’s first two expansions that can be played between all supported devices (Android, iOS, Steam, and any web browser). Now it’s easier than ever to trade and steal sheep with whoever you want, wherever you want! There’s also Catan Stories: Legend of the Sea Robbers. Players control a raven who accompanies three heroes in a choose-your-own-adventure style experience as they face conflicts that shape the future of the island.
Last, but certainly not least, there’s more Catan-themed merchandise in the shop, including Chocolate Catan and socks! There’s a lot of fun things to find in there, especially gift ideas for a board-gamer in your life. So if ever there was a time when more hexagonal-based strategy goodness was needed in your life, there’s a lot to indulge in now. If you’re interested in more Catan-related products and news, be sure to check out their website for more information and announcements!
We have reported on how a Catan movie is in the works, and the question everyone keeps asking is what in Catan can you make a movie about? Well a new game from Asmodee Digital may help answer that question, Catan Stories: Legends of the Sea Robbers. This is a text based adventure game set in the Catan world, where you will control three heroes as they seek to rescue Catan.
Explore the world of Catan like never before. Catan Stories : the Legend of the Sea Robbers is a text-based adventure game developed by Asmodee Digital with Klaus & Benjamin Teuber, the authors of Catan. Embody a raven, the keeper of the island, and guide three heroes on their journey to rescue Catan. Every decision you make will lead you to mysterious parts of the island. It’s time to save the island! (Catan Stories website)
So if this kind of choose your own adventure game is of interest to you, you can purchase the game in the App store, or on Google Play today. This is the first in the line of adventure games like this so expect to see more of them in the future.
Tired of eating wheat and mutton? Catan is about to get a lot more delicious.
Just in time for Christmas (and Easter) a new edible edition of Catan is rolling out. The new Catan: Chocolate Edition includes 32 pieces of fine Belgian chocolate in the shapes of knights, cities, settlements and roads. And the end of the game tuck the pieces away, into your belly rather than back in the box.
The new Catan: Chocolate edition includes everything you’ll need to play. In addition to the chocolate the game comes with a set of resource cards, spinner and a complete set of simplified game rules.
This simpler (but far more delicious) version of the Catan includes a spinner to determine resources rather than dice. To build something, pay the familiar resource costs but chocolate bars earned get placed in front of you. The first player to reach 5 victory points wins the game. Following the game players eat the pieces in their tableau.
Inedible Editions of Catan
In Catan (formerly The Settlers of Catan), designed by Klaus Teuber, players try to settle the island of Catan by building settlements, cities, and roads. Players roll dice to determine what resources the island produces. Players collect these resources in the form of wood, grain, brick, sheep, or stone cards and then use cards to build up their community and try to be the first to 10 victory points. Though the original edition of Catan has cards for grain and sheep, none of the original commodities were actually edible or shearable.
Catan is considered by many to be a staple of the modern gaming era. The game has been winning awards steadily since it’s original release in 1995. A short list of awards won includes: