StupidRanger goes to Catan…

2009 January 15
by Dante

It has been a very long time since I’ve tried something completely different in gaming. Last weekend, I jumped at the opportunity to visit an old high school friend and her family and she recommended that we try Settlers of Catan from Mayfair Games.

Overcoming the Nerdgasm Effect

Now, whenever I have heard Settlers of Catan mentioned in nerdly circles, I was quickly met with the all-too-familiar “hurrrr” sound of nerd joy. This sound was usually followed with some fevered discussion of an expansion or version of the game that the person had heard of without a shred of explanation regarding what the game was actually about.

Going in, I had no expectations… for all I knew it was some sort of deep space RISK or involved trading cow udders for favor from Greek gods for some reason. I was happy to find out that it was a really fun strategy game containing none of those things that I mentioned.


I like that Settlers is a game of both luck and strategy. The goal is to accumulate Victory Points by developing a settlement that consisted of roads, settlements, and cities. You buy upgrades to your settlement by spending resource cards, which you get relative to where your settlements are placed .

I have to admit that watching my friends set up the board was rather daunting, but the dynamics of the game are essentially dead simple but very fun. I really enjoyed the fact that both luck and strategy is involved, and that the game is structured such that there isn’t all that much direct conflict amongst the players.

Even though the game dynamics are simple, they produce a surprisingly complicated set of strategies for accumulating, controlling, and spending resources. Add in some friendly player interaction and you’ve got yourself a great gaming experience (even though Stupid Ranger won!)

Stupid Ranger and I are going to pick up a set for ourselves before long!

7 Responses leave one →
  1. Bonemaster permalink
    January 15, 2009

    You know this post reminds me, that I also need to pick up a set myself. It also reminds me that its been quite a while since I’ve played. Guess, I’m just way too busy these days. (Which is why my blog has suffered a bit.)

  2. jamused permalink
    January 15, 2009

    My one complaint about Settlers is that it’s relatively common for at least one player to get so boxed in at the beginning of the game that they have no hope of winning. Starfarers, although a longer game, IMO does a better job of keeping everybody competitive through the end-game.

  3. Megadeus permalink
    January 15, 2009

    You’ll probably also want to buy the 5-6 player extension set if you have more than two friends. =D

  4. ScottM permalink
    January 15, 2009

    Glad you enjoyed Settlers. It’s the first game I reach for when introducing new people to EuroGames. (That or Ticket to Ride.)

    A different game that might appeal to you (it’s been a hit with local non-gamers) is Ingenious.

  5. Scot Newbury permalink
    January 15, 2009

    Settlers is one of the few games that our group goes to when we’re missing a player or two – it makes for a fun evening for everyone.

  6. TMan permalink
    January 16, 2009

    Settlers is great! I like that you can get kids playing in an hour or two and yet adults can play and have fun with the same game all at the same time.

    Also, this cartoon is very accurate:


  7. Vanir permalink
    January 16, 2009

    I always knew you’d have wood for three sheep. 🙂

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