So…it’s Father’s Day. OK, a wee bit past - I’m slow. My dad likes the Settlers of Catan game - so much so that we’ve also added the Seafarers and Knights and Settlers expansion packs to the mix. But now, well, it’s time to move on. Upgrade to the next level! Blast the paradigm! Burn through the envelope! And so forth.
Poking around Amazon, it appears that my gift options are Starfarers of Catan or Settlers of the Stone Age, which are both apparently entirely new and separate games from the original Settlers, which is fine, but makes things hard, since I’m venturing into new territory.
So what should I get? I figure there must be Dopers out there that have played one or both. Spill!
I’ve played Catan a couple of times and wasn’t terribly taken so I never expanded as it were. Before I buy any game I check this place out. The reviews are pretty much spot on IMO. (Just stick Catan in the quicksearch field)
I’ve not played Starfarers, but I have and love Stone Age. In fact I prefer it to any other Settlers variant I’ve played up til now!
It’s quite different to any of the original Settlers offshoots. For a start the board terrain does not change, nor do the numbers. It’s more about movement and exploration, and there are somewhat more opportunities to bring the leader back to the pack
I like Stone Age better than Starfarers. Starfarers is just too gimmicky. Too far from the spirit of the original. Too many goofy fiddly bits (which are not up to the production values one has come to expect from the Catan line.)
Stone Age manages to keep a classic feel for the basic gameplay while introducing several innovations.
One thing to keep in mind is that in both cases, the games will run much longer than the original Catan (I’m thinking two or so hours). If that is too long, I’d pass on both of them and look for something else, like the titles I mentioned in the previous board game thread (in IMHO).
Now between the two, I would lean towards Starfarers, though I would not say no to a game of either. Starfarers allows you to upgrade your ships a bit more than I recall you being allowed to in Stone Age. In addition, Starfarers features an ‘adventure deck’ that while adding a random element to the game (hey, it features dice, it’s random anyway!), gives the player more strategic decisions.
Of course the most important reason to buy Starfarers is because of all the neat looking bits that the game includes, especially the funky rocket ships! One caveat to them however is that you need to be extra careful when adding engines to your ships as they are firm enough that it makes breaking the ship very easy (I had one engine holder break so far in about 4 plays).
Settlers: 9.5 (but limited replay value after a while)
Knights and Cities: 8.8 (not quite as elegant and beautiful a game as Settlers, but can be played over and over)
Starfarers: 6.5 (fun and neat and different)
Stone age: 2.0 (I just don’t see the point)
There’s also the little known Settlers of Neurenburg. Not to mention the brand new Candamir: The First Settlers
Oh, I agree. I can’t ever play the original now that I’ve played K&C. But the original settlers has an AMAZING ability to grab people who’ve never really played GOOD board games before and instantly charm and addict them. It’s like the difference between the original Tetris and some nth generation Tetris descendant, which might be more fun, and might be your preferred game, but which you can’t really say is a “better game” than Tetris.
Ah, thanks for mentioning Neurenburg. I have played that one only once, but it is probably my favorite of all the ‘new’ Settlers (rather than expansions). If you can find it, give it a shot. If not, Starfarers is still a fine addition indeed.
The best thing about Nuerenberg is that instead of rolling dice, you draw cards out of a deck, which has in it one 2, one 12, two 3s, two 11s, four 4s, four 10s, etc., so that the ratio of die rolls is enforced. This cuts down on the element of luck, without removing it entirely. We’ve adopted this rule when we play Knights and Cities (with some variation as to whether we reshuffle after going all the way through the deck, on the second to last 7, etc.), and I think it makes the game much better.
I got my husband Starfarers for Christmas as well as the expansion and we still haven’t played it, it’s all confusing! We’ve been playing Settlers and Seafarers for years with our kids ages 8 and up. Great family game! We were ready to move onto something more challenging and just found another family who plays Starfarers so we’ll have them teach us this one!
I was part of a group of people who met regularly to play games, including Starfarers. We, of course, developed our own names for the upgrades to the ships:[ul]
It was very important that they rhymed, you see.