Wednesday, September 23, 2009

MIA #6: Die Siedler von Catan Junior

Die Siedler von Catan Junior

  • designer: Klaus Teuber
  • publisher: Kosmos
  • date: 2007
  • BoardGameGeek rank/rating: 3156/6.43
  • age: 6+
  • # of players: 3-4
  • print status: in print
  • cost: $40.95 (FunAgain)
Please, whatever you do, do not confuse this "training wheels for kids" version of The Settlers of Catan with the gorgeous, expensive & empty of substance The Kids of Catan. (Which, btw, also could win an award for "Did We Forget We Were Playing This Game With Children?" Award - tippy wooden pieces on a board with a spinning wheel that is moved every turn?! Klaus, come on!)

But, in the words of Airplane, "That's not important right now." You've come here to read about the game, not about my whining about a different game. (The lines can get kinda blurry sometimes 'round these parts.)

I'm going to assume that you already have some working knowledge of
The Settlers of Catan... if you don't, Shannon Applecline's review on RPGnet is an excellent place to learn more. (I've also got my own Unofficial Guide To Catan, Part 1 & Part 2, but those are written to the less-casual player.)

Here's the basic differences between the original game & the "junior" version:
  • In Settlers, you're a settler. In Junior, you're a pirate.
  • In Junior, there is one additional trading option: you can trade once per turn 1-for-1 with the Marketplace board.
  • In Junior, resources are generated w/one die - and unless you're blocked by the "ghost pirate", you get something every turn.
  • In Junior, you are simply trying to build 7 pirate warehouses - no upgrading to cities & no open points between settlements. (You simply connect them via ships.)

The changes in the game mean that experienced players (well, folks who've played the game once before) can knock out a game in 30 minutes. It's simple enough that a 6 year old can play it - but there's enough game here that adults can enjoy it with kids.

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