Explorers and Pirates Review
YAAARRRR, I hope ye be ready to hit the high seas, because Explorers and Pirates takes everything you love about Catan, and throws it into the untamed frontier of the unexplored ocean. (What, I already overused pirate speech in my Libertalia review? Alright fine, I’ll turn it off for now) Explorers and Pirates, designed by Klaus Teuber and released by Mayfair Games in 2012, takes the Catan formula and shakes it up significantly, adding in ships, exploration, and various other mechanics that depart in a big way from the traditional game.
Every Catan expansion that’s been released so far has been more unique than the last. Mechanically, Explorers and Pirates is arguably the biggest deviation from the base game. Depending on what you look for in an expansion, this will either make or break the game for you. We ranked Explorers and Pirates #2 when we ranked the Catan expansions, but it’s possible not everyone will feel the same. Let’s take a look in detail at how Explorers and Pirates changes the core Catan experience.
How do you play the game? Is it a fun experience? How much interaction is there between the players? Is there very much luck involved? Will it take forever to to learn and teach?
The ships are what make E&P unique; everything revolves around them. These are not the little boats in Seafarers, they function like real ships and can both travel and move cargo. A boat costs a wood and a sheep, and can be built from a harbor settlement, which is a special coastal settlement that’s just shy under the cost of a city. After the trading/building phase, E&P introduces a new phase, the ship-moving phase.
In this phase, players, well, move ships. Every ship has four movement points. The ships are placed on the straight lines between hexes, similar to roads, and moving them from one line to another is one point. Ships may move straight four times, make turns, go forward and backwards, whatever tickles their fancy. Ships can be used both to explore and to ferry cargo, which makes up the majority of E&P’s gameplay.
Why build a ship, if not to explore? On the ship-moving phase, players can set out to the unexplored seas. Should the ship end up adjacent to an unexplored tile (the tiles marked with sun and moon icons), that tile is immediately turned over, and the ship ends its movement for that round.
The revealed tile could be one of five things – a blank sea tile, a traditional resource tile, a pirate lair, a fish shoal, or a spice colony. The latter three tiles are new and unique to E&P, and will be expanded upon below under “missions.”
Players can load cargo onto their ships, which can be moved around the board. Each cargo serves its own purpose, but the most familiar to players would be the settler. The settler costs the exact same as a normal settlement, only instead of being built on land, it’s placed on a boat. When a boat drops off a settler, it immediately converts into a proper settlement, implying that the boat’s passengers found some permanent residence. This allows you to build settlements on distant lands without having to connect them via roads like in traditional Catan, and makes exploring all the more enticing.
Other types of cargo include crew members, fish, and spices, which will be elaborated on below.
E&P has three different “missions” that you can have in play, which are basically passive objectives that will earn you points should you choose to pursue them. You can play with all of the missions, none of them, or a combination. By completing the objective in each mission, you’ll move up on its respective victory point track. This gives you something more to focus on than simply settling and trading, as is the case in the base version of Catan.
Exploring a hex might reveal a gold hex, which can give you two gold pieces every time its number is rolled (essentially a free resource of your choice)! Whoo-hoo! Only, there’s a catch—scurvy pirates have claimed it for themselves, and you’ll have to get rid of them to claim the tile.
To get around this, you can build crew members from a harbor settlement. If a ship is adjacent to the settlement, the crew members can be placed on the boat, and they can be released onto an adjacent hex should the boat want to dump them off. Placing enough crews on the gold hexes will defeat the pirates, opening the hex up for settlement. Players can combine in this effort; the crew members need not all be the same color. Whoever contributes the most to defeating the pirates gets a point bonus.
A fish shoal is a tile that shows fish, surrounding a certain die number. Players may choose to “roll for fish” during their turns, and if they roll a number that matches any fish shoal on the board, that hex will spawn a fish that can be carried around by players on their ships.
By taking a fish to the “Council of Catan,” an off-shore hex near the mainland, players can earn points. The more fish you bring back, the higher up you’ll move on the VP scoring for fish shoals.
These hexes reveal local friendly tribes that have spices for trade. If you leave a crew member on their hex, you can pick up a spice bag, and load it onto your ship. By leaving a crew member, you’ve established diplomatic relations with the tribe, and you’ll benefit from a permanent, passive effect for the rest of your game. Each spice hex yields its own reward, such as an additional movement point for ships on the move phase.
Just like the fish, you can bring the spices back to the Council of Catan, which will bump you up in victory points. In this sense, the spice villages’ rewards are two-fold—you’ll get the passive ability, and points for your effort.
Gold pieces are in this game, and trading in two during one of your turns will allow you to pick a resource of your choice. However, there’s something much more important about this mechanic: when a number rolls that you’re not producing on, you get a gold piece for free. What this means is that, for every two non-productive rolls gives you a resource of your choice. This is one of the best mechanics that’s ever been made for Catan, and should be played regardless of what expansions you own.
Essentially, this eliminates the “no-production” problem that players can have when they’re either not wise enough to choose good numbers, or if the good numbers you picked just happen to not ever roll. Ever had that game where 6 gets rolled twice, and then 11 gets rolled thirty times? This means that, regardless of where you are, you’re producing, and it’s a good thing. I love this mechanic, and can’t go back to playing Catan without it.
Remember the no-good, dirty rotten robber that you love to hate? Good news, he’s gone! There is no robber in Catan. Hold up, don’t get too happy just yet; the robber is replaced by a new pirate ship mechanic.
When a player rolls a 7, they can place a pirate ship anywhere on the board, which functions as sort of a toll bridge for other players. In passing through that hex, they must pay a gold tribute, or they can’t go through. The difference here is that the pirate ship belongs to the player who rolled a 7, so you have the chance to put your own ship on the board, rather than some black, faceless robber.
These mechanics make up the core of E&P. However, this expansion offers five different variants. Unlike Traders and Barbarians, which has five variants that are wildly different from each other, E&P’s variants essentially stack on top of each other until you reach the final one, which is simply all of them combined into a single game. In this sense, all of the variants are compatible with each other, and the game feels like it was designed for you to play the final one where everything is included. The first one, for example, is so simple that it doesn’t feel like much more than a glorified tutorial. That being said, the game encourages you to play the one that appeals to you the most.
The first variant, “Land-Ho,” introduces the boats and exploration, nothing more. The second, “Pirate Lairs,” adds the pirate mission. The next adds fish on-top of this, and the fourth combines fish with spices, but leaves out the pirate lairs. The fifth and final, the titular “Explorers and Pirates,” combines all of these together.
Cities are not present in any of E&P’s variants. To be completely honest, I have no idea why. The game is designed to make you focus on the ships, but given the design of the game, having cities as an available option doesn’t seem like it would take away from anything. The only thing I can think of is that cities are similar to harbor settlements in price, and
that players might opt to build cities instead of harbors, thus taking away from the intent of the game. This doesn’t hold up well though; building a city instead of a harbor would be a tactical choice.
Of course, this is amended quite easily…by the players saying “let’s play with cities.” Given that you have the pieces for it already, it’s not exactly a hard house-rule to implement if the thought of a city-less Catan is abhorrent to you.
This puts E&P in a weird spot – if you love Catan, will you end up having fun playing an expansion that departs so far from the fundamentals? On the other hand, if you’re looking to change the experience, would you get more utility out of just buying a whole new game altogether? These are questions you’ll have to ask yourself before you buy the game, but I’ll attempt to answer them as earnestly as possible.
But, let’s get one thing out of the way: Explorers and Pirates is fun. Regardless of whether or not it provides enough value for you, the game itself is fun to play. There’s a change in focus in this game; instead of settling and trading, the biggest part of your game will be using your boats effectively and moving goods. This ends up being a very tactical part of the game, and it adds a little bit more real-time action into Catan, which is normally a game where you’re expanding slowly over the course of several turns at a time.
With the right players, using the right variants, I highly enjoyed Explorers and Pirates. It expands upon Catan in a way that creates a totally different experience, but still retains core Catan elements. On the other hand, it avoids some of the problems that other expansions have created. Cities and Knights is by far my favorite Catan expansion, but a few people in our group lost the desire to play it due to how much longer it can make the game.
The right game of Explorers and Pirates can play out in forty five minutes to an hour, and it gives you a nice dose of Catan, but in a form that’s much more tactical than the vanilla game, which admittedly, many people have gotten bored of after so many years. E&P shakes things up, and it shakes them up a lot. I found that the game had strong appeal to members in our group who loved Catan but didn’t like Cities and Knights. For them, it made the game different enough to be refreshing, while not making it overly heavy.
I can’t state enough, however, how much this does change the feel of the game. Major elements of Catan are severely downplayed here. The starting isle is always the same island, down to resources and numbers (although there isn’t any reason why players couldn’t change this if they wished), and boats can do a whole lot for you in the way of getting points. Since there is so much you’re able to do with your boats, I found that trading and settling played a much smaller role in the game.
Your boats need to be paid for only once, and two out of the four cargo options don’t require resources, so it’s easy to score points with your boats without even having to build. I found that there was a lot less trading, because players often already had what they needed, or otherwise had gold pieces to get their own resources.
Also, depending on what scenario you’re playing with, a lot of times the unexplored hexes don’t form particularly big islands. Usually, it’s more worth it to just plop down coastal settlements with your ships all over the place instead of actually building inwards, which also downplayed the importance of wood and clay, your road resources. Clay in particular feels particularly weak in E&P where you just don’t use roads very often.
Finally, the fun factor of E&P depends greatly on which variant you’ll playing. As I’ve said, the variants simply stack on to one another, so it really just comes down to which ones you want to play with. I found E&P to be highly enjoyable with one to two variants in play. This allows players to rely less on victory points solely through their boats, and encourages a little bit more settling and trading.
With all three scenarios in play at once, I feel like the game become overly bloated and needlessly convoluted. It’s also worth mentioning that analysis paralysis can destroy your game if you’re playing with all of the variants together. It reaches the point where there’s just so much you can do with your ships that it feels like a math equation, and if you’ve got players that overthink, this can really start to take a toll on the game. Our first game with everything together took four hours because of this, far longer than any game of Catan should ever take.
It’s a staple of euros to offer plenty of choices and paths to victory, but in the case of everything together, it often felt like it was working against the game rather than for it. If you pick and choose your variants, however, the game can be an absolute delight. And who knows—perhaps the complete package is right for your group; the only way to find out is to try it.
Ultimately, E&P is in a pretty weird position. It deviates so much from the base game that it might be too much of a change for players who want to retain the original Catan feel, while it’s also different enough that playing another game entirely might be a more enticing option for players. Whatever your perceived value of E&P is, I can at least say that it’s fun to play. Take that however you will.
This gets a lot trickier when you play with all the variants together. The map becomes so huge and there are so many options that deciding what to do with your boat can be a puzzle unto itself. If people overthink on this, you’re going to be in trouble. Catan is a game that offers little to do while others are taking their turns, and if each player site there ruminating, you might as well grab some popcorn and put a movie on because you might be there for a while. With all the variants together, the game (for us) averaged at an hour and a half to two and a half hours, though it can easily go over that if analysis paralysis is in play. If you want your game to end at a decent time, make sure players are thinking about their turn in advance.
That’s not to say there’s not good interaction. There are plenty of ways to compete directly with your opponents, more so than you’ll find in base Catan. Your pirate ship allows you to setup toll lanes which will require your opponents to fork up money or calculate different routes. Speaking of pirates, players who pitch in the most to topple pirate lairs will get more for their money, so you might often find yourself racing to certain islands to get a jump on your opponents. There’s also the fish, which spawn on certain hexes, one at a time. These fish can be picked up by any player, so you’ll have to be wise if you want to get there first.
The boats add an interesting element of interaction that’s absent in Catan, given that they can actually move around. There are plenty of situations where you can temporarily impede your opponent’s progress, which is a nice change from Catan, where everything is permanent.
How much strategy is involved? Is there a sense of variety and balance? Does the game play well no matter how many players there are? How long does it take to play?
There are plenty of ways to get points with your ships, and if you don’t use them, you’ll be dead in the water. If you see a valuable rock hex, you’ll want to claim it, not for cities (which don’t exist in E&P, though I don’t see why they couldn’t) but for crew members, which cost a rock and sheep to build. Why do you want crew members? You want to leave them on pirate lairs on spice hexes. Why do you want a spice hex? You want a passive benefit to make your ships move faster so you can take over pirate lairs and move fish more quickly. Why do you want fish? They give you victory points and require no resources.
Essentially, the boats are the game, and the game comes down to how clever you are in getting maximum utility out of them. Every action will likely be made with the goal of making your boat strategy more effective, and the actual boat-moving phase is where most of your big decisions are made.
This is accentuated by the fact that your starting settlements require that you place on the coast. You still have the option to choose where you start, but one of those MUST be on the cost, and the starting board is designed to where each coastal spot is equal You’ll also start off with a boat and a settler off the bat
As far as your boats go, there are so many decisions to be made. First of all, exploring is a high priority, not only because the islands will end up dictating your strategy, but also because of the rewards that are inherent in exploring Uncovering a new hex will either grant you its respective resource, or two gold pieces (which can be traded for a resource of your choice). A clever player might strive to uncover the hexes as quickly as possible to get more net-gain than their opponents.
That’s where things start to get tactical—if Red decides to use his first boat to rush out first-thing in order to discover as many islands as possible, he’s using his starter boat, which has a settler packed on. Once this settler is used, the boat disappears. By moving around and discovering, he’s delaying his first placement, potentially neglecting himself of production. If blue decides to leave his boat behind and wait for Red to uncover the good stuff, he might load a boat with a settler and cash-in on Red’s discoveries.
However, if Red discovered several islands, he may have obtained some good resources in the process; he could conceivably have enough to build a new boat and push it out with a settler in the time that it took blue to build his. In this case, Red now has a ship in the same place as blue, but also has his other ship free to do his bidding, which puts red at an advantage. This is an example of how important it is to make sure you’re getting max utility out of your ships. It’s an efficiency game, and wasteful players will fall behind.
Once the islands are discovered, it’s quite the tactical exercise deciding what to do with your ships. See, you’re not limited to one thing. A ship carrying two crew members could dump them off on one spot, or both of them off on different hexes. In one ship movement, you might drop one crew member off on a pirate lair, dump the other one on a spice colony, take a spice bag in return, pick up another crew member off a different lair, and move forward towards the Council of Catan to drop your goods. Maybe before you do that, you’ll want to drop off the newly picked up crew member on another spice hex to double up on your load, allowing you to deliver to spice bags at once to the council.
That’s an example of what you can do in one turn, with one boat. Imagine, then, how many possibilities you’ll have when you have all three of your ships working on your board, with the islands fully explored, and other opponents/pirate ships to deal with. There are a lot of decisions to be made, and people who love choices won’t be let down.
Overall, this is way more tactical than base Catan, so even if this game does feel different, if you’re looking for a fresh Catan experience that demands a lot more thinking on your feet, E&P offers that in spades. Fortunately, the modular design allows you to tweak the game to be as deep as you want it to be.
The issue of being screwed over by dice is far less of an issue here, due to the brilliant gold piece system that compensates you when your numbers aren’t rolled. In case you skipped that part of the review, the game gives you one gold piece every time a number rolls that you’re not on. Two gold pieces can be traded for one resource of your choice on your turn. This effectively means that, for every two turns of non-production, you get a resource. I’ve already mentioned that this is a wonderful mechanic and it’s hard for me to play any version of Catan without it now.
The “luck” of starting settlements is also mitigated in this. While “luck” isn’t entirely appropriate to describe starting settlements (it takes a great deal of strategy to choose the right ones), it’s not impossible for players to get the short end of the stick sometimes in base Catan. Sometimes, in the base game, whether it’s due to bad decision-making or plain bad luck, a player might end up boxed in from the get-go, making for a pretty miserable game overall. The pre-placed starting settlement mechanic in E&P avoids this problem.
It’s not all good news though—while your starting placements and dice luck are improved, you’re now introduced to the luck of the draw when it comes to exploration. The island tiles are randomly placed, and their numbers randomly distributed. While the game is designed to provide a balanced setup when everything is said and done, some players will just get luckier than others. A player who discovers a “2” tile of the most abundant resource, for example, is less well-off than a player who discovers an “8” of the most abundant one. Given that the game allows you to dump a settlement on the tile as soon as you discover it (if you have a settler on board), this can give some strong early-game advantages under the right (or wrong?) circumstances.
However, I didn’t find the luck of the draw to be very game-breaking. Even if a player can snatch up an island right when they take it, it’s usually possible for an opponent to take another spot on the hex, especially if they’re in-tow with a settler themselves. Furthermore, settling is arguably less important in this game, and a player that uses his resources to settle on a good spot might be passed up by a player that opts to keep exploring and focuses on fulfilling ship missions.
Settling is obviously very important, but ultimately I found that every tile has something to offer, and the game is designed in such a way to allow the players to share the benefits of good hexes, regardless of who discovered them.
For players who don’t enjoy the luck of the draw, the game can always be played without exploration. This goes against the spirit of the design, but starting the game with an uncovered board would allow everyone to be on equal footing from the game’s outset. I’ve played like this a few times, and I very much enjoyed it.
Despite the luck of the draw of the island tiles, I would honestly argue that this game has less luck than the base Catan game. The gold piece mechanic goes a long way for this, but overall it seems like the game was designed to “fix” some of the more criticized luck-based elements of Catan, and for the most part, it succeeds. People who have become frustrated with Catan over the years might find want to give E&P a chance, as it mends some of the game’s main problems.
Say what you will about Catan, but Klaus Teuber has always had a knack for keeping things balanced, at least as far as his pre-made setups go. If you follow the guidelines in the rules when you set up the board, everyone is pretty much sharing the same odds.
Look and Feel
Is the game aesthetically pleasing? Are the components made out of quality material, or do they feel cheap? Is the rulebook well-designed and easy to read? How well is theme integrated into the game?
I was disappointed by the component quality. Mayfair, it seems, has gotten comfortable with Catan’s mainstream success, and I found the quality here to be a downgrade from what I’ve come to expect.
Punching the components was a hassle, as many of them weren’t cut well enough to punch-out cleanly. The print layer almost ripped off of several pieces while punching, and some of them weren’t able to punch out without taking some damage. Yes, you can use a knife or a razor or whatnot, but I’m a pretty careful puncher and I’ve never once ripped a piece prior to E&P, and I’ve never had to resort to a tool to ensure it comes out right.
Furthermore, many of my components had lazy printing quality; the printing was misaligned on a few of the punch boards. The numbers on a few of the circular chits are weirdly off-center, as well as the artwork on the hexes themselves.
I am speaking for the fourth edition. I’m not sure how the newer fifth edition fares, but given the reduction in quality from third to fourth edition, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the same story. As Catan has reached mainstream success, a slight deterioration in quality isn’t a huge surprise, and it’s not something I take huge issue with. While the wooden third edition dice are nice, for example, I can accept their decision to go with plastic in the newer ones (which I’m assuming is cheaper). However, the punch quality and printing issues aren’t excusable, and I expected more from Mayfair.
Unfortunately, many others have claimed to have the same issues with their copy. Here’s hoping that some of the more recent copies have done better.
The first scenario, “Land-Ho,” teaches the fundamental rules of the game, such as moving ships, building settlers, and so on. These are all rules that are universal for the whole game, not just the scenario in which they’re used. After “Land-Ho,” the game has an “additional rules” page that teaches principles that are universal to all of the scenarios. It teaches, for instance, how to build and load crew members, which are a component in other scenarios but not in “Land-Ho.” It then goes on to teach each scenario specifically, with specific rules for each one.
It’s kind of awkward.
Why did they teach the fundamental rules within the first scenario, instead of making them their own section and then teaching the scenario? All of the other scenarios’ rules are self-contained, and I often found myself checking and re-checking if the “Land-Ho” rules are universal or if I skipped a part of the book that taught base rules on a separate page.
And then there are overlapping rules in different spots. The specific instances of when you can load/unload cargo is explained in at least three different spots, all in different contexts. “Additional rules” teaches how to build and load your settlers, but says nothing about unloading them, because unloading cargo is covered in the “Ships” section of “Land-Ho.” However, the process is also taught again in the other three scenarios, which talk about when you can load/unload in relation to specific tiles.
It all works together and never contradicts itself, but overall it’s easy to jump around to three different spots in the rulebook before you find what you’re looking for. While the book does its job in explaining how to play, it’s tedious at its best and frustrating at its worst as a rules-reference guide.
It would seem that Klaus Teuber saw the deficiencies in Seafarers and wished to have another crack at it. Whether you like the game or not, the game does a fantastic job of conveying the feeling of exploration and seafaring. The boats function as boats should, and shipping your goods efficiently requires impeccable awareness. Gold tiles now have to be earned by defeating pirate lairs, and foreign tribes can be befriended, while scurvy pirates blockade the seas and demand tribute. Explorers and Pirates certainly adds the most personality into Catan when compared to the other expansions.
Is it a game you can play over and over? Are there expansions available for the game, and if so, are they necessary? Does the amount of the content in the box justify the price?
This is E&P’s biggest strength and weakness.
E&P is fun. I enjoyed playing it, and it feels quite different from any other game in my collection right now. However, given how different the game is, it makes me wonder, “who is this game for?” People that like the fundamentals of Catan might find the degree of change jarring, while most people who are looking for something different have already moved on to other games. I don’t see very much discussion online about E&P. Despite the fact that it’s been out for a few years now, it still seems like a phantom among board gaming communities, and this could be one reason why. It’s right in the middle of two different camps, and I admit that I was hesitant to try it out because of how different it looked. Had I not received it as a gift, I’m not sure if I would have taken the plunge on something so risky.
My conclusion is that Explorers and Pirates will appeal the most to die-hard Catan fans. There are plenty of groups out there who have gone all-in on Catan, who either haven’t moved on to other designer games, or who have, while still keeping Catan in their hearts. If you love Catan and you’re always wanting more of it, you’ll enjoy Explorers and Pirates. If you’re afraid of how different the game looks, then I advise you to read this review carefully and make your own call as to whether it merits your purchase. Finally, the game might appeal to those who have been disenfranchised with Catan. It fixes some of the base game’s most criticized problems, and adds a sense of decision-making and strategy that is common among popular euros/designer games today.
On the official Catan website, there are official arrangements on how to implement other expansions into the game. Seafarers is incompatible, given that E&P makes it irrelevant, but Cities and Knights and Traders and Barbarians can be worked in.
Cities and Knights can be cleanly implemented if the online instructions are followed. C&K + Seafarers is one of our favorite combinations, and C&K provides universal mechanics that aren’t limited to the size of the board. Although combining with E&P makes things quite a bit more convoluted, it still works. I haven’t gotten to try this combination as much as I would like to, unfortunately.
It gets a bit more tricky with T&B. The official website basically says that three of its five scenarios are possible in theory, but only one of those (the Fisherman of Catan) is cleanly implemented, while the other two (the Rivers of Catan and the Caravans) could work, but are limited by the size of the starting island. These can be cumbersome, as they were designed to work with the full-size board.
I ultimately found that E&P can combine very well if you resort to unofficial methods. We, for example, enjoyed taking the exploration out of the game, opting to set up a board similar to traditional Seafarers, but with the E&P mechanics implemented, along with one or two of the boat missions implemented, along with Cities and Knights. This offered a similar experience to what we knew and loved, but added in some of the enjoyable aspects of T&B without changing the entire fundamental focus of the game. Of course, this is all up to you, and should you decide to house-rule it, you’ll be confronted with some balancing issues that you and your group will have to figure out yourselves.
Overall, compatibility here is, well, cumbersome, but it’s not impossible.
Explorers and Pirates is a wonderful game, if not a little confused. Would it fare better if it stayed more true to the fundamental Catan design? Is it so different that it would have been better off as a standalone game entirely? Are the changes too strong for players who like the core Catan experience? Has E&P’s intended audience already moved on to different games? I can’t answer all of these questions, but I will say that Explorers and Pirates IS a fun game, and it feels distinctly unique, both from what we’re familiar with from Catan, and from the other games on my shelf.
E&P is a brave game that’s willing to try something new, and in most regards, it succeeds. I very much enjoyed the seafaring mechanics in this game, and although the game becomes something different from what we’re used to, whatever it becomes is something that’s still good. If you’re looking for a Catan that gives you lots of tactical decisions to make, E&P is an excellent choice.
Ultimately, E&P is my second favorite Catan expansion (Cities and Knights still in first place) precisely BECAUSE of how different it’s willing to be. Seafarers doesn’t change much enough to be very remarkable, while Traders and Barbarians is a bit cumbersome in its implementation. E&P boldly takes the game in a totally different direction, and it’s a direction that I enjoyed heading. While E&P won’t hit my table every single time I play Catan, I definitely want to see more of it.
YOU WILL LIKE THIS GAME IF…
- You’re a die-hard Catan fan
- You want an expansion that significantly shakes up the traditional formula
- You’re craving more tactical decisions to be made in Catan
- You’re good at multitasking
- The aspect of exploring appeals to you
- You like the idea of Seafarers but feel like it falls short
- You feel like Catan is too dependent on dice rolls
YOU WON’T LIKE THIS GAME IF…
- You or anyone in your group suffer from analysis paralysis
- You feel as if the main Catan formula shouldn’t be drastically changed
- You have a small table
- You can’t imagine playing Catan without Traders and Barbarians
- You don’t think a radomly revealed board has a place in Catan
- Playing a different game altogether is more appealing than playing a different Catan
About the Author
Zach is an avid tabletop gamer, and he created Board Game Resource out of his love for the hobby, and his desire to see more people come into it. When he's not writing for or managing BGR, Zach might be hanging out with cats, hiking a mountain, spending time with his lovely wife, or writing about video game stuff for Insert Gamer. Zach has also enjoys creating digital character art. You can check out his (long neglected) gallery here, or follow him on Instagram at @artworkbyzach!