March 30th, 2009
|01:55 pm - Anyone got wood for sheep?|
Wired article on Settlers of Catan - the only Boardgame I really enjoy playing*.
Also a metafilter discussion.
*Come to think of it, I like Carcasonne too.
Yes, I get the impression that the mass market of the USA has just discovered Catan? If a clueless person like me has not only heard of it but played it, it must be ridiculously well known throughout the world.
I think the Germans make excellent games because they have had to get away from the military model. An example of how restriction and (self)censorship can actually stimulate creativity?
it must be ridiculously well known throughout
the world fandom.
It is one of the best of its type, although there are several other games that are also very good fun and don't require military attack on each other. Ticket To Ride, for instance, is something that everyone I know who's played it has liked.
Ticket to Ride eh? I think someone else on my f-list has mentioned that (maybe watervole). Someone on metafilter mentioned 'Arkham Horror' but they said it took quite a bit of explaining.
Our first game of Arkham Horror was four hours of carefully following the rules and the turn sequence and counting dice, but I think it rewards the effort. You're fighting against a Great Old One, and each one has different effects which change the game dynamic, either subtly or quite dramatically, and there's lots of different characters with their own strengths, weaknesses, special abilities, etc. Also it scales pretty well from four up to eight or so players. It's a lot easier if you play with a couple of people who already know the rules, I admit.
Arkham Horror is one of those games that regular board game players like but, in my experience, casual gamers don't get into.
Ticket To Ride is nice and simple - collect cards of the correct colours to complete routes between cities in order to complete the trips you are assigned at the start of the game.
So to go from Edinburgh -> Paris means picking up London->Edinburgh, Edinburgh->Calais and Calais->Paris. Or, if someone else has already picked up Calais->Paris then it means swearing and then picking up Calais->Brussels and Brussels->Paris.
I've not seen anyone take more than 5 minutes to pick it up, but trying to manage a variety of routes is nicely challenging.
Probably me. I was just teaching a friend to play it this afternoon. 'Ticket to Ride' is an excellent game: easy to learn, varied each time you play it, visually pleasant to look at, only lasts about an hour, simple rules but plenty of tactics you can develop from them.
If you like 'Settlers' then the odds are very high that you will like 'Ticket'.
Henry says 'Arkham Horror' takes too long to play (He failed to finish a game in four hours)
I have only skimmed it also, but I do think there's a valid argument to be made that Settlers was the start of German board games making it big in the English-speaking world.
Communicator - have you tried and disliked other games in the Settlers/Carcassonne design tradition?
I've played some of the epxansions on the Catan theme and enjoyed them, and I expect the variants on Carcasonne are good fun.
OTOH I found 'Star Farers of Catan' quite hard to get into, because it has more complex rules. I think my ideal games can be described in a few moments, but generate endless complexities of strategy as you play them through.
Now, if only someone would start making "German-style" video games...