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Best catan expansion 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated May 1, 2019
Best catan expansion of 2018
Based on customer reviews and my own experience with the cowboy method I’ve found the best 3 catan expansion on the market. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your comfort, style, or accessibility, we have picks to fit a variety of needs and budgets. Now, let’s get to the gist of the matter: which are the best catan expansion for the money? There are dozens of choices for an catan expansion these days. These are composed of modern styling with modern technology to match it. Here are some good examples.
Test Results and Ratings
|Ease of use||
Why did this catan expansion win the first place?
I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. The material is stylish, but it smells for the first couple of days. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing!
Why did this catan expansion come in second place?
I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office.
Why did this catan expansion take third place?
It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. We are very pleased with the purchase — the product is great! This price is appropriate since the product is very well built.
catan expansion Buyer’s Guide
Catan 5th Edition
Trading is a big part of Catan as you likely won’t be producing every good you need, especially early in the game. The app allows you to offer up a deal and any opponent can accept, decline, or present a counter-offer to you.
Catan is a classic. Everybody has their take on the game at this point, it is either outdated and stale or the modern Monopoly to a lot of people. Whatever your take on it, the game has stood the test of time for over 20 years now and that has to be respected. The fun comes in the trading, deals will make or break friendships and family bonds.
Barrier to Entry
If you are learning Catan for the first time, the game comes with a tutorial series. It is a series of small tutorials covering one aspect of the game at a time, it does a good enough job of getting the rules across. It is a little annoying that you can’t go through them as a series, the app forces you back to the menu to select the next one which includes the same “welcome to the tutorial” screen each time. A minor issue, but an annoyance nonetheless. The game also includes an almanac to provide some text clarification on certain topics. They followed the almanac from the physical rule book, but the difference there is that the physical rulebook contains the actual rules. So the almanac in the app is left feeling incomplete as there is no text to explain many of the basic rules.
Look and Feel
During gameplay, the app looks good and the controls are easy and work well. There isn’t a lot of custom artwork here, but that’s fine, the game is represented well. The controls are simple and intuitive, exactly as you would hope.
The problem comes in with the menu system. When I was dusting off the app for this review and trying to remember my login for online play, the menus there were often unresponsive to clicks and even switched languages on me a few times. The whole menu system just feels clunky. It’s not nearly as important as getting the gameplay right, but it is an issue here. Additionally, the app runs in landscape mode but will only work in one direction. Flipping your phone over won’t result in the app flipping upside down to match, another minor annoyance that you’d expect would be fixed. One last quirk I’ll mention, when you launch the app you will get a blank screen for a second, then you will return to your phone screen before the app actually launches a few seconds later.
Catan can be played cross-platform in real-time against two or three opponents. You can add in AI opponents to fill out the game if desired. You can play a Custom game which allows you to pick a scenario to play and add AI and/or invite friends. A Custom game can be made public to allow random opponents or kept private for only friends to join. The other online option is a Quick Match which will, as expected, quickly match you with anybody else looking to play a game.
The matchmaking works well, despite the age of the app and other options available (more on that later), I had no trouble finding games to join. Gameplay works well and it is always fun to take on human opponents. The scenarios add in varying map setups and use one or both of the expansions’ rules. In order to play any scenario other than the basic Catan set up online, you must purchase expansions.
Catan also offers a pass-and-play option although the logistics of this get a little tricky when you need to have four people working on a trade offer.
Online play is a highlight of this app. It is easy to find matches and they play well. The games are limited to real-time, which we usually aren’t a fan of, but in this case with the frequent interaction that comes from trade requests/counters, real-time makes a lot of sense. Especially when a minimum of three players are necessary, an asynchronous game would potentially drag on for a long time.
Single player can be played through Campaign mode or Custom Game. Campaign mode is only unlocked through purchasing an expansion, so we won’t spend much time on that, but it is a series of scenarios to play through.
Custom Game allows you to select the scenario and which AI (or human) opponents to play against. Most of the scenarios are unlocked through expansions, but a few are available for free to allow you to test the expansion rules. The scenarios offer a variable map setup, changes to the rules and the ability to use the bigger rule changes from the two expansions. You can always play base Catan with the traditional board set up and rules.
There are ten AI opponents and they each have their own ratings in three categories: Expansion, Aggression, and Skill. There is one super easy AI which is bad in all three, but there is no stud AI with five stars in all three. Most fall in between and offer interesting choices for which kinds of opponents you want to play against. One confusing aspect here is that while each AI has different ratings for these skills, there is an additional Easy/Medium/Hard difficulty setting found in the app settings. So you can play a character with five stars in Expansion, but if you put it on easy they won’t actually be that good at expansion. It’s a weird mix, it works out okay in the end, but it isn’t explained anywhere as to how the AI ratings and the overall difficulty tie together.
The Wrap Up
Catan is a mostly well implemented version of the classic game, but it is also overly clunky with some poor design decisions. The app is clunky at times in the menus and the odd choice to make one of the three primary game modes (Campaign, along with local and online games) only available with IAP make this app fall short. The writing’s on the wall for the future of this app with Catan Universe currently in development. There’s a good chance Catan doesn’t make the 64-bit jump in iOS, and Catan Universe becomes the only version available on the App Store once it is released.
The only recommendation we can make at this point is that Catan offers an overall playable version of the game and if you are absolutely itching to play the game digitally from your mobile device, it will scratch the itch. However, for most of the audience, we would recommend waiting until the Catan Universe release. That game will likely be more polished than this version and will also be the version supported going forward.
A Little Note
Board games are a great way to get friends, families, and loved ones together for some good old-fashioned fun. If you’re tired of the same classic board games you’ve been playing since you were a kid, don’t worry. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite board games, many of which you may not have played yet.
Despite our increasingly disconnected, virtual world — or perhaps in response to it — board games are back, and in a big way. We’re talking about face-to-face, players gathered together in one room, laughing and joking and moving pieces around an actual board here, not online games, or virtual reality, or video games.
Many of the most popular new games were created in Europe. While old standbys like Monopoly and Scrabble have always sold well, most of the fuel in the board game fire is coming from newer hobby board games that millennials love, such as Catan, Pandemic, and Ticket to Ride. But it really doesn’t matter what generation you belong to. A well-chosen board game is a great way to socialize, have fun, and give your brain a strategic workout.
You should be thinking not just of which placements are valuable starting spots, but also where you hope to expand and how realistic it will be to reach those spots. Which expansion spots are going to best diversify your resource, number, and tile diversity? See more on this below.
Initial Expansion Phase
This can be a considerably stressful part of the game, particularly if you start the game with an immediate face off for a hot spot.
You should always have a goal of what your next expansion goal is for a new settlement, and you need to be wise in your priorities. The two factors to be considered are a) the placement’s value to you personally, and b) the vulnerability of the location to other players’ expansion.
When is a placement most valuable to you? If it adds additional resources or numbers to your portfolio. If you start the game with no brick, it would be incredibly helpful to reach a brick tile for your 3rd placement. Similarly, if you start the game with no access to “5’s”, it’s nice to get on a soon.
If you’ve decided on your third settlement goal and it’s in hot contention, you need to make a big push toward it. This is a crucial phase that will have a big impact on the game, so it’s okay to make some sacrifices for it. I have made some “poor” trades for such placements (cards for 1, or even cards for 1), and they set me early on the road to eventually winning.
Whatever you do, do not get distracted with establishing Longest Road at this point in the game. You will be silently judged by any experienced Catan player at the table. What does the Longest Road card do for your momentum? Nothing. Wiser players will just steal it later when you don’t have the resources to sustain it.
If the opportunity to pursue the Longest Road card is there after you have placements, then let’s talk.
Don’t trade unless it clearly benefits your next goal. Seems like an obvious point, but I see too many newbies disregard it and trade somewhat casually.
Exceptions to Rules and 2
Playing your Hand
Sometimes you need to forsake your original plans in favor of what the gods have given you. Even though I would rather build a settlement on a slightly contentious location, if I have ore, wheat, and brick in my hand; then I am most certainly going to make a trading push to build a city.
Sometimes it’s important to just build something during your turn, because who knows if your cards will even still be there next time the dice come around.
Don’t forget you can play a knight before your turn. It can be useful for getting the robber off your land before you roll the dice. However, keep in mind that if you proceed to roll a 7, you have kind of “wasted” the knight card, because you would have been able to move the robber off your land anyway. And, you’d have to move the Robber again, onto your “second choice” of where you want it. For this reason, you might consider to wait until you roll. *This effect is more powerful early in the game, before multiple players have Development Cards to dilute your Bulldog effect. It is also more useful early in the game due to the “diminishing returns” of resources (A resource earlier in the game is more valuable than a resource later in the game. Tangent: this is because a settlement earlier in the game is more valuable than a settlement later in the game, since it’s lifetime production will be higher). I have played many games where I snagged a Development Card early on, and used the Bulldog Effect to keep my land clear of the Robber during the crucial expansion stage. For this reason I recommend trying to purchase one development card in the first couple of turns, even if the Largest Army is not your primary strategy.
Road Building Card
How useful is it? This card can be incredibly helpful earlier in the game, particularly if you don’t have great access to lumber and brick. However, there is nothing more annoying that drawing a Road Building card toward the end of the game when you have nowhere to expand geographically (or no reason to). Then again, if you are trying to steal Longest Road card (or protect it) near the end of the game, this card can be the perfect ingredient for a surprise victory.
Timing: A lot of internet wisdom suggests that you should only play this card near the end of the game, but I don’t believe you should dogmatically adhere to that. Sometimes this card is your key to claiming a valuable intersection in the crucial expansion phase. It’s not necessarily about the number of cards you are harvesting with it, but the value of what you will be able to do with it. Claiming a valuable 11-pip intersection for your third or fourth placement (and keeping other’s from having it) can have a lot of payoff for the rest of the game.
Benefits to biding your time: There is also a lot of wisdom in waiting. Later in the game when people have more placements and more cities, resource production is much higher. By then you are also more likely to have a port, which can sometimes make the Monopoly card more versatile. If you time it right, the Monopoly card can launch you ahead multiple points in one turn, getting you to 10.
Psychological effect. In addition, some argue, if you play the Monopoly card too early, all the players will harbor ill will toward you for the entire rest of the game. Keep in mind who you are playing with and how they will react. Most of the people I play with are too smart to let their emotions control their judgment. The Monopoly Card is simply part of the game, just like the Robber, and won’t make me hold a grudge.
Pay attention to what’s been rolled and what’s been spent. It is always awkward to watch someone play the Monopoly card and get ZERO resources out of it. Counting cards is one of the more difficult skills of Catan to master, but it is perhaps the most valuable to develop. You should at least have a good idea of the last four numbers that have been rolled, allowing you to estimate which cards are in people’s hands.
Dirty tricks: If you ask around pretending you are looking to do a trade, then play the Monopoly card, you probably will earn ill will from even the more rational people. It’s just best to pay attention, then you don’t need to use this technique.
Largest Army and Longest Road Cards
It can be difficult to win a game without owning one of these two cards (though it certainly still happens). If you don’t have any of them, it usually means your competitors do, and you have that much more catching up to do with regular points.
Which one to pursue? When picking which one of these cards to pursue, keep in mind other players’ capabilities to compete with you, as well as their current progress. Don’t pour resources into a battle you will never win. Sometimes you need to face reality and change your plan based off of another’s clear momentum.
Distinguish between solid points and flexible points. When you are counting victory points on the board and sizing up the competition’s progress, don’t limit your analysis to strict VP numbers. Keep in mind that the Longest Road card can usually switch hands fairly quickly. The Largest Army card gives you a little more time to see it coming, but it too is vulnerable to be taken.
The “Big 3” Strategies
In the Catanian tradition, you will hear about three main “strategies” that players may choose to set themselves up for victory. Oftentimes, a player may be known to favor one of these over another. But in many cases, the board setup and the Initial Placement phase may choose one for you.
The Middle of the Road strategy
The idea behind Option is that sometimes it’s too hard to tell early in the game which strategy is going to be a better pick. Some board setups are not quite conducive to one or the other. The Middle of the Road strategy tries to initially walk the line between those two, and takes into account the changing winds of the game.
Tips to Deflect Attention
Keeping the spotlight off of yourself can be an incredibly important piece of winning, though it does become more difficult the more skillful your opponents are. Brilliant and attentive players are going to be aware of everything regardless of what social tricks you pull. Fortunately for you, not everyone is brilliant and attentive.
Don’t broadcast your accomplishments. If you just built a city and people were busy in conversation so they didn’t even notice… awesome. The quieter your turn is, the better. Similarly, try not to get too excited when an is rolled and you get to pick up four Ore cards.
Don’t take too long on your turn. Not only does this keep everyone’s eyes on your activity and plans, it will also drive the other players crazy.
Complement other players on their accomplishments. Not only does this cast you as an amiable and kind settler, it also brings everyone’s attention to the fact that this player just advanced one step closer to victory. What’s great is that I can genuinely say these things, because I am happy on some level that they’re doing well. A game is more fun if your friends are having fun.
Trade Goods – additional city tiles are provided that have Wine, Wheat or Cloth symbols. If you complete that city (whether it’s yours or not) you will receive a token for each symbol that is in that city. At the end of the game whoever has the most of each type of token gets an additional points, so overall there are 30 additional points to play for.
Pig piece – You can add the pig piece to any farm you have and you will achieve points instead of for each completed city ion that farm.
Builder piece – you can add this piece to any road or city that you own, when you add another tile to that road or city you can take an additional tile which can be played anywhere.
Cloth bag – This is actually a great addition as it gives you somewhere to keep all of your tiles and allows you to transport the game more easily. I always take my set on holiday now I have the cloth bag.
King and Robber – whoever builds the longest road or largest city wins the Robber or King tile respectively. The Robber gives you an additional point for each complete road on the board at the end of the game and the King tile gives the same for each completed city.
The River – Includes additional river pieces that are used to start the game to spread out the play.
Heretics and shrines – when a shrine is played next to a cloister whichever is completed first gets all of the pints and the other player gets none.
The king and robber are a nice addition and can be used separately when playing any version of the game. They can however drag out the scoring up at the end of the game, especially when combined with the traders expansion.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your catan expansion wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of catan expansion
- №1 — Catan 5-6 Player Extension – 5th Edition
- №2 — Catan: Cities & Knights 5-6 Player Extension 5th Edition
- №3 — Catan: Traders & Barbarians