Authors: Klaus Teuber
and Catan-Fans

Publisher: Kosmos 2000

Awards: none



The Settlers-Book released in fall 2000 is difficult to evaluate as a stand-alone product. Being an addition to the modern classic The Settlers of Catan, the book is only of use for players who own at least the basic Settlers-game, and preferably also the Seafarers-Expansion.

Unlike any normal book, the Settlers-Book comes in a cassette which does not only contain a hardcover book but also 10 sheets of new counters, hex-tiles and other useful items. These new items can be added to the game in a number of different scenarios and also by using certain rules-variants - all of them are discussed in the book itself. The book contains 15 scenarios and 18 variants for the game, all of them quite different and introducing many new features to the game.

Some of these new scenarios are really outstanding. In Die Kolonien, the players for example set out to discover a new world, using the exploration-rules from the Seafarers-Expansion. However, the players may now discover exotic places and goods. So there now exist Jungle- and Volcano-hexes, and also counters for Discoveries, Gold etc. Another new scenario is Catan-Express, featuring the building of railroads on Catan and ending with a railroad-race between the different players. Very intriguing is also the scenario Westwärts, featuring a map resembling the USA and concerned with the progress of railway-building. This scenario introduces rivers, forts, scouts and indians, thus introducing major changes to the normal gameplay.

Considering the variety of changes possible to the normal Settlers-game by the introduction of these expansions, the Settlers-Book definately offers a totally new Settlers-experience. The variants and scenarios have been playtested carefully, ensuring full playability and sendible rules, and thus I can only recommend this book to every German Settlers-fan. However, I also have to formulate certain caveats for any English players: First off, the book is only written in German, so that a good knowledge of the language (or a webpage which may offer a translation at some point in the future) is compulsory. Furthermore, the new playing-components are only suitable for the Kosmos-edition of Settlers of Catan, but not for the Mayfair edition of the game. The Mayfair edition has not only different graphics but different hex-sizes, so that at least a part of the new playing-materials is not useable. Having talked to a Mayfair representative at the SPIEL 2000, I was told that no English version of the book is planned due to too high production costs connected with a publication of the book.

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany