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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Ready ORE Not.....More Catan!

For today's segment we returned to Noble Coffee & Tea to play Rivals for Catan.  A few weeks back we did an at home segment to play The Settlers of Catan.  This version of Catan is a two player card game in which you are still building roads, settlements, and cities, but this time only with cards.  You also still gain resources such as wool, grain, brick, ore, lumber, and gold, but the approach is very different.  Each turn you will roll your dice, and one die will determine which resources you gain, and which actions or event cards are drawn.  
Essentially whoever gains 7 victory points first is the winner.  This is done by expanding your regions and building roads and settlements to eventually upgrade to cities.  You can purchase units such as heroes and trade ships to assist you in your endeavors, and build additional buildings to increase your resources per turn.  There are also action cards that are drawn which can quickly change the course of the game if you play them at the right times.  Unlike the traditional Settlers of Catan game, you have a limit to how many resources you can get per card which means you need to focus your energy on building more roads and settlements which increases your chances at more resources depending on the number that is rolled on the dice.  My strategy is to build more roads and settlements as soon as you can.  Expand as quickly as you can, that way you have a better chance at increasing your individual resource count as well as victory points through your settlements and cities.
I think this is a good game, and a very unique version of Catan. However, I also feel there are some draw backs. Claire and I have played this game a few times so far, and even though it is supposed to be more portable, as you can see from this picture, it really takes up a lot more real estate. This meant that we had to prep accordingly and take into consideration the amount of space that we would need on a table to even be able to play this game in a public place. A small box game shouldn't require this much space on a table, but apparently Rivals does, which defeats the purpose of it being a smaller game. The size of the box does not matter nearly as much as the amount of space it will require on the table. This game takes up just about as much space as Settlers does, and it's only a two player game. Also, we were only playing the base set today, not the additional era of progress, era of turmoil, and era of gold cards, so be prepared to need a larger table for this "portable" game. The event cards seem somewhat average. Claire and I have both taken multiple turns where we can't even resolve the events because it's either too early in the game, or by chance, neither one of us have been able to address the requirements. So basically, sometimes the events work, and some of the times they do absolutely nothing for us. I really like the artwork though and once again, since this game carries a medieval setting, I thoroughly enjoy it. The cards are very thin and flimsy though, and I wish they were either tiles, or just thicker, more durable cards. This would have changed our opinions of the quality of the game. In my opinion though, this game is still better than The Struggle for Catan, which was why we purchased Rivals instead. The Rivals for Catan is still a good game, I definitely like it, it's just not The Settlers of Catan.

The Rivals for Catan
Overall Meeple Rating: 6/10

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