The Settlers of Catan Seafarers adds sea hexes, ships, pirate ships, and gold hexes to the Catan universe adding more game elements to the standard Settlers of Catan game. To find a review for the standard Settlers of Catan game you can follow the link below as this review will focus on the Seafarers expansion.
New Seafarers Elements
Sea Hexes & Ships
As its name suggests Seafarers adds sea hexes to Settlers of Catan and with it comes ships that each player can build. Sea hexes do not have any resources tied to them and cannot be crossed except with ships. This adds further depth to Settlers of Catan since there can be islands, rivers, and many other board setups compared to the standard version of the game.
Gold is a new resource hex added with the Seafarers expansion is brings an interesting element when used that the standard Settlers of Catan game does not have. When a player builds next to a gold hex and gains a resource from it they can select any resource of their choice which provides a huge advantage. Usually gold hexes are placed on islands or areas with sea hexes separating them from the starting area on the board.
It is only fitting that with Seafarers that there is a pirate ship added to the game. The pirate ship functions like the robber except is only able to be used on sea hexes. The pirate ship prevents players from building ships next to it and prevents them from moving ships. Players can also steal one card from a player with a ship next to the pirate.
Chits are small tokens introduced with seafarers that tie in with specific scenarios provided with the Seafarers expansion or with player made scenarios. Chits are rewarded by building to them or by completing certain goals specific to a scenario. The main purpose of chits is to provide either victory points for gaining them or rewards such as resources. Chits can be used or can be left out while playing Seafarers but add another layer of depth if used in the game.
New Game Elements and Game Mechanics
Seafarers is a great expansion since it changes the board setup and the shape drastically. Seafarers moves the game away from a large piece of land and provides the option of creating several landmasses, islands, rivers, and countless other options that the standard game is unable to do. With the added option of sea hexes it provides players with many more map designs and if you were growing tired of the same board shape/setup with the standard game then the Seafarers expansion is a great place to start.
Seafarers also adds ships to the game which changes the game mechanics slightly. Ships are needed to cross water hexes and can help players that are blocked in via land escape through the sea and to better areas of a game board. Ships also make sheep more important in the game and depending on the setup you use can make sheep the most important resource.
Easy to Learn
While the Settlers of Catan Seafarers expansion adds some drastic changes to the game through sea hexes and gold it doesn’t make the game much more complicated. Unlike other expansions Seafarers is very easy to learn if you know the standard Settlers of Catan game and will take minutes to learn the new rules and pieces of the game. With Seafarers being very easy to learn it is the best expansion to pick up for players looking for their first expansion for the standard Settlers of Catan game.
The Settlers of Catan Seafarers expansion adds a ton of depth to the standard Settlers game by introducing sea hexes and ships to the game. This added layer for Settlers of Catan will provide many more board setups and will make the game more interesting but not overly complicated. Seafarers is very easy to learn unlike other expansions and is the best expansion to pickup if you are looking for your first expansion to Settlers of Catan.
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