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Games Entertainment

Catan Online Set to Debut This Month 150

Thanks to GamingReport.com for the news that http://www.gamingreport.com/article.php?sid=14646>The Settlers of Catan Online will make its international online debut at Spiel '04 in Essen, Germany. "Catan Online will launch exclusively at MSN Games this winter. With MSN Games' base of 30 million registered users worldwide, more people than ever before will have access to this global gaming phenomenon." Besides being able to check out the game in depth, MSN is going to be running several tournaments and exhibitions of the game.
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Catan Online Set to Debut This Month

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  • Open source version (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tim Macinta ( 1052 ) * <twm@alum.mit.edu> on Monday October 11, 2004 @01:47PM (#10495752) Homepage
    I wonder if they are aware of the open source (GPL) version of Settlers of Catan [northwestern.edu]. Some guy wrote it for his thesis because writing the AI for a game where negotiation plays such a big role posed an interesting challenge. I was addicted to this version for several weeks when I came across it last year and I'd hate to see it disappear (but on the other hand, I don't think it was ever officially sanctioned by the owners of Settlers).
  • no No NO... (Score:3, Funny)

    by nick-less ( 307628 ) on Monday October 11, 2004 @01:47PM (#10495754)
    I'll never signup for a msn account....
  • Arg! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Glenstorm ( 117502 )
    First Halo. . . Now Settlers. . .
    Damn you Microsloft!!
    • Thirty million registered users? Isn't that like 10 % of all (legal) windows copies out there? Or are they counting all MSN accounts (incl. hotmail) as "MSN Gaming Account". Heck, even I have a MSN account - from the time when Hotmail was untainted by Micro$oft. Haven't used it in years, but it still appears to be 'active'.

      ==
      God is a Numerical
  • by disc-chord ( 232893 ) on Monday October 11, 2004 @01:48PM (#10495764)
    Never before has a publisher tried so hard to avoid showing any screenshots on their website.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 11, 2004 @01:49PM (#10495778)
    But I lacked the requisite number of Ores to attain it.
  • Care to tell us what this game is about?
    • by Zonk ( 12082 ) on Monday October 11, 2004 @01:57PM (#10495877) Homepage Journal
      Settlers of Catan is a German Board game created by Mayfair Games [coolgames.com]. In it, you use cardboard tiles to randomly assemble an island (Catan). You then begin the game by placing two settlements on the board. Each tile on the island represents a resource, with a number between 1 and 12. You roll a pair of dice, and the number that shows up dictates what resources "appear" for that round. Resources are used to purchase roads, settlements, and cultural improvements.

      It's very simple to learn, but *very* hard to master, and is possibly one of the best board games ever made.
      • by Khelder ( 34398 ) on Monday October 11, 2004 @02:15PM (#10496052)
        I really like strategy games, and many of the games I like don't appeal to people who aren't really into games. Settlers of Catan is a great game in part because it appeals to people who aren't "gamers".

        I think part of the appeal is that it is pretty simple to learn. Also, although it is competitive, it is not very confrontational or combative compared to most other strategy games. For example, stuff you build (settlements, roads, cities) can't be destroyed by other players. (At least in the basic game set). And, you have to cooperate in the form of trading resources with others, at least in the beginning, or you'll never get anywhere.

        I wouldn't say that it's all that hard to master, esp. compared with games like Tigris & Euphrates or Vinci, but it definitely has a high enough level of strategy to be fun even for fairly hard-core gamers.
        • I agree whole-heartedly on the appeal to non-hardcore gamers. My wife, who usually rolls her eyes at this sort of stuff, is a a newly converted hard core addict, as is the rest of my family. Last Christmas I think at least 3-4 new sets of the game were exchanged. Even my Mom puts down the grand-kids when we break the board out.

          This is a very very fun game.

          I'm not so hot on the Knights and Barbarians expansion as I feel it makes the game tedious (in a bad way), but the base set has plenty of replay valu
      • Settlers of Catan is a German Board game created by Mayfair Games.

        As a point of fact, Settlers of Catan was originally published by Kosmos as Die Siedler von Catan and created by Klaus Teuber. See more information Here [boardgamegeek.com]. Mayfair Games has republished it (3 editions I believe) in English, here in the USA.
      • Just a technicality, but the game is *published* by Mayfair, it wasn't created by them. The game was created by Klaus Teuber. In fact, Mayfair is only the American publisher - I believe the German company Kosmos was the first company to produce Catan. Just a niggle, but I think Klaus deserves to have his name assosciated with his own game.
      • Not to nitpick, but "-1, Inaccurate."

        Settlers of Catan is the English edition of Die Siedler von Catan, a German Board game created by Klaus Teuber, and published by Kosmos verlag GmbH in Germany, and Mayfair Games in most of the English-speaking world.

        In it, you randomly build a hexagonal island out of smaller, hexagonal tiles. Each tile represends a resource (wool/sheep, lumber/wood, brick/clay, ore/stone, grain/food: These are some of the names that the five resources are known by), each with a number
        • Then there's the novel, the computer games, and the whiskey bottle edition. No, seriously.

          Yeah, it's pretty disgusting. I mean, we own the original game, and it's great. I've never tried the expansions, but obviously they add a lot to the game. But Starfarers of Catan, a card game and a novel? That's just milking a cash cow. Now, I'm all for exploiting idiots, but maybe they went a bit too far. ;)
          • Yeah, it's pretty disgusting. I mean, we own the original game, and it's great. I've never tried the expansions, but obviously they add a lot to the game. But Starfarers of Catan, a card game and a novel? That's just milking a cash cow. Now, I'm all for exploiting idiots, but maybe they went a bit too far.

            Actually, the card game is extremely good, Starfarers is unique enough to be it's own game (and it is), and Starship Catan is probably my favorite of the bunch. And the novel was written by a fan. They
            • I'm sure they're all great, but as I see it they are using brand name of the enormously popular first game to sell the others. That's milking in my book, no matter if the products sold are good or bad. Many of the expansions to The Sims were also quite neat, and the target audience loved them.
    • It's a board game heavy in diplomacy and strategy. It is well-balanced so that both elements count. (Unlike many diplomacy games where the percieved best player always looses because people gang-up on him.)
    • by stlthVector ( 468932 ) * on Monday October 11, 2004 @02:01PM (#10495914)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Settlers_of_Catan

      Settlers of Catan is a board game that started in Germany and is huge in Europe. Apparently there are leages for it over there. Myself and many friends of mine play settlers often.

      It's a great board game because there is a great deal of veriablity from one game to the next. This is due to the board being composed of tiles that change every game and the die roll. Depening on the way the tiles are layed out (randomly), certin resources become more or less valuable and this changes how one needs to play the game. The object of the game is to be the first person to get 10 victory points.

      During the game there is a lot of player interaction as resources are bartered back and forth.

      A game of regular settlers (there are expansions and variations) with people who know how to play typically takes from 30 to 60 minutes.

      The game has some similarities to Monopoly and Risk but is really a completly different kind of game. Most people to like Risk seem to really enjoy settlers.
      • The game has some similarities to Monopoly and Risk but is really a completly different kind of game. Most people to like Risk seem to really enjoy settlers.

        That's a good way to put it. The recent German board game invasion has brought lots of games that serious gamers can play with non-gamers. (Gamer: n. One who enjoys table-top games including board games, war games, card games, and role-playing games, as a primary hobby.) Several friends who really have no idea what I see in something like Twilight [fantasyflightgames.com]

        • Settlers of Catan is good, but has the problem that it is often possible to tell early on who a guaranteed loser will be, and yet still have over half the game time remaining to play out. I really don't like boardgames that do that because they make it really suck to be that player who is losing, and for the other players it sucks to have to listen to that player whine about how hopeless the game is, especially when you realize he's 100% correct about that hopelessness. The fact that a house or road canno
      • Anyone ever play Carcassonne? It might be newer than Catan but it shares some very similar characteristics. I'm not sure if they have any relationship or if it's just because they are both German style games. In Carcassonne the game starts out with 1 landscape tile (could be part of a city, farmland, road, or water feature) and everyone takes turns placing 1 tile and can place 1 "follower" (a guy) if they choose (you have a total of 6 or 7 followers, but there are many more tiles - 71 in total). The followe
        • Yeah, actually among my family and friends Carcassonne is extremely popular. It has been said that Settlers is easy and appealing for non-gamers, but from my experience, Carcassonne is a *lot* easier to learn, and I introduced around 30 persons to both Carcassonne and Settlers. It's much more fun, too, because inexperienced players stand a good chance of winning, given they really try and don't play for just killing time.

          Actually, I just realize that I haven't been playing Settlers for years now, but we re
    • It's very addictive, too; *everyone* I invited to play this game has bought it. *Everyone*. Be warned.

      The nice part of the game is that you're always busy; even when it's not your turn you receive resources, you can trade with other players (although you can only trade with the person who's turn it is). The constant interactions suck you into the game, you're not waiting 80% of the time for your turn.

      Also, with games like Risk you can lose early in the game, with Catan this rarely happens. Put all this to
  • I have no the before unused it. It is before very popular in country, and I have many hours spent Catan boardgame played with friends. Have made modified version Stripcatan and now play for fun when the drinking.
    • Re:As German (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Ignignot ( 782335 ) on Monday October 11, 2004 @01:59PM (#10495895) Journal
      You don't have to be German to enjoy this game. I have a feeling that most slashdot readers will have played this game - it is a lot of fun and is a much more matured board game than something like monopoly. Also, it is constructive (you are trying to get 10 points) than destructive (you are trying to make everyone else bankrupt). A fantastic game, IMO. I happen to work at a commodities trading company, and people here play it every once in awhile. A word of advice: do not play this game against an actual commodities trader. They're crazy good.
      • Also, it is constructive (you are trying to get 10 points) than destructive (you are trying to make everyone else bankrupt).

        For Settlers of Catan, the distinction is kind of blurry. While you do have to play in a way that builds up your resource base, a large part of the game is figuring out how to best screw over the other players (placing a settlement so as to prohibit several other settlement placements, figuring out where to best place the robber, figuring out how to deny "longest road" and "largest a
      • This may seem like a dumb question, but could you share with us some insight on WHY commodities traders are better at this game? The game does not have money as we know it, so I don't see how their skills would transfer.

        I'm very interested in hearing your answer to this as I've always been fascinated at real world professions that translate well into games.

        • They're good at the game because they are able to quickly guess a good price for some commodity (in other commodities). So where one person might trade 1 wheat for 1 wool, these guys will know it is worth 1 wool and 1 wood. Or whatever. They can also guess what the worth would be of building a city vs building another settlement on new numbers. Assuming the city has more dots around it than the potential settlement, it still might not be worthwhile because having all of your stuff come from only a few n
  • I was just afraid I'd have to buy this and spend a lot of time on it, being a long-time Settlers fan. Fortunately, it only runs on MSN, so I probably will not be able/want to use it, and thus have time for other things.

    -Lars
  • Perhaps Uwe Rosenberg will keep up his fued with Klaus Teuber. Each time Teuber released a new expansion/version to Settlers, Rosenberg released another card game/expansion to Bohnanza. Bohnanza is much better than settlers IMHO, but then that's because I like Uwe's wit.
  • by Washizu ( 220337 ) <bengarvey@@@comcast...net> on Monday October 11, 2004 @01:52PM (#10495820) Homepage
    I really think the future of online gaming is not going to be 3D accelerated shooters. These types of games appeal to a much larger audience and almost everyone has the hardware to handle it.

    Some of my favorite online games?
    Kingdom of Loathing [kingdomofloathing.com] - Hilarious multiplayer RPG
    The Game Show [jasonzahn.com] - A daily phrase puzzle similar to family fued.
    Diplomacy [diplom.org] - Famous war game without random elements.
    Global Combat [globalcombat.com] - Risk-like war game, except all moves are made at the same time.

    • by The Kow ( 184414 ) <putnamp AT gmail DOT com> on Monday October 11, 2004 @02:07PM (#10495985)
      I didn't want to reply to this because I wanted to mod this discussion, but I can't resist:

      You may not realize it, but there's a huge, huge, huge presence of online games that are NOT Counter-strike (or Doom 3, or any other FPS). I'm a huge FPS fan, always have been, but online gaming certainly is moving in other directions - while still progressing heavily in the FPS market, if for no other reason than vendors wanting to push a viable competitive vehicle for them to show off hardware on.

      Sims Online, the virtual morass of MMORPGs out there, Yahoo! Games, Starcraft/Warcraft 3, etc. By the way, I'm playing in the WoW beta, and I highly suspect it will make the biggest splash in the MMORPG world since Everquest, if not since Ultima Online virtually pioneered the genre.

      While I'm on the topic, Blizzard for best game developing studio of the modern gaming era? I can't think of anyone who comes close to their unparalleled success in multiple genres, and if WoW works out as I suspect it will, the gap will just widen.
      • Blizzard is the most polished developing studio of the modern gaming era. However, they never do anything really noteworthy and imaginative - their games are pretty derivative. This isn't necessarily a bad thing - they're still damn fun games - but it's clear that it's up to other companies to come up with truly new ideas.

        The WoW beta was fun, but there was literally nothing in it that jumped out at me as being spectacular and genre-changing. In the end, it's Everquest with orcs. Both FFXI (with its crazy
        • Blizzard is the most polished developing studio of the modern gaming era. However, they never do anything really noteworthy and imaginative - their games are pretty derivative. This isn't necessarily a bad thing - they're still damn fun games - but it's clear that it's up to other companies to come up with truly new ideas.

          I think you're dead wrong, and I'll tell you why:

          1 - WoW is geared towards letting players level at a reasonable pace. Many games call themselves 'quest driven', but few of them do it
          • You have just proved my exact point.

            I never said Blizzard wasn't good. I never said they didn't have an amazing amount of polish. I just disagree that they bring anything truly new to the genre. Examples:

            (1) "We have quests. Lots of quests!" On the other hand, every game has quests. They just have a lot of them. Cool? Yes. Incredibly inventive? No.

            (2) Instanced dungeons: AO had instanced missions, although (AFAIK - it might have changed since a few years ago) they didn't have named monsters. FFXI has ins
            • One man's innovation is another man's polish, then. You're saying that taking a worn genre like MMORPGs, figuring out what all was wrong with the genre as it stood, and then setting out to fix them, wholesale, isn't an innovative idea. I think, especially for the gaming world, that it is. I think most game developers come up with a few ideas, then craft a game around it. Blizzard's approach isn't one that's just vested in its own in-house talent. The quality in their games is the product of a comprehen
            • I'm fairly certain I recall AC2 having instanced dungeons. EverQuest 2 also has them. There might have been others. EQ2 is really cool, incidently, I'm enjoying it a lot. I'd love to see WOW, but alas I'm in Germany and Blizzard apparently thinks it's a really cool idea to restrict their betas to North America. I guess I could try to work around that with the upcoming "open" beta but I can't be arsed. Maybe they'll have EU beta or demo eventually, I certainly won't consider buying without trying for a coupl
              • So people who don't like the genre aren't suddenly going to like the genre. That's.. great?

                BTW, they did do a European beta, which just went out a few weeks ago. Sorry if you missed out on it. They're doing an open beta soon, too. Maybe you can get in on that.

                I don't know if you're insinuating that I'm one of those 'rabid fanboys', since I've done what I could to be ultimately objective, but it's to be expected that the most succesful gaming company would have the most rabid fanboys. I don't count my
                • So people who don't like the genre aren't suddenly going to like the genre. That's.. great?

                  I agree that it's a trivial point, but as I said, many, many people just assumed that would be the case.

                  They're doing an open beta soon, too. Maybe you can get in on that.

                  The open beta they announced a couple of days is limited to North American residents, like I said. Of course it's not out of the question that they'll start an independent beta for the rest of the world.

                  I don't know if you're insinuating that
                  • the most succesful gaming company

                    See? That's what I mean. At the very least, that's an extremely subjective choice, since there is no widespread definition of the order, ie what constitutes being a more successful gaming company than others. I most certainly disagree, actually I wouldn't want to put that label on any single company - but that's also just my own very subjective opinion.


                    I took a step back from attempting to qualify their merit and just said 'succesful', which I think is a lot easier to val
                    • As a matter of fact, my first thought was Maxis due to The Sims, or more accurately, Electronic Arts which Maxis is merely a subdivision of these days. EA also seems to be extremely successful in general - whether deservedly so or not. I'm not sure about The Sims' international presence, either, but it's sold the most games worldwide and that's that.

                      It's really a matter of what success exactly is. For what it's worth, Blizzard does have a track record of releasing critically acclaimed games, no doubt about
                    • EA doesn't produce games, really, they just handle the licensing/distribution/etc., like Activision did for ids earlier stuff (do they still, I don't know..?). They also do QA for their games, and maintain a lot of the production studios as almost in-house, but they're still production teams, and should be viewed as such.

                      I suppose you could hold Blizzard to a similar standard since they do have Blizzard and Blizzard North, so maybe it's moot. Still, if you look at signal to noise ratio, you'll find that
                    • You still haven't defined what kind of success you refer to, so it's fairly vain to discuss what company is more so than others...
    • Roborally [eyeplaygames.com] - Program a robot (the best game ever)

      Puerto Rico [phial.com] - Kinda fun, (Requires curl)

      Brettspielwelt [brettspielwelt.de] - many games including catan in german.

    • Wired Magazine had an article a while back that agrees with you:

      The Wrinkled Future of Online Gaming [wired.com]

    • I wish I could agree with you entirely, but Kingdom of Loathing, especially, has really been going downhill lately. I played it for months and bought a Mr. Accessory, but haven't opened it up again for a month or two - there's just nothing to do anymore, y'know? When I started, 99% of the game was "fight monsters, get items, level up", and the "fight monsters" part wasn't fun whatsoever - the only fun parts were finishing quests and getting new items. Now I've got all the Star Garb and I can't kill the fina
    • May I humbly suggest Weboggle?
  • One has been able to play the Settlers of Catan (a fun board game, albeit one that seems to fall by the wayside for many 'serious gamers' when they move to other German-style games) online for a while. BrettSpielWelt (BSW), http://www.brettspielwelt.de/ has a number of games of this sort - Catan, Puerto Rico, San Juan, Princes of Florence, as well as some abstracts, like Dvonn and Yinsh by Brum.

    For those that really enjoy board games, it's a fun place (and there are many people that speak English there t

    • One has been able to play the Settlers of Catan (a fun board game, albeit one that seems to fall by the wayside for many 'serious gamers' when they move to other German-style games) online for a while.
      OK, I'll bite. What's a "German-style" game?
      • OK, I'll bite. What's a "German-style" game?

        Any game can be! Just make sure you always go by the rules, try not to have fun, and for gods sake don't chat or laugh while you're playing.
      • complicated rules, addictive gameplay. inventive game mechanics. settlers of catan is just one example.
      • Re:German style? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Bohnanza ( 523456 ) on Monday October 11, 2004 @02:17PM (#10496076)
        OK, I'll bite. What's a "German-style" game?

        Most of the best board games published these days come from Germany. I don't really know why. These games share common features:

        Quick playing - usually no more than an hour or so,

        No players are eliminated during play,

        There is usually no "combat" and if there is it's only a small part of the game,

        Simple rules but the games require careful strategy,

        The games are usually not "simulations" of anything but rather have a "theme" pasted over clever mechanics,

        Usually luck does NOT determine the winner,

        Nice components, usually including wood pieces,

        Go to http://www.boardgamegeek.com and check out the top-rated games.

        • Most board games come from Germany because there are 1 or 2 large monopolistic board game companies in the USA. These companies do not care about innovation... they only care about selling cheaply produced boardgames that have been around for decades.
      • OK, I'll bite. What's a "German-style" game?

        Basically, they are not American-style games where the game play follows the roll-the-dice/take-your-turn theme. Very few American style games are interesting to old/young adult audiences. You don't see many gaming groups of 20+ somethings getting together to play Candy Land or Chutes and Ladders.
        • Basically, they are not American-style games where the game play follows the roll-the-dice/take-your-turn theme

          You mean like the good ol roll-the-dice/take-your-turn game of Die Siedler von Catan?

  • How much will it be to play this game? Will there be a monthly fee?

    I will give you two grain. No? Okay, two grain and a brick?
  • Maybe I haven't played it often enough, but Catan feels like "Civilization for Pre-schoolers on Valium".
    It seems to be about as far as you can go in the area of resource strategy games without losing the mainstream audience.
    If they translated the rules 1:1 (or near that) for MSN, I fear it may turn out too simlble/boring/slow for the internet crowd.

    IIRC it's based on a good clean wholesome family board game with almost as many expansion packs as The Sims, and there just ain't enough good plain killing
    • Re:Boring? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Brandybuck ( 704397 )
      Maybe I haven't played it often enough, but Catan feels like "Civilization for Pre-schoolers on Valium".

      There are significant disadvantages to Civilization. First it takes 6+ hours to play to completion. Second if you fall behind one turn you're behind forever and might as well go home because you've lost. Third, there is no randomness to position, so that every game is much like every other game (imagine playing CivIII with only one possible map and starting positions).

      On the other hand, Cataan can be p
  • Brettspeilwelt? (Score:4, Informative)

    by boinger ( 4618 ) <boinger&fuck-you,org> on Monday October 11, 2004 @02:00PM (#10495909) Homepage
    What's wrong with the one on Brettspielwelt [brettspielwelt.de]? It works perfectly for me (and if you can play it on Linux, you can likely play it on anything).

    I didn't know the games there were a secret. :)

    There's also Carcasonne ("CC"), Lost Cities, Go, Puerto Rico, etc, etc.

    I hope I'm not inviting a hard slashdotting if they can't take it, but it sure would be nice to have a few more players on there with some regualrity :)

    • I do enjoy carcassonne. Apparently there's a Windows PC version available in Germany.
      • I do enjoy carcassonne. Apparently there's a Windows PC version available in Germany.

        The reviews I read didn't like it, because of two reasons:
        - Cluttered screen, no good overview as you would have on your table top (well, it's a lot of cards you have to fit in 17")
        - AI too good. Computer has exact knowledge of the cards that are in play, makes it seems more as a psychic than as an opponent.

    • It works perfectly for me (and if you can play it on Linux, you can likely play it on anything).

      I never got it to work under MacOSX. 8-(
      I would have loved to play Puerto Rico on-line.

  • by ArsSineArtificio ( 150115 ) on Monday October 11, 2004 @02:02PM (#10495931) Homepage
    I, for, one, welcome our new resource-stealing thief overlords, and would like to remind them that as a trusted poster on Slashdot, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their 3/1 brick ports.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 11, 2004 @02:12PM (#10496029)
    There are at least three different environments for playing settlers of catan online.

    http://www.s3dconnector.net/ is a very nice client, with lots of options for choosing 'house rules'.
    Also because of the ladder setup, many people don't quit just because they're losing, a perpetual problem with onlinegaming environments.

    http://solito.free.fr/catane/ is a nice client, but there's no rating system, so not so many people use it.

    http://settlers.cs.northwestern.edu/ is the 'original' site. It lacks the nicer graphics, but is often heavily loaded, with lots of players around, (when it's up)

  • Settlers of Catan (and the variants: Seafarers, Spacefarers) is a fun game and something we always seem to come back to on our gaming nights.

    However, one of the things that many people dislike about it is the die rolling. Too much is dependent on what the outcome of the die is. Even if you play it smart by trying to cover the odds and occupy as many numbers as possible, your success depends on whether the right combo of resources you own comes up.

    Our boardgame group has been steering away from games tha
    • On randomness (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Mablung ( 723714 )
      I think one of the things that many people like about it, whether they know it or not, is the die rolling. It all depends on what you consider fun.
      If your idea of fun is to see who is best, or who has the best strategy, or who has the maddest skilz, then you don't want an element of chance. But for alot of people, that element of chance gives you a kick of adrenaline even when you've worked out your optimal strategy. You can still play with your brainiac friends (who will always beat you at chess) and
    • One of those "no chance" games. My gaming group loved it. I hated it. The game takes forever, games inevitably saw any aggressive players getting squashed and then the rest declaring a 4-way joint victory because no one wanted to take any risks. Stopped playing with them after watching 3 games in a row play out exactly the same way.
  • Catan online (Score:3, Informative)

    by webhead04 ( 821037 ) on Monday October 11, 2004 @02:47PM (#10496400)
    http://settlers.cs.northwestern.edu/ This is the java applet version of basic catan, four player max and you are able to play against bots. Two positives are that you can play solo(against 3 bots) and since it's an applet there's nothing to download/install(play from work.. who? me?!?) Using wancatan and finding players via wannagame you can play with any or all of the expansions, different maps, rules, sounds, dice roll tracker, more players etc.
  • by sense_net ( 755855 ) on Monday October 11, 2004 @02:53PM (#10496459)
    I will never be productive again. Please don't roll a 7.
  • by Hoplite3 ( 671379 ) on Monday October 11, 2004 @03:01PM (#10496562)
    This [brettspielwelt.de] is a much better boardgame portal. You need to configure it to use english instead of german (if that's your language of choice), but it has a great community and lots and lots of german board games. If you aren't familiar with classic titles like Saint Petersburg, Puerto Rico [boardgamegeek.com], and Carcassone, you should really check it out. These games have been beautifly adapted to the java interface, so anyone can play with any OS with java support.

    The german style of boardgame is interesting. The games are under an hour, you may be down, but you're never out, and it'll be your turn soon. The are easy to learn but hard to master. Unlike the American designers, the germans don't like direct conflict or random chance. Instead, there's a lot of resource denial and bidding strategy.

    Brettspeilwelt has a metagame that advances players in rank. Experienced players have more control over games, and can build game rooms of their own. Generally, playing space, in terms of server resources is optimally allocated this way. There's a lot of prestige in offering the new game and so forth. Also, the Germans are very polite gamers. No cussing or racial slurs, just "good luck and have fun" type comments. If you like boardgames like Settlers, this is the place to be.
  • How realistic? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jandrese ( 485 ) * <kensama@vt.edu> on Monday October 11, 2004 @03:04PM (#10496602) Homepage Journal
    Are they going to make this like the real Settlers of Catan where the dice that come with the box seem to skew (and change the skew randomly?).

    I don't know how many games of Catan I've played where the dice suddenly seemed to start rolling 2,3, and 4 over and over again then suddenly start rolling a huge long string of 9, 10, 11... Around here the Catan dice are infamous for that behavior.
    • Re:How realistic? (Score:5, Informative)

      by waytoomuchcoffee ( 263275 ) on Monday October 11, 2004 @04:41PM (#10497418)
      I don't know how many games of Catan I've played where the dice suddenly seemed to start rolling 2,3, and 4 over and over again then suddenly start rolling a huge long string of 9, 10, 11... Around here the Catan dice are infamous for that behavior.

      Um, ALL sets of dice are infamous for clumping behavior. You might want to look at a basic book of statistics.

      A famous example of clumping in real life (and how we perceive it) can be demonstrated by convincing two of your friends to perform a little experiment. Have one toss a coin 100 times and write down the results. Have the other write up a "random" assortment of 100 heads and tails that they came up with in their head. Don't let them tell you which person used which method, instead tell them you will figure it out. Ninety-five percent of the time, the person flipping the coin will generate a series of seven or more heads or tails in a row. You almost never see this in the list the other person makes up, as they invariable think that seven or more in a row will never happen.

      In terms of what to expect in a game like Settlers, similar clumping of production numbers will occur. Just like the person making up the heads/tails, this will seem extremely unlikely (or really bad/good luck), but it isn't; what seems to be really strange clumping is in fact quite common.

      You have to assume weird clumping will happen, and plan for it. For example, consider spreading out your production centers in the early game onto different numbers so this has less of a chance of happening to you. This is especially important if you are playing a strategy that emphasizes cities (i.e. the ore-grain strategy), as you will have less production centers (and by extension, be located next to fewer production numbers) to begin with, and therefore are at a greater risk from clumping.
  • Not as good (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Bequita ( 813032 )
    There's no way this can be as good as playing the actual board game, because you miss out on the family dynamics of game play, such as watching your mom chuck the dice at your dad, or one's husband deliberately putting the thief on your only stone hex, and then somehow drawing the only stone card in your hand, as if he could see where it was... Not that I speak from experience or anything. No, not me...

    Somethings are just meant to be played in the actual world.

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