Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

The Seafarers of Catan 5-6 Player: Expanding an Expansion

The Seafarers of Catan 5-6 Players: Expanding an Expansion


Recently I’ve begun extending my board game reviews to include reviews of game expansions. Here, however, I have a more unique case; to review an expansion of another expansion! In fact you could even say it is an expansion of two other expansions since you need both the Settlers of Catan base game, the Seafarers expansion, and the Catan 5-6 player expansion in order to use this expansion. So it is quite an investment. However Catan fans like myself may set out to collect the entire Settlers collection as it is, so for many this is not too big of a problem.
Is the 5-6 player expansion necessary? Well, let’s ask ourselves what this; what is the purpose of the Seafarer’s expansion in the first place? To expand the area of play and open up more room to explore. Therefore, the 5-6 player compliments this purpose well by continuing the sprawling area and creating even larger Catan scenarios. If you are a fan of Catan and how many others to play with, than this add-on will create a more epic Catan experience for everyone.

Additions
As far as materials go, there’s not much here. Just a lot more sea tiles, another goldmine hex, some extra victory point chits, and green and brown ships which allow two more players to dive in. The heart of this expansion is the massive scenarios outlined in the rulebook which allow for massive, sprawling maps. This extra area allows for enough room for more than the usual four players to explore the open seas.

Critique
I enjoy epic games with miles of area to explore (well, not mile, but with the proper scale factor…). That is why I will not shy away from the 5-6 player scenarios of Seafarers as it gives me the opportunity to really delve into this make-believe world. As your ships venture further and further from your home island you actually get the feeling of journeying long distances, and the sense of adventure can be really quite strong. This expansion can intensify these feelings with the grand scale scenarios.
However, this does extend the playing time quite a lot. The once simple Settlers of Catan has grown into a two-hour epic exploration game. So the question arises of whether I would prefer to fare the sea with 3- 4 players or 5-6. And I have to say I would still prefer the regular 3 or 4 players simply because the playing time can still be kept within reason. However, every once in a while a larger game with two extra players and much larger maps can be just right to scratch the itch for an epic board game adventure.

Expansion – starstarnostarnostar
Base Game – starstarstarstarstar
Base Game and Expansion – starstarstarstarhalfstar

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