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Subject: Why do people hate Settlers of Catan rss

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Dan T
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Thiessi wrote:
It's not that people hate Settlers. It's that they like other games a lot more.


I realize people don't hate Settlers, but liking so many other games seems like hating on Settlers. If you play with experienced players, the games are always fun.
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Gil Anderson
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I enjoy playing Settlers every now and then with new people. After a few games, nobody would trade with me and everyone would put the robber on one of my tiles. Low probability of winning aside, it's really not much fun playing 3 Vs 1. With most Euro games, it is easier to overcome the gang up against the perceived leader. I'm the Boss! is in the same category. I bring it to the table only when a new group of people are at the table because after a few wins, no one wants you in on a deal.
 
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RJD
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BigAlJ7 wrote:
Thiessi wrote:
It's not that people hate Settlers. It's that they like other games a lot more.


I realize people don't hate Settlers, but liking so many other games seems like hating on Settlers. If you play with experienced players, the games are always fun.


That seems like a bit of a stretch. I don't hate Settlers (it's actually one of the few Euros I'll play) but I very much prefer a lot of different games and can't see how just liking those other games more must seem like hating on Settlers. Or am I seriously misreading your post? blush
 
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Dan T
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Doomed_Destiny wrote:
I enjoy playing Settlers every now and then with new people. After a few games, nobody would trade with me and everyone would put the robber on one of my tiles. Low probability of winning aside, it's really not much fun playing 3 Vs 1. With most Euro games, it is easier to overcome the gang up against the perceived leader. I'm the Boss! is in the same category. I bring it to the table only when a new group of people are at the table because after a few wins, no one wants you in on a deal.


Why not play with experienced players who are similarly skilled?
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
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BigAlJ7 wrote:
Why do people need games to be purely based off of performance.

Because I like to learn things while playing. Learning how to manage lots of short term events without there being a red thread to tie them all together is, to me, not that interesting.

Quote:
Yes, having games without luck leads to the "correct" person winning, but luck adds to the excitement of the game. The luck balances out, and players can decide to diversify and reduce the effects of luck or put all their eggs in 1 basket and heighten it.

Take a look East Asia, where there are entire TV channels devoted to nothing but Go. Go is as luckless and as skill-based as games are going to get. Yet there is plenty of excitement in those games, as many viewers will tell you. It is just not the excitement of short moments where fortune smiles upon player A the first moment, and player B the next, without the players having had a say in how that change of fortune came about. It is more subtle excitement, of loving to see a plan come together, or of personal drama when a bold and brash invasion is turned around and forced back up the bold player's nose.

And speaking for Settlers: the luck doesn't balance out actually, not in a single game, in any case. It only balances out over many games, I suspect in the order of 100 or thereabouts. Likely more, certainly not less. If you don't expect to play that many games, then the factor luck dominates too readily, and it doesn't really matter if you diversify or specialise. Randomness doesn't care one iota, that's why it's randomness. (Reflect on that for a bit.) However, if you play more games than that, you are playing a game of skill... albeit one with lots of random elements which need proper optimisation tactics. But why then not immediately begin playing a game of skill without all those silly uncertain distractions?

Quote:
Basically, I feel that settlers is one of the more exciting board games because of the interaction with other players (on the board, trading, robbers), luck (development cards and dice), and plenty of strategy involved.

The strategy in Settlers is very limited precisely because of the number of random elements in the game. That doesn't mean it's not there or that it cannot be honed, but the game is far more about working out optimal short term paths than it is about having grand plans and executing them to perfection. And if you like interacting with other players, there are, especially nowadays, lots of titles which provide that interaction without marrying it to a game system with lots of random elements.

As was said above: Settlers isn't necessarily a bad game; it's just been surpassed by many others which allow for a much better overlap with players' preferences.
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Kelly Bass
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A lot of BGGers either want a great deal of control and predictability over what they plan for in a game, or they want the thrill, excitement, and glory of utterly destroying their opponents with cool looking bits.

Settlers has neither, though I rate it a 10.
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Gil Anderson
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BigAlJ7 wrote:
Doomed_Destiny wrote:
I enjoy playing Settlers every now and then with new people. After a few games, nobody would trade with me and everyone would put the robber on one of my tiles. Low probability of winning aside, it's really not much fun playing 3 Vs 1. With most Euro games, it is easier to overcome the gang up against the perceived leader. I'm the Boss! is in the same category. I bring it to the table only when a new group of people are at the table because after a few wins, no one wants you in on a deal.


Why not play with experienced players who are similarly skilled?


It's random chance. 10-30 people show up for gaming night. When I am in a table of very good players, the group ends up playing Village, Nobles, Power Grid, Navegador, Age of Empires III, etc. To the group, Catan is old hat and not as enjoyable as others. Last year, our group played 207 unique titles.
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Dan T
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cymric wrote:

Because I like to learn things while playing. Learning how to manage lots of short term events without there being a red thread to tie them all together is, to me, not that interesting.


With a not very large map, you often need a 10 point strategy. Unless one player is much better, players need to know how they will earn 10 points with limited space.

cymric wrote:
And speaking for Settlers: the luck doesn't balance out actually, not in a single game, in any case. It only balances out over many games, I suspect in the order of 100 or thereabouts. Likely more, certainly not less.


I highly doubt that. There are a ton of rolls in each game.


cymric wrote:
If you don't expect to play that many games, then the factor luck dominates too readily, and it doesn't really matter if you diversify or specialise. Randomness doesn't care one iota, that's why it's randomness.


It's not about randomness caring so much as the way you work with randomness. Diversifying allows you to lower the effects of randomness, while putting your eggs in 1 basket increases variance. Also, luck is way overstated in this game. Playing a good game often wins out.

cymric wrote:

The strategy in Settlers is very limited precisely because of the number of random elements in the game. That doesn't mean it's not there or that it cannot be honed, but the game is far more about working out optimal short term paths than it is about having grand plans and executing them to perfection.


As I mentioned before, especially in 4 player games, winning is not just about getting the resources and letting them dictate your moves. Cards obviously affect short term decisions, but you need to be efficient in realizing your 10 point strategy. Any wasted purchase can cost a player the game.
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Michael Bonet
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I like Settlers. I used to love it, but if the dice don't roll your way it can be a disheartening game. Yes, there are ways to interact even if the dice are yielding you nothing, but if you can't gain more resources then you are limited in your actions. With that said, I never say no if someone wants to play Catan.

I recently received Castles of Burgundy. The two games share something in their dice rolling mechanic. Castles never leaves you with nothing to do, while I've roll the dice plenty in Settlers received no resources and had nothing to do on my turn (sometimes due to a lack of resource cards in my hand).
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Marko Dobranic
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I don't hate Settlers of Catan, but I don't like to play it any more. It was the first modern tabletop game I have encountered 2 years ago. It intruduced this hobby to me and I am thankful for it. But I still can clearly see many flaws in this game:
- too luck based and you cannot influence on that luck. If dice "decide" to roll just 7 and 8, you can do nothing about it.
- too big or long time between player turns when you just sit and wait for your turn to play and maybe here and there exchange some goods. Basically, in a game that lasts for 60-90 minutes, you are actually doing something for 10-15 minutes tops.
- often it will be your turn and you can do absolutely nothing (just pass) on your turn because lack of resurces. So you waited and waited and then could do nothing.
- sometimes you can be blocked in a way that not only you cannot win anymore, but you cannot do anything anymore. Happened to me 3x: I was blocked by other player's roads and all development cards were sold out, and I was stucked at 8 points. I could just roll and collect resources and could not spend it.

I played this game 30+ live and 100+ digital, base game, seafarers and Traders & barbarians.

It is much better game than Monopoly but there are far more better games in every aspect.
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Dan T
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Doomed_Destiny wrote:
BigAlJ7 wrote:
Doomed_Destiny wrote:
I enjoy playing Settlers every now and then with new people. After a few games, nobody would trade with me and everyone would put the robber on one of my tiles. Low probability of winning aside, it's really not much fun playing 3 Vs 1. With most Euro games, it is easier to overcome the gang up against the perceived leader. I'm the Boss! is in the same category. I bring it to the table only when a new group of people are at the table because after a few wins, no one wants you in on a deal.


Why not play with experienced players who are similarly skilled?


It's random chance. 10-30 people show up for gaming night. When I am in a table of very good players, the group ends up playing Village, Nobles, Power Grid, Navegador, Age of Empires III, etc. To the group, Catan is old hat and not as enjoyable as others. Last year, our group played 207 unique titles.


If you play so many new games, I guess a 10 year old game would be old. Not sure how in that group 1 player is so dominant, but in my group of friends we are pretty even. When playing with friends, I find that the trading and luck aspect make Settlers often more fun than pure skill games.
 
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Dan T
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mado78 wrote:
I don't hate Settlers of Catan, but I don't like to play it any more. It was the first modern tabletop game I have encountered 2 years ago. It intruduced this hobby to me and I am thankful for it. But I still can clearly see many flaws in this game:
- too luck based and you cannot influence on that luck. If dice "decide" to roll just 7 and 8, you can do nothing about it.
- too big or long time between player turns when you just sit and wait for your turn to play and maybe here and there exchange some goods. Basically, in a game that lasts for 60-90 minutes, you are actually doing something for 10-15 minutes tops.
- often it will be your turn and you can do absolutely nothing on your turn because lack of resurces.
- sometimes you can be blocked in a way that not only you cannot win anymore, you cannot do anything anymore. Happened to me 3x: blocker by other player's roads and all development cards were sold out, and I was stucked at 8 points.

I played this game 30+ live and 100+ digital, base game, seafarers and Traders & barbarians.

It is much better game than Monopoly but there are far more better games in every aspect.


I guess I can see why if playing with randoms this is not the best game. I find that when playing with friends, even if I have nothing to do on my turn, this game is always fun. This game is in like a party game and strategy game put together.
 
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chris thatcher
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I love catan. still one of the best and fun 4 player games available. i love the modularity of the expansions, theres so many ways to play. and i think the fun atmosphere it creates especially in a family group is second to none. yes its relitively simple, but thats a strength.
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Charles Bame
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I played it once about 15 years ago and thought, "It's just a glorified Monopoly." snore I hated Monopoly when I last played it 50 years ago.

On the other hand, I rather enjoy the Catan Dice Game. meeple
 
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Scott Hill
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cymric wrote:
But why then not immediately begin playing a game of skill without all those silly uncertain distractions?


Risk management is a skill.
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Dan T
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Scorpion0x17 wrote:
cymric wrote:
But why then not immediately begin playing a game of skill without all those silly uncertain distractions?


Risk management is a skill.


Precisely!
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Anthony DuLac
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cymric wrote:
That doesn't mean it's not there or that it cannot be honed, but the game is far more about working out optimal short term paths than it is about having grand plans and executing them to perfection.


I don't mean this in a snarky way (I promise) but this sentence makes me believe that you've either not played Settlers a lot or you just haven't really played it with a larger map and 4 players a lot.

You absolutely can lay out long-term plans AND have them succeed via good planning and playing and trading.
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Ralph T
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Catan is not hated. It is criticized or critiqued, which is different than hate. I have played 300 different games since joining BGG. If you play Catan you tend to get stuck on it and miss out on the other games, many of which are enjoyable in different ways. It's like going to a ski resort. The bunny slope is certainly fun when you're learning to ski, and adding the expansions is lengthening your run, but I'd rather try every run I can, and try snowboarding as well.
 
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Beej
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tengblad wrote:
There does seem to be an unreasonable amount of dislike towards games like Monopoly, Settler etc around these parts and I can't quite figure out why. I won't say that Settlers is my favourite game ever, but it IS a good one and it was one of the games that got me into board gaming a few years back.


I really love Catan. I don't think I would say that I love Monopoly, but I have played both games a ton. It's not as if I hate either game, it's that I would rather play another.
This is probably for several reasons, depending on my mood:

1.) There is a luck factor in both games. I tend to enjoy games that have less luck and more strategy.

2.) In Catan, there are times when you hit dry spots when your numbers aren't rolled, and sometimes you get locked out of a victory from a very early stage. The same happens in Monopoly if another player gets a key set like New York, Pennsylvania, or Boardwalk. I generally like games that have all players neck-to-neck until the end.

3.) You need to play both games with the right group. If you don't things tend not to be fun, interesting...etc.

4.) I have simply played Catan AND Monopoly a lot.

So that's my take on why people may hate on Catan and Monopoly...
 
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James Sitz
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People don't like settlers because they don't like interacting with the other players at the table or they hate dice or they want more stuff to die in it.
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Chris Stanton
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Because 22 turns in a row of someone rolling the dice & saying 'done' is quite dull. There's not much you can do if no one's numbers come up & they have no resources.

Take the dice away & use the cards instead & it becomes a much better game.


I just don't get why it's called a gateway game. It's something I'd only spring on someone once they're through the gateway.
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David Janik-Jones
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I also don't hate it, but in the years since it was released and widely available in North America there are much better/deeper/richer/less-luck-driven games that I'd far prefer to play now. That give me a more fun experience.

I'm a wargamer of more than 40 years and not much into the heavier side of Euros, but I find games like Power Grid and especially the two-year old Troyes far more enjoyable, and much longer-term games than Settlers. I'm deeply in love with Troyes in fact, it made me completely revamp all my ratings here.

I will still play Settlers, but the difference for me between an 8 rating and the one I gave Settlers, 7, is that I won't suggest it if you're up in my gaming attic and asking what should we play.

Now Agricola? Since we all despise one game, that's one I do have a serious hate-on for.
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R T
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I don't hate Settlers of Catan, but sometimes it just isn't fun.

So what do I define as fun? I like making interesting choices. I like taking calculated risks, and making riskier plays when I'm down. I like bluffing mechanics. I like both tactical and strategic play.

Occasionally there is an interesting choice to make when playing Catan, especially at the start of the game. However, in about half the games I play it seems like I can't get the right rolls and then someone else gets the right rolls and blocks me. If I'm playing a 4 person game, after the first 10 minutes there are usually only 2 people who are really in a position to win. The reason is that when you get good rolls to start, you end up controlling more resource producing hexes and then you snowball.

Sometimes there is one runaway leader, but usually it is two. If I happen to be one of those people, it is still interesting, but if I'm not . . . the most I can do is act as a spoiler.

There are many other games I'd rather play.
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Scott Hill
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ralpher wrote:
If you play Catan you tend to get stuck on it and miss out on the other games, many of which are enjoyable in different ways.


I don't think that's an inherent property of Catan.

I do think it is an inherent property of some people, however.

Some people just like to do the same thing over and over again.

For some it's Catan, and for some it's Risk.

For yet others it's 7 Wonders, or Power Grid, or Twilight Struggle, or Through The Ages, or Agricola, or Puerto Rico, or Eclipse.
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Anthony DuLac
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Toc13 wrote:
Because 22 turns in a row of someone rolling the dice & saying 'done' is quite dull. There's not much you can do if no one's numbers come up & they have no resources.


Again, this isn't really terribly correct. There is plenty you can do, especially in the trading meta-game. Your impact verbally on the trading aspect of the game as well as influencing the robber placement can be huge.

I've won many, many games with a horrible start and a LONG period of no-production rolls in that fashion. Plus the Development Cards (often over-looked by inexperienced or infrequent players) are huge, too.

Be aware, though, that we ONLY play with the SeaFarer expansion & 5/6 player expansions on the map and only with 4+. Perhaps only basic Settlers is a bit tougher due to the lack fo space.
 
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