Settlers of Catan

CatanKosmos and Mayfair Games have announced a joint restyling of Settlers of Catan, led by a title change. Dropping “Settlers of”, the game will henceforth be known simply as “Catan”. Additional art and design changes are also being made inside and on the box.

Catan’s new look will be previewed at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg.

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green bay packersThe game that the Green Bay Packers love? Settlers of Catan, according to the Wall Street Journal. Introduced to the locker room two months ago, players on the NFL team have been “completely addicted to it,” says Packers tight end Justin Perillo. “We play it whenever we can.” Backup QB Matt Flynn says the players have taken the game very seriously. After a win in December, he was chastised when trying to play some celebratory music. David Bakhtiari (T) said he “wanted to hear the players talk and strategize. He was very serious. They take it to a different level.”

Packer teammates are no stranger to local Green Bay game store Gnome Games. Pat Fuge, owner, was “flooded with texts and calls” about Settlers of Catan after Perillo mentioned the game on a local sports radio show. Other Packers have been in to the store to purchase backgammon, chess sets, and other games.

The Green Bay Packers play the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, WA., this coming Sunday, at 3:05 PM EST, for the NFC Championship and a spot at the Super Bowl. (And as a lifelong Seahawks fan, I hope the Packers get to have lots of Catan playtime in their off-season, starting this Monday.)

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Score Board - Boardgame tournaments, competitions and championships results and scoresChess

First place at the Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan was shared by the rising young star and established older veteran pair, Fabiano Caruana and Boris Gelfand. During one game of the tournament, Caruana was aided by an equipment failure. His opponent, Sergey Karjakin, lost 15 minutes of time when taking a break in the rest room he failed to notice that the monitor did not update for Caruana’s move.

The World Junior Chess Championship in Pune, India finished with 19 year-old Lu Shanglei of China at the head of the open section. Four players went in to the final round with 9 points but only Shanglei won his final game. The girls’ section was clinched a round earlier by Aleksandra Goryachkina of Russia. As a result of their wins, both qualify for positions in the 2015 World Cup, part of the World Championship Cycle.

Magic: The Gathering

While variety was the predominant story for most of Grand Prix Los Angeles, in the end it was California local Daniel Scheid’s traditional red green monster deck that propelled him to the top.

At Grand Prix Stockholm, veteran competitor Matej Zatlkaj of Slovakia claimed the trophy with a Jeskai deck.

Settlers of Catan

Sander Stroom of Estonia won the Catan World Championship.

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Gen Con 2014—Mayfair Games

Gen Con logoUnder the watchful eyes of Bob & Angus, in a demo area thronged by ribbon-seekers, Mayfair Games gave me the lowdown on a variety of recent and upcoming releases.

Beadpans & Broomsticks, which shipped in June ($35), puts most of the players in the role of old folks trying to escape a retirement home. One player, though, runs the nurses, who try to stop them. Each retiree player gets two tokens, one for the actual patient and one as a decoy.

Villainy (at retail for $50 later this month) is a supers game where the players are up-and-coming bad guys. Starting with petty crimes like putting a kitten in a tree, and working their way up to bigger, nastier plans, such as decaffeinating the world’s coffee, players build skills and recruit henchmen with the ultimate goal of defeating Fantastaman.

Johari is a push-your-luck, set-collection game about buying and selling gems. Counterfeit gems are part of the mix, though players try hard not to get caught selling them.

Catan Collector’s Edition Ancient Egypt (November, $70) builds on Settlers of Catan (obviously) but incorporates the Nile river running through the board. Resources in the game are cattle, papyrus, and stone. With them players collectively build the Great Pyramid. And ten god cards work similarly to the Helpers of Catan scenario, each providing a unique ability to the player who holds it.

Among the games Mayfair has planned for release in 2015 are Extra Extra and Flea Market. The former has players running competing newspapers. They build stories (with a card drafting mechanism), sell adds, and do layout. Somewhere in that mix there’s also supposed to be worker placement and a lot of player interaction. The latter is a quick, silly dice game that has players collecting artifacts, sometimes from the center market and sometimes taking them away from other players.

Participating in Mayfair’s booth was Lookout Games, with whom Mayfair has a distribution arrangement in the United States. Lookout’s Gold Ahoy is a two-player tile-laying game, where the winner is the player with the most gems in a network of connected tunnels. Patchwork is a game about quilting that uses pentomino or Tetris-like pieces with 9×9 player boards. Players try to fill their boards by collecting pieces. Each piece, though, has a time value and a button value. Buttons are victory points but quilting time is limited.

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A new online version of Settlers of Catan is in the works. According to Engadget, Catan Anytime is a joint project of Microsoft and Bontom Games. The website is currently in open beta mode and for the time being requires players to bring their own opponents.

Catan Anytime

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They’re everywhere!  They’re everywhere!

And we aren’t talking about Tribbles.  But something just as geeky.

Settlers of Catan has done wonders to bring new life, and new people to the boardgame hobby.  Attributing the rise of boardgame popularity over the last few years back to this humble Euro, would not be out of the question.  Controversial, sure, but not out of the question.  Even The Big Bang Theory turned the classic “Wood for sheep,” line into a thirty second setup.  Now Catan has crept into two new areas of your life, inspiring platter so food in the kitchen, and fictional games on the NBC comedy, Parks and Rec.

Where’s the robber? Oh, there he is, in the hard-boiled eggs.

NPR has written up a review on Chris-Rachael Oseland’s new cookbook “Wood for Sheep:  The Unauthorized Settlers Cookbook.”  In this cookbook Oseland presents multiple meals laid out in a familiar hexagonal shape.  With each land offering a different type of condiment, this book allows a host to please just about any combination of dietary needs.  Take a look at several of the setups over on Amazon.

The Cones of Dunshire, Game of the Year – Essen, 2015

And Parks and Rec went directly to Mayfair Game to have them whip up a fake home-brew boardgame for their character,  Ben Wyatt and his week-long stay at home.  In this interview, the show runners and Mayfair Games talk about how they came together, built a prototype off of the classic Catan hexes, and created “The Cones of Dunshire.”

Read the full article and see the clip at the link.


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Score Board - Boardgame tournaments, competitions and championships results and scoresBoard Games

Matthew Pierce was the winner of the Catan North America Championship at Gen Con.

At Gen Con, Mayfair also organized a world record game of Settlers of Catan with 922 players.


Sixty divers of the British Sub-Aqua Club set a record for the largest underwater Dominoes game.


A team of Israeli seniors won the 38th Backgammon World Championship.

Magic: The Gathering

Grand Prix Warsaw’s Standard format was dominated by Red-Green and won by Wenzel Krautmann of Germany.

At Grand Prix Kitakyushu (also Standard), Raymond Tan of Malaysia earned the trophy after mulliganing down to four cards but still coming out ahead in game two of the final round.

Grand Prix Oakland was a Sealed/Booster Draft event and conquered by Hall of Fame player William Jensen.

Another Sealed/Booster Draft event, Grand Prix Prague was won by Anatoly Chuhwichov of Russia.

Other Card Games

After taking fist place in the Melee event (four-player games) and second in Joust (one-on-one games), Steve Simoni was declared North American Champion for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game at Gen Con.

The 2013 World Champion for the Legend of the Five Rings CCG was also at declared at Gen Con. His name, Tom Kirchgesner.

Bobby Drake won the first Kaijudo Summer Championship in Seattle. During the weekend event, the invited competitors also spent time with Wizards of the Coast’s Kaijudo R&D team to help develop future cards.


Vladimir Kramnik has taken the 2013 FIDE World Cup, though he won only one game in the final match with Dmitry Andreikin. The other three games were a draw.

At the always outdoors Moscow Blitz Championship contestants prepared for the cold and wet weather had an advantage. In the main competition, top-10 FIDE ranked player, Sergey Karjakin, was victorious. In the women’s division, Daria Charochkina bested her nearest competitor by 2.5 points. The veteran men’s division was led by Vladimir Voevodin and the veteran women’s division (first time at the tournament) by Galina Strutinskaya. junior championships were won by Stanislav Romanov won the boys’ junior division and Anna Vasenina won the girls’ junior division.

Alex Lenderman won the Atlantic Open.

Awonder Liang is the youngest Chess master in the United States. At 10 years old, his rating is 2,220.


The Guyana Association of Scrabble Player’s Open tournament was won by the organization’s president, Leon Belony.

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Toy Fair 2013—Mayfair Games

Toy Fair 2013 Logo

Mayfair games has a pretty sizable booth with tons of The Settlers of Catan products. Among these were some new releases, one being a new Settlers expansion.

Catan: Explorers and Pirates: An expansion dealing with islands and the sea just like the Catan: Seafarers Game Expansion. This expansion has 5 new scenarios: Land ho, Pirate Lairs, Fish for Catan, Spices for Catan, and Explorers and Pirates, a scenarios that incorporates play from all the other scenarios. 2-4 players, ages 12+.

Zen Garden: A tile laying game where you’re trying to create your secret pattern twice within the zen garden. The game includes basic and advanced play, and has beautifully illustrated tiles. 2-4 players, ages 12+.

Road Rally USA: (not pictured) The hit of the Mayfair booth. It was always being played, so I barely got a glimpse of it. A card based racing game where the goal isn’t just to win, but score first at all your checkpoints. 3-4 players, ages 12+

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If you are a Settlers of Catan fan, then next month is your chance to meet more people just like you. is hosting the first International Catan Day scheduled for November 15th. Information, though limited, can be found at the Catan Meetup site.

As of this writing, there are only a few sites that have registered. If you would like to participate, you can visit the site and see if there is an event near you. Or, you can host your own event by clicking in the upper left hand corner of the Catan Meetup site, typing in your city or location and hitting Go. A link will appear suggesting for you to create a Catan Meetup group in your area.

The process is slightly c0nfusing on how to participate but if you have a group that you are already playing with, this is a way to be listed on the Official International Catan Day.

The url to sign up is

If on twitter, use #catanmeetup to track other meetups around the world.



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