This game is best played with four players. Strategy is key to this game because you have to be able to collect all five resources in order to win. The game is played to 10 points with each settlement being worth 1 and each city worth 2. I enjoy playing this game and it is fun for middle school kids on up in my opinion.
The playing board is made up of individual pieces that represent five different kinds of material: Ore, Wheat, Wool, Brick, and Wood. Each game is different because you can mix and match the pieces for a new game board.
To start like the picture indicates, each player puts down two settlements and an adjacent road on the board.
Playing the game
Player one who ever it might be rolls two die. Whichever number he gets, if any player has a settlement or city on that resource, than you get one resource card. You have to have resource cards to purchase roads, settlements, cities, and developmental cards.
As you see above the player with the largest road (at least five roads long) gets the longest road card which is worth 2 points. Also the person who has the biggest army (needs at least 3 army cards) gets two points. Those cards can be taken over if surpassed by another player. The army cards are in the developmental stack.
Actual game play
We mixed the board up to where it would be tough and if you were going to win would need the luck of the die. After about 4 rounds we figured out that the winner would be who bought the most settlements because nobody was in position to receive Ore which built Cities and also needed for developmental cards. Game play lasted for about an hour when a player won because he took the longest road card from another player.
There was an abundant of wood because of the die rolls so it was important to collect as many as possible and trade them in for another resource (can trade 4:1). I ended up trading in to build a couple cities, but it wasn’t enough. One player had an abundant of wheat and the other did not so he was in a great position to name his price in the trading affairs which helped him compete.
This game is one of my favorites and even though it first came out in 1995, I just began to play because of this class I am in. It has a little bit of everything in it from strategy, to trading and manipulation, to luck with the die rolls. I recommend it for those into all of those components of a game.