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Tips & Strategies (10)

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6
Pick a Favorite LGS
Robots on the Line fan
Miniature Painter
I play blue
34 of 36 gamers found this helpful
“Makes a 4 player game great”

In my experience with playing a 4-player Settlers game, one person is always twiddling their thumbs due having nowhere to build because of a crowded board, and spends half the game with nothing to do and almost no way to compete for the win. We now play with the 5-6 player extension for Settlers for 4-player games and haven’t had that happen since. It does make things a bit easier, but hey… shouldn’t it be fun for everyone!

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7
Book Lover
Knight-errant
Tinkerer
Novice Reviewer
16 of 18 gamers found this helpful
“Modify the special building phase”

Instead of going through the special building phase as written in the rules at the end of every turn, my gaming group does a quick poll around the table. If nobody wants to build anything, play proceeds to the next person. If one or more people want to build they do so more or less simultaneously, then the next turn begins. This simple modification to the written rules allows us to take advantage of the special building phase without having it bog down our playtime overly much.

The more or less simultaneous build time is facilitated by the fact that we always have one player acting as banker to manage the various and sundry resource cards. I don’t know how well it would work if everybody was getting things out on their own.

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5
Intermediate Reviewer
Amateur Advisor
Sophomore
8 of 9 gamers found this helpful
“Identifying Your Expansion Pieces”

The Settlers of Catan 5-6 Player Expansion adds several hex tiles to your game that simply aren’t needed if you ever go back to playing a 3 or 4 player game of Catan. If you purchased your expansion around the same time as your base game, it’s likely that the artwork and wear from gameplay are about the same on your original hexes and expansion hexes.

I’ve found it helpful to draw a small dot on the backs of the expansion hexes. The dots are completely unnoticeable when the game is being played, so there’s nu weird visual disruption, and when I’m cleaning up the game (or someone else is helping), I can simply flip all the hexes over and separate the marked ones from the unmarked ones. Then I throw the marked ones in a Ziplock bag before putting them all away in the box.

Similarly, I put a tiny ink dot in the center of the bottom margin on the extra resource and development cards with a fine-point Sharpie. When the game gets packed away, they’re easily sorted out and separated in their own rubber band.

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6
I play blue
Spread the Word
8 of 9 gamers found this helpful
“No Robber for First Two Turns”

When playing with the expansion, we have a house rule that the robber does not go into effect until everyone has had two complete turns. If someone rolls a 7 in that time, then the player re-rolls. This allows people to collect resources and get a start building their settlements, which helps the game go a little more quickly in the long run.

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5
USA
I play blue
Copper Supporter
6 of 7 gamers found this helpful
“Always build, always trade”

Always building is fairly obvious, but you should always trade as well. Just asking for the exact same stuff over and over can be pretty amusing as well. This is more important in this version than in the 4 player version as well because the state of the board will be changing so much.

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9
Z-Man Games fan
Plaid Hat Games fan
Ireland
Stone of the Sun
6 of 7 gamers found this helpful
“Remove the Special Phase”

Take out the extra build phase, it just gets in the way and throws everyone off. You can build big and it is hilarious if the robber happens and someone has 15 odd cards. Game is longer, but does that matter if it is enjoyable?

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9
Z-Man Games fan
Plaid Hat Games fan
Ireland
Stone of the Sun
7 of 9 gamers found this helpful
“Use your blank development card”

We have had a great laugh the last few times we played this because we added a minus 1 victory point card. Just one. Now whenever we are buying cards there is tension and if someone gets it they cannot reveal to the other players. Great fun and doesn’t throw the balance of the game off too much.

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5
USA
I play blue
Copper Supporter
6 of 8 gamers found this helpful
“Epic 2 player action”

Similar to Jim’s house rule about using the board for a really good 4 player game, you can use this game as a super crazy epic 2 player game. Basically assign 3 colors to each player, take 2 turns, and go crazy. Your own colors can help go towards longest road as well.

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8
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Subscribed to BG News
Platinum Supporter
Advanced Reviewer
15 of 23 gamers found this helpful
“4 Player rules for 6 Players”

In our house, we’ve dropped the build after every turn rule and play the game the same way as the 4 player game. Late game when production levels are through the roof, the robber and the knights hit harder, true, but! if you’re local neighborhood watch does it’s job and you get around the table unscathed… you have the opportunity for huge plays! This rule may not be for everyone, but everyone at bobb33z3r’s home has enjoyed it. Give it a try and see how you like it. 🙂

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9
Rated 100 Games
Stone of the Sun
Advanced Reviewer
Novice Advisor
5 of 9 gamers found this helpful
“Create a building round supervisor!”

I read that many people feel the extra building round increases playing time considerably. In my experience this can be prevented by giving one person the responsibility of checking if anyone wants to build. The building round doesn’t take much longer than 1 to 2 minutes this way and play continues smoothly.

Many board games suffer from people waiting on somebody to do something, while that person doesn’t know he or she is expected to do something. By creating a ‘building round supervisor’ this problem does not crop up during the extra building round.

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