Age Range: 10+ | Number of Players: 2-4 | Game Time: 30-60 minutes
I’ve been so excited to share this review because I LOVE this month’s featured game and so do millions of other board game enthusiasts worldwide. The fabulous team at Good Games Miranda gifted me the incredible Settlers of Catan: Traders & Barbarians Expansion game and I’m going to share my thoughts on it with you lovely people. You’ll find a discount code to put towards your very own copy at the end of this blog post too. All the more reason to stick around. It’s settlin’ time…
Of all the games I’ve reviewed in this series so far, this one was the simplest to understand. That may have been because we already had countless hours of playing the original Settlers of Catan under our belts, but I think the game itself is pretty easy to digest in any case.
The one thing I will note is that this is an “expansion” not an “extension”, so it gives you more gameplay options, but not room for more people to play. The more you know! *insert shooting star gif*
Settlers of Catan: Traders & Barbarians Expansion Set Up
The set up itself is basically the same as the base Catan game. The main difference with this expansion is that you get a range of new tokens and game board pieces to add to the mix. You also get to choose between different “scenarios” or “variants” to play. This means that the expansion is actually multiple games in one!
The options range from “The Fisherman of Catan” to “The Caravans” and a few others. You’re definitely getting value for money here with multiple gameplay options in the one pack.
We chose the “Traders & Barbarians” variant as we figured we’d play the expansion’s namesake.
The gist of the set up stage is you choose the variant you’d like to play, follow the instructions for it and go from there. Each variant utilises different tokens, game pieces and victory point cards. For instance, the Traders & barbarians variant removes “The Longest Road” victory point card, but adds in a new aspect in the form of “Baggage Train Cards”.
You place 1 settlement and 1 city and a few roads to begin, then pop your travelling trade caravan near one of them. Collect a few coins for your purse (yep, you get coins in this variant too) and then you’re ready to set off on your trade route!
Ok, so like I said above, much of the gameplay is similar to the base game. Here’s how it varies:
- You’re not just building roads, settlements and cities, you’re travelling and trading too.
- There are 3 different trade hubs that contain different materials that need to be transported to fellow trade hubs across Catan.
- Your Baggage Train Cards indicate how far your caravan can travel across Catan on your turn in order to move from one trade hub to the next.
- You can travel off-road, on your own roads or on your opponents roads. Travelling on roads allows you to travel further on your turn, but if you travel on an opponents road, you gotta pay that toll (the gold toll – you know the one).
- Barbarians are set out across the roads in place of the “Robber”. They block your progress unless you roll the right number on the dice when you try to move through their roadblock.
- The aim of the game is to gain a certain number of Victory Points to claim your victory, which you can do by building cities and settlements, transporting goods from trade hub to trade hub or utilising good old Development Cards.
You can try and stifle your opponent’s movements by cutting off their roads with your own and by moving Barbarians into their path (by rolling a 7, much like the terms of moving the Robber in the base game). This keeps the excitement of imminent betrayal and the untimely end of friendships on the cards…just the way we Catan fans like it.
Here’s a little snippet of gameplay footage that really isn’t helpful at all but I thought I’d include it anyway…
Traders & Barbarians Expansion Review And Overall Thoughts
As mentioned above (multiple times now), I LOVE this game. It’s super easy to learn, contains super fun gameplay and provides multiple game variant options all in the one box!
I’d definitely recommend picking up a copy for yourself, especially if you’re already a fan of Catan.
Korra loves this game too. She sat watching the entire time we played. I think she likes the thought of running across the game board and scattering the multitudes of tokens into oblivion. Just the usual cat stuff.
If you’re based in Sydney, you can use the PRAY4KATES10 discount code in-store at the Good Games Miranda shop (across from Miranda Westfield) for 10% off Settlers of Catan: Traders & Barbarians Expansion until the end of April!
As always, if you’d like any help understanding the gameplay, hit me up. If you’ve played this expansion before, let me know your thoughts on it in the comments 🙂
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I wanna monch those tokens reeeeeaaal bad.Korra
Mumther, no more game. I need cuddles NOW.Aang
“This expansion does the base game justice, while adding a few extra gameplay elements. Would recommend.”Ad
For once in my life I beat Ad at a board game. Hit him with the Catan equivalent of a Draw 4 (bonus VP for the win) right at the finishing post. Still on a high. 11/10. Great game. Woo!Kates
Until next time,