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[Boardgames] Alternate Settlers of Catan Tiles


Catan – Russian version? (Photo credit: ivva)

To my surprise nobody in my gaming group has ever played Settlers of Catan. Now, I am not a hardcore boardgamer, and Settlers, while fun and one of the best examples for modern games, is not the game my whole heart is dedicated to. I am a roleplayer after all, I always have been.

Still, when my players (and especially my girlfriend) talk about board games for them it comes down to 1) Monopoly and 2) Scrabble.

I cannot help to feel sad about this.

I will not get around actually buying both games for my girlfriend, but I cannot help to think that I really should show her a few other games. And my other players as well, while I am at it.

Now, Settlers of Catan in my opinion has always had one particular flaw that made me dislike it: the graphics on the game were awful. I really like the mechanics, I like the trading and civilization building, what I don’t like are those terrible graphics, both in the original and in the Mayfair editions. So I decided to make my own tiles.

OK, part of the reason for that is that I had the game somewhere at my parents’ place but couldn’t find it when I was visiting them. I don’t really want to spent 140PLN on a game I already dislike for it’s graphics. Luckily that doesn’t seem to be a problem.

The gaming material for Settlers is rather simple: the board itself is assembled out of a set of hex tiles representing a small variety of different landscapes, which give different resources. Other needed elements are: resource cards (easy to make), numbered chits (also easy), markers for settlements and streets (those are more difficult, my old set had wooden pieces and I would love to get some equivalents instead of cardboard markers, but I guess I will just create cardboard replacements), and a figure that represents the robber (hmm…easy, I guess).

I decided to create my own set of tiles, but I am still in the concept stage, so for further reference I  searched and found a few interesting other alternate sets. Most of the custom boards for Catan seem to be 3D variations of the board, which I think are absolutely awful, but I guess there is no accounting for taste.

What I found so far:

  • Lasercut Tiles: an early version of a project that now has a kickstarter page, a beautifully simplistic but well thought out variation on the gameboard, unfortunately it only makes real sense if you have a lasercutter around
  • Boardgamegeek-user Andre Viana offers a nice looking set with photographic tiles
  • Hexes of Kaathan (also on BGG) looks more sophisticated, the sets (multiple ones, also for the extensions) provide tiles looking completely different from each other.
  • Ryan Schenk offers these highly abstracted tile graphics. They look very nice, but not really what I am looking for.
  • The settlers of Oz is a complete graphical conversion to something Wizard of Oz themed. A bit too saccharine for me, but looks really nice. The largest army card is replaced by a “Most Munchkins” card, which almost makes me want to play this
  • The Settlers of the North Pole is the same, just Christmas themed. Kinda meh for me.
  • deviantart user murz has a set of tiles he made as a replacement when he didn’t have his original set available. For me a bit too close to the original (which, remember, I don’t really like)
  • Not really alternate, but well: tiles designed for colourblind people, based on the artwork from Mayfair games

One response to “[Boardgames] Alternate Settlers of Catan Tiles

  1. Scholar Mel June 26, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Reblogged this on 1 Million Reblogs.


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