Catan Exp: Explorers & Pirates Board Game Expansion by Catan Studio

Catan Exp: Explorers & Pirates Board Game Expansion by Catan Studio

Sent out by the Council of Catan, you set out for uncharted areas to build new outposts. The sketchy information available indicates that dangerous pirate lairs, rich fishing grounds, and helpful indigenous villages await you beyond the horizon.

This Expansion Works With:

Expansion Pack

Setup Time
15 Mins
Play Time
90-120 Mins
Players
3 to 4
Age Level
10 and Up
Our Reviews
$58.00 USD
$58.00 USD

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Our Reviews Details What's in the Box? How To Play Rule Book Reviews and Questions

Catan - A Family Review

“Want to play a game of Catan?”

Friends of board gamers have heard this sentence for nearly thirty years. Maybe you always suggested something else, or maybe you didn’t think you’d have fun. But it keeps coming up—and now you’re curious.

Any collector worth their salt (or sheep, in this case—you trade sheep in the game quite a lot), has Catan on their shelf. It’s the Monopoly of hobby board games, and like Monopoly, it lends itself to longer game sessions. Evenings full of laughter and frustration and triumph. Catan is great at keeping everybody at the table engaged on every roll and nearly every turn, and if you want to win, you have to get in there with everybody else—trading and haggling with the best of them.

The main fun of the game is in bartering with other players (I’m looking for two wood and want to trade sheep. Anybody?) then strategically placing your roads and settlements to corner markets and score points. You have to strike at the right time though, because other players can block you with their own builds. Which definitely causes vendettas. Friendly ones, but definitely vendettas.

11yo: I loved the betrayal and bartering and making up stories about my settlements.

It’s a competitive game with only one winner, and with your hand of hidden cards, nobody is ever 100% sure who’s in the lead until everything is revealed at the end.

As hobby games go, the turns are pretty simple but can lend themselves to a bit of decision paralysis. We found that we had to remind the kids to make a choice and pass the turn or else they’d get stuck on finding the perfect thing they needed. The box says 10+ for age, and that’s pretty accurate. Our 9yo really enjoyed himself, but he wasn’t thinking a couple turns ahead—he was going after what seemed valuable on each turn.

This game is fantastic for a family with teenagers—older kids who want to plan big swings, make clever moves, and reveal a master strategy or get the best possible exchange at the right time. It’s a cool way to get a little competitive in a fun environment. Even when your plans fall through or you make a bad trade, you can bounce back within a turn or two.

The dice rolls keep players on a roughly even footing, so it’s manageable to play with people of varying skills and investment, and as competitive strategy games go, you won’t find many that fall into the hour-or-two range rather than the two-to-four hour range.

Want to be a little cutthroat and competitive around the table and all in good fun? Catan is the game for you.

Helpful Hints

  • Trading can get confusing. Work on your shorthand for who is offering what and looking for what
  • Catan Junior is a much stronger fit for a younger group

Description

Includes 5 novel scenarios, each of which builds upon your previous experience. All are easy to learn, rich in character, and lots of fun. In each, you explore an unknown sea by ship and build settlements on the discovered islands.

Scenario 1 (Land Ho!) introduces you to valuable harbor settlements, shipbuilding, exploration, and overseas settlement-the most important basic rules of this expansion. Each subsequent scenario introduces a new mission and its simple new rules. The game culminates in Scenario 5 (Explorers & Pirates), which incorporates all of these very rich new themes in a diverse and exciting campaign of bold exploration and piracy!

A game Expansion for 3-4 players ages 12 and older.

Explore Catan! Build harbor settlements, ships, settlers, and sailing crews and set out across mysterious seas in search of new lands, spices, fish, and gold fields.

To set up the game, you need the game components from the Catan base game as well as new frame pieces and hexes from the expansion. This provides you with a quite large game board, allowing you to go on exciting journeys of exploration and discover new land.

The Explorers & Pirates expansion is based on the Catan base game rules but also contains a number of new game mechanisms. For example, ships are now equipped for expeditions and can be moved freely across the board. In the ships you transport settlers, crews, fish, or spices across the seas. Your goal is to build new outposts on the islands that are still undiscovered and to complete the Council of Catan's missions in the most skillful way possible.

Your missions are varied. First, you must prevail against pirates who terrorize the coasts of Catan. Equip your ships with crews and search for the pirates' lairs. The Council of Catan rewards the bravest fighters with fame and gold.

On your way, you will encounter rich shoals of fish just waiting to be hauled aboard your ship. If you bring the fish back to the home island, the Council of Catan rewards you.

Finally, you will encounter peaceful and helpful villagers who trade valuable spices to you. The Council of Catan will be delighted yet again when you deliver spices to their stronghold. You also benefit from the villagers' extensive knowledge and will learn how to sail faster across the seas or how to better fight the pirate ships.

What's in the Box

  • 16 harbor settlements
  • 36 crews
  • 12 ships
  • 8 settlers
  • 4 pirate ships
  • 6 pirate lair tokens
  • 6 fish hauls
  • 24 spice sacks
  • 76 gold coins
  • 6 gold fields
  • 6 fish shoal hexes
  • 6 spice hexes
  • 12 standard terrain hexes
  • 15 frame pieces
  • 12 markers
  • 3 mission cards
  • 3 victory point cards
  • 4 new building costs cards

How to Play

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