Of trust and trade, and Gen Con
Sooner or later, we always return to Catan. It’s a kind of home for us here at Tiny Wooden Pieces. It’s not that we play the game that often. It’s more about what Catan represents, and the place it has in our collection, and in the modern history of board games. Catan deserves all of the respect it has, and it definitely deserves its place in the board gaming hall of fame. Also, we’ve grown quite fond of our settler and his hapless struggles.
Your mileage on the game itself may vary, and that is fine. For our own part, we still enjoy it when we do get to play it, and at this stage are looking to expand our settlement through some seafaring in the near future.
It’s been a while since we visited Catan. I always knew we’d come back, though. Catan holds a special place in gaming. That hexagonal hub represents the emergence of the board game from reluctant family gatherings at Christmas to college dorms, and apparently, even Silicon Valley boardrooms.
Catan represented an important shift in the perception of the hobby, both in what it was, and who it was for. All of this I have already touched previously, and I’m sure everyone has an opinion on Catan – not all as rose-tinted as mine, I would imagine.
The iconic isle of Catan
I don’t think this will be our last visit to the island of Catan. Like it or not, the island is engrained forever in gaming culture. 19 years later and it’s still the iconic poster child for the board game hobby. Many now see it as dated, surpassed and improved upon enough to be made redundant, but Catan remains, for me, an elegant, well-crafted and almost-always enjoyable game. It’s not one that’s brought to the table very often at a games night, but as a gateway game – something to show people that board games mean more than just Monopoly – Catan has always served well. (more…)