I know I am two hipsters’ decades behind in appreciating Catan, but I’m a late bloomer. It’s not that I haven’t played before. There was probably a game a few years ago that I’ve played without getting to know the rules, and then I just moved on with life.
But this fall, during the sliver of time when we were not in lockdown, I got to socialize with a few friends to play Catan. I got hooked. Maybe it’s the fact that I got a boost of socialization, perhaps it’s the cute little wooden houses, maybe it’s the fact that there are sheep. But something about building toward something while being in the presence of your friends is a bit *magical*. Like most things, we just have an infinity towards them, and we don’t quite know why. I wanted to take the time today to list a few reasons behind my new found love for Catan. Two of these are just fun facts, but they contribute to my feelz for the game.
- I’ve already mentioned the cute game pieces, so that’s a reason. I just think that this mostly paper and wooden game is well designed. The minimal use of plastic gets me to appreciate it even more.
- You have to cooperate and work together, and it’s interesting to see how your friends bargain and negotiate.
- It also challenges everyone in different ways. I was terrified of playing the knight cards and with some kind and patient friends who played an obscene amount of Catan with me. I now can play knight cards with confidence and without guilt.
- The backstory is fantastic. Klaus Teuber was actually working in a dental lab and created games as an escape. He only started to develop games in his thirties, and Catan wasn’t the first game he created. Check out this cool video on him by Great Big Story (rip).
- There’s an annual competition and people from all over the world compete in it. Not to be overly optimistic, but maybe I’ll see you in Malta next year for the championships.
Whenever possible, I am challenging you to a Catan duel. This is your warning: get prepped (you'll need it).