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The Rivals of Catan is a two-player card game based on the million seller board game The Settlers of Catan.  It  can be played in anything from 30 minutes to over an hour depending on whether you play just the Basic game, where 7 points are required to win, or one of the Themed variants, the Era of Gold, the Era of Turmoil or the Era of Progress, where 12 points are the endgame goal.

Once you have played all 3 themes separately you can play the Duel of the Princes with all 3 expansion decks.

The AGE of DARKNESS introduces three new expansion decks, the Era of Intrigue, the Era of Merchant Princes and the Era of Barbarians. The cards from these new expansion sets feature a second tag above the picture next to the card description. This second tag instructs where the card should be played, ie. City,  Settlement/City  with some even being designated as Region placement.

Regions are the cards that you play adjacent to Settlements. It goes without saying then (so I’ll say it anyway) that Region Expansions are played adjacent to Regions, sometimes specific Regions.

Other introductions to the Rivals game are the Extraordinary Sites, Road Complements, New Center Cards and Marker Cards.

Extraordinary Sites: Neither units nor buildings,  immune to attack cards.

Road Complements: Currently (in the set) only building that add an effect to the adjacent road.

New Center Cards: Metropolises. City upgrades with 4 Victory Point flags.

Marker Cards: Placed adjacent to Region Cards these can be affected only by specific events, adding to the player’s status in the placed area.

My own personal opinion is that the Rivals of Catan is a much better, more balanced and fairer game than the Settlers of Catan board game. Whether the Rivals card game would work with 3 or 4 players I’m not sure. I remember a tournament version of the original card game some years back but that didn’t work for me,  though I cannot remember why. Just a thought.


© Chris Baylis 2011-2021