The Settlers of Catan is a competitive area settling board game.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Strategy game - intellectually rewarding
Allows you to develop a strategy and think ahead as well as forcing you to pay attention to what everyone else is doing.
"Through the complex, artful dance of algorithms and probabilities lurking at its core, Settlers manages to be effortlessly fun, intuitively enjoyable, and still intellectually rewarding, a potent combination that's changing the American idea of what a board game can be."
Pro Fun social experience
There is no fixed number of players, (although for a worthwile experience you should be at least 3 people!) so Settlers is flexible to many different groups of friends.
People can even work together in teams. Unlike chess, this is a game that promotes casual conversation
during gameplay, and generally a fun atmosphere, even when people are trying their best to win.
Pro Casual and has an easy going pace
The Settlers of Catan is by no means a frantic game so players can take their time and leisurely play.
Pro Teaches kids / adults about basic economic principles
This game teaches how to bargain, the meaning of scarcity and how free markets work.
Pro Many expansions (some FAR better than others!)
There are expansions for Settlers of Catan such as Explores & Pirates or Cities & Knights. Each one expands on the base game and also has another expansion of the same name that adds support for 5 to 6 players.
Con Constant haggling
"Anybody want sheep? Anybody? No?"
(To elaborate, unless you own the Seafarers expansion pack, one of the ressources you gather - wool or "sheep" - is practically worthless because it isn't required that often. )
Con Chaotic expansions
Due to the game's popularity, there have been quite a lot of expansions over the years. While you can combine some of them easily, others not so much. It can be quite messy to figure it all out by yourself!