One of the Kickstarter projects I’ve been most excited about is not a game in and of itself, but an accessory for one. A much needed accessory.
Settlers of Catan has emerged as a new classic in tabletop gaming, dethroning Monopoly as the no-brainer go-to game for the new era of board gaming. It’s a brilliantly balanced game, but its execution lends itself to tabletop faux pas. The cardboard hex tiles warp a bit and the whole thing might be a little more like Perfection than Settlers; jostle the table accidentally, and scatter the pieces.
Enter Catanboards. After a successful Kickstarter, Bill and Nate worked with manufacturers here in the United States to design a plastic injection molding for an interlocking board that properly holds onto the tiles, ports, and roads for a game of Settlers of Catan. Now, the only loose pieces are the cities and dice tiles that sit on top and the whole board can easily be picked up and moved around at a moment’s notice.
Catanboards are made with the blessing of Mayfair Games, but these guys are entrepreneurs. The products are now out there for sale, and I’d encourage you to consider picking on up if you don’t already. As you can see above, I got myself the 3-4 player plastic board and I’m waiting for the 5-6 player expansion piece to go on sale separately before I pick that up. (The whole 5-6 player boards package is available here.)
If I were backing the project all over again, I would have sprung for the wooden boards (3-4 player and 5-6 player available). I mean, I have two nice wooden chess sets and I haven’t played that in years. This is something I actually use, so classing it up a bit should have been a no-brainer.
This is a much needed accessory for any Settlers of Catan player, and it’s made by gamers who cared enough to improve something already great. It’s not shopped out to China and then imported — it’s designed and made right here in the US. So give them your support and pick up a board!