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Explorers & Pirates – The New Expansion for “The Settlers of Catan” – Part 3

 
January 25, 2013
Klaus Teuber

Part 3: Land Ho! - The Introductory Game

The Introductory Game gives less seasoned Catanians the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the most important basic rules of the expansion. At the beginning, each player builds one settlement and one harbor settlement on predetermined intersections of the starting island. Each player places a road adjacent to his settlement and a ship loaded with a settler (settler ship) adjacent to his harbor settlement. That way, on his first turn each player can immediately move a ship toward the unexplored area.

As is usual, on your turn you roll two dice for production; the roll result applies to all players. What is new is that you receive 1 gold as compensation if a number - other than the “7” - is rolled for which you don't receive a resource.

Explorers & Pirates – Movement Phase

Afterwards, you may trade and build. As a general rule, you may trade 3 resources of the same type with the bank, for any 1 different resource of your choice. In addition, up to two times during your turn you may pay 2 gold to buy any 1 resource of your choice.

In “The Settlers of Catan” Base Game, your turn ends after the trade and build phase; in “Explorers & Pirates,” however, a movement phase follows. You may move each of your ships (up to 3 ships are possible) a distance of 4 sea routes (A). If, along its way, one of the ship's ends points toward the corner of an undiscovered hex, the ship's movement ends (B). The hex is then turned over and marked with a number token (C). As a reward for your discovery, you receive 1 resource of this hex (D).

If you want to speed up your ships' movement, you have to pay wool. For each wool you pay, you may extend the movement of one of your ships by 2 sea routes.

Gründen einer Siedlung

By nature, roads cannot be built on sea routes, which is why the first settlement on the coast of a discovered area can only be built with the aid of a settler ship.

If one of the ends of one of your ships loaded with a settler points toward an intersection of a terrain hex (A), you may build your settlement there. For this purpose, you return your ship together with the settler to your supply (B) and place a settlement on the intersection of the terrain hex, at no additional cost (C). Of course, when you build a settlement with the aid of a settler ship, you must also observe the distance rule.

There aren't any further additional rules the players of the Introductory Game are expected to keep in mind. If you want to win “Land Ho!” you must reach 8 victory points by building settlements and harbor settlements, which normally won't take longer than 30 minutes.

Experienced players can omit the Introductory Game and immediately take on the first mission, where the new expansion exhibits its full potential for the first time.

The Pirates

How come the new expansion is called “Explorers & Pirates”? “Where the heck are the pirates?” you'll probably ask.

In the Introductory Game, the pirates don't play a role. And neither does the robber. In fact, the robber stays in his game box during all scenarios, which some Catanians definitely won't be sad about. ;-)

However, in the second scenario the pirates get their chance. On the one hand, the pirates have entrenched themselves in fortresses in the unexplored areas (more about this in the fourth part of my blog post), and on the other hand, their ships terrorize the seas.

In contrast to the Seafarers expansion, the Explorers & Pirates expansion not only includes a neutral pirate ship the players can move when a “7” is rolled - in addition, each player also has a pirate ship of his color, which in due course he can use to “play pirate.”

The first player to roll a “7” places his pirate ship on a sea hex. Except for the frame pieces and the hexes around the starting island, any sea hex is allowed for this purpose. The player will probably place his pirate ship on a sea hex adjacent to which his opponents have placed as may ships as possible.

The reason is that in addition to being allowed to steal a resource from the owner of one of these ships, all adjacent ships are blocked as long as the player's pirate ship stays on this hex. It goes without saying that the ships belonging to the owner of the pirate ship – maybe we should better call him the current “friend of the pirates” – are not affected by this blockage.

What can the affected players do? There are several options:

  • They can patiently wait until the next “7” is rolled, because when this occurs, the player who rolled the “7” can use his pirate ship, and the “established” pirate must return his pirate ship to his supply.

  • The players may also pay 1 gold for each ship they want to move along the edges of the pirate hex.

  • The last option is to chase away the pirate ship. A player can do this with any of his ships if one of its ends points toward a corner of the pirate hex. All he has to do is roll a “6.” If he succeeds, the “friend of the pirates” must return his pirate ship to his supply, and the lucky player may gladly move his ships toward their destinations. In addition, he is now the new friend of the pirates and may use his pirate ship for his own benefit.

Klaus Teuber



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Comments

Does this mean we get weekly updates now?
Are the gold not considered as resources?
When the pirate is chased away by rolling a 6, does the player who chased it away then place his pirate on the same sea hex, or a new one of his choosing?
Is this expansion compatible with 3rd edition of Catan?
Nick Johnson
@Sci-fi We intend to keep the English versions of the blog on a regular schedule. However, it isn't guaranteed:) @Pirateer No, gold is separate from resources. It's use in this game is similar to other Catan games which also include it. As the blog states players can pay two gold to buy 1 resource. @Drew They may place it on any available sea hex, as long as it is not adjacent to the starting island. @Jake All of the products are produced to be compatible with the current edition. So, it will not be compatible with thew 3rd edition.
What I mean is when a seven is rolled can the gold be taken by the robber? Or will the robber even be used?
Gero Zahn
@Pirateer: The “7” will affect only your regular resources. – And: No, there is no “robber” as such in E&P, but a pirate ship.
When you say that it won't be compatible with the 3rd edition, can it be made compatible by purchasing the "The Settlers of Catan Pre-2007 Adapter Kit" or is there something else that makes it incompatible?
Dr. Reiner Düren
Yes, the "The Settlers of Catan Pre-2007 Adapter Kit" makes it compatible.
Do you pick up gold for resources you don't have in scenarios 2-5?
Dr. Reiner Düren
The general rules, given in scenario 1 are valid for all other scenarios.
Can you use all the expansions to include cities and knights as well as seafarers with this recent expansion of explorers and pirates? I am very reluctant to give up the cities and knights expansion of Catan play Thanks, Matt
Why do the pieces fit together so badly. The new ones are thicker than the older ones and since you have to use some of the base set pieces, they don't fit properly. Not only are the new ones thicker, they seem to be cut a shade bigger so there are gaps where the base pieces and the new set pieces fit together. This make the whole board very unstable. We spent half the time while we were trying to learn how to play it, putting pieces back in that had come apart because the board was slightly moved or something. Not moving the board is impossible as you are constantly moving around on it and flipping pieces over etc. It is nothing like the base set that once it is together, it is fairly stable. I am not recommending this expansion to anyone. In fact, just the opposite. Some of the instructions aren't very clear so between that and a very unstable board, it made trying to play it very frustrating. I am actually going to call where I bought it and see if they will give me a store credit. I don't think there was enough testing done on this new set for Catan before it was released and I don't appreciate being the test market when I'm paying for it.
Gero Zahn
@Matt Please read all about the possible combinations on the product information page – the direct link is http://www.catan.com/game/catan-explorers-pirates-expansion#possible-combinations
Gero Zahn
@Orla I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing problems of this sort. I will forward this comment of yours over to Mayfair Customer Service. As you describe different heights and low stability, this is clearly a production issue that they should be able to face.
Does your ships only have 4 movements and "dies" after that? Do you then have to build another ship next turn? Or is this 4 movements (per ship) for every "movement phase"? Thanks! /Olle
Dr. Reiner Düren
@Olle: When you build a settlement on a new island with the aid of settler ship, this ship indeed "dies" because the settlers need the lumber and wool to build the settlement. In all other cases the ships stay "on board" after the movement phase and can be used and moved again in the next turn. Letting ships die after each movement would make the game unplayable, because then you could never reach the far ends of the board.
When paying tribute to the pirate does the gold go to the player's supply or the bank?
Dr. Reiner Düren
This is answered in the rule book on page 7, chapter "Paying Tribute to the Pirate".
You mention above that a settler ship is destroyed when the settlers land, because "the settlers need the lumber and wool for the settlement". But they don't need this lumber and wool when building a settlement at the end of a road :) I'm curious as to why this rule exists - it seems out of keeping with the rest of the game, especially when empty ships have so many other uses : exploring, hauling fish, chasing pirates, carrying crew...
Do you need settlers or crews in a boat to discover a hex?
Dr. Reiner Düren
@James Martin: No, also empty ships are able to discover new hex. Captain Cook is always on board.
Also would like to comments about the different height pieces, makes the board unstable and ships tend to fall over... very disappointed! live in south Africa so not really able to return the product for a proper one (USD>ZAR made this a $60 expansion!not cheap but cheaply made), even my settlers of Catan board roads are longer and shorter, almost home made... also regarding the ships, when a ship dies when building a settlement does that mean the ship is returned to the player to be re-built or can the ship continue to sail without the settlement on the next turn? thought the empty ship had to return to harbour to pick up another settlement or continue empty and explore... It also states that building and trading cannot be performed during the movement phase, does this also apply to paying wool for extra 2 ship movements?
Dr. Reiner Düren
@Chaun: I cannot say anything to the material. The best would be, to make a picture and send a request to the supplier. Regarding the settlers ship: When a Settlement is built with the Aid of a Settler Ship, return both your ship and the settler in its hold to your supply. (See Rule book page 5). When you want use wool to get more movement points for a ship, you have to get this wool during your Trade and Build Phase. You cannot buy wool in the movement phase.
Gero Zahn
@Chaun I have forwarded your inquiry about the quality of the game material to Mayfair Games Customer service. I will let you know as soon as I receive a reply from them.
Gero Zahn
@Chaun I just got word back from Mayfair Games. This is what they told me to tell you: We are sorry you are experiencing difficulty with your components. Please contact custserv@mayfairgames.com and they will be more than happy to address your concerns.
I too bought the pre-2007 adapter kit and the new explorers and pirates. The pieces on the frame simply do not fit. The pieces stick up and provided no stability at all they are different heights as well as the puzzle pieces are an ill fit. The hexes kept moving as the frame does not work. I ended up building my own frame from seafarers 3rd edition and it works perfect.
I just bought this version in Netherlands. It looks great, but it does not fit with my old version of Settlers of Catan. It is so unstable and playing with kids means the hexagons quickly loose their place. How can I solve this? The game itself (so far only at the introduction stage) is good, kids love the movement of the ships. Would have liked the wooden figures to remain. It took me hours to understand the Dutch rules, finally found your blog and in an instant your rules made sense.
ay one of you nerds help me out, do i need the original game to play pirates and explorers? can i play it without the first game (4th edition)?
Gero Zahn
@Elizabeth J @Kaye @jonny b If you are referring to English language editions, please contact the good guys over at Mayfair Games using the e-mail address custserv@mayfairgames.com. They will be able to help you. Likewise, if it's a bout a German language edition, contact the Catan service & support department at Kosmos using the e-mail address catan@kosmos.de.
Do you get 4 movement points per turn or just once and then you have to pay sheep to move from then on???
Gero Zahn
@Emily Per turn – 4 movements per turn for each of your ships, that is. Plus, if you want to speed things up, paying one sheep to add 2 additional movements to one of your ships.
@GeroZahn just wondering but what's your little avatar holding off to the right of my question?
Gero Zahn
@Emily :-) You can see it a big bigger on our “Team” page: It's a computer mouse, dangling on its cable. http://www.catan.com/about-us/catan-gmbh
Hello, is it possible that a single ship can discover two undiscovered lands by landing between two hexes at the end of its movement phase?
Dr. Reiner Düren
@Majin: No that is not possible since the movement of a ship ends immediately when one of its ends (bow or stern) points to a corner of an undiscovered hex and this is always a corner of one single undiscovered hex.
I can't help but wonder if I'm missing something here. We sat down to play land ho and put the green and orange hexes in place but we are confused as to what happens if you turn over a "non-resource" hex for example the one with the fish or the land (which I haven't seen before). Does anything happen with those hexes or are they just blank land and sea?
Dr. Reiner Düren
@Julie: When you play Land Ho, you have to use not all hexes. The components required can be found on page 2 of the rule book. In the other scenarios more hexes are needed and what happens when you discover "non-resource"-hexes can be found on page 5 of the rule book below the second picture in the left column.
What is the penalty for failing to chase a pirate ship away? The rule isn't really clear to me... Says "If you failed... you must pay tribute to move your ship along the sea routes of the hex." Is this pay tribute for any ships on the hex now, or if they are moved next turn? They can't have moved before the battle but can they after losing (paying tribute)? Also I agree that the board is very loose and does not stay together... :-(
Dr. Reiner Düren
@Chris: When you fail to chase the pirate you have to pay or stay - when you cannot pay. The payment has to be paid for each of your ships which will move beside the pirate in each turn the pirate is there.
By discovering one hex at a time its possible for ships to get locked in the middle of the undiscovered hexes if other players discover hexes around that ship?? Can ships also move straight past undiscovered hexes and discover ones they want to not just the closest hex??
Dr. Reiner Düren
@anthony: You can only discover new hexes by ships and when a ship could be moved to an undiscovered hex, there's always a way back. You cannot choose if you want do discover an undiscovered hex or not. When a ship points to an undiscovered hex, the movement of your ship ends immediately - even when you still have movement points - and the hex is discovered.
If you roll to chase the pirate away, miss, then pay the penalty. Do you move immediately? If so, why would you ever pay and not try to chase? Or are you paying and cannot move?
Dr. Reiner Düren
You only have to pay the penalty (we call it "tribute") when you move your ship. You don't have to pay when you don't move the ship, even after a lost battle. Of course, before paying, you should try to chase the pirate away. But you can only try this when at least one end of one your ships is directly adjacent to one of the six intersections of the sea hex occupied by the pirate and has not been moved in this turn.

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