Author Topic: Catan: Wood vs. Plastic  (Read 9255 times)

Offline Carcking

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Catan: Wood vs. Plastic
« on: February 19, 2015, 08:59:05 AM »
It looks like a "mighty knight" from "Cities and Knights of Catan".

Interesting. I have not seen that version of Cities & Knights. They actually made figures for it?

EDIT: Split from this topic.

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=1541.0
« Last Edit: February 20, 2015, 12:02:32 AM by whaleyland »
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Offline Hounk

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Re: Wood vs. Plastic
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2015, 10:32:36 AM »
Yes, unfortunately they do. The original version was with wooden pieces and preferred by most players. Nowadays the regular versions are with plastic figurines. I was introduced to Catan last year and got myself a plastic version. It is still a nice game, and the more recent expansions, beginning with "Traders and Barbarians" actually never have been produced with wooden pieces in the German (and probably also in the Hungarian) version.

This particular knight from "C&K" is actually even the third version. The second had movable arms to indicate, if they are active or not, but they broke easily, so they were replaced with tis static figures, which get a helmet when active.

Offline Safari

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Re: Wood vs. Plastic
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2015, 12:23:38 PM »
Yes, unfortunately they do. The original version was with wooden pieces and preferred by most players. Nowadays the regular versions are with plastic figurines. I was introduced to Catan last year and got myself a plastic version. It is still a nice game, and the more recent expansions, beginning with "Traders and Barbarians" actually never have been produced with wooden pieces in the German (and probably also in the Hungarian) version.

This particular knight from "C&K" is actually even the third version. The second had movable arms to indicate, if they are active or not, but they broke easily, so they were replaced with tis static figures, which get a helmet when active.
Oh, yes! And now we are loosing the helmets all the time. Half of my army is already helmetless. XD

I was quite surprised, that you didn't know about the plastic figures, since they changed from wood to plastic already several years (10?!) ago. But sure: The American version is still sold with wood figures.

If we want to play with wood pieces, here we have to buy accessory packs, that are called "Viking wood pieces". For the base game, and the first two expansion, they designed new wood pieces. For the two latest expansions the use your "american" wood pieces. Here and here some more information, if you want to.

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Offline Hounk

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Re: Wood vs. Plastic
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2015, 12:30:14 PM »
I think, the US publisher never changed to plastic.

Offline Safari

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Re: Wood vs. Plastic
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2015, 01:06:02 PM »
I think, the US publisher never changed to plastic.
As I said. :D
But I'm quite curious if that changes with the new version (again  :-\). At least they want to publish the same design worldwide (giving it the name "CATAN" with out anything else). This could be the end for wood pieces on the other side of the great pond too!

Offline Whaleyland

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Re: Wood vs. Plastic
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2015, 01:58:42 PM »
I suspect it will be. And despite all the information Kosmos has been putting out, Mayfair has just been reprinting it, not recognizing errors in its statements. The new edition will not be 100% compatible with the old versions because Kosmos uses slightly (very slightly) smaller hexes. New tiles in old frames will be noticeable and will slide around some. Meanwhile, old Mayfair tiles in new frames simply won't work. I can't grab Explorers & Pirates (or whatever it's called) for another two years; I hope 4th edition versions are still floating around then. The 3rd edition version became quite valuable a few years after the 4th edition came out. I suspect the same will happen again here.

Sidenote: I don't like the new Catan box sizes. They match, I believe, the Pandemic box size (though slightly thicker, I assume) rather than the square Euro-box size. I prefer the squares. They're easier to shelve (at least for me).

Offline Safari

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Re: Wood vs. Plastic
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2015, 03:06:15 PM »
I suspect it will be. And despite all the information Kosmos has been putting out, Mayfair has just been reprinting it, not recognizing errors in its statements. The new edition will not be 100% compatible with the old versions because Kosmos uses slightly (very slightly) smaller hexes. New tiles in old frames will be noticeable and will slide around some. Meanwhile, old Mayfair tiles in new frames simply won't work. I can't grab Explorers & Pirates (or whatever it's called) for another two years; I hope 4th edition versions are still floating around then. The 3rd edition version became quite valuable a few years after the 4th edition came out. I suspect the same will happen again here.

Sidenote: I don't like the new Catan box sizes. They match, I believe, the Pandemic box size (though slightly thicker, I assume) rather than the square Euro-box size. I prefer the squares. They're easier to shelve (at least for me).
At least for us Europeans they haven't changed the size of the box. As far as I can see, it will stay the same. But, as you say, the American version and the new version have very significant differences.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2015, 02:23:26 PM by Safari »

Offline Carcking

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Re: Wood vs. Plastic
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2015, 07:12:38 PM »
I was quite surprised, that you didn't know about the plastic figures, since they changed from wood to plastic already several years (10?!) ago. But sure: The American version is still sold with wood figures.

We have a complete set and all expansions - of the first printings - so we have all wood! The plastic is surprising to me as typically it equates to higher cost? But maybe that's not true any longer.

Offline Whaleyland

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Re: Wood vs. Plastic
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2015, 12:01:52 AM »
Mayfair has done all wood from 1st edition to 4th edition. The 5th edition will finally match it with the German version. Kosmos has used plastic since the 3rd edition, I think. I believe they switched mid-way during its print run. 999 Games used wood through the 3rd edition, I know, because I have a few expansions for it that were unique to 999. Kosmos never had wood or plastic components in their smaller expansions, only cardboard.

I've got pretty much everything Catan that came out up to Traders & Barbarians, but then my gaming group turned on Catan and the game has been sitting unplayed ever since. I've kept up with the smaller expansions like Frenemies, Oil Wells, Helpers, and the geography maps (though I've missed a number of the Europe maps like Corsica and Majorca, both of which I really want!). I haven't grabbed any of the stand-alone games except Rivals for Catan and its expansions. Struggle for Catan was not that fun so I sold it. Explorers & Pirates is the only large expansion I'm missing, and it actually sounds the most fun of all of them. Maybe I'll pick it up in a few years.

Offline Hounk

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Re: Wood vs. Plastic
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2015, 04:21:29 AM »
The plastic is surprising to me as typically it equates to higher cost?
I think, this is not true for quite a long time now. The resource is rather cheap if you think, that more then 99% of it is used just to burn in cars anyway. And the figures are only monochrome either way. It might be different, if they would have been painted. Anyway, I would have liked, if they would have sticked with wood, but I'm not that hardcore, that I would not play with plastic, like some of the old school Catan fans seem to tend to. Beside, I consider the old, slightly abstract wooden pieces more fitting than the flossy ones from the new "Viking Edition".

I do very much like "Explorers & Pirates" by the way, although we did not get a chance to play a "complete" game including the spice traders yet, only pirates and fish. The geographical maps on the other hand, I was never interested in. I think the modular board is one of the great things about Catan, would not want to replace it with a static map.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2015, 04:33:08 AM by Hounk »

Offline Khonnor

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Re: Catan: Wood vs. Plastic
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2015, 05:08:17 AM »
I actually prefer the new Plastic versions.

The artwork on the tiles are prettier imo and the sea-frame to hold the tiles in place are nice. The plastic player pieces are very detailed.

I had the Original 1995 edition of the base game and Cities and Knights. But bought their plastic editions again in Germany in 2010.

After that I bought the new version of T&B in 2012 when it was released in Dutch. Sold the German editions and old wooden editions and repurchased the new editions in Dutch as well. Still like the game, but mostly as 2-player game, or 3 tops. We play it 20 times a month...then not again for months up to a year, to play it again lots of times during a month or two....

Offline Hounk

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Re: Catan: Wood vs. Plastic
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2015, 01:40:07 PM »
I agree, that the new artwork is really nice, but I would not see the more "detailed figures" a real benefit. Especially, because they are so odd in size. If you have abstract figures, this does not really bother, but especially this giant knights from "Cities & Knights" are really odd (compared to the cities or even camels of "Traders & Barbarians", which we like to combine), because they are not abstract. Also considering the material itself, I would prefer wood.

I am also curious, that you really like "Settlers of Catan" as a 2 player game. I know, there are work around rules, but I think they are super artificial and trading with the opponents is an integral part of the game, which would not work in 2 player games anyway. With "Explorers & Pirates" this trading does not matter that much any more, for now I only played it with 3 players minimum anyway.


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