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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid 2-player Catan game, 4 Jan 2011
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mayfair Games The Rivals for Catan (Toy)
Good stuff.

This is basically a 2-player solitaire card game, but with the addition of dice and some board game elements that make it quite compelling.

You lay the cards spatially in front of you to form an empire with roads, villages, cities and associated buildings and heroes. Although you mostly focus on your own empire, there are a few attacking cards that mean you have to keep an eye on what your opponent is doing, and defend or compete as appropriate.

It's more complicated and fiddly than the basic Settlers of Catan board game--it has more rules and doesn't feel quite so elegant. But it does use many of the same mechanics and ideas as a starting point. I wouldn't strongly recommend playing this if you haven't experienced that game first.

It's also far more complex than the Catan Dice Game, another spinoff. It's good for travelling, given that it's just a deck of (small) cards and some dice and counters. But the way the cards spread out means it's not ideal for playing in airports etc.

Rivals of Catan is nicely balanced, with lots of ways to score points. Longevity comes from three different variants (ie decks of cards) which keep things interesting over multiple plays.

It's apparently very similar to the Catan Card Game it replaces, although I've never played that one. Components are nicely done, with wooden pieces and attractive (although slightly flimsy) cards.

A solid four-star game and well worth the £15 asking price.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frantastic strategy game for two people, 21 Aug 2011
By 
Gero Elerd (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mayfair Games The Rivals for Catan (Toy)
I have never played the original board game but came across the German version (which came in up to six expansion packs in the early 2000s) and enjoyed the game greatly. With my English friends, translating the German cards became quite cumbersome so I was quite happy to find the Mayfair version.

This version includes all the previous versions from the German original except the Dragon and Wizard deck. The 140 cards of this version fit (once freed from its original box) conveniently in a small container (when traveling). The dices and two markers also fit and are solid wood.

Overall:
Probably one of the best card strategy games. Easy to explain and play with two people (according to Mayfair games there is a first expansion pack coming that will also allow for up to four people - end 2011).
Very nice for long winter nights with various levels of strategies need to win the game. Does not get boring!

Design:
The cards are quite sturdy and when not bent or otherwise damaged will stay in a very good condition. The motives on the cards are extremely nice (viking theme).

Rules:
The rule book is handy and can be read within 5-10 minutes. The basic deck is very easy to get used to and later the more advanced cards will be added. This ensures that if you introduce the game to a new person he or she is not thrown in at the deep end. Adding all cards at the advanced stage once you have played it a couple of times will ensure that the game remains a challenge to strategists.

Gameplay:
In addition to what has been said before, the easy access and rules allow for a quick game using various strategies. Each "turn" is resolved quickly and the game feels very fast and not cumbersome.

Small drawbacks:
- this is not a card game for a small table, you need a medium size surface space
- no expansion packs (yet)
- addictive :-)

Summary:
As said in the beginning, a very good game for a very good price (for the fun you will have from it).

I have also played the more advanced "living card" strategy games by Fantasy Flight like The Game of Thrones. These are of course more advanced and have more additions - however, for the casual gamer the Rivals of Catan game can become extremely addictive and the rules make it very easy to understand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good travel game...buts needs space., 1 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Mayfair Games The Rivals for Catan (Toy)
As with all catan games, they are well designed and provide hours of pleasure. As a long-time player of the board games we decided to get this version for 2 player nights and to travel with. Not a drawback, but this is not suitable for trains and planes...even though it is a card game...as the layout requires each player to have 60cm x 30cm to lay their cards out and another area for common cards.

Great game...but requires similar space to the board game version.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun game for 2 people, 27 Aug 2011
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mayfair Games The Rivals for Catan (Toy)
This is a fun game if you like Settlers of Catan but only want to play with 2 people. Once you get the hang of the game with the basic set of cards, it's way more fun to use the advanced card sets. YOu definitely need a lot of table space to play!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great game for two people, 23 Mar 2011
By 
Anna Bobrowska (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mayfair Games The Rivals for Catan (Toy)
Rivals for Catan is pretty much an upgraded version of the Settlers of Catan Card Game. The cards and rules are pretty much the same, but the improvement now is that you can play the game in different versions - basic, one of the more complicated ones, or an all encompassing battle including all cards and rules. The brilliance of it is that when you don't have too much time to commit to a full game you can play the basic game in around an hours time, while you still have the possibility to play the full game when you have more time. It's also a great alternative to Settlers if you only have two people. All in all, a great game for anyone who enjoys the Settlers saga with the advantage of being able to cut down the game time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Catan for Two, 8 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Mayfair Games The Rivals for Catan (Toy)
Bought this as we love playing catan but it just doesn't work for 2 players. The first intro game is a little boring after a while so we quickly moved onto the first extension. As i've won 5 straight games in a row I love it.... husband not so keen but it's a great catan fix until we meet with friends to play the 'real' thing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Let the games begin, 13 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Mayfair Games The Rivals for Catan (Toy)
This is an awesome game! I used to play this with my mum, and thought I could buy it for me and my boyfriend. He absolutely loves it! It's a great game for 2 players.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible 2 player game!, 2 Nov 2012
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Mayfair Games The Rivals for Catan (Toy)
This game is just amazing. More complex than the original Catan. With a lot of options and replayability. Get this and the expansion (2nd one coming soon) ASAP.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really good the Catan Card Game, 29 Jun 2012
By 
Mr. Norbert Varnyu "Norbert" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Mayfair Games The Rivals for Catan (Toy)
I used to know Catan the board game. but there is not enough people around me to play that. so card game for 2 player is excellent. Different from the boardgame but still really exciting. Great fun, I enjoy it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A game without rival, 15 Mar 2012
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= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Mayfair Games The Rivals for Catan (Toy)
This game is like no other and takes a little time to learn the rules and purpose of the game. However after two games the rules begin to make sense and the game becomes fun. We have only played the basic game so far, but this is all we want to date. However we look forward to adding the three extra levels within the pack provided. Once you have learned the rules an begun to sort out a strategy each game should only last about an hour.
I have made a card template for the central section so that the shared card stacks can be quickly and easily located.
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