Do you like the idea behind the strategy game “Settlers of Catan”, but get a little bored waiting for your turn? My family came up with a “Realtime Version” that speeds things up a bit:
- One person is the game master, a full time dice roller and banker. That person does not actually play the game.
- Place all terrain tiles and number circles randomly to save time.
- As soon as the tiles and circles are placed, the game master says, “Go”. All players place their settlements and roads at the same time without taking turns. Whoever places a settlement in a spot first gets it.
- The game master gives out resource cards for all resources that all players’ settlements touch (not just the “second” round).
- The game master continually rolls the dice and hands out resource cards accordingly.
- Players buy roads, settlements, cities, and development cards at any time. The game master pauses briefly to make transactions. However, as the name implies, all play is realtime. There are no turns.
- If the game master rolls a 7 then he moves the robber from wherever it is to the desert. Players could check and reduce their number of cards per the regular rules (or not). But, there is no actually robbing because the game master rolled the dice.
- To maintain some sanity, we also said that the game master pauses after rolling a 7, and that is the only time that players can trade with other players. We still allowed players to trade with the bank at any time. However, you could allow players to trade with other players at any time, or you could make players wait until the game master rolls a 7 to trade with the bank. We need to experiment with that more.