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The Concept Of Time In The Settlers Of Catan

Updated: Oct 28, 2022

For the players, the audiences, and the commentators to better analyse any type of game, time is commonly used among the frames of reference. So far we have been using different methods to measure time. First, let's start with the 02 traditional ways:


Clock time: A three-player game of Catan usually takes around 45 minutes, though it might vastly differ between games. During tournaments, even when applying the same board layout, some tables ended in less than 30 minutes while others finished after over an hour.


Turn count: Similar to clock time in some aspects, the method has a general standard of 60 turns. In the same manner, the total number of turns in each game also fluctuates immensely.

Generally speaking, clock time and turn count reflect the mental pressure on people who involve in the game. To put it differently, when considering the statistics, both methods show the level of endurance players have invested in their games. Despite this, they do not effectively represent the games' characteristics. Clock time can be dragged meaninglessly when people waste too much time thinking or arguing. Meanwhile, the more 7s or any non-productive numbers come up, the more turns it will take to complete a game. To diverse the solutions, we offer 02 advanced ways to keep track of the game flow:


Tension: Simply put, tension demonstrates how exciting a game is in terms of total VPs. The more VPs the better. For a three-player base game of Catan, the score will lean toward the anti-climatic side if total VPs are 20 or below, but will get more fantastic when they go 25 and above. The shortest it could get is 14 VPs while the longest is 31 in total.


Game stage: There is no exaggeration in saying the duration of a Catan game is decided by the majority of its participants, not the sole winner. Therefore, we suggest that the current stage of a standard three-player game be derived from the highest milestone that has been surpassed by at least two players. When most people still have 04 or fewer VPs, it is called the early-game stage. Then, as soon as two or more players reach 05 to 07 VPs, it is defined as the mid-game stage. And finally, at 08 VPs or above, it is officially the late-game stage.


In theory, a low-tension game still has the potential to finish in the late-game stage, 10/8/2 for example. At the other end of the spectrum, it is also possible for a high-tension game to end during the mid-game stage, says 11/7/7. We hope you find the discussion interesting. Don't forget to support us by dropping by Like or sharing the article with your fellow Catan players. Thank you for reading!

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