After a long wait (over two weeks, dammit!) Wil Wheaton has brought out episode two of his board gaming web series, Tabletop. This episode looks at The Settlers of Catan, one of the classic gateway games.
A gateway game is the like the marijuana of the board gaming world. They’re relatively cheap, easy to get introduced to and hard to look back from. The Settlers of Catan was my gateway game, in fact. I heard about it online, thought it sounded interesting and picked up a copy. About 50 games of it later I never looked back.
Settlers is great for this purpose because while the rule set is fairly simple to learn, most the mechanics will be totally unfamiliar to new players. You’re not moving pieces around the board, you have to interact with other people by trading and you have far greater options that in most games. In my experience, most people who play this with me for the first time either want to play another game of it straight away or they want to go through my games cupboard to find something else to try.
Personally, I would like to see Wil and the gang tackle some games that I haven’t played a million times before, but I guess this series is meant to be an introduction to new comers. I can’t complain about that because the more people who get into gaming, the less pathetic I look in comparison.
Today Wil is joined by Jane Espenson (Writer and Producer for Buffy, Caprica, BSG, Game of Thrones), James Kyson (Actor on Heroes, Hawaii 5-0) and Neil Grayston (Actor on Eureka).