By April 12, 2010

YuCatan Settlers of Catan Game Board Review

We used to play a lot of Settlers of Catan around here. I mean a lot. One of the best parts of the game is that the map is different every time. The hexes that make up the board are mixed up at the start of the game and distributed randomly.

One of the drawbacks to this is that the hex pieces are easily disturbed. There’s nothing hold them together, and without a single, unified game board anything can mess things up. Bump the table? The hexes move. Roll the dice on the board? The hexes move. Don’t nudge the edge of the assembled board, or you’ve got a miniature fault line on your hands.

Enter Mayday Games’s YuCatan game board for Settlers of Catan. Made of thick cardboard, the YuCatan board is designed to hold the Settlers map hexes firmly in place. Mayday was smart enough to only leave room for port tiles around the edges, so you don’t have to waste your time with empty ocean tiles.

I used the board one time about two years ago and it’s sat on my gaming book case until last week.

I was very surprised to learn that the board isn’t built to withstand use in a humid state like Virginia. I keep the house at 43% humidity, and apparently that is too much for the board to handle.

Observe:

http://gallery.drfaulken.com/d/8796-2/IMG_1472.JPG

Those six sided dice are the ones that shipped with my copy of Settlers. They are the standard “smaller” size dice you’d expect to get in many board games.

http://gallery.drfaulken.com/d/8803-2/IMG_1475.JPG

The board is so warped in places it’s almost as tall a Settlers city.

http://gallery.drfaulken.com/d/8799-2/IMG_1473.JPG

Here’s a picture of one of the board’s fold points. Notice how warped it is, and how the tiles don’t sit right. It’s worse in some places than others, like here:

http://gallery.drfaulken.com/d/8801-2/IMG_1474.JPG

We wound up taking five pound weights from one of my dumbbells to flatten out each corner and bend of the board. It laid flat enough for us to place the tiles down, but then we had to rest our arms on iron plates most of the game.

At $19.95 MSRP, the YuCatan board by Mayday Games is not cheap. I would have given this a “recommended” rating had it not been for the warping, but given how distorted the board is now I can’t recommend it to anyone living outside of Arizona. If you do buy the board, make sure you put it underneath lots of heavy, flat objects.

Not recommended.

NOTE: this review originally stated that Mayfair Games created this board, which is incorrect. The board is created by Mayday Games. Apologies to Mayfair Games, who is the licensed publisher for Settlers of Catan, Pompeii, and other fine games.

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Posted in: games, review

3 Comments on "YuCatan Settlers of Catan Game Board Review"

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  1. Bill Fogarty says:

    The YuCatan board discussed in this review is not produced by Mayfair Games. It is produced by MayDay Games, a completely separate company with no relationship to Mayfair Games.

  2. DrFaulken says:

    This review originally stated that Mayfair Games created this board, which is incorrect. The board is created by Mayday Games. Apologies to Mayfair Games, who is the licensed publisher for Settlers of Catan, Pompeii, and other fine games.

  3. Seth Hiatt says:

    Did you have the game board stored horizontally or vertically for those 2+ years? You need to keep it stored flat to avoid it becoming warped due to the heaviness of it and the nature of its construction. That should have been explained to you when you purchased it on the instructions with the board. We will happily replace this board at no cost if you will email us directly. You may also try storing it for a few days under some heavy books as that will also correct the problem there in the heavy humidity.