The creator of Settlers of Catan has died. - link to Dicebreaker article.
I’ve never been a great fan of the game itself, but I can’t deny the influence it’s had.
Settlers of Catan was the game that introduced negotiation as a form of player interaction to my family*: a trade’s value is not set in stone, it is determined by the players. It doesn’t seem like much now, but sixteen or seventeen years ago it was revelatory to us as a form of player interaction. Catan remained one of the board games that we would play together for several years after, alongside Carcassonne, Cathedral and Ingenious.
I’ll also never forget introducing it to a group of friends about 13 years ago. When one player realised he could make a trade to build two roads in order to cut off the route that his then girlfriend (happily, now wife) was planning, I’ll never forget the look on the faces of the players and those spectating. I have no recollection of who won that game, but I think that moment is one that will stay with me forever.
So thank you Klaus Teuber, for what you did for this hobby and for the memories that you have given me. I hope knowing that through his games he brought joy to many people provides some solace to his family.
*Okay, I suppose technically Monopoly has negotiation as a mechanic, but even at a young age I found choosing what piece to be the most exciting part of Monopoly. Not that that necessarily stopped me from wanting to play my Star Wars edition of Monopoly.
I haven‘t played Siedler in ages and likely won‘t play again. But it was the game that marks the beginning of my adult (if you count 19 as adult) gaming. I also have a bunch of good memories from playing with friends. It was/is definitely ubiquitous and is surely part of the reason why boardgames have remained so incredibly popular here. I also have very fond memories of playing Barbarossa as a child (I had forgotten that it also was one of his games). I am sad to hear he was only 70. But Klaus Teuber‘s legacy will live on in the myriad of games and gamers that were inspired by Siedler.
Catan is only something I played late (albeit I’d heard about it years before from my uncle). I think it’s a really really cool design and it’s obvious to see how important that game is.
I guess Catan played a big part in getting me in to the hobby. I vividly remember a very drunk game we played some years ago. At that point I’d had a habit of winning games so no one wanted to trade with me. I declared myself Communist Catan, offering one for one trades with anyone who hadn’t crossed me that game. Rest of the game was played to extremely soviet sounding music. It should have ruined the game, but it was one of the most enjoyable evenings of board gaming I can remember.