Archive - December 2010

Settlers of Catan: Perfect for Rook Players

The rook game staff has recently ventured out into the best selling game in the world right now, Settlers of Catan.  For you rook enthusiasts, it is a blast to have a more traditional board game alternative to play either for mixing things up a bit, or simply to allow for 2 or 3 players to play a game that works extremely well without a 4th player.

About the game

Settlers of Catan has many different version and expansions.  The basic box game is played with 2 to 4 players and is primarily a dice rolling game mixed with some fun strategy.

Movable Parts

Right off the bat, the first thing that you will notice about the game is that is a completely different game every time you play.  This is due to the fact that the board can be created in so many different manners.

Role the dice for fun

Similar to Yatzee, Settlers of Catan has a highly chance driven factor to it in that the roling of the dice plays a major role in who will win the game.  There is a significant amount strategic playing available, but all the strategy will go out the window if you don’t have a little bit of luck.

If you were a fan of the computer game civilization, either the new versions or even the old version from like 1990s, then you are sure to love Settlers of Catan!

Not a Camping game

While Settlers of Catan makes for a great home game, the fact that there are so many interchangeable parts and pieces makes it a poor choice for a camping game.  Rook still takes the cake for being a simple game to pack and play on a camping trip.

You ask, Why is Settlers of Catan getting highlighted in an all Rook website?  Well, the fact is, rook players enjoy playing other games as well.  We have found that for our situation, if we are unable to get at least 4 players to play rook, then our favorite alternative is to play a 2 or 3 player game of Settlers of Catan.  While we will still prefer to play a four player  game of set partner rook, the Settlers game is a great second option!

Play Settlers of Catan Online
Purchase the game!

For even more fun, order the 5 to 6 player expansion set

Rook Strategy: What to do with a Lone 14 in Your Hand

To take your game to the next level, the lonely 14 strategy is very important to being able to win those marginal holdings.

What is meant by lone 14?

A lone 14 is when you only have one card of a certain color and that one card is a 14. So for example, you have 5 black cards, 4 yellow, 3 red cards, and one green card, and your one green card is the 14 of green.

Bidding with a Lone 14

During the bidding stages, it is our suggestion to be slightly more aggressive than normal as your 14 should basically be considered an automatic loss.  Typically, players will lead the 1 of colors first, so your 14 will automatically get taken whether by you or your partner.

If you bid slightly more aggressively and are able to take the bid, you are likely to either add some cards in the color to help support your 14, or you will be able to leave the 14 in the kitty, so it is not susceptible to and easy loss.

Even if you are to get one card (say a 12 of green) in the kitty, it would still be highly recommended to place both of those cards in the kitty to create a void.  The void could ultimately help save again 25 points when your opponents play a 1 and a 10 together and you would have been forced to play your 12.

When you do not take the bid and have a Lone 14

If you do not take the bid and are sitting with a lone 14 in your hand.  There are a number of times when leading the 14 can be an important strategy to setting your opponent or helping your partner make their bid.  Leading the 14 even if the 1 has not been played signifies to your partner that you have no more in that color. There may be an opportunity for you to sneak in a trump if your partner is able to lead back at you in that color.  Especially if you are sitting with the rook in your hand and want to trump that in as soon as possible.

Taking an Extra Trick

If your partner happens to have the 1, it also allows them to let the 14 win when most other times, the 14 would not have taken a trick in that round.

Lone 14s are deceptively important in making or missing close bids.  When you are talking about 10 point swings and a good trick, the way you get by playing the singleton 14 will be of strong importance to making your team a winning team.

Rook Cards: Finding Better Quality Cards

You know you are an avid rook player when you find yourself having to go back to walmart month after month to buy another new deck of rook cards.  The poor decks that you keep buying are nice for about 2 days and then you can already start to feel the cards starting to stick.  But the game is so fun, that we keep going back to buy another deck to replace our current decks.

Well, what if there were a deck of quality rook cards that you could buy that would last much longer than the regular rook deck of cards.  Thanks to plastic rook cards, we have found this deck of cards.  The deck of 57 cards is exactly what we are looking for.  We have found that this deck of plastic cards worked perfect for solving our issue of having to keep on buying new rook cards over and over.  The deck is great quality and very affordable.

If you are an avid rook player and find that you are going through deck after deck of rook cards, we highly recommend trying a deck of 57 cards.

Update 2013: There is still no better place to find top quality rook cards than what we have found in the past. 

We Keep Playing Rook: How Come?

What is it about rook that allows us to play for hours day after day, after day.  I know some groups of rook players that have been playing together for more than 20 years.  Is there really that much going on in the rook game that keeps people coming back to play more and more?

There are a group of four of us that get together to play rook about 2 times a week, and we have been playing against each other with the same four and same partners for about 2 years now.  We actually keep a running tally of wins and losses – currently our opponents are up on us by 1 game with 20 games left to go in the race to 100.   The winning team buys the other a tasty Olive Garden meal.

What is it about rook that keeps us wanting to play more?   Is it the Olive Garden?  For me, rook satisfies two very important things in my life.

1: Camaraderie – Getting together with friends is an extremely important part of my life.  If I wasn’t able to get together and spend time with my friends, I would be extremely devastated!  I cherish all my friends and rook is just one simple way to get a group together and have some good old fashioned fun together.

2: Competitive gaming – Growing up in a family that always played cards or some sort of games together has placed a fire inside me that only seems to be put out with strategically playing some sort of card game.  The rook card game can be an extremely competitive game, and for me this is just what the doctor ordered to keep me from wanting to challenge everyone to a duel!

What is your reason for playing rook?  Why do you keep coming back to it week after week?