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I recently purchased several extensions for Catan card-game and noticed that the manual says to put the cards of the extensions into separate stacks at the beginning of the game. Before reading the manual I expected that the extension cards would just be shuffled into the regular stacks, and therefore I was surprised to read about the separate stacks. Unfortunately the manual is not very clear on why those cards need to be in separate stacks. What is the reason for this? And what is the disadvantage of shuffling them into the regular stacks anyway?

More info:
I'm referring to this game (notice the table setup next to the box): Kolonisten van Catan Kaartspel
At the end of the page you can see that there are 5 extensions for this game.

My question refers to the manual of the extensions saying that instead of making 5 equal stacks of cards, now there should be made 4 equal stacks of the base game cards, and 2 stacks of the cards of the extensions. So that makes a total of 6 stacks of which 2 contain ONLY extension cards. In my opinion this is a strange rule as it allows a player to search either the base set or the extension sets. I would argue that mixing all cards together and make 5 equal stacks makes a nicer game. Now why is the rule not like this? Is there any disadvantage of making 5 mixed stacks anyway?

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is this "Rivals for Catan", or Settlers of Catan Card Game? It appears that there is at least two different card games, but SoCtCG is 2-4 player, while Rivals is not. –  user1873 Aug 8 '12 at 9:53
    
I strongly believe it is Settlers of Catan card game. The one with square cards, dice and the wooden mill and wooden knight figure. I hope this distinguishes it, as I don't know the Rivals of Catan game. –  Bazzz Aug 8 '12 at 10:35
    
It sounds like the Settlers of Catan card game to me, certainly I can't see any mismatch between the terms of the question and the rules of that game! –  thesunneversets Aug 8 '12 at 11:32

1 Answer 1

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I've deleted my previous answer as it was based on too many wrong assumptions on my part!

When playing with the Catan Card Game Expansion set, you could choose to just mix all the expansion cards together into five stacks as normal. I don't think this would break anything, as such.

However, it strikes me that the new Themes introduced in the Expansion set would be quite significantly diluted by just being mixed in with everything else. Depending on the outcome of the shuffle, your game might not end up being very highly "themed" at all.

By giving the new cards their own dedicated stacks, you give players the option to have a game that is quite heavily based on the theme. (They can, at their discretion, just keep drawing cards from that stack, after all.) This could be particularly relevant if cards within a theme work better with each other, instead of in isolation: and I'd be amazed if this was not the case - most boardgame expansion kits I can think of are designed to have new internal synergies, rather than just complementing the mechanics of the basic set.

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Good point you made about the game being themed when the extension cards are in separate stacks and players can take a themed card at will. Also the point about the themes being synergistic is true, many of the extension cards require another of the cards of the same extension. I didn't think about this because I purchased 3 extensions with the intention to add all the cards to the base game so to give it more spice, and alternative ways to win. –  Bazzz Aug 8 '12 at 16:54

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