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Welcome to the Cardtastic blog page, where members of our team will write articles, posts, reviews of some of the stuff we stock and even tips for games! Come back regularly for interesting, silly and hopefully helpful content!

Jigsaw Puzzles

By CardTastic Collectables and Gaming on November 4, 2023 in | comments

Jigsaw puzzles 

For many of us, a jigsaw puzzle are a childhood memory. We remember spending hours hunched over a table, trying to find the one piece that would finally complete the picture. But what is it about jigsaw puzzles that make them so addictive? One theory is that they satisfy our need for a sense of order. In a world that often feels chaotic, it can be soothing to put together a puzzle and create a sense of control. Another explanation is that puzzles offer a balance between challenge and relaxation. They provide an opportunity to take a break from the stresses of daily life, but they also require enough concentration to keep our minds from wandering. Or maybe it's the sense of accomplishment you feel when you finally piece together that last tricky corner, or maybe it's the way that a jigsaw puzzle force you to slow down and appreciate the finer details. Whatever the reason, there's no denying that jigsaw puzzles can be addictive.

 

A brief history 

Who would have thought that a simple puzzle could have such a long and fascinating history? Jigsaw puzzles have been around for centuries, and their popularity shows no signs of waning.

The earliest known jigsaw puzzle was created in 1767 by John Spilsbury, a London cartographer. He glued a map of the world onto a sheet of wood and then cut it into small pieces. The puzzles were intended to help children learn geography, but they quickly became popular among adults as well.

In the early 1800s, jigsaw puzzles started to be mass-produced, and they became even more popular when companies began adding pictures to the pieces. By the end of the century, puzzles were being made with all sorts of images, from artworks to photographs.

 

Benefits 

Jigsaw puzzles can be a great way to relax and de-stress, and they can also be used as a learning tool. Solving jigsaw puzzles can help improve problem-solving skills and spatial awareness. Jigsaw puzzles are also a great way to bond with family and friends, and they can be a fun activity for kids and adults alike.

If you're looking for a new and challenging puzzle, check out our selection of jigsaw puzzles! We have a wide variety of themes and sizes to choose from, and we're sure you'll find the perfect puzzle for you.

Happy puzzling!
 

Settlers of Catan board game

By CardTastic Collectables and Gaming on February 10, 2023 in Board Games | comments

Board game Settlers of Catan

Describe Settlers of Catan in what way?

In the board game The Settlers of Catan, players compete to construct towns, cities, and roads on the map, which is made up of hexagonal tiles that represent various types of terrain, including woods, hills, farms, and deserts. When the corresponding number is rolled on the dice, each tile generates a particular resource, such as wheat, brick, or sheep.

By rolling dice and gathering resources, players alternate building and enlarging their colonies. To acquire the resources they require, they can also trade resources with other players. Becoming the first player to acquire a specified amount of victory points, which are obtained by constructing cities, settlements, and specific development cards, is the ultimate objective.



Is playing Settlers of Catan challenging?
Given that winning in The Settlers of Catan takes strategy and forethought, it can be said to be a somewhat challenging game to play. The game's richness and complexity come from the numerous ways that players can interact with one another and the game board's components, despite the fact that its fundamental principles are simple and easy to learn.

Up to four players can participate in the game, and each of them will need to work together to harvest resources, construct towns and communities, and enlarge their respective lands. To get the materials they need to construct and expand, players must also engage in trade with one another. Also, they must think about how the game's random components, like as the roll of the dice, will affect their overall strategy.


Why is Catan renowned?

The Settlers of Catan is renowned for its premium components and thoughtful gameplay. The popularity of the game can be linked to its captivating and immersive experience, which calls for players to use critical thinking and advance planning in order to succeed. The adaptability and replayability of the game, which allows players to alter the game board's layout and play with various player counts, further contribute to its appeal.

The social side of the game, where players must bargain and trade with one another to obtain the materials they require, also contributes to its appeal. Every time the game is played, a different and interesting experience is had because to the player interactions and unpredictable nature of the game.

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The intricacy and complexity of the main game are increased by the addition of new components and rules in Catan expansions. A new terrain type, like oceans, which produce fish and enable players to construct ships and explore the seas, might be included as part of one expansion, for instance. A different expansion can include a fresh requirement for winning, like being the first player to attain a specific stage of cultural development.

Expansions can also include new game features, such as events that might happen at random and have an impact on every player or specialised development cards with specific advantages and skills. Simply add the new components to the basic game and play according per the rulebook's instructions when using an expansion.

Are all Catan expansions playable at once?

All Catan expansions can be played simultaneously, but doing so can make the game very challenging to control and complex. The expansions add extra components and regulations to the game, which can increase the overall length of playing and the amount of decisions that players must make.

To obtain a feel for the distinct rules and mechanics of each expansion, it is advised to play them individually before combining them. Players will be better able to understand the new components and control the bigger game board as a result. Also, integrating all expansions could make the game too difficult for beginners or casual players, so it might be more fun to introduce expansions piecemeal as players gain experience with the main game.

Is learning Catan challenging?
Because to its simple and understandable rules, Settlers of Catan has a relatively low learning curve. To become an expert at the game's tactics and at haggling with other players, though, it could take some time. The variety of interactions between players and the components of the game board give the game its depth and complexity, which might take some time to completely comprehend and enjoy.

In general, Catan is thought to be a fairly approachable game, and the majority of players ought to be able to understand the rules and begin playing within a few minutes. The game is an excellent option for both new and more seasoned players because to its replayability, variety, and social component.

Catan: A game of skill or chance?

In the game The Settlers of Catan, skill and chance coexist. Which terrain tiles yield resources is determined by a dice roll, which introduces a random element to the game that can affect players' plans. But, players also have the opportunity to make decisions about how to spend their resources, trade with other players, and grow their settlements, which involves strategy and planning.

The best Catan players are those who can adjust to shifting conditions and make the most of their resources. In the end, a game of Catan is decided by a combination of skill and luck.

Is the 3D edition of Catan worth it?

For gamers seeking a more engaging and visually pleasing gameplay experience, the 3D version of Catan may be worthwhile. The communities and landscape tiles in the game are intricately three-dimensional, which gives the game a new depth and sense of realism.

Additionally, the 3D version frequently comes with extras like fresh terrain and resources, which can give the game new difficulties and tactics. Players should think about whether the higher price is justified for their particular demands and preferences because the additional visual appeal and components come at a higher price point.

Can I bring in more players?

You must buy more player pieces and resources if you want to play Settlers of Catan with multiple players. Catan's standard game can accommodate up to four players, but there are expansions that let you add up to six more.

Simply distribute the player pieces and initial resources to each player as you would with four players to build up the game for additional players. After that, more terrain tiles are added to the game board to make room for the increased number of players.

It is crucial to remember that while increasing the number of players can make the game more exciting and challenging, it can also lengthen it and complicate it because more players will be vying for resources and attempting to fulfil the victory condition. A few regulations may also need to be changed to accommodate the increased number of players. The number of victory points required to win the game, for instance, could be changed. 

 

Competitive Game Play in Catan: Strategies and Tips

By CardTastic Collectables and Gaming on January 29, 2023 in Board Games | comments
Millions of people throughout the world have played the well-known board game Catan. Players compete with one another while exchanging resources to create communities, cities, and roadways on an island in the game. Becoming the first player to ten win points is the goal of the game.

Here are some tactics and advice for individuals wishing to better their game and become a competitive player to assist you reach your objective:


Being prepared is one of the secrets to success in Catan. Consider the resources you'll need to establish towns, cities, and roadways, and work to get them as soon as possible. Being proactive and anticipating what other players could do might give you a big advantage.

Putting the emphasis on resource production: Producing resources is one of the game's most crucial elements. You can construct swiftly and stay up with the other players if your resource allocation is balanced well. Develop settlements that create the resources you require, and then try to trade with other players to acquire those resources.

A major element of the game that can have a big impact on resource production is the robber, so keep an eye out for him. Attempt to keep an eye on the thief and set up settlements to reduce the likelihood that your resources will be stolen.

Trade is a crucial component of the game, thus it's crucial to be savvy while closing agreements. To get the greatest bargain possible, try to trade with other players who have the resources you require. Don't be scared to bargain and make the most of your position.

Use cities and roads: Creating cities and roads is a wonderful strategy to advance in the game. Cities offer more victory points and higher resource production, while roads make it simple and quick to move about the island. To increase your chances of success, be sure to strategically construct these structures.

Keep an eye on the other players: In a competitive game, keeping an eye on the other players is crucial. Attempt to predict what they might do and modify your tactics as necessary. By doing so, you may maintain yourself one step ahead of the competition and prevent blunders.

In conclusion, the game of Catan is enjoyable, thrilling, and competitive. You can increase your chances of success and develop into a top player by using the methods and advice in this article. These suggestions can assist you in achieving your goal of being a competitive player, regardless of whether you are a seasoned veteran or a newbie to the game.
 

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Release - The Changes You Need to Know!

By CardTastic Collectables and Gaming on January 18, 2023 in Pokemon | comments
Are you a Pokemon Trading Card Game fan? If so, then you’re in for a treat! Scarlet & Violet is the latest series that sets out to revolutionize your gameplay. With new awesome art to alternate and an improved card layout. We understand how important it is to have an amazing experience while playing one of the world's best-selling TCG, so here are some of the unforgettable changes with the Scarlet & Violet Series. Read on as we introduce these improvements - be prepared for some exciting firsts! Get ready for an electrifying experience with the release of Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet! This thrilling launch brings new changes to card design, pack contents, and much more.
 

Deck Boxes: Where to draw (haha) the line

By CardTastic Collectables and Gaming on August 11, 2022 in Accessories | comments
Every avid card gamer knows that to protect their high value cards, they're gonna need more than top of the line card sleeves to ensure quality is maintained. That's where the humble deck box comes in. Often an overlooked piece of the card master's arsenal, deck boxes come in all shapes and sizes and offer high quality protection from the outside world. Today I'm going to be reviewing a few of the deck boxes that we carry in our store, and offering the pros and cons to each.

The Budget: Eclipse Deck Box $5.50AUD

People often worry when you pay for so-called 'budget' items, that you skimp on quality, and in the case of the eclipse deck box but Ultra Pro, it really isn't the case. For the price of around $5.50 AUD, you get a deck box that has surprising amounts of durability and security. With a self-locking lid, the eclipse is able to store cards through bumpy rides and harsh travels. However, the eclipse has an intense break in period, where the box is too secure for its own good, and makes it hard for owners to easily access their cards due to the rigidity of the plasticine lid.

The Durable: Dragon Shield Nest $37.99AUD

Next we have an option for those looking to use their deck box both as a baseball and as a safe storage for their important cards. Of all the deck boxes I'm reviewing this one is the one I'd trust to last through a zombie apocalypse with. With a water resistant pleather outer layer, and mag-lock sealing, you'd be hard pressed to ruin the cards inside. This box also comes with a 2-piece combination, meaning that accessing your cards is very easy. One downside to this system of security is the fiddly nature of the lock, as it becomes a little hit or miss to open the box quickly if you're in a rush.

The Eco-Friendly: Boulder Return to Earth $13.95

For all those who want to support environmentally safe card gaming, we have the Boulder, now in an environmentally friendly case! This piece comes in many colours all with recyclable dyes, and is made of 97% recyclable materials. As for the quality, the eco-friendly tag does not take away from the durability, and you can expect the standard boulder level quality in this deck box as well. One downside to this box is the lack of soft inner lining, meaning your cards could get slightly dented with too much rattling around inside the box. Otherwise, this is a great option for those wanting a mix of quality and budget friendliness.

The Star Child: Ultimate Guard Sidewinder Xenoskin $21.99

Now, in my humble opinion, the best of the best has been saved for last, as now we get to talk about Ultimate Guard's magnum opus of deck boxes, the Sidewinder Xenoskin. Coming in at a modest $21.99, the value this box brings is quite incredible. The 'Xenoskin' outer covering ensures your cards, and the box itself, remain free from spillage, light scratches and the general wear and tear of the card game world. Along with this comes the soft fabric inner liner, which protects naked cards and sleeved ones alike. With an easy to use flip tray and magnetic seal, I truly struggle to find a fault with this deck box. Sadly though, I must contradict this with the slight downfall is the lack of compatibility with larger box holders, as these boxes are specifically designed to be used within an Ultimate guard deck box holder, and can ruin the layout of other holders.


There you have it! The Cardtastic team's review of some of our great deck boxes that we carry in store. Make sure to come in and have a bit more of a chat if you are looking for more guidance, as I am sure we can find the perfect deck box for you!