The Settlers of Zarahemla & LDS Apologetics

After we had played The Settlers of Catan several nights in a row, we went searching for a new game to try.   Searching through Mel’s Parent’s cupboards, we happened upon The Settlers of Zarahemla, which they had owned for several years, but had never played.  Turns out, it’s The Settlers of Catan with all of the names changed to match Book of Mormon names and places.
Instead of Catan: Zarahemla.  Instead of the robber: Gadianton Robber.  Instead of Knights: Stripling Warriors.  Development Cards with names such as “King Benjaman,” “Samuel the Lamanite,” or “Moroni” are each worth a victory point.  The “Liahona” card lets you skip dice rolling and just choose the numbers you want.  The most substantial change in the game is the addition of “Temple Building.”  The player who contributes the most temple blocks receives 2 victory points.  
The funniest change in the game is that the sheep cards have been replaced by “water” cards, probably an effort to try and align the game with available archeology.  One of the most-often repeated criticisms of the Book of Mormon is that it references horses in the Americas, but archaeologists have never found any substantial evidence that horses ever existed in the Americas.  Maybe the game developers decided that incorrectly introducing sheep in Zarahemla would have started fistfights between any LDS apologists and LDS critics that happened to be playing.  I’ll bet they would have changed it to Tapir cards but then they decided that all of the groaning and eye rolling would be distracting to the other players.

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