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Settlers of Catan

Updated on October 12, 2014

Settlers of Catan is the Ultimate Family Board Game

I love playing board games and Settlers of Catan is one of my favorites. The days from my childhood where Monopoly or Risk were the best games out there are long gone. Catan introduced German style games to the rest of the world. It's a tight, strategy based game that keeps players on the edge of their seats. Your family and friends will be sure to want to play it again and again. Settlers of Catan can be quite complicated to learn, but if you put in the time and effort, you'll be rewarded with hours of fun and excitement. For the more advanced players, there are lots of Catan Expansion Packs to keep you interested with more complicated play.


Things I love about Settlers of Catan

-You can play with 3-6 players.

-Everyone gets to collect resources, or trade each turn to keep things interesting.

-Any number of strategies can win you the game.

-You can set the board up differently each time to allow for different strategies each time.

-There are more advanced play options if you get the expansion packs.


Settlers of Catan Orginal Game, 3-4 players

The Settlers of Catan
The Settlers of Catan

You'll need this as a base set before buying any of the expansion sets.


What are the rules for Settlers of Catan?

From Wikipedia:

The players in the game represent settlers establishing colonies on the island of Catan. Players build settlements, cities, and roads to connect them as they settle the island. The game board representing the island is composed of hexagonal tiles (hexes) of different land types which are laid out randomly at the beginning of each game;[5] new editions of the game also depict a fixed layout in their manual, which has been proven to be fairly even-handed by computer simulations, and recommend this to be used by beginners.

Players build by spending resources (brick, lumber, wool, grain, and ore), represented by resource cards; each land type, with the exception of the unproductive desert, produces a specific resource. On each player's turn, he rolls the two six-sided dice, determining which hexes produce resources. Any players with settlements or cities adjacent to hexes marked with the number rolled receive resource cards of the appropriate type. There is also a robber token on the board; if a player rolls 7, he moves the robber to any hex, which will no longer produce resources until the robber is moved again; he also steals a resource card from another player. (Some play with "Friendly Robber" gameplay rules, where the robber cannot be placed on resources that other players occupy if those players have two or fewer points. This was first introduced with Catan: Traders & Barbarians but is not a rule to be used solely in Traders & Barbarians. Players may agree to allow this optional rule in all Catan variants.)

A giant game of Settlers being played at Gen Con Indy 2003. This is one of many Settlers of Catan custom extra-large boards seen during demonstrations and tournaments at Gen Con.

Players are allowed to trade resource cards among each other if both parties to the trade agree on the terms; players may also trade off-island (in effect, with the non-player bank) at a ratio of four of one resource for one of any other. By building settlements in certain spots on the edge of the board (ports), players may trade with the bank at three-to-one or two-to-one ratios.

The goal of the game is to reach ten victory points on one's turn. Players score one point for each settlement they own and two for each city. Various other achievements, such as establishing the longest road and largest armies, grant a player additional victory points.

Resource cards can also be spent to buy a development card. Three types of development cards include cards worth one victory point; knight cards (or soldier cards), which allow the player to move the robber as if they had rolled a 7; and a third set of cards which allow the player one of three abilities when played. Having played the most knights also earns the player victory points.

Expansion Pack, 5-6 players

The Settlers of Catan 5 & 6 Player Extension
The Settlers of Catan 5 & 6 Player Extension

More interesting with more players. Get your friends on board!


Settlers of Catan History

Klaus Teuber is a dental technician living with his wife and three kids in Rossdorf, Germany. At night, he would retreat to his workshop in the basement to work on his games. He would bring them upstairs every so often to test them on his family. If they were bored, he knew his work wasn't done. Over 4 years, he perfected Settlers until his family would find themselves in heated battle.

The game was released in 1995, where it sold out immediately. It won every major gaming prize that year in Germany. 400 000 copies sold that first year and since then has been translated into 30 languages and sold 15 million copies.


Cities and Knights Variation, 3-4 Players

Catan: Cities & Knights Game Expansion
Catan: Cities & Knights Game Expansion

The most complicated, but well worth it.


Variations of Settlers of Catan

1997: Seafarers of Catan. This variations allow players to cross the sea and explore achipelagos. There are also gold-producing hexes which all players to choose which resource they want.

1999: Expansion packs to allow 5 or 6 players for both regular version and seafarers.

2000: Cities and Knights. A major expansion that significantly complicates the game and make it much more strategy based.

2008: Traders & Barbarians collects together a number of smaller scenarios. It also allows for a 2-player variant.

Traders and Barbarians Expansion Pack, 3-4 players

Catan: Traders & Barbarians Expansion 4th Edition
Catan: Traders & Barbarians Expansion 4th Edition

Much more interesting to play with an expansion pack.


Your favorite Settlers of Catan Variation:

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Settlers of Catan, Seafarers Expansion, 3-4 players

The Official Settlers of Catan Site - The Official Rules

You can download all the rules in PDF form here.

How often do you play Settlers of Catan?

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What's your favorite board game?

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    • derekawalker lm profile image

      derekawalker lm 6 years ago

      Settlers is the best! I also like "Pandemic."