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Rating: 7 Good
Players: 3-4 players
Playing time: 60-120 minutes

Official Site: Settler of Catan Official Home Page

Created by: Klaus Teuber, Volkan Baga, Tanja Donner, Pete Fenlon, Jason Hawkins, Michaela Kienle, Harald Lieske, Michael Menzel, Marion Pott, Matt Schwabel, Franz Vohwinkel

Published by: KOSMOS, 999 Games, Albi

Alternate Names: Catan: Das Spiel, Catan: El juego, Catan: Gra planszowa99, Catan: Il Gioco, Catan: Landnemarnir


Settlers of Catan is a multi player board game in which the players contend to efficiently colonize a new land called the island of Catan. Every game requires about one hour to play. It can be played by anybody of age 10 or more.

It's a wonderful game for board game lovers as the game is an ideal mixture of strategy and chance. The rules are pretty easy and fast to learn.

Additionally, there are a couple of important expansions (Seafarers of Catan, Cities and Knights and Traders and barbarians) which include each extra units and rules. There are also expansions to which allow you to play with 5 to 6 players at the same time.

The game was created and produced by Klaus Teuber and first released in Germany in 1995. It became well-known and successful quite fast. It won that year the prize of German Game of the Year.

The next year, Settlers of Catan became known worldwide and won the title of game of the year even in the USA. Today, the game is available in more than 25 languages.

The last years, we see also many spin offs like Kids of Catan, Starship Catan, Rivals of Catan, Catan Junior, Merchants of Europe and the Settlers of Catan card game.

The Settlers of Catan has been probably the most commercially successful Eurogame of all time.


  • The island of Catan consists of 19 terrain hexes. The goal is to settle the island and expand your territory to become the largest player.
  • There are 5 productive terrain types and one desert which don't produce anything.
  • A player starts the game with 2 settlements and 2 roads. Each settlement is worth 1 victory point. The first player to acquire 10 victory points wins the game.
  • To gain more victory points, a player can build new roads and settlements or upgrade them into cities.
  • Each turn, a dice roll determines which terrain hexes produce resources. These resources are needed to build or to upgrade.
  • Only if you own a settlement or city bordering the terrain hex, you will collect the resources.
  • Therefor, settlements or cities can harvest from 2-3 terrain types.
  • You can trade with other players if you can not harvest all different resources. This is specially needed at the start of the game.
  • Only on unoccupied intersections can new settlements being build if you have a road leading to that place.
  • Consider carefully where you build your settlements.

The site is also available in Dutch Language

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  • 19 terrain hexes (tiles)
  • 6 sea frame pieces
  • 9 harbor piece
  • 18 circular number tokens (chits)
  • 95 Resource Cards
  • 25 Development Cards (14 Knight/Soldier Cards
  • 6 Progress Cards, 5 Victory Point Cards)
  • 4 Building Costs Cards
  • 2 Special Cards: Longest Road & Largest Army
  • 16 cities (4 of each color shaped like churches)
  • 20 settlements
  • 60 roads (15 of each color shaped like bars)
  • 2 dice (1 yellow, 1 red)
  • 1 robber
  • 1 Game Rules & Almanac booklet

Starting Set-up For Beginners

You play the game on a variable gameboard. For your first game, we suggest that you use the following map, which is balanced for all players: …

It feels as if The Settlers of Catan has been around forever. It's an absolute giant of the gaming world, with a huge variety of expansions and spinoffs, which we'll cover in detail later. In fact, Catan is less than twenty years old, having been created in 1995 by German game designer Klaus Teuber.

So, the first and most obvious question: What is Catan?

Well, it's a name, and it's the name of an island. This island is what you're going to spend much of the rest of your life obsessing about, because Catan is one of those games that keeps wanting you to come back for more. …

The initial setup should take into account a number of factors. Note that a lot of the information below is also applicable whenever a new settlement is built.

Production Value

Before you place settlements, figure out how much the intersection will produce. First, a refresher on the number distribution of two six-sided dice, for those of you unfamiliar with the bell curve. Below is the number of times (out of 36) that a particular number shows up:

Number on die23456789101112
chance number comes up out of 36:12345654321

So if you have a settlement on a 3/5/10 intersection, the chance that it will produce something that turn will be 2/36 (the chance a three will be rolled) + 4/36 (the chance for the five) + 3/36 (the chance for the ten), or 9 out of 36 in total. …


How fast you grow is exponential, not linear. In a linear growth mode, you would receive (on the average) the same amount of resources each turn. In Settler's, "investing" production to build more production centers (settlements and cities) leads to an exponential growth rate.

It's how compound interest works, and why if you invest a little early on in the game you can get a huge advantage later. Even a small numerical advantage in production in the beginning of the game can result in an inordinately large production compared to other players later in the game. …

After you roll for resource production, you may trade with other players (domestic trade) or with the bank (maritime trade).

If you decide not to trade during your turn, no one can trade.

You may trade with another player between your turns, but only if it is his turn and he elects to trade with you.

You cannot trade with the bank during another player's turn. You may not give away cards.

You may trade as long as you have Resource Cards. You may not trade Development Cards. You may not trade like resources (e.g., 2 wool for 1 wool). …

Victory points are great

They are great when you get them, but are not to be counted on at the endgame. There are seven victory point cards in a 36-card deck in the original (first and second edition) Mayfair version, which means you are drawing an average of five (at a cost of 15 production cards!) to get a point, and ten (30 cards!) to get two.

It is much easier to get two points with far less than 30 production cards the old-fashioned way: build something. …

  1. Produce all 5 resources.

    Of course, it's often not possible in the beginning to get on every resource. Then place carefully so you can do:

    • Build toward the fifth resource and build on it with your first expansion.
    • Build toward a useful port.
    • Place on large amounts of wheat, ore, and sheep. This way you can use development cards to acquire the needed resources.

    If you're relying on other players for a key resource, all they have to do to stop you is stop trading you what you need. …

Your choice of strategies will influence your game play. The separation of strategies below is a bit artificial, but useful to understand the concepts behind them. In practice, players will use a combination of these strategies.

Increase production early

One rule of thumb for successful play is to increase production early. The expansion of resource production early in the game allows players to expand capabilities more easily later on.

Once a good production base has been established, the player can pursue other aspects of the game, such as building the longest road or acquiring ports. Failure to expand early on can severely cripple a player. …

"Land ho!" screeches Coco the parrot. He is on the lookout, circling high above your ships. In front of you lie the islands of Catan: many small islands with lush forests, golden yellow sugar cane fields, and volcanic cliffs studded with mysterious caves-an ideal home for adventurous pirates!

You immediately build your first pirates' lairs and your first ship, and since the islands are filled with goods and treasures, you soon are able to build more ships and pirates' lairs.

As you explore the group of islands further, you discover a towering isle laden with fabulous gold treasures. And while everyone is busy trying to be the first to build a pirates' lair on the gold island, Coco comes back from a reconnaissance flight. Agitated, he screeches, "Ghost Captain! Ghost Captain!" …


  • 128 player pieces
  • 5 settlements
  • 4 keeps
  • 7 guards
  • 15 roads
  • Build cost card
  • 40 wildling pieces
  • 24 regulars
  • 8 climbers
  • 8 giants
  • 48 wildling tokens
  • 95 resource cards
  • 27 development cards
  • 11 hero cards
  • Game board
  • 6 frame parts
  • 21 terrain tiles
  • 21 number tokens
  • 5 trading posts
  • 2 six-sided dice
  • Twelve-sided die
  • 4 large plastic wall sections
  • 2 card trays
  • Special number token

I. Base Game Rules

Note: If you are new to catan, play the base game rules before you play the full game!

  1. The kingdoms let you recruit from their slums and prisons; but, otherwise, they have all but forgotten you. You still control the ancient territory called the "Gift". …


  • 6 frame pieces
  • 19 sea hexes
  • 11 terrain hexes (tiles)
  • 50 Catan chits
  • 10 number tokens (numbered on one side)
  • 10 harbor tokens
  • 60 wooden ships in 4 colors (15 ships of each color)
  • 1 pirate ship (black)
  • 1 Game Rules & Scenarios booklet

Expansion Rules

Except where noted below, Catan: Seafarers uses the same rules as the base game. The additional rules include:

  • Rules for building, placing, and moving ships.
  • Rules covering the acquisition of special victory point tokens.
  • The dreaded pirate!

Assembling The Board

Before you can begin exploring the sea lanes of Catan, you must first construct the board. Each scenario in this book includes an illustration that shows how the board should be built. …

It should come as no surprise that I have some disagreements with "the almost-complete Strategy Guide" presented in this site by Alex Pomeranz. Everyone plays the game differently and therefore there are different dynamics to playing the game with almost each group.

Whereas his tips are meant to be "general" and thus without all that much weight, his overall assessment of the value of particular resources and such could be considered more specific and unchangeable, and those are what I'll discuss. …

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