Hello, friends! I'm Billy! With me are my friends Jacob and Emily. We live on the island of Catan.
We sailed here last spring. Before that we lived in another country, far away across the sea. But it was always cold there and we did not have enough to eat.
But Catan is beautiful. Here it is warmer and there are many animals in the forests. And sweet berries too-they taste so good!
Up till now we've lived in tents and huts, but that will soon change. Our parents are building real houses from wood and bricks for the winter, so we won't freeze.
Emily's father is a brick maker. He digs clay out of the ground. Then he forms the clay into bricks and fires them in a furnace. The heat turns the bricks dark red and rock-hard.
Jacob's father is really strong. Every day, he goes into the forest with other men and chops down enormous trees. They make beams of lumber from the tree trunks.
My father is a farmer. In the spring he plowed a field and sowed grain. The wheat is now ready and Dad has started the harvest.
We would love to help our parents build houses, but our mothers said we are not old enough yet. Then my grandpa had a great idea. He built small carts for us kids.
Jacob immediately took one into the forest and loaded it with small branches. When he came back to the village square, everybody was pleased and congratulated him.
Now we can use the branches to build fences for the cows. Emily brings the best bricks from her father's workshop to the village square. She is a little sad because she can only fit one brick in her cart at a time. "It's all for the best", my grandpa comforts her. "Otherwise the cart would be too heavy for you".
I mostly enjoy helping my father. Today I brought a bunch of wheat stalks into the village. There they are threshed and the grain is ground into flour. My mother is very proud of me and she wants to bake me a cake tomorrow. Of course, I'll share it with Jacob and Emily!
It is really beautiful here and every day brings us a new exciting experience. It would be even more beautiful if Emily's big brother Erik left us in peace! He hides behind trees or shrubs until we pass with our carts.
Then all of a sudden he jumps out and growls like a bear. He scares us so much we run away and leave our carts behind. When we return, the carts are usually empty. Erik calls it the Merry Robber Game. We don't think it's merry at all.
Our village grows each day. Yesterday the bakery was finished and tomorrow we'll be in our new houses. Now the grown-ups say that we are prepared for winter, whenever it comes.
Of course, we kids are hoping it snows in Catan. My grandfather says he will make skids for our carts, so we can use them as sleds and race down the hills!
Game Board & Turntable
Please carefully remove and discard the extra cardboard from the board spaces.
Place the game board in the box. Place the turntable on top of the board and the well through the holes in the center. The turntable shows a village. A path runs around the village.
On the path around the village there are four small carts. Carefully hook the four pawns into the openings in front of the carts.
Each opening has a color that matches one of the four pawns. Since the openings are a little smaller than the bases of the pawns, the pawns must be inserted at an angle.
Place the resources (5 of each) in the spaces with the same color around the turntable. If only two or three players are playing, use only 4 of each resource and leave one green, one yellow, and one brown space open. Place the robber on the black space.
Now divide up the buildings. Going clockwise, each player takes one red-roofed building and keeps it in front of him. Continue choosing buildings until all the red-roofed buildings have been taken.
With two players each player will have 6 buildings, with three players 4 buildings, and with four players 3 buildings.
Set the City Hall aside for now (it has a green roof).
Each player selects a pawn and sits down in front of the side of the box with his color shown. Turn the turntable so that each pawn is next to a resource.
The youngest player goes first.
Each player rolls the die to start his turn. Then he carefully moves his pawn that many spaces forward. Since the pawns of the other players are attached to the turntable, they automatically move too.
Now each player (not just the player who rolled the die) looks to see if his pawn is next to a resource. If it is, then he may put the resource in any empty space of his cart.
If there is no resource in the space beside a pawn, then that player gets nothing this turn.
Note: You can carry only one of each resource in your cart.
If the resource next to your pawn is already in the cart, then you may not take it.
You cannot take second wheat, for example.
If a player's pawn ends up beside Erik (the black pawn), then that player loses one resource (if he has any).
The player then removes the resource closest to the back of his cart (in this case brick) and places it on any empty space that matches the color of the resource Erik took (here a red space).
Once all players have picked up their new resource, if possible, then all the players may build one of their buildings. To build, you must have a wood, a grain, and a brick in your cart.
When you build, choose any one of your buildings and place it in an opening on the village square according to its size.
Then you must remove the resources from your cart and put them back on any spaces with the matching colors. You get to choose which matching space to put each resource on.
After unloading the carts and placing the buildings, the next player clockwise takes the die and starts his turn.
End of the Game
Once you have built all of your buildings, you can try to build City Hall! You must load your wagon with a wood, a grain, and a brick one more time. Then you can build City Hall. The player that builds City Hall wins!
If more than one player can build City Hall on the same turn, then they all win together!
You can also use the many buildings to make a completely different village without the game board. Perhaps you'll put the church in the middle and all the other buildings around it.
Where do you want to live? Right beside the bakery or maybe on the edge of town, next to the green meadows?
And if you like, you can haul the resources in your cart -from house to house based on the number rolled. Or come up with your own rules! We're sure you have many more ideas!