Summertime living is easy, except, perhaps, for the high temperatures and the lingering heat. While “fun in the sun” is a mainstay for summer, sometimes it’s nice to change things up and huddle up indoors for a family game night. And what better choice for an engaging game than CATAN?
Catan, previously known as The Settlers of Catan or simply Settlers, is a multiplayer board game and was first published in 1995 in Germany. The game was invented by German dental technician Klaus Teuber and has gone on to win awards and become the first German board game to sell outside of Europe.
Catan was introduced in the United States in 1996, and as of 2021, Catan has sold more than 32 million units worldwide.
CATAN is a strategic board game that takes players on an exciting journey of exploration, resource management, and negotiation. Designed by Klaus Teuber, this award-winning game has captivated millions of players worldwide. In CATAN, players assume the role of settlers, aiming to build and expand their settlements on the island of CATAN.
CATAN’s popularity stems from its strategic gameplay, interactive trading and negotiation, variable board setups, resource management, and engaging competition to build settlements. Its blend of accessible mechanics and depth makes it appealing to both casual and seasoned board game enthusiasts.
For almost three decades now, families and others have made this legendary board game one of the most popular and enduring games known. And the saga continues to this day.
A Beginner’s Guide to Playing CATAN: Settling the World of Trade and Strategy
This beginner’s guide will provide you with the necessary knowledge and strategies to embark on your first adventure in the world of CATAN.
A few things you should know about CATAN before you begin:
Player Count, Game Length, and Overview
- Catan is a board game designed for two to four players.
- The objective of the game is to gather resources and build the largest settlements on the island of Catan.
- The game typically takes approximately one hour to play.
- The board in Catan is modular, allowing for various configurations and creative setups.
- For the first game of Catan, it is recommended to follow a specific setup as outlined in the rulebook. Here are the basic steps:
- Assemble the frame by connecting the blue edges of the board.
- Arrange the land hex tiles in the beginner formation provided in the rulebook or shuffle them facedown for a variable setup.
- Place the numbered circle markers according to the beginner setup or in alphabetical order, starting from a corner and moving counterclockwise towards the middle of the board.
- The robber pawn is initially placed in the desert.
By organizing the game setup in this way, players can ensure a balanced and fair starting point for their Catan experience.
- Setting up the Game: CATAN is played on a modular board consisting of hexagonal tiles that represent different types of terrain, such as forests, fields, mountains, and hills. To set up the game, arrange these tiles in a random pattern and place numbered tokens on them. Each player then chooses a color and receives a set of settlement and city pieces, roads, and resource cards. For the beginner setup, take the resources of the land surrounding the settlement marked by the white star in the rulebook: Yellow receives a sheep, a wood and a wheat. Red gets a wheat, a wood, and a sheep. Blue gets a brick, a sheep, and an ore. White gets an ore, a wood, and a sheep.
- Objective of the Game: The goal of CATAN is to be the first player to reach a certain number of victory points. Victory points are earned by building settlements, cities, and specific development cards. Additionally, points can be acquired by having the longest road or the largest army.
- Turn Structure: CATAN is played in turns, with each player going through three phases: roll dice, collect resources, and take actions. On a player’s turn, they roll two six-sided dice, and any hexagonal tile whose number matches the total rolled will produce resources for the players who have settlements adjacent to it.
- Resource Management: Resources play a crucial role in CATAN. There are five types of resources: brick, wood, sheep, wheat, and ore. Players collect resources based on the numbers rolled and their settlement’s proximity to the corresponding hexagonal tiles. These resources are used to build roads, settlements, and cities and to purchase development cards.
- Building Settlements and Roads: Players must build settlements and roads to expand on CATAN. Settlements are placed at the intersection of three hexagonal tiles, while roads are built along the edges. Building settlements and roads require specific combinations of resources. It’s important to place settlements to maximize resource collection and potential expansion strategically.
- Development Cards: Development cards are an essential aspect of CATAN. They can provide various advantages, such as extra resources, the ability to steal resources from opponents or earn victory points. Development cards are purchased using a combination of resources and can be played at different points during a player’s turn.
- Trading and Negotiation: CATAN encourages interaction and negotiation among players. Throughout the game, players can trade resources with one another, helping to overcome scarcity or establish favorable deals. Trading effectively can be crucial for obtaining the resources needed for expansion or completing objectives.
- Longest Road and Largest Army: In addition to building settlements and cities, players can compete for the longest road and the largest army. The player with the longest contiguous road of connected road pieces gains two victory points. Similarly, the player with the most knight cards, earned through development cards, gains two victory points for having the largest army.
- Robber and Robber Mechanism: CATAN features a robber token that can be placed on a hexagonal tile by rolling a seven on the dice. When the robber is placed on a tile, it prevents the production of resources from that tile until it is moved. The player who rolls a seven also gets to steal a resource card from another player.
- Tips for Success:
- Diversify your resource production by spreading your settlements across different terrain types.
- Aim to build the longest road or gain the largest army for additional victory points.
- Strategically target resources that are in high demand or needed for development cards.
- Be mindful of the robber’s placement and use it strategically to hinder opponents and protect your resources.
As longtime fans of the classic game know well, CATAN is an engaging and highly strategic board game that offers countless hours of fun and excitement. And by following the simple guidelines in this beginner’s guide, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the world of CATAN, establish thriving settlements, and outmaneuver your opponents.
So, gather your family and friends, roll the dice, and embark on an unforgettable journey in the world of CATAN!
Start a Fundemonium Game Night Tradition with CATAN Expansions
In addition to the classic base game, CATAN has several popular and unique expansion packs to create a virtually endless series of game nights.
Of course, there are many more games to choose from here at Fundemonium.
At Fundemonium, you’ll discover dozens of intriguing and engaging board games for youngsters, teens, and adults. Explore our wide selection of miniature gaming kit games along with other types of role-playing games, strategy board games, and other indoor fun products, toys, crafts, and hobby items.
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