A Whole New World: The Settlers of Catan

Have you ever wondered what it was like to be Christopher Columbus and discover a new land full of untapped potential?  While there may not be much of the Earth we have yet to discover, that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the experience of the early settlers.  If you’re an explorer at heart, you’ll love the exciting setup of Catan, a board game that pits players against each other in the race to build a lasting society.  

Formerly known as The Settlers of Catan, this board game uses dice, cards, and strategy to provide you with up to two hours of fun.  The game begins with your ship washing ashore a brand new land, brimming with unspoiled possibility.  But not so fast—you’re not the only one to land on Catan’s shores!  Several other seafarers have arrived at the same time with the exact same desire to colonize.  You’ll have to battle the other players in order to gain dominance and win the game.

 

Building Settlements

Catan uses a game board that is set up with hexagonal terrain tiles.  Each player begins their settlement with two small houses on the spaces where three of these terrain hexes meet.  Then, by rolling the dice, players accumulate different resources and barter with each other in order to turn their settlement into a prosperous city.  The more settlements and cities you build, the more victory points you accumulate.  Once you reach 10 victory points, you are officially the winner of Catan.

But how do you go about bartering resources and building settlements?  This is where Catan gets interesting.  Strategy is a huge part of the game as you trade your resources at ports and with other players to give away what you have too much of in order to collect what you need.  But be sure to trade smartly, as you don’t want to give away something that will give the other player the upper hand.  Sometimes theft is necessary, as rolling a 7 on the dice can allow you to steal the resource card you need from other players.

Catan Expansion Packs

Catan has been around for decades, as it was originally released in 1995.  Catan is suitable for ages 10 and up, and gameplay usually lasts between one and two hours.  While the base game serves 3-4 players, the extension allows you to incorporate 5-6 players.  With so many people vying to win, you can fill an entire evening with a game of Catan!

Catan also comes with several expansion packs, which allows you to enjoy a whole new chapter.  The Seafarers expansion adds ships that serve as roads over the water, allowing you to explore the sea and settle on an uninhabited archipelago of islands.  In addition to ships, the Seafarers expansion also includes pirates, which will steal resources from ships and even prevent them from being built in the first place.

Catan: Cities and Knights adds new Knights that can be used to attack other players as well as defend Catan from barbarian invaders.  These barbarian invaders will occasionally attack Catan, forcing the warring settlements to work together to fend them off and continue the game.  This expansion also includes additional resources to be produced and traded, which include paper, cloth, and coin.  Catan: Cities and Knights can be combined with the Seafarers expansion for an even more complex game.

Build A New World With Catan

Catan is arguably one of the most popular board games ever invented, with countless spin-offs, film/television adaptations, and even tournaments.  Its popularity is likely due to the fact that this game appeals to almost everyone.  Whether you’re a family looking for a casual game to add into the mix or you’re a hard-core gamer looking to relive the nostalgia of a classic, Catan has something for everyone.

While the base game is simple enough for children to enjoy, it’s the expansions that really make Catan a versatile game.  You won’t ever get bored of Catan, and no collection of board games will ever be complete without this classic multiplayer board game.  Indulge your imagination and get in touch with your inner settler with Catan!

 

How to Play Catan

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