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Family Game Night - Catan

Ian Finley Catan Events Family Game Night News

Hello, once again, everyone!

This week, we're looking forward to playing a game called Catan.

A fun board game about settling an island

Catan is a classic resource management game for 2-4 players (or up to 6 if you have the 5-6 player expansion), with a number of spin-offs and expansions.

All ready to start the game!

For the first game, we'll be using the recommended setup just to keep things simple. For a normal game, you can either set up the tiles as you please or completely randomize everything.

Once the board is ready, set the resource cards beside the board, shuffle up the development cards, and then pick your colors!

Each player will get a set of settlements, cities, and roads in their color

Each player will get 4 cities, 3 settlements, and 15 roads, as well as two settlements and two roads already built at the start.

 Once everything on the board is ready, we're ready to start!

Normally, players will roll the dice to see who goes first, but for our first game, the oldest player will take the first turn.

 You start each turn by rolling the red and yellow dice, adding the numbers together, and then distributing resources based on what was rolled.

You'll have to look at the numbers on the tiles to see who gets what!

To give an example, let's say you rolled a six on your turn.

Looking at the board, you see that there are two tiles with sixes on them. Once you find the tiles, you then look at who has settlements or cities on the borders, and make sure everyone gets the right number of resources.

For each settlement you have on the border of a tile, you get one resource of that type, while a city will give you two.

So in this instance, the red player and white player will both get a brick card while the orange player will get a grain card.

There is one exception, however: if the turn player rolls a 7, they instead get to move the robber (that gray gamepiece sitting in the middle of the board at the start) to any tile on the board! When they put the robber down, they get to take a single resource card at random from one of the players bordering the tile.

As an example, if orange rolled a 7 and moved the robber to the forest tile to the left, they could choose to take a random card from either white or red.

In addition, as long as the robber is on a tile, that tile cannot produce any resources. This can be a good way to tie down your opponents!

The five types of resource cards: ore, wool, brick, lumber, and grain

So, once you've finished rolling the dice and dealing with the results, now you have a number of different things you can do!

During your turn, you can do the following in the order listed:

  1. You can trade resources
  • you can trade with other players simply by making an offer, which they can choose to accept, ignore, or even make their own counteroffer
  • you can also participate in maritime trade by trading with the bank!
    • for every 4 pieces of a single resource, you can get 1 piece of a different resource
    • if you have a settlement built on a harbor, you can get a more favorable trade!
  • You can then build. Here's what you can build:
  • Roads cost a brick card and a lumber card, and are used to reach new places for settlements
  • Settlements cost a brick card, a lumber card, a wool card, and a grain card, and are used to gather more resources.
  • Cities cost 3 ore cards and 2 grain cards, and are upgrades to settlements, doubling the resources you get from that spot
  • Development cards require an ore card, a wool card, and a grain card, and can help you get closer to winning. You keep them in your hand, and can play a single card during your turn.

The various development cards you can find in the deck. Green progress cards, purple knights, and orange victory point cards.


So how does the game end?

The key to winning lies with "victory points", earned through a variety of methods.

Each settlement is worth 1 victory point; cities are worth 2; the player who has played the most knight cards (minimum of 3) gets 2 points; the player with the longest continuous road of at least 5 segments gets 2 points; finally, you can reveal any number of victory point cards from your hand to get the number of points printed on the card.

The first player to have 10 or more points on their turn wins the game! If you reach 10 points when it is not your turn, the game continues until any player (including you) has 10 points on his or her turn.


There are a few other rules to keep track of, like not being able to build a settlement adjacent to any other settlement, and not being able to play knight cards or progress cards on the turn you bought them, but that's the gist of the game. 

Now that you know how to play Catan, be sure to stop by Thursday night to try it out!

We look forward to seeing everyone here!

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