Catan's Origin, Explanations, & Products
Catan's Creator: Klaus Teuber
The creator of Catan is Klaus Teuber. Teuber was born in Germany in 1953. Before Catan, he was a dental technician who enjoyed creating board games in his free time. Board Games were his hobby during his required military service to keep his family occupied. The first game he released was in 1988 called Barbarossa which won his first Spiel des Jahres Award in 1988. The Spiel Des Jahres Award is a major deal because this award labels the best games that everyone and anyone can play, not just game board fanatics (Dicetowernews). He now has a total of four Spiel des Jahres awards for Barbarossa (1988), Hoity Toity (1990), Wacky Wacky West (1991), and of course Catan (1995) (Boardgamegeek). He released Catan in Germany as Die Siedler von Catan (1995), and in English as Settler of Catan (1996). He remained as a dental technician until 1998. In 2002, he created the family-owned business Catan CmbH (Newyorker).
Catan was inspired by Teuber's interests in Iceland and Viking History. Teuber's breakthrough moment with Catan was when he replaced square shapes with hexagonal shapes. From there, Catan took off in Germany and made its way to the United States. Mayfair has been Catan's English publisher since 1996, and Catan was the first European board game to take off in America. It is estimated that Catan has sold over 32 million units worldwide (NPR). There are over 30 different versions of Catan available in 30 languages, and with numerous Catan communities and fanatics.
Brief Overview: This Catan is the original base game released in 1995 (German) and in 1996 (English). The game was released as Settlers of Catan, but later rebranded the game to Catan. The game keeps everyone engaged as players' strengths and weaknesses change throughout the game. It is the best combination of strategy, competition, and luck. The board itself can change into countless different combinations. In the game, there are five different resources, brick, lumber, wheat, ore, and sheep. Where you place your settlements determines what resources you gather. To gather points, you have to build, and the first to 10 points wins the game. You can build roads, settlements, or cities, but each one requires different resources. Sounds simple, but once you play you will realize how the simplicity can make this game complex. If you want to play with 5-6 players, there is a Catan 5-6 Player Extension available.
Rules & Guide: Catan Games Rules & Almanac
Possible Expansions Combinations: Seafarers, Explorers & Pirates, Cities & Knights, and Traders & Barbarians.
Scenarios Combinations: Crop Trust, Regional Editions, Oil Springs, Big Game, Big Honor, Helpers of Catan, and Frenemies.
Below is a YouTube Video on how to play Catan:
Catan: 3D Edition
Brief Overview: Catan: 3D Edition was released in 2005. The island of Catan rises off the table for an immersive experience like no other. The look of the land is based on terrain tiles hand-sculpted by game designer Klaus Teuber. The terrain is hand-painted for stunning color, and the intricately-designed player pieces are antiqued for a look that's full of history and character. This is a great gift for Catan fanatics!
There are 5 Catan Expansion Board Games that build off the base Catan Game. Each expansion set provides different narratives and goals for the Catan world. The four expansions are Seafarers, Cities & Knights, Traders & Barbarians, and Explorers & Pirates.
Catan: Seafarers Expansion
Brief Overview: Catan: Seafarers Expansion was released in 1997 and is the first Expansion to build off of the original Catan. In order to play Seafarers, you need the Catan base game. Players are sent out to sea on a voyage to sail the seas of Catan to gather resources from nearby islands to build settlements and ships. Players may even be lucky enough to encounter precious gold. The first to 13 points wins the game! Seafarers provides nine different scenarios that add new directions, maps, and goals to the game. The scenarios are an immersive experience to discover the history of Catan themselves. The scenarios are designed to be played in order because they follow a storyline and get increasingly more difficult. If you want to play with 5-6 players, there is a Catan: Seafarers 5-6 Player Extension.
Rules & Guide: Seafarers Game Rules & Scenarios
Possible Expansion Combinations: Explorers & Barbarians, Traders & Barbarians and Cities & Knights
Other Scenario Combinations: Legend of the Sea Robbers, Treasures, Dragons & Adventurers, and Helpers of Catan.
YouTube video on how to play Catan: Seafarers:
Catan: Cities & Knights Expansion
Brief Overview: Catan: Cities & Knights was released in 1999 and is the second expansion Catan board game. In order to play Cities & Knights, you need the Catan base game. Cities & Knights introduces new tactical complexity to the game. There are knights who protect the land from barbarians. There are 3 commodities, Paper, Cloth, & Coin, that can gain player city improvement cards that bring advantages to players. Each commodity has a different type of city improvement: paper brings scientific advantages, cloth brings trade advantages, and coins bring political advantages. Knights protect your land from other players and barbarians. Barbarians occasionally attack the island affecting all players. Therefore although the other players are your opponents, you may want to team up with them to save your own skin from the Barbarians! Metropolises are larger than cities and require more resources to make. The changes make it more challenging, difficult, and complex but makes it very enjoyable. There is also a Catan: Cities & Knights 5-6 Player Extension, which allows groups of 5 or 6 to play!
Rules & Guide: Cities & Knights Game Rules & Almanac
Possible Expansion Combinations: Seafarers, Traders & Barbarians, and Explorers & Pirates.
Scenario Combinations: Legend of Conquerors and Treasures, and Dragons & Adventurers
YouTube video on how to play Catan: Cities & Knights:
Catan: Traders & Barbarians Expansion
Brief Overview: Catan: Traders & Barbarians was released in 2004 (German) and in 2008 (English), and is the third expansion. In order to play Traders & Barbarians, you must have the Catan base game. The key characteristic of this expansion, is the variety this expansion has to offer. Traders & Barbarians introduce four different variants of the game and five different scenarios. The different variants change one element from the base Catan game. For example, replacing the dice with even cards. Scenarios are like different levels to the Catan, and each Scenario gets more challenging. If you want to play with 5-6 players, there is a Catan: Traders & Barbarians 5-6 Player Extension available.
Rules & Guide: Traders & Barbarians Variant Rules & Campaign Scenarios
Possible Expansion Combinations: Seafarers and Cities & Knights
Other Scenarios Combinations: None at this time
YouTube on how to play Catan: Traders & Barbarians:
Catan: Explorers & Pirates Expansion
Brief Overview: Catan: Explorers & Pirates was released in 2013 and is the fourth expansion Catan board game. In order to play Explorers & Pirates, you must have the Catan base game. Explorers & Pirates have three islands instead of one island like the Catan base game. At the beginning of the game, players will only know the landscape of the starter island. Players can still make roads, and settlements but instead of cities, players can build ports on new islands. Gold is an additional resource that can save you from pirates. Explorers & Pirates includes 5 scenarios and 3 missions. Catan scenarios provide a different storyline and rules to the game. Some of the scenarios have specific missions for the game.
If you want to play with 5-6 players, there is a Catan: Explorers & Pirates 5-6 Player Extension.
Rules & Guide: Catan: Explorer & Pirates Game Guide
Possible Expansion Combinations: Cities & Knights and Traders & Barbarians
Other Scenarios Combinations: None at this time
Below is a YouTube on how to play Catan: Explorers & Pirates:
Types Catan Scenarios
Catan Scenarios are micro-changes to the Catan experience. Scenarios are never standalone games and will need the Catan base game or another expansion. However, it can be argued that the Scenarios bring just as much change as the expansions. For those new to Catan scenarios can be confusing. What are Catan Scenarios? Catan Scenarios act as levels, chapters, or new rules to challenge players, and create more depth.
Catan has not created defining terms for the different types of Scenarios, but we like to identify three different types of Catan Scenarios: Scenarios Within The Expansions, Scenarios for base Catan, and Scenarios for Expansions. The Scenarios within the Expansions act like levels and are to be played in order since they get increasingly more difficult. The expansions that have scenarios within their package are: Explorers & Pirates and Traders & Barbarians. Scenarios for Expansions act as guided storylines. They use chapters to take players on an interactive storyboard game. Lastly, Scenarios for the base Catan Game add new rules.
Scenarios for the Base Catan
There are 6 Scenarios for the Base Catan. The first was released in 2011 and the latest one was released in 2018. Each scenario, besides Helpers of Catan, is based on a theme or a higher lesson. The themes or lessons reflect the thought and effort Catan as a company has put in to make well-rounded, successful products. The six scenarios are Oil Springs, Helpers of Catan, Frenemies, Big Game, Big honor, Crop Trust, and Regional Editions. Big Game, Big Honor was introduced in 2015, and is only available for those who participate in a Catan Big Game Event.
Oil Springs Scenario:
Brief Overview: Oil Springs was released in 2011, and introduces a valuable resource, oil. However, it also introduces pollution and climate change effects due to oil. The ultimate challenge players have to face is limiting oil production for the common good, or purse oil consumption for victory with the risk of the ultimate disaster, coastal flooding. Oil Spring can be bought from Catan here.
Rules & Guide: Catan Scenario Oil Spring Rules
Helpers of Catan Scenario:
Brief Overview: Helpers of Catan was released in 2013 and introduces 10 helper cards that can give players advantages during the game. This scenario gives players Catan characters to explore. Helpers of Catan can also be used in Seafarers. Helper of Catan can be purchased here.
Rules & Guide: Catan Scenario Helpers of Catan
Brief Overview: Frenemies gives players an Altruism theme to Catan. This scenario gives out Favor Tokens to players who look out for others during the game. It is a very interesting take on Catan. Frenemies can be purchased here.
Rules & Guide: Catan Scenario Frenemies Rules
Regional Edition Scenario:
Brief Overview: There are 11 different Regional Scenarios: Rickshaw Run, New York, New England, Thuringia, Penn-Jersey, Austria, Delmarva, Bavaria, Indian & Ohio, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Hesse. Only three Regions are available to purchase: Rickshaw Run, Georgia, and Pennsylvania- New Jersey. Rickshaw Run Region was inspired by the 2015 Rickshaw Run rally in India. All proceeds of Catan's Regional Rickshaw Run go towards Childaid Network. The other regions can still be found on their site, but do not seem to be selling those products anymore. The Region products would have a Catan map reflecting the actual region. The Catan map reflects the real region of the Rickshaw Run rally in India. The map also contains information on historical cities and landscapes found in the region. Since the map is already set, settlements, roads, and cities can be built on marked spaces. . An image of the map configurations for each map is still shown for those that want to use the concept (Catan).
Crop Trust Scenario
Brief Overview: Catan Scenario: Crop Trust was released in 2018. Crop Trust is an engaging and fun game experience for the family that may lead to a thoughtful understanding of the importance of crop diversity to our food supply. Players must weigh their need to harvest crops against a collective goal to store and preserve seeds in the seed vault. Developed in collaboration with the Global Crop Diversity Trust (Crop Trust for short). The Crop Trust is an independent international organization whose goal is to preserve crop diversity in order to protect global food security. When you purchase this Catan Scenario, Catan Studio donates a portion of the proceeds to the Crop Trust, and you help to strengthen the foundation of our food system. Royalties and a profit contribution go to the Crop Trust, so every sale helps safeguard the precious building blocks of global agriculture.
Rules & Guide: Catan Scenario Crop Trust Rules
Scenarios for the Expansions
Seafarers and Cities Knights Scenarios build off of the corresponding expansions. These scenarios give more depth to the expansions by taking players on have story through play. There are 3 Scenarios for the Expansions: Seafarers + C&K Scenario: Treasure, Dragons, & Adventurers, Seafarers Scenario - Legend of the Sea Robbers, and Cities & Knights Scenario: Legend of Conquerors. The first one was released in 2009 and the latest one was released in 2020.
Seafarers + C&K Scenario: Treasure, Dragons, & Adventures
Brief Overview: Catan Seafarers +C&K Scenario: Treasures, Dragons, & Adventurers was released in 2009. In order to play, this scenario requires the Catan base game, Seafarers, and Cities & Knights. The Treasures, Dragons, & Adventure Scenario contains 6 individual scenarios. Players will defeat dragons, dig canals, and discover islands off the Catanian coast. The scenarios allow players to manipulate/ modify the game. This is a great option for players who want to be creative and want a taste of being gamemaker. This is definitely the game to test the truest Catan fans.
Rules & Guide: Seafarers + C&K Scenario: Treasures, Dragons, & Adventures
Seafarers Scenario: Legend of the Sea Robber
Brief Overview: Catan Seafarers Scenario: Legend of the Sea Robbers was released in 2017. In order to play this game, you need the Catan base game and Seafarers. The game takes place about 70 years after the first settlers of Catan. This Scenario shifts towards a storyline character play experience. The game still has rules and components like other Catan games, but there are chapters, chapter points, and legend points. Instead of being a player, you are now a clan leader. The chapters are the most exciting part for Catan fans because they give fans more details to explore the Catan world. With having these Chapters incorporated into the game, allows fans to interact and experience the Catan world themselves.
Rules & Guide: Seafarers Scenario: Legend of the Sea Robbers Rules
Legend of the Conqueror
Brief Overview: Catan Cities & Knights Scenario: Legend of the Conquerors was released in 2020. In order to place this game, you need the Catan base game and Cities & Knights. The game continues the storyline from Legend of the Searobber. This version takes place 570 years after the first Catan settlers. An enemy army lands and the knights from Catan must join together to defend their home. In this game, you will learn the story behind Cities & Knights of how barbarians and Old world countries affect Catan. While discovering these new chapters, you also get to experience the journey yourself by playing.
Rules & Guide: Legend of the Conquerors Rules
Catan 2 Player Card Games
Expansions for Rivals for Catan 2 Player Card Game
Catan Travel Games
Brief Overview: Traveler Edition was released in 2015. Long road trip with kids? Taking a train to another city? This compact Traveler Edition allows you to take Catan anywhere! This edition has a smaller map, and different-looking cities, settlements, and roads, but they have locking drawers, tray holders, and dice shakers to keep all the pieces secured. It is the travel-friendly Catan base game!
Rules & Guide: Travelers Compact Edition
Brief Overview: Struggle for Catan was released in 2019. It also follows the same rules and principles as the Catan base game with slight modifications to make it into a card game. This is a multiplayer card game and can be taken anywhere you like. In 2007, the Catan Dice game was released. It also follows the same concept as Catan base game.
Rules & Guide: Struggle for Catan Rules & Catan Dice Game
Brief Overview: Catan Starfarers was originally released in 1999, but a Second Edition came out in 2019 is this is the only version that is available. Starfarers is a standalone game, so it does not need any other Catan games in order to play. Starfarers is set in the middle of the 3rd Millennium when settlers can colonize other planets. There is a completely new design that consists of different planets that provide different resources. Players explore what planets have to offer whether it's ore, carbon deposits, barren ice, alien folk, or wormholes. Points are given by what you build such as colonies, trade stations, transport ships, colony ships, trade ships, or spaceports. Players will experience new graphics, game material, rules, and mechanisms in the Catan Universe. If you want to play with 5-6 players there is a Starfarers 5-6 Player Extension.
Rules & Guide: Starfarers Rules & Starfarers Almanac
Catan Spin Offs & Stand Alones
A Game of Throne Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch
Brief Overview: A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch was released in 2017. Players fight to become the next Lord Commander. The board games introduced a new region, the Gift, south of the Wall given to the Watch from the Starks. The protector of the land also has to protect the Wall against Wildings. However, instead of cities, there are Keeps and instead of the Robber, there is Tormund. There are three different types of Wildings: Climber, Giants, and Regular that can come from three different clans: Ice River Clan, Cave People Clan, or Hornfoot Clan. Players must defend the wall from invasion and find out who is worthy enough to be the new Lord Commander For those that want to play with 5-6 players, there is a Game of Throne Catan: 5-6 Player Extension.
Rules & Guide:
A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch - 2 Edition Rules
A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch- 2nd Edition Reference
A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch - 1st Edition Errata and FAQ
Star Trek Catan
Brief Overview: Star Trek Catan was released in 2012. This game does not require any other game components from other Catan games.
The structure and mechanisms in the base Catan game are included in the Catan Star Trek. The structure of the map is the same, but instead of different land regions, there are different planets that contain different resources: dilithium, titanium, food, oxygen, and water. The goal is to be the first to 10 points earned by establishing Outposts, Starbases, or Victory Points. Catan Star Trek has Support Card with a special ability featuring a Star Trek Character: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Sulu, Uhura, Chekov, Chapel, Rand, or Sarek.
Rules & Guide: Star Trek Catan Rules & Star Trek Catan Almanac
FAQs: Star Trek FAQs
Star Trek Catan Federation Space
Brief Overview: Star Trek Catan: Federation Space was released in 2013. The Catan Star Trek Federation Space board incorporated as many Star Trek Planets they legally and creatively could by referencing "The Explored Galaxy" and using Star Trek Charts by Dough Drexler to accurately create the game. This game also comes with Star Trek objects such as a Nomad probe, planet killer, Deep Space Statio, and much more. The level of detail that went into this set makes this a great gift for fans!
Rules & Guide: Federation Space Rules & Federation Catan Background Story
Catan Histories: Settler of America
Brief Overview: Catan Histories: Settler of America was released in 2010. This is part of the Catan Histories line that is based on the West expansion in the 19th century in the United States. Again, a lot of the same structure of the game is based on the Catan base game with a different theme. The board of Settlers of America is a map of the United States. Players collect and trade resources in order to purchase, migrate and build settlements, forge railroads, and acquire locomotives. This game adds an additional resource, gold, to increase options for players.
Rules a& Guide: Settler of America Rules
Catan Histories: Rise of the Inkas
Brief Overview: Catan Histories: Rise of the Inkas was released in 2018. The basic Catan elements are included in this Catan History line. The game takes place 2000 years ago in northwestern South America where many tribes rapidly grew and declined. However, the Inkas rose, outcompeted all tribes, and created an empire. This game follows the history of how the Inkas came about. This game includes an innovative displacement mechanism that opens up new possibilities for players and confronts them with new game situations that will require tactical adjustments. Nature can reclaim settlements already built, allowing another player the chance to build their own settlement on a coveted site. Players have to develop 2 different tribes, but also have to watch each tribe decline one by one. The first to establish a third tribe wins!
Rules & Guide: Rise of the Inkas Rules & Rise of the Inkas Almanac
Catan: Elasund - The First City
Brief Overview: Catan Adventures: Elasunda - The First City was released in 2005. The game is based on the book, Die Sielder Von Catan, by Rebecca Gable. The book is inspired by the Catan base game. Instead of exploring the island of Catan, this game is focusing on building out the City of Catan. The board game focuses on a section of the land and you build with currency.
Rules & Guide: Elasunda - The First City Rules
Brief Overview: Catan Junior was released in 2012. It is a Junior Version of Catan designed for 6-year-olds and up. Those who have played Catan before will recognize a similar structure to the Catan base game, but use different terms to follow a pirate theme. Instead of settlers, players become pirates sailing the sea to build more pirate lairs and ships. Instead of "wood, grain, brick, sheep, or stone", the resources in Catan Junior are "gold, goats, wood, molasses, and cutlasses". There is a Ghost Captain that blocks resource production on the island he is on. The island also has preprinted dice numbers on the titles with the corresponding resource to make it more convenient for children. This is great for children, but also a great option for family game night!
Rules & Guide: Catan Junior (1st Edition) and Catan Junior (2nd Edition)