Catan (Board Game)

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(13 user ratings)
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In Catan (formerly The Settlers of Catan), players try to be the dominant force on the island of Catan by building settlements, cities, and roads. On each turn dice are rolled to determine what resources the island produces. Players collect these resources (cards)—wood, grain, brick, sheep, or stone—to build up their civilizations to get to 10 victory points and win the game.

Setup includes randomly placing large hexagonal tiles (each showing a resource or the desert) in a honeycomb shape and surrounding them with water tiles, some of which contain ports of exchange. Number disks, which will correspond to die rolls (two 6-sided dice are used), are placed on each resource tile. Each player is given two settlements (think: houses) and roads (sticks) which are, in turn, placed on intersections and borders of the resource tiles. Players collect a hand of resource cards based on which hex tiles their last-placed house is adjacent to. A robber pawn is placed on the desert tile.

A turn consists of possibly playing a development card, rolling the dice, everyone (perhaps) collecting resource cards based on the roll and position of houses (or upgraded cities—think: hotels) unless a 7 is rolled, turning in resource cards (if possible and desired) for improvements, trading cards at a port, and trading resource cards with other players. If a 7 is rolled, the active player moves the robber to a new hex tile and steals resource cards from other players who have built structures adjacent to that tile.

Points are accumulated by building settlements and cities, having the longest road and the largest army (from some of the development cards), and gathering certain development cards that simply award victory points. When a player has gathered 10 points (some of which may be held in secret), he announces his total and claims the win.

Catan has won multiple awards and is one of the most popular games in recent history due to its amazing ability to appeal to experienced gamers as well as those new to the hobby.

Awards & Honors:

  • 2012 JoTa Best Game Released in Brazil Nominee
  • 2012 JoTa Best Game Released in Brazil Critic Award
  • 2011 Ludo Award Best Board Game Editor's Choice Winner
  • 2005 Gra Roku Game of the Year
  • 2004 Hra roku Winner
  • 2004 Hra roku Nominee
  • 2002 Japan Boardgame Prize Best Japanese Game Nominee
  • 2001 Origins Awards Hall of Fame Inductee
  • 1996 Origins Awards Best Fantasy or Science Fiction Board Game Winner
  • 1995 Spiel des Jahres Winner
  • 1995 Meeples' Choice Award
  • 1995 Essener Feder Best Written Rules Winner
  • 1995 Deutscher Spiele Preis Best Family/Adult Game Winner

Product Details

Boards & Dice
13 Jul 2015
Game Mechanic
Year Published
# of Players
3 - 4
User Suggested # of Players
Best with 4 players, Recommended with 3 - 4 players
Suggested Ages
10 and up
Playing Time
60 - 120 minutes
Game Designer
Klaus Teuber
Game Artist
  • Volkan Baga
  • Tanja Donner
  • Pete Fenlon
  • Jason Hawkins
  • Michaela Kienle
  • Harald Lieske
User Suggested Ages
Language Dependence
Some necessary text - easily memorized or small crib sheet
  • 1995 Deutscher Spiele Preis Best Family/Adult Game Winner
  • 1995 Essener Feder Best Written Rules Winner
  • 1995 Meeples' Choice Award
  • 1995 Spiel des Jahres Winner
  • 1996 Origins Awards Best Fantasy or Science Fiction Board Game Winner
  • 2001 Origins Awards Hall of Fame Inductee
Expansion Sets
  • 20 Jahre Darmstadt Spielt
  • Brettspiel Adventskalender 2015
  • Catan Austria / Wien meets Catan
  • Catan Geographies: Austria
  • Catan Geographies: Bayern Edition
  • Catan Geographies: Corsica
Supply Source
South Africa

Customer Reviews

Excellent game

Reviewed by on

Excellent game both as a gateway (introductory) game and as a staple for any board gamer. Variable play board gives lots of replayability. Build, trade, settle!

Excellent board game experience!

Reviewed by on

This game probably introduced more people to modern board gaming than any other. It is a game that can be enjoyed by families, friends and serious board game hobbyists alike. Easy to learn but, with enough depth to make it a new challenge each time and, dice to even out the playing field between newcomers and more experienced players. Buy it for yourself or as a gift, it wil not disappoint.

Best board game ive played

Reviewed by on

My whole family enjoys this game. We play at least once every two week. Its a great game that isn't based on chance alone.

You can play a lot of strategies and yoy have to think ahead quite a bit. The only chance in the game is a dice roll which decides on which lands will generate crops/mine goods/etc. (Not like Monopoly where the whole game is based on chance).

You can also buy great ad ons like Seafarers or Traders and Barbarians which gives space for even more strategy. I would recommend first playing the base game a lot before mixing it with the ad ons so that you fully understand the rules.

Awesome board game

Reviewed by on

Really fun board game.

Was introduced to this game by a friend, and I laughed when he said it would be better than most household board games. Turned out to be one of the best board games I've played. I really recommend this board game if you meet up with friends regularly, it is very entertaining!

Does anybody want to trade this wheat!

Reviewed by on

I was always interested in playing this game. It wasn't until recently I was able to but once I did I had as much fun as I expected!

If you are apprehensive don't be this game is simple and a world of fun to play.

This game will test your strategic capabilities and not to mention friendship as you role it out to become the best settler in Catan!

No, but do you have Brick?

Reviewed by on

To add to the review of Mark V.

This game is very interactive. Most times you need your fellow players to get the game going. When it starts, you only have 2 villages and would need to trade to get the resources you need, so a lot of diplomacy is needed. Until you can dominate and take control of the board, or until you miss your opportunity and one of your opponents gets one past you.

A definite recommended game to play with friends if you want to play a strategic game. Any one can win if you plan properly. The tiles of the board are loose and can be changed to fit the play one wants to take. The Rule book includes preset maps in its different scenarios to give some diversity. You could even download an app for you smartphone, to randomize a fair and balanced map, to change it up a bit.

If you enjoy playing strategy based board games, this is a game you will certainly enjoy.

Do you have wood?

Reviewed by on

When I was first invited to play Catan at a friend's house, I was apprehensive. The box was not that appealing to me, someone more drawn to adventure and action than a game that appeared to be about farming. My friend sat and ran us through the rules, which were actually pretty straightforward as board games go, and we gave it a test round to ease us in.

What a game. Catan is one of those perfectly balanced simple to pick up, hard to master games. There are so many ways to win and each time you play is completely different. The robber who sits in the middle of the board is one of those rules that can end friendships and if your friends are anything like mine, there will be plenty of snickering whenever someone asks "Do you have wood?". You will see the value in sheep and learn to watch other players like a hawk, in case they sneak past you with the longest road.

Catan has several (and by several I mean MANY) expansions to expand and enhance the game, keeping you occupied for years to come. It's one of those games that you can spend hours playing but not FEEL like you've spent hours on it.

Highly recommended.