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How to Play Catan

The Race to 10: Uncovering the Strategy of Catan

  • Catan is a dice rolling board game where two to four players compete to build roads, settlements, cities and armies on a fictional island
  • Players collect resources on their turn by rolling a pair of dice, the number rolled determining which hexagon will give up its bounty
  • 7 is the most likely number to be rolled, 6 and 8 following it in the likelihood
  • Settlements cost one wood card and one brick card while cities cost three of any resource and two wheat
  • Development cards can be purchased with wheat and sheep and are used for strategy
  • The goal is to be the first player to reach ten points by constructing structures.

Competition Heats Up: Players Vie for Victory in Classic Resource-Trading Game Catan

  • Catan is a resource-trading game in which players acquire, trade and build structure on the game board
  • Players must trade resources in order to build structures, but promises made during the trading phase are non-binding
  • During the building phase of their turn, a player can cash in their resources for stuff and afterwards they can no longer go back to trading
  • If a player rolls a seven, they get to move the robber around the map and steal cards from other players bordering that hex
  • Development cards can be bought with resources and provide various advantages such as extra points or free roads
  • Players compete to be the first to reach ten points.

Strategic Board Game Catan Draws Fans of All Ages

  • Catan is a modern board game with a modular board
  • Players randomly assemble the border and number tokens, and then all pick a color and wooden pieces
  • Players place their settlements following the two away rule and choose their second settlement strategically to get an even starting hand of resource cards
  • Various strategies can be employed during placement including the wheat, sheep, or trifecta strategy for buying powerful development cards.

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hi it's Ryan from knights around a tableand this is Catan a dice rolling empirebuilding board game for two to fourplayers formerly centers of Catan it'sactually pronounced Catan but I sayCatan because I'm left-handed let meshow you how to play you and yourfriends play Settlers of the newlydiscovered fictional island of Catanyou'll use the resources from thisbountiful new land to build sedimentsroads and cities as well as differentcultural institutions and potentially asmall army to protect your property frombandits along the way you'll traderesources with each other and try tomuscle one another out of the mostlucrative spots on the island eventelling the bandits who they should robthe structures roads institutions andarmies you build all our new points andthe first player to reach ten points ontheir turn wins the game[Music]everyone starts the game with two smallsettlements with a single road leadingaway from each one we'll see how thesettlements got there closer to the endof the video these settlements sit onthe corners of the hexagons thatcomprise the island the hexagons yieldone of five resources wood brick orwheat or sheep on your turn you roll apair of dice the number you roll tellsyou which hexagons will give up itsbounty if you roll a 4 then this hexsupplies a sheep card to any player whoowns a settlement on one of its cornersthere's another four over here on thiswheat hex but since nobody has asettlement on one of its corners nobodygets any resource cards from it so whenyou roll the dice it's possible you'llget resource cards but it's notguaranteed perhaps your opponents getresource cards or maybe everybody getsresource cards or maybe nobody does it'sall down to the luck of the dice whenyou roll a pair of dice the numberyou're most likely to roll is a sevenyou can make a seven with a 1 and a 6 a2 and a 5 a 3 and a 4 and the reverse ofthose combinations 7 is a special numberin Catan we'll see why shortly the nextmost common numbers you can roll are 8and 6 they're printed in red to remindyou that structures built around thesehexes are hot commodities statisticallythey're more likely to generateresources the middle pimps beneath thenumbers on the tokens tell you whichnumbers are the best and which are theworstthe tiny two and twelve are the leastlikely numbers to be rolled so when youplan your strategy to expand your empireyou'll want a head for prime real estateof course your opponents are thinkingthe exact same thing the recipe card youget at the beginning of the game liststhe different things you can build payone brick card and one wood card tobuild a road pay one of everythingexcept or to build another settlement onyour turn you can build as much stuff asyou can afford but there are some rulesas to how you place it all any newsettlement you build has to be connectedone of your existing settlements byroads so you can't just plop one down onthe other side of Catan furthermore asettlement has to be two or morehexagons edges away from any othersettlement so this is okay and this isokay but this is too close and this isno good because although it's two roadsaway from your existing settlement it'sstill too close to your opponent'ssettlement if you had this huge road aslong as you obeyed the two away rule youcould plunk a settlement down in themiddle of it you can even cut intosomebody else's huge road and place asettlement there to interrupt it so offthe top of the game you're set upprobably looks something like thisyou'll have to build at least one Roadbranching from here or here in eitherdirection before you can build a newsettlement and if you're hopelesslyblocked you can head in the otherdirection but you'll need to build twoor more roads to get enough distancefrom your original settlements thismeans that the highest number ofstructures that can sit around a hextile is three but if there's a structureon one corner and a structure on theopposite corner the tile can't supportany more developments because it'simpossible to build anything two edgesaway from these one's cities cost threeor and to wheat you can't place them ontheir own you can only build them byupgrading one of your existingsettlements you remove the settlementfrom the board and replace it with acity piece the cool thing about citiesis that they doubled the production froma tile so if an eight was rolled and youhad a city here you would get two wheatinstead of only one and if you had twocities here you get four wheat if youhad three cities on this hex you wouldget I don't know probably a glutenintolerance each settlement you build isworth one point while each city is worthtwo remember it takes ten points to winthe gamefinally you can pay a wheat and or and asheep to build a development card we'lllook at the development deck in a bit[Music]before you go on a shopping spree withthe resources in your hand you can tradeyour resources either with the bank at aharbour or with your fellow playerstrading with the bank gives you theworst ratio trade for resources of akind for one of any other resource ifyou've built a settlement or city on oneof these harbour corners you get thetrade ratio printed on the boat to sheepfor one of anything - wheat for one ofanything three of a kind for one ofanything and so on but your best bet ifyou're a savvy wheeler dealer is totrade with your opponents you can offerany number of your resource cards forany number of their resource cards ifyou wanted to you could trade yourentire hand for some one single brickcard as long as they agree to it traitscan only happen with the player who'scurrently taking a turn you can't strikeup a bargain with somebody who hasn'tjust rolled the dice or trade to thebanker with a harbor when it's not yourturn you also can't just give away yourcards it has to be for something inreturn and you can't trade a resourcefor the same kind of resource so towould for one wood you can makealliances with other players and promiseto trade resources on future turns butthose promises are non-binding you can'tgive me a sheep for free today for thepromise of a wood later on in the gamethe only thing you can physically tradeare the resource cards Wood sheep orwheat and brick you can trade certainresources along with the promise thatyou'll never say cut off the red playersRoad but again a promise like that isnon-binding it has nothing to do withthe resource cards that actually changehands and any player can legally Welchon any promise after you've finishedtrading you can cash in your resourcesfor stuff this is the building phase ofyour turn once you start building youcan't go back to trading so this is thepoint of no return although moreexperienced players can combine buildingand trading as a rules variant to speedup the game pay your resource cards tothe bankand place the structures on Catanfollowing the placement rules wediscussed now you don't have to buildanything on your turn even if you canafford to but hanging on to a ton ofcards is very risky business that'sbecause there's one spot on the boardthat's bereft of resources this desertIsle has only one denizen the dreadedrobber who's out to Hamburg oh all yourbest stuff I told you that seven is themost common number you can roll butthere aren't any sevens on the board ifany player rules a seven - things happenfirst anyone with more than seven cardsloses half their hand rounded down yougot eight cards now you got four cardsyou got thirteen cards no you've got soyou get to choose which cards you returnto the bank mmmsecond the player who rolled the curseat seven gets to pick up the robbertoken and place it on any other hex onthe board as long as it's not the onethat robbers already sitting on if thereare any settlements or cities borderingthis hex the player who places therobber chooses one of those borderingplayers and steals a card from him orher at random players aren't allowed tohide their hands from you if you pick aplayer who has no cards you get nothinglet's hope that was deliberate otherwiseyou're a big nerd you're not allowed tosteal from yourself but you can placethe robber on a hex with nobodybordering it the robbers placement has alasting effect on the game it blocks theresource on that hex so anytime an eightis rolled this hax produces resourcesbut this one doesn't the robber must beeaten all those sheep and the robber isgonna keep eating them until a7 getsrolled later on and it gets displacedagain but it's not all down to dicerolls there's another method forbouncing the robber around the map[Music]paying a sheep a wheat and an or getsyou a development card you draw itrandomly from the deck and keep it asecret some cards like the Universityand the library give you one pointtowards your endgame score theroad-building card lets you build tworoads for free the year of plenty cardgets you to free resources from the bankif you play a Monopoly card you get toname a resource type and all playershave to give you every card they have ofthat type so you can say give me allyour sheep and every sheep hiding inyour opponent's hands is now yours notethat it's perfectly legal to pull youropponents with bogus trade offers todetermine what sorts of cards they havein their hands before you play yourdevastating Monopoly card it's not nicebut it's legal and it's why nobody asksme to play Catan with them but most ofthe cards in the development deck arenights when you play a knight you get tomove the robber as if you've rolled aseven pick a different hex move therobber there and if there were anybordering players choose one of thoseplayers and steal one of his or hercards at random playing a knight doesn'ttrigger a hand to purge if anyone hasmore than seven cards like rolling aseven does you can only play onedevelopment card on your turn and youcan't immediately play the card that youjust bought you have to wait at leastuntil your next turn but you can play adevelopment card even before you rollthe dice that means that if you play aknight and roll a seven or vice versayou get to move the robber twice on yourturn points cards can't be played theystay secret until the end of the gameyou can't trade your development cardsresource cards are the only tradableitems in the game[Music]in your race to ten points there are twopieces of flexible scoring that may helpor hinder you the first player to builda road of five or more consecutiveuninterrupted and non forking segmentswithout doubling back gets this longestroad tile which is worth two pointsif a player interrupts a road bybuilding a settlement into it thatshortens the road if the road has lessthan five segments because of theinterruption the player loses the tileif the interruption causes the leadingplayer to tie with another player forthe longest road the leading player getsto hang on to the tile for now if theinterruption causes two or more otherplayers to tie for longest road no onegets the tile for the moment the largestarmy works the same way but it's awardedto the player who's played the mostnight cards minimum three it can be lostif another player plays more night cardsthe resources in Catan are limited ifyou find yourself owed a resource cardor a development card and they're allgone you don't get one and you don't geta rain check for later the thing has tobe in supply at the moment you'reentitled to it likewise your game piecesif you foolishly scrimp and save toafford a new settlement but realize toolate that you've built all yoursettlements you're up Kattan creekwithout a paddle you need to startupgrading some of those settlements tocities to reclaim those pieces if youreach ten points on your turn you winthe game remember that any points youbought from the development deck counttowards that score so if it all adds upto ten on your turn flip those cardsover and scream at the top of your lungsso that they never invite you over againif you reach ten points and it's notyour turn you have to wait until itcomes back around to you again todeclare victory and if somebody elsereaches ten points on their turn beforeit comes back around to you then thatperson is the winner of the game andthey are officially no longer yourfriend or family member[Music]setting up Catan is one of the mostimportant parts of the game becausethat's when you decide where your firsttwo settlements will go as we've seenit's all about location locationlocation if you pick a bad spot you'reliable to have a lousy time for the nextcouple of hours so let's get the boardon the table and then we'll discuss thatcrucial first placement step assemblethe border of the island by connectingthe puzzle piece edges together matchingthe little numbers of the junctions ifyou want a little varietyyou can randomly assemble the border toget the harbor's in different places ifyou're new to the game set up the boardaccording to the picture on the back ofthe instruction manual one of the bestfeatures of Catan is its modular boardif this ain't your first rodeoyou can randomize the tiles and even theharbor's randomly covering up theprinted harbors with the Little Harbourchance to lay out the number tokensstart at one corner of the island anddeal them out in alphabetical order in aspiral skipping over the desert ifyou're truly Catan pros and you want itwild and wooly you can even toss thesetokens out randomly as long as thedesert doesn't get a token and as longas two red numbers aren't adjacent toeach othershuffle the development that can put ithere and put the resource cards face-upon both sides of the tables so they'rewithin reach of everyone put the robberon the desert keep the longest road andlargest army tiles handy everyone picksa color and takes the recipe tile andall their wooden pieces and immediatelybegins building forts and structureswith them the moment they get boredeveryone rolls both dice and the highestrolling player goes first now forplacement if you're using an advancedsetup each player in turn order placesone settlement and one connecting Roadanywhere on the island following the twoaway rule then the last player placeshis or her second settlement and roadthe other players follow suit in reverseturn order the second settlement doesn'tneed to connect to the first settlementin road but it can you can place yourfirst settlements on the two on thetwelve on a lonely harbor or on thedesert but unless you really know whatyou're doing it's probablya bad idea most often you'll want atleast one of your buildings to border ahigh-probability red number the secondsettlement you place determines yourstarting hand of resource cards you getone resource card for each tile yoursecond settlement touches so if youplaced your second settlement here youget a wheat a wood and an ore as yourstarting hand if you place your secondsettlement here you're gonna have a badgame since brick and wood tend to bemore important early in the game onecommon strategy is to place your secondsettlement such that you get one of eachin your hand don't discount the value offor example having great expectationsfor wheat and being close enough tobuild out to a wheat Harbor anotherstrategy that beginning players may notconsider is the wheat sheep or trifectawhich allows you to buy those powerfuldevelopment cards or the wheat orstrategy because nothing stopping youfrom upgrading your settlements tocities early in the game some playerslike to ensure that they have asettlement on every type of resource sothat it's at least possible they'll gainthose resources however remote thechancethat's because certain other playerslike to make trade embargoes wherethey'll refuse to trade a resource to aplayer if that player has no hope ofever rolling for it lots of differentstrategies emerge and as a new playerit's a joy to discover them and nowyou're ready to play the game that gotme and millions of other players hookedon modern board games to the point wherethere ought to be a la Catan did youjust watch that whole thing oh hey there100% this video click the badge tosubscribe 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