Trade. Build. Settle.
You know, I’ve never owned a copy of Catan. I know it’s a classic, and I know it pretty much single-handedly kicked off the modern phase of board gaming, but it doesn’t hold any nostalgic significance for me; I was into tabletop gaming long before German board games started appearing in the 90s, so by the time I got around to playing this one (when it was known as Settlers of Catan), it didn’t seem that exceptional. This shows you what I know – it’s sold something like 35 million copies!
In fact my preferred entry in this series is the Catan Card Game, which I find more entertaining than the boardgame and often gets taken on weekends away.
However much you enjoy it, no one can deny the impact that Klaus Teuber’s design had on the gaming world. Its economic game play – it seems straightforward now but was revolutionary at the time – opened the floodgates for hundreds of thousands of ‘Euro’ games and allows us, to this day, to enjoy a schoolboy snigger at the phrase ‘wood for sheep’. If there’s one game that deserves the adjective ‘classic’, this is it.
There are a gazillion expansions and perhaps I’ll one day get around to summarising them all, but this rule and reference gives you the base game and the 5-6 player expansion rules.