Catan Board Game For Beginners

Catan board game for beginners is an excellent starting point due to its simple rules and lengthy playtime. This classic strategy game involves up to four players who attempt to expand their settlement by trading resources that are found on the Catan island.

For example, players can trade wheat for brick or sheep for wood in order to build roads or settlements. The purpose of the game is to create the most successful settlement by building roads and cities, as well as amassing points from specific objectives such as ‘Longest Road’ and ‘Largest Army’.

The main appeal of Catan board game lies in its versatility: easy enough for a ten year-old, random enough that adults keep coming back to it. It has 6 different scenarios which can either be played in 1 hour or over two days long.

A great way to start playing with your family and friends without feeling overwhelmed is through the Standard 5-6 player version, where each player characterizes a particular race aiming at reaching 10 victory points as fast as possible (usually within one hour). This mini version does not require extensive rules knowledge nor complex strategies.

In addition, Catan Board Game features cooperative play that encourages both logical thinking and social skills between players – something very beneficial and valuable for any social gathering regardless of their skill level. Even better, it also allows you to customize roles depending on each individual’s abilities so that everyone can have a fair chance of winning the game regardless of their previous knowledge – making it ideal for beginners of all ages.

Furthermore, while one game usually takes an average time of two hours or so, there are no turn limits – meaning you can end the match whenever you feel like without impacting anyone else’s results.

Setting Up a Basic Catan Board

Setting up a game of Catan for beginners requires no small amount of preparation. The main components of the board game are 4-6 players, 19 terrain hexes, associated ports and number tokens, 6 cities, 15 roads, resources (sheep, wood, brick, ore and wheat) to build with, 2 dice for rolling and resource cards.

Although some versions include several expansions or advanced set ups that add complexity to the game play it is possible to learn the basics with a simple version.

Assembling the Board

The first step in setting up a basic Catan board is to assemble all the terrain hex tiles in equal groups according to their resources (wood, sheep, brick etc). With this completed each player must then place two settlements on opposite estuaries of the island that are next to a different resource tile each.

One handy tip for novices here is that starting settlements cannot be too close together so it is important to ensure they have an adequate distance between them.

Next players should roll a single die to decide who takes turns in what order going clockwise around from first. This can be a simple 6 sided die: allowing players 1 through 5 marks depending on what number it rolls and allocating player 6 if ‘6’ appears twice.

From there players must begin building roads across the land by placing them at least two squares away from their settlement and connecting their pieces with other’s until every piece is connected together by it one network.

Beginning Positions

Once these first steps have been undertaken each Catan starter should be possessing all they need for proper gameplay: two settlements (one made from four roads branching off), two flat land corners closest to five different terrain tiles plus any common spaces nearby such as ports.

At this point collective knowledge of resources will come into play as each person may use trades to gain more than one resource card for construction further down the track or even trading paths themselves away if need be.

Importantly too – whilst before playing we recommend all users read through rulebooks thoroughly – during set up there are certain points which may not clear cut at first glance but become apparent over time; such as when building or trading with other players you must always first agree upon terms before making any progress or taking turns respectively. If everyone agrees before making any moves then Catan can easily remain an enjoyable round throughout the entirety of its course.

Last but not least; during set up personalise games by adding unique touches such as special tokens or inventing your own theme such as sci-fi fantasy – anything goes.

The Basics of the Game

Catan is an engaging and addictive board game designed for multiple players. The aim of the game is to be the first player to build and settle a settlement on Catan, a mysterious island filled with resources. In order to do this, players must collect and score victory points by gathering resources, investing in development cards, and building roads and settlements.

The game is scored when a player reaches 10 victory points. A point can be won in several ways including:

  • Building a settlement: 2 points
  • Building a city: 4 points
  • Gaining longest road bonus: 2 points
  • Having largest army bonus: 2 points
  • Gathering development cards: 1 point per card depending on the type

Players also gain resources from dice rolls each turn which they then use to build structures or buy development cards with. Resources are made up of wheat, wood, ore, sheep and brick (their cost varies accordingly).

Lastly connected to trading, players can acquire resources through trade with other players or even with the bank at certain locations within the game. Furthermore more complex strategies can be facilitated by longer-term investments in ports which allow for more efficient trading opportunities over time – adding another layer to Catan’s strategic complexity.

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Object of the Game

Catan is an award-winning, classic board game for 3 to 4 players. The object of the game is to build a formidable settlement and become the most successful trader in the area. Each game contains numerous hexagonal tiles which represent islands, and on each island, pieces of resources are produced: wood, brick, sheep wool, wheat and ore.

In order to negotiate trades and win resources, players must roll two six-sided dice during their turns. Depending upon the outcome, a certain port or resource will be activated allowing a player to gain or lose resources accordingly. Players can then attempt to trade these resources with others who are playing in order to find combinations that benefit them best when trying to build up their settlements.


The Robber adds an interesting element of strategy into Catan games; it is represented by a grey figure that will move around the islands penalizing unlucky players who find themselves at its mercy. When rolling the die if a “7” comes up then the robber pops up on screen and restricts production from whatever territory it place itself on.

The person who rolled the seven can also profit from this misfortune as they select one of the victims they wish plunder by taking one random resource from them.

Developing Settlements & Roads

Players begin with only two settlements but must strive towards building larger ones using roads and expansion cards (these cost materials such as wood and brick) through negotiation with other traders in order for everyone’s settlements to grow equally throughout playtime.

In making these agreements, so-called ‘trade shares’ based on contributed materials can be established within an individual group of players in order for everyone invovled in negotiating this way bestow equal advantages over each other regardless of the amount of resources they have personally collected through rolling dice previously during gameplay.

Strategies to Win


The classic strategy, wordplays are one of the most popular ways to win the Catan board game. It involves making strategic trades with other players or from the bank in order to gain resources that will help build roads, settlements and cities.

Wordplays also refer to how you position your self when trading – for example, bluffing opponents by offering them a trade they would pass up but accepting their counter-offer if it is beneficial to you. Being adept at playing word games can be quite advantageous, especially when playing against experienced players who know all the tricks.

Strategy building

Upgrading from word plays for more advanced players is strategy building. This involves analyzing what moves each player will make so that you can plan out yours accordingly.

Strategizing is essential as it helps ensure that you end up with a long term viable option rather than relying on short term gains which might lead to your defeat. Understanding how the opponents are playing and what their strategies are going to be is an important part of developing a winning strategy in Catan board game.

Resource Management

Another key strategy used in winning Catan games is resource management – managing and optimising resource usage between roads, settlements, and cities; buying development cards; trading with other players and managing resources such as wood, wheat, sheep, ore and bricks wisely during playtime is critical in rising victorious in a game of Catan.

Resource management requires planning ahead based on anticipation of future needs and understanding how other players operate while being flexible enough to adjust plans rapidly based on unexpected changes during the gameplay like dice rolls or surprises from other players’ moves or trades with you or with other players or even from taking development cards etc.

Popular Variations on Catan and How to Various Levels of Play

Cities & Knights Expansions

The Cities & Knights expansions is the most popular variation on Catan. These expansions introduce an additional layer of strategy to the game, with players needing to manage various types of resources as they build their settlements and cities.

Players will also need to use knights and other forces to protect their settlements and areas from enemy invasions or barbarian attack. This adds further complexity for more advanced gamers, as well as including an element of conflict resolution into the game which isn’t present in the basic version.

Seafarers Expansion

The Seafarers expansion is another popular variation of Catan which introduces a new aspect to the game: travelling by sea. Players are able to build ships during their turns and explore large bodies of water on the board map.

The terrain is no longer limited just the land tiles – and this opens up new avenues for long distance trading, as well as blocking off trade routes for other players. This expansion also adds more flexibility when playing with fewer players, making it an ideal option for beginners looking for different levels of play – since it allows four different levels of each starting setup ranging from beginner friendly two player setups through to complex 4-7 player boards.

Traders & Barbarians Expansions

Another variation on Catan that can provide different levels of play is Traders & Barbarians. This includes similar rules and pieces from basic Catan but also includes additional cards drivers take several rounds to play out scenarios like river trading or barbarians attacking towns.

This makes it ideal for beginners just looking to get used to playing with all those mechanics before moving onto something more complex like Seafarers or Cities & Knights or even full-fledged multi-player games.

The introduction of these scenarios provides an extra level of strategy not always present in base games – like deciding where would be best place your settlement if you know a barbarian attack is coming soon – adding replayability value traditional base games might have lacked at times without additional expansions or rules changes.

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Appealing Features of the Game

The Catan Board Game has become very popular over the years, capturing the attention and imagination of casual gamers, strategy enthusiasts, and everyone in-between. As a board game that requires no prior knowledge or specific skillset to play, it ensures even beginners can quickly join in on the fun.

One big appeal of the Catan Board Game is its interactive nature; as players take turns trading for resources with one another and using said resources to build on their own respective territories, there are plenty of social opportunities for conversation and connection.

Despite this interpersonal layer in the game-play, it’s also designed to be entertainingly competitive; depending on how many people are playing, the objective remains being the first person to obtain 10 victory points through a variety of buildings such as settlements or cities.

The strategizing capabilities involved make this game highly replayable and endlessly playable; even after several rounds each experience can be entertainingly distinct from the last.

The levels involved within the Catan Board Game ensures anyone from amateur hobbyists to hardcore gamers have more than enough complexity offered with additional in-game scenarios and an ever-evolving range of difficulties. With player base customization options such as how many competitors per match (ranging from 1-7) and specialized expansions packs like Seafarers or Nations with various special rules embedded within them offer limitless possibilities and potential for growth among new skirmishes.

There’sinherently something enjoyable for every kind of player level that makes it alluring even to someone who’s just starting out.

Suggestions for New Players

Catan is a highly popular game of strategy and resource management. It’s deceptively simple to learn, but can be a great hurdle for beginner players to overcome. The best way for new players to get accustomed to the game is to start by observing experienced Catan players in action.

Paying attention to how the experienced players make their moves is an excellent way to begin understanding basic strategies and tactics of the game. Additionally, some experienced Cataners may be kind enough to explain their methods and provide valuable insight into strategies they employ while playing Catan.

Once new players feel comfortable enough with the game’s rules, they should turn their attention towards developing their own set of tactics and strategies. To do this, consider forming alliances and building trade relations with other players.

Planning out moves several turns in advance can be a valuable tool for maximizing success on the board. Additionally, researching some of the winning strategies utilized by other top-level players can help beginners create reliable strategies as they become more experienced with the game mechanics themselves.

Finally, formulating a plan that works properly takes practice, so don’t give up if it doesn’t seem like progress is being made immediately. Try entering local tournaments or taking part in online leaderboard challenges in order to increase familiarity with different opponents who are also relatively new to the game.

Taking time on each turn will ensure all possible resources have been weighed carefully before any decisions are made; knowing when it’s best to trade, build roads or make settlements will help immensely as you discover your preferred approach for playing Catan.

  • Pay attention when observing experienced Catan players
  • Form alliances and build trading routes
  • Plan out multiple turns ahead
  • Research tried-and-true winning strategies from intermediate or advanced levels
  • Enter local tournaments or online leaderboard challenges
  • Take time on each turn when deciding how best to use resources


The Catan Board Game is a popular choice for board game nights due to its simplicity, versatility and fun. Players build cities, roads and settlements in an effort to become the wealthiest on the biggest island of all – Catan.

This game has no hidden rules or levels of complexity, making it perfect for those who are new to games like this yet still offers plenty of challenge for seasoned players as well. The object of the game is to gain ten victory points by building settlements, cities, knights and trading resources.

The structure of the game is convenient and straightforward, even for newcomers. Allowing up to four players at a time, there is no set order to who takes which turn which breaks up potential repetition.

During each turn a player can have multiple different actions from buying development cards, downgrading a settlement into a road or building cities and roads. Utilizing strategy and cunning players must collect resources such as wood, stone or wheat when rolling dice in order to upgrade settlements into thriving cities that benefit your goals whilst hindering your opponents’.

More experienced players may choose to use multiple strategies against one another such as trading between each other for resources they need or blocking opponents from certain sections of the board with their own pieces in an effort achieve their goals faster than before.

Even though this could be seen as more advanced playing techniques, it’s worth noting that due to its simplicity these strategies are relatively easy for beginner strategists or newer gamers rto understand while still providing enough variation so seasoned players never get too board between rounds.

Overall the Catan Board Game proves itself worthy as popular choice choice for people looking for family friendly activities or board discussions between friends since it provides high replay ability with enough variation and complexity regardless of whoever you decide play with.

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