Author: Klaus Teuber

Publisher: Kosmos 1995

Deutscher Spiele Preis

Spiel des Jahres



When this game was published in 1995, it was direcly made Germanyīs Game of the Year 1995. Honestly, I think itīs worth this honor since itīs one of the best and easiest going strategy-games available.


The gaming concept is simple but intriguing. A continent is formed by spreading out hexes containing different (resource-giving) landscapes. 2 to 4 players place their 2 starting towns on the map and might collect resources from the adjacent hexes. With these resources they might build Roads, Towns, Cities or they might also buy Development-Cards by which they can gain Knights or Technical Progress or Victory Points. Apart from using development cards, the players also get vicotry points for each town and city, and for owning the most knights and for having the longest road across the continent. The player who first has accumulated 10 Victory Points wins.

This fairly simple game really brings lot of fun. Land and space is scarce on the continent of Catan and the players will have to trade resources to make any progress. And trading with other players for the really needed iron might cost you at least three units of your precious wool....

Another big plus of the game is the low price and the fine game design. The game costs at Germany about DM 40,- , which is quite a low price for a good boardgame, and the playing pieces are made from wood and give the game a very nice look indeed.

Note: An english / american version of the game is available from Mayfair-games. This version of the game is played exactly the same way, but the artwork was changed to imagery from the American Revolution - a real improvement! Also, both major expansions are available from Mayfair as well.

Expansions & Extensions


This Expansion for up to 6 players is also available. Since the basic game only was suitable for four players, it was demanded rather quickly that more players could participate. Thus, this expansion includes more tiles to make a bigger gameboard and new playing pieces for two additional players.

Following the great success of the Siedler-boardgame, Klaus Teuber and Kosmos relased a number of expansions and related materials over the years. Due to the large number of available products, a small Settlers-world was created, making Siedler the best-selling boardgame of the 1990's.

Available Expansions:

G@mebox Special - The Paris-Catan Rally

"The Paris-Catan Rally": Here you will find the rules for the race-variant.

G@mebox Special - Additional Review

Richard Irving (USA) writes about the game:

It is one of the most entertaining games out there that involves shrewd trading trading, careful planning and strategy in a simple game. It may not be that good from my description, but it very fun to play.

Basically it is about colonizing an island. The board is randonmly before each game (this makes each game different.). There are 6 types of land which each produce a unique resource: forest (wood), pasture (sheep), Farm (wheat), River (mud brick), mountain (rock) and desert (nothing). Each land that produces has a number on it from 2 thru 12 (omitting 7) which tells you when a land will produce.

Each turn, you:

  • Roll dice to see if which lands produce. Those that have built settlements and cities adjacent to these lands receive 1 card representing the resource. If a 7 is rolled, the robber is moved to new location.
  • May negotiate a trade with other players or with the resource bank on a N-1 system which starts at 4 of any one resource for 1 of another but can be lower if you occupy the a port at the edge of the board.
  • Buy an item with the resources you have: For example: a road costs 1 wood and 1 brick, a new settlement costs 1 of each wood, brick, wheat, sheep. One development card costs 1 wheat, 1 rock and 1 sheep. Upgrading a settlement to larger city costs 3 rock and 2 wheat. Settlements are built on the intersection of 3 hexes which you have a road built to and must be at least 2 spaces away from any other settlement, even your own. (This force the players to compete for limited space.)

The robber does three things:

  • All players with over 7 cards lose 1/2 of the them. (this discourages hoarding)
  • The robber is moved to a new land which now will not produce when its number is rolled until it is moved again. (This is used to slow down the leader)
  • The player who moved the robber may draw a card from any player with an adjacent city or settlement. (Another bring back the leader device.)

Development cards produce Knights which allow voluntary movement of the robber (without the first power above), bonuses which give free resources or roads or a bonus Victory point.

The winner is the first player to 10 points:

  • 1 each settlement, 2 for each city, 1 for VP development card
  • 2 bonus for longest contiguous road of at least 5 sections.
  • 2 bonus for largest army of 3 or more used knights.

It is a fast game that has a lot elements mixed in a very complex way. The are no obvious strategies (what will work on one board will fail on another)

Takes about 1 hour to play. Up to 4 players and best with at least that number (though the German edition has an expansion set for 6 and two American editions can be combined for 8 player games.) It is produced in the US by Mayfair (but it can be hard to find as it was their most popular title before they shut down. Hopefully with their purchase by ICE, new copies will hit the shelves.) and in Germany by Kosmos. There is also a Seafarer expansion and a two player card game version in Germany (and hopefully soon in the US)

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany