The Settlers of Catan
The Settlers of Catan is a multiplayer board game
Board game
A board game is a game which involves counters or pieces being moved on a pre-marked surface or "board", according to a set of rules. Games may be based on pure strategy, chance or a mixture of the two, and usually have a goal which a player aims to achieve...

 designed by Klaus Teuber
Klaus Teuber
Klaus Teuber is a German designer of board games. He won the Spiel des Jahres award four times, for The Settlers of Catan, Barbarossa, Drunter und Drüber and Adel Verpflichtet. He retired from his profession as a dental technician to become a full-time game designer in 1999. , he lives in ...

 and first published in 1995
1995 in games
This page lists board and card games, wargames, miniatures games, and table-top role-playing games published in 1995. For video and console games, see 1995 in video gaming....

 in Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 by Franckh-Kosmos Verlag (Kosmos) as Die Siedler von Catan. Players assume the roles of settlers, each attempting to build and develop their settlement while trading and acquiring resources. Players are rewarded points as their settlements grow; the first to reach a set number of points is the winner.

The Settlers of Catan was one of the first German-style board game
German-style board game
German-style board games, frequently referred to in gaming circles as Euro Games or Euro-style, are a broad class of tabletop games that generally have simple rules, short to medium playing times, indirect player interaction and abstract physical components...

s to achieve popularity outside of Europe. Over 15 million games in the Catan series have been sold, and the game has been translated into thirty languages from the original German. It has been called "the board game of our time" by the Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...


The game is well suited for family play, since at no point in the game is any player eliminated.

The standard game and its many expansions are published by Kosmos, Mayfair Games
Mayfair Games
Mayfair Games is a publisher of board, card, and roleplaying games. They also license German-style board games and publish them in English throughout the world...

, Filosofia, Capcom
is a Japanese developer and publisher of video games, known for creating multi-million-selling franchises such as Devil May Cry, Chaos Legion, Street Fighter, Mega Man and Resident Evil. Capcom developed and published Bionic Commando, Lost Planet and Dark Void too, but they are less known. Its...

, 999 Games, Κάισσα, and Devir.


The players in the game represent settlers establishing colonies on the island of Catan. Players build settlements, cities, and roads to connect them as they settle the island. The game board representing the island is composed of hexagonal tiles (hexes
Hex map
A hex map, hex board or hex grid is a gameboard design commonly used in wargames of all scales. The map is subdivided into small regular hexagons of identical size.-Advantages and disadvantages:...

) of different land types which are laid out randomly at the beginning of each game; new editions of the game also depict a fixed layout in their manual, which has been proven to be fairly even-handed by computer simulations, and recommend this to be used by beginners.

Players build by spending resources (brick, lumber, wool, grain, and ore), represented by resource cards; each land type, with the exception of the unproductive desert, produces a specific resource. On each player's turn, he or she rolls the two six-sided dice
A die is a small throwable object with multiple resting positions, used for generating random numbers...

, determining which hexes produce resources. Any players with settlements or cities adjacent to hexes marked with the number rolled receive resource cards of the appropriate type. There is also a robber token on the board; if a player rolls 7, the robber must be moved to any hex (except the desert space), which will no longer produce resources until the robber is moved again; the player may also steal a resource card from another player. In addition, when a 7 is rolled, all players with more than 7 resource cards must discard half.

Players are allowed to trade resource cards among each other if both parties to the trade agree on the terms; players may also trade off-island (in effect, with the non-player bank) at a ratio of four of one resource for one of any other. By building settlements in certain spots on the edge of the board (ports), players may trade with the bank at three-to-one or two-to-one ratios.

The goal of the game is to reach ten victory points on one's turn. Players score one point for each settlement they own and two for each city. Various other achievements, such as establishing the longest road and largest armies, grant a player additional victory points.

Resource cards can also be spent to buy a development card. Three types of development cards include cards worth one victory point; knight
A knight was a member of a class of lower nobility in the High Middle Ages.By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior....

 cards (or soldier cards), which allow the player to move the robber as if they had rolled a 7; and a third set of cards which allow the player one of three abilities when played. Having played the most knights also earns the player victory points.

Teuber's original design was for a large game of exploration and development in a new land. Between 1993 and 1995 Teuber and Kosmos refined and simplified the game into its current form. Unused mechanics from that design went on to be used in Teuber's following games, Entdecker
Entdecker is a German-style board game designed by Klaus Teuber and published in 1996 by Goldsieber in German. Although the game won 2nd prize in the Deutscher Spiele Preis, many gamers were disappointed with the game after the success of Teuber's previous game, The Settlers of Catan...

and Löwenherz
Löwenherz is a German-style board game designed by Klaus Teuber and published in 1997 by Goldsieber in German and by Rio Grande Games in English...

The game's first expansion, Seafarers of Catan
Seafarers of Catan
The Seafarers of Catan is an expansion of the board game The Settlers of Catan for three to four players . The main feature of this expansion is the addition of ships to the game, allowing play between multiple islands...

adds the concept of exploration, and the combined game (sometimes known as "New Shores") is probably the closest game to Teuber's original intentions.

The Settlers of Catan series

The enduring popularity of The Settlers of Catan has led to the creation of a great many spinoff games and products, starting in 1996 with The Settlers of Catan card game
Catan Card Game
The Catan Card Game, originally named The Settlers of Catan: The Card Game, is a card game adaptation of The Settlers of Catan. It is a member of the Catan series of games, and is published by Kosmos in German, and Mayfair Games in English...

 (later renamed to Catan Card Game), and including a novel, Die Siedler von Catan, by Rebecca Gablé (ISBN 3-431-03019-X) set on the island of Catan.

After releasing the card game, Teuber began to publish expansions for the base game. The first, Seafarers of Catan
Seafarers of Catan
The Seafarers of Catan is an expansion of the board game The Settlers of Catan for three to four players . The main feature of this expansion is the addition of ships to the game, allowing play between multiple islands...

, was released in 1997; it was later retitled Catan: Seafarers. Seafarers adds ships which allow players to cross sea hexes, and includes scenarios in which players explore an archipelago of islands. It also adds gold-producing hexes which allow players to take the resource of their choice.

In 1998, the first historical scenario pack was released, which allows players to reenact the building of the pyramids of Egypt or the expansion of Alexander the Great's empire using Settlers game mechanics.

In 1999, expansions to allow fifth and sixth players were released for both Settlers and Seafarers. As well as extra components to accommodate more players, the expansions add an extra building phase to the turn, so that players can participate in the game during each others' turns.

The second large expansion to the game, Cities and Knights of Catan
Cities and Knights of Catan
The Cities and Knights of Catan is an expansion to the board game The Settlers of Catan for three to four players...

(later Catan: Cities and Knights), was released in 2000. It adds concepts from the card game and its first expansion to Settlers, including Knights who must be used to defend Catan from invading barbarians, and improvements which can be bought for cities which give benefits to players. In addition, three commodities can be produced as well as the original resources. A 5-6 player expansion for Cities and Knights was released at the same time. Also released in 2000 was a book of variations for Settlers.

A second scenario pack for Settlers concerning the building of the Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in northern China, built originally to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire against intrusions by various nomadic groups...

 and the Trojan war
Trojan War
In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, the king of Sparta. The war is among the most important events in Greek mythology and was narrated in many works of Greek literature, including the Iliad...

 was released in 2001, and in 2002 a travel edition of Settlers was published, featuring playing pieces which slot into a fixed-layout board. Atlantis: Scenarios and Variants was published in 2005. Atlantis is a boxed set which collected a number of scenarios and variants published in gaming magazines and at conventions, such as The Volcano and The Great River. The set also includes a deck of event cards which replace the dice in the main game, giving it a less random spread of resource production.

A deck of event cards which replaces the dice in the base game, released in 2005, won the 2007 Origins Award
Origins Award
The Origins Awards are American awards for outstanding work in the game industry. They are presented by the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design at the Origins Game Fair on an annual basis for the previous year, so the 1979 awards were given at the 1980 Origins.The Origins Award is commonly...

 for Game Accessory of the Year.

The third large expansion, Traders & Barbarians
Catan: Traders & Barbarians
Catan: Traders & Barbarians is the third expansion to the Settlers of Catan games, developed by Klaus Teuber. It contains a series of new scenarios and small variations, which are meant for two, three, or four players , with limited compatibility between the other two expansions, Catan: Seafarers...

, was announced for release in 2007. It was released in 2008. Traders & Barbarians collects together a number of smaller scenarios, some of which have previously been published elsewhere. The set includes an official two-player variant.

Two special editions of the game were released in 2005: a collector's edition of the base game and Cities and Knights, with hand-painted 3D tiles and playing pieces, and a 10th anniversary edition with detailed plastic pieces.

Mayfair Games released a fourth edition of The Settlers of Catan in 2007. Aside from one minor rule change, the only differences were new artwork, a locking frame, a deeper box, and an insert tray to hold the components. Soon after its release, two changes were made to the fourth edition. The robber playing piece was changed from a black to a grey color and the soldier development card was renamed a knight. Fourth-edition versions of Cities & Knights, Seafarers, and the 5-6 player expansions were also released.

Kosmos, Mayfair, and 999 Games released the first stand-alone "Catan Geographies" title, Catan Germany, in 2009. The "Catan Histories" subseries includes Settlers of the Stone Age, Struggle for Rome, and Settlers of America.

Video games

Since the game's release, a number of computer games have been published based on Catan and its spinoffs. The first officially sanctioned English-language release was Catan: The Computer Game developed for the PC by Castle Hill Studios and published by Big Fish Games
Big Fish Games
Big Fish Games is a provider of Internet media delivery software and game services based in Seattle, Washington. The company was founded in 2002 by Paul Thelen , and currently employs more than 400 people...

. This off-line game was available from MSN, as it was acquired by Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

 who also released Catan Online in August 2005 on MSN Games
MSN Games
MSN Games is an online games site devoted primarily to casual games, both stand-alone and multi-player online games. Games are available in free on-line versions, trial versions, and full feature pay-to-play versions...

, the game now requiring an internet connection. On June 1, 2009 the MSN version of Catan was discontinued. The same game later became available on other online services. Teuber and Big Huge Games
Big Huge Games
Big Huge Games is a video game developer located in Timonium, Maryland. The company was founded in February 2000 by four veteran game industry developers: Tim Train, David Inscore, Jason Coleman and Brian Reynolds...

 recently worked together to produce Catan
Catan is the Xbox Live Arcade version of Klaus Teuber's The Settlers of Catan, developed by Big Huge Games in collaboration with Teuber. It was released on May 2, 2007 for 800 Microsoft Points...

, a version of Settlers for the Xbox Live Arcade
Xbox Live Arcade
Xbox Live Arcade is a type of video game download distribution available primarily in a section of the Xbox Live Marketplace, Microsoft's digital distribution network for the Xbox 360, that focuses on smaller downloadable games from both major publishers and independent game developers...

. It was released on May 2, 2007.

An official Nintendo DS
Nintendo DS
The is a portable game console produced by Nintendo, first released on November 21, 2004. A distinctive feature of the system is the presence of two separate LCD screens, the lower of which is a touchscreen, encompassed within a clamshell design, similar to the Game Boy Advance SP...

 version of Catan has been developed by exozet games in collaboration with Klaus Teuber. The game can be played against computer opponents, and includes Nintendo WiFi online play. It has yet to be released, though it was announced in 2008.

An official The Settlers of Catan online game was announced on Dec. 16, 2002. Catan Online World allows players to download a Java
Java (programming language)
Java is a programming language originally developed by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems and released in 1995 as a core component of Sun Microsystems' Java platform. The language derives much of its syntax from C and C++ but has a simpler object model and fewer low-level facilities...

 application that serves as a portal for the online world and allows online play with other members. The original board game may be played for free, while expansions require a subscription membership.

There have also been several unauthorized video game implementations of Settlers. One of these unauthorized versions, called "Java Settlers", was developed by Robert S. Thomas as part of his Ph.D. research at Northwestern University
Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, USA. Northwestern has eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools offering 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees....

. His dissertation is available from the abandoned project home page. The source code for Thomas' Settlers of Catan implementation along with the AI code was released under the GNU General Public License.

Two official PC versions of Catan have been released, The First Island (the basic game only) and Cities and Knights (with Seafarers and Cities & Knights expansions). The First Island is available for the PC only in German. Cities and Knights is available in both English and German.

Catan and some of its expansions are also available in various languages for mobile phone
Mobile phone
A mobile phone is a device which can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link whilst moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile network operator...

s, iPhone
The iPhone is a line of Internet and multimedia-enabled smartphones marketed by Apple Inc. The first iPhone was unveiled by Steve Jobs, then CEO of Apple, on January 9, 2007, and released on June 29, 2007...

, iPad
The iPad is a line of tablet computers designed, developed and marketed by Apple Inc., primarily as a platform for audio-visual media including books, periodicals, movies, music, games, and web content. The iPad was introduced on January 27, 2010 by Apple's then-CEO Steve Jobs. Its size and...

, iPod Touch
IPod Touch
The iPod Touch is a portable media player, personal digital assistant, handheld game console, and Wi-Fi mobile device designed and marketed by Apple Inc. The iPod Touch adds the multi-touch graphical user interface to the iPod line...

, BlackBerry
BlackBerry is a line of mobile email and smartphone devices developed and designed by Canadian company Research In Motion since 1999.BlackBerry devices are smartphones, designed to function as personal digital assistants, portable media players, internet browsers, gaming devices, and much more...

 and Android smartphones.

Mayfair Games announced a version of Catan is coming to Facebook.

Catan is available for download and play from Xbox Live Arcade
Xbox Live Arcade
Xbox Live Arcade is a type of video game download distribution available primarily in a section of the Xbox Live Marketplace, Microsoft's digital distribution network for the Xbox 360, that focuses on smaller downloadable games from both major publishers and independent game developers...

 and Playstation Network.

In 2010 Vectorform showcased a Microsoft Surface
Microsoft Surface
Microsoft Surface is a multi-touch product from Microsoft which is developed as a software and hardware combination technology that allows a user, or multiple users, to manipulate digital content by the use of gesture recognition. This could involve the motion of hands or physical objects. It was...

 game for Settlers of Catan.


  • Games Magazine Hall of Fame

  • Origins Award
    Origins Award
    The Origins Awards are American awards for outstanding work in the game industry. They are presented by the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design at the Origins Game Fair on an annual basis for the previous year, so the 1979 awards were given at the 1980 Origins.The Origins Award is commonly...

     for Best Fantasy or Science Fiction Board Game

  • Spiel des Jahres
    Spiel des Jahres
    The Spiel des Jahres is an award for board and card games, created in 1978 with the stated purpose of rewarding excellence in game design, and promoting top-quality games in the German market. It is thought that the existence and popularity of the award is one of the major drivers of the quality...

     Game of the Year
  • Deutscher Spiele Preis
    Deutscher Spiele Preis
    The Deutscher Spiele Preis is an important award for boardgames. It was started in 1990 by the German magazine "Die Pöppel-Revue", which collects votes from the industry's stores, magazines, professionals and game clubs. The results are announced every October at the Spiel game fair in Essen,...

     1st place
  • Essen Feather
    Essen Feather
    The Essen Feather is an award for German-style board games, given at the Deutscher Spiele Preis ceremony at the Spiel game fair in Essen, Germany...

  • Meeples' Choice Award
    Meeples' Choice Award
    The Meeples' Choice Award is an award given for board games and card games. It is given by Spielfrieks, an internet discussion group about board and card games.- Past winners :...

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.