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Before you read this article, you will need to know the following terms and definitions:
|Coin (-s):||Noun. Singular or Plural. Dissambiguation: Refers to either a commodity card or a cash value of a gold piece.|
|Gold Piece:(-es):||Noun. Singular or Plural. Small, round golden cardboard tokens of two different sizes representing cash values called "coin".|
|Scenario(-s):||Noun. Singular or Plural. A small set of playing pieces and instructions that can be added to normal Catan gameplay. It cannot be played by itself--it must be used in conjunction with a standalone (base) game. The "Oil Springs" scenario is a good example of this.|
|Variant(-s):||Noun. Singular or Plural. A set of instructions for using the pieces from a Catan game or expansion in a new way. Most variants are fan-generated and require printing and cutting out new pieces.|
If one of the oasis’ production numbers was rolled, perform a camel voting round. If multiple oases should receive a voting round this turn, the player whose turn it is decides what order to resolve them.
Recently, Catan has been enjoying steadily-growing wealth, thanks to its industrious settlers, fishermen, and merchants. But not all of the settlers are satisfied. For some, Catan has become too busy and agitated. To get away from the hustle and bustle, they drive the robber from the desert and settle at a small oasis. Now, they have some peace and quiet, while enjoying the clean and dry desert air—but soon the diet is lacking variety, and the wool necessary to make new clothes becomes scarce.
Nomads have settled at the two oasis hexes. They are in dire need of wool and grain, and they offer commodities of the desert in exchange. Since the settlers of Catan can always spare some sheep and grain, the nomads are sending out camels to transport those coveted resources. Three caravans are formed at each of the two oasis hexes—each caravan consists of a string of camels that begin at the oasis. During the game, the caravans snake across both land and water. Each building adjacent to a caravan route is worth an extra victory point. Each trade route running parallel to a caravan counts double.
With the caravans, wool is no longer considered the least-important resource. Instead, wool is used for votes that affect camel placement, which can lead to additional Victory Points. Grain is also used for votes, but it can be more useful than wool for building. It is often a good idea to place a settlement adjacent to or close to a productive pasture terrain hex during initial player set-up.
They reduce traffic to one lane only along the sides of hexes, although roads and boats can still be built alongside. Wagons and Knights can still travel along paths that have Camels on them, but Camels restrict traffic to a single lane. This means that passing is not possible.
Each desert receives a production token. When their number is chosen, another camel is added to the caravan stretching out from them. This is not dependent upon building upgrades.
Camels emerge from the oasis hexes following these rules:
- If the Production Number on the Event Card matches either of the Production Tokens on the two Oasis Hexes, players delay taking their resources. This is because an extra camel or two must be added to the caravans. However, you do not necessarily choose where to place the camel(s); instead, their exact placement is determined in a voting round. Because the placement of camels is determined by Production Numbers and not by the construction of buildings, caravans may spread out on an uninhabited island.
- First, if the Event Card shows a production number that matches the Production Token on an Oasis hex, a camel voting round begins for that hex. If both Oasis hexes require a voting round, the current player selects which one to resolve first.
- During a voting round, each player has the opportunity to bid once to determine how many votes they have to influence the placement of a camel. Bidding starts with the player whose turn it is, and proceeds in a clockwise fashion. You bid by placing any number of wool and/or grain resource cards/tokens face up in front of yourself (even zero). Only players who have bid at least one resource card/token may vote to determine where to place the camel.
- You have one vote for each card that you bid.
- Starting with the player whose turn it is and going clockwise, each player may vote once on where a camel will be placed, by spending any number of wool and/or grain resources cards/tokens, counting each card/token as one vote.
- Multiple players voting on the same direction of placement pool their votes together.
- After all of the bids and votes have been placed by the participating players, the direction with the most votes receives a new camel on the indicated space. If there is a tie for most votes (even zero), the player whose turn it is decides. A camel may be added to an existing camel train, or a new one may emerge outward from any of the marked vertexes along the oasis hexes.
- Finally, all of the bid cards are returned to their appropriate draw piles.
The following caravan placement rules must be observed:
- Each caravan (camel train) must be one continuous path (it may not branch out), but multiple camel trains may merge together.
- You must always place a camel on a path. That path may not already be occupied by another camel, but it may be occupied by a trade route. You may also build a trade route on a path occupied by a camel. Place any trade route and camel on the same path, side by side.
- Each camel has a “front” end (the head).
- You must place the first camel of a caravan on a path directly pointed to by one of the 3 arrows on the Oasis Hex (see example 1 below)—the camel’s front end must point away from that arrow. Each caravan’s first camel starts from a different arrow.
- Example: The first camel must be placed. There are 3 paths on which it may be placed.
- You must place each of the second and latter camels of a caravan on a path in such a way that the new camel is adjacent to the “front” of the last previously-placed camel in its caravan (see example below). The new camel’s front must also point away from the last previously-placed camel in its caravan.
- If there is still an open caravan starting point, you may place a camel there to start a new caravan.
- It is not possible for a caravan to branch. For each caravan, there will always be 2 or fewer paths on which to place a new camel. There are only 3 caravans, so there will be a maximum of 6 possible paths on which to place a new camel. There are only 3 caravans, so there will be a maximum of 6 possible paths on which a camel may be placed during any given turn. The players vote on where each camel is placed.
- Example: In the example above, the camel has been placed on position “A.” Now there are 4 paths where the next camel may be placed.
- End of a Caravan: A caravan ends when it can no longer be extended by adding a camel. In addition, when the camel supply is depleted, all 3 caravans end.
- Merging of 2 Caravans: Two caravans meeting at an intersection merge as soon as the next camel is placed, and will continue as a single caravan.
- Merging of 3 Caravans: If Three caravans meet at a single intersection, no more camels may be placed.
- Camels on the Coast and at the Oasis: A caravan may be extended by placing a camel on an appropriate coastal pathway. A caravan’s first camel may not be placed on a path along the edge of the oasis hex. However, if a caravan finds its way back to the oasis, a camel may be placed on a path along the edge of the oasis hex.
- Caravan Benefits:
- Longest Trade Route: Each camel alongside a section of trade route (road, bridge, or boat) doubles the length of that trade route section. In other words, a path with a Camel on it counts as 2 paths for determining the length of a Trade Route. It does not count as 2 paths for travel or tolls. This is extremely useful when trying to receive the Longest Trade Route Award. For Example: A player has 4 continuous road segments, and 2 of those road segments are on the same paths as camels. All together, the player has a road with a length of “6.” This would fulfill the requirement of a length of at least “5” for the initial Longest Trade Route Award.
- Increase in Building Value: Each caravan that passes through an intersection with a building on it makes that building worth 1 additional Victory Point. If a building is adjacent to an oasis hex, the rule is the same: if the building is adjacent to an Oasis Hex arrow, and the first camel in a caravan is placed on the other side of the building, that building is worth one (1) more Victory Point. The player whose building is now worth an additional Victory Point may take an additional Victory Point Chit and place it in front of himself. In other words, any building located between 2 camels is worth 1 additional Victory Point. Example (See the illustration below): During the course of the game, 3 somewhat longer caravans have developed. A community of player “white” and 2 communities of player “Blue” are each worth 1 additional Victory Point—because each is located between two camels. Moreover, 3 roads of player “Blue” and one road of player “White” count double for Longest Trade Route. There are currently 6 paths on which a camel may be placed.
- If multiple oasis hexes have their production numbers selected, both will be voted on—but the player whose turn it is decided which desert’s voting gets resolved first. Do both oasis hexes have the same production token?
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