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Before you read this articleyou will need to know the following terms and definitions: 

Game(-s): Noun. Singular or Plural. A standalone version of Settlers of Catan, which can be played right out of the box without making additional purchases. There is only one standalone (base) game of Catan.
Expansion(-s): Noun. Singular or Plural.  An Catan game that cannot be played by itself. It must be used in conjunction with a standalone (base) game. The 5 & 6-player expansions are a good example of this.
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.



Fishing Ground Tiles and Hexes

After the settlers have built their first settlements, created agricultural crop land, and multiplied their flocks of sheep on the fertile pastures of Catan, they lean back in their chairs, satisfied.  Totally satisfied?  No, not totally.  It’s true that lamb and bread are delicious food---but every day the same dish makes some of the settlers with their menu would show a little more diversity.  Thus, it is only a matter of time until a couple of settlers equip themselves with fishing rods and nets, and try their luck on the shores of Catan or the recently discovered lake.  Meaning that the peaceful days for the fish of Catan are definitely over.  The coasts and lakes of Catan are teeming with fish, but fish has been a rare, though known, commodity in Catan.  So, what could be more obvious than sending fishermen to the shores of Catan to retrieve the precious goods from the depths of lake and ocean?

Each fishing ground tile touches 3 coast intersections.  Each fishing ground lake touches 6 intersections (which count as coastal intersections). Buildings built on these intersections have a chance to collect fish tokens.  Each fishing ground tile shows a dice roll number.  When the production number on a fishing ground tile matches the Event Card Production Number, each building adjacent to that fishing ground tile collects fish tokens, as shown below:

  • Each settlement collects 1 token
  • Each town collects 2 tokens
  • Each city collects 3 tokens

Fish tokens are drawn randomly from the opaque supply bag.  If multiple players harvest fish from a fishing ground on a turn, players take turns drawing fish tokens from the bag, starting with the current player and proceeding clockwise. 

When you draw a fish token (or more), examine it.  If it is the old boot token, you must reveal it immediately (see below).  If it shows fish, keep it hidden in your storage board until you choose to spend it.

Old Boot: If you draw the Old Boot, you must reveal it immediately!  However, you may not give it away until your turn arrives.  During your next turn (or your current turn), after resolving the Event Card Production Number, you can give the old boot away.  You can give the old boot to any other player who has the same or more Victory Point Chits visible in front of them.  But, if you alone have the most points, you must keep the old boot for yourself.  As long as the old boot is in your possession, you need 1 additional Victory Point to win the game!  So, you would need 11 Victory Point Chits to win the basic version of this game (depending on how many people are playing).  The old boot is therefore not a negative victory point.  Anyone who owns it merely needs one additional victory point to win. This award does not affect your Victory Point count—only your winning condition.

  • New fish tokens are obtained only when the number of a fishing ground tile or the lake hexes are rolled---not by building a settlement on the coast or by handing in a Knight Card.
  • 7 fish tokens at most: You may not have more than 7 fish tokens at any one time. If you already have 7 fish tokens and would obtain another 1 or 2 fish tokens due to the Production Phase of someone’s turn, you must exchange one of your fish tokens with a fish token from the supply (hoping for a token with more fish on it), but you may not draw any new tokens.
  • Fish tokens are not resources: Fish tokens do not count as resources: do not count them against your personal supply limit, and do not discard them when a “7” Production Number is revealed on an Event Card. Similarly, the robber cannot be used to steal fish tokens.
  • Harbors and Fishing Grounds: If you have a building on an intersection that touches both a harbor and a fishing ground tile, you receive both benefits. However, the map layout should prevent this.
  • When the fish tokens are depleted: When the last face-down fish token is drawn, turn over all the used fish tokens and mix them up again to form a new supply.
  • No trading fish: Fish tokens may not be traded between players.

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