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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.


Production Number

Finally, the player declares which number produces this turn. The Production Number is the number that appears in the bottom left of each card. In this example, 8s produce. The Red Die is only shown to determine which players, if any, receive progress cards this round. After the Production Number has been declared, players inspect the board to determine which hexes produce a harvest.


Production Token

Hexes produce a harvest when four conditions have been met:

  1. The hex has a Production Token that matches the Production Number.
  2. The hex has one or more buildings on adjacent intersections.
  3. The hex is not currently occupied by 3 Barbarians.
  4. The hex is not currently occupied by the Storm Hex.

If these four conditions are not met, then the hex does not produce a harvest. If a player does not have any buildings adjacent to a harvest-hex (and the Production Number is not a 7), they are eligible to receive a Favor Token. See Favor Token rules. If these four conditions are met, then the next step is to determine how much of the resulting harvest the adjacent building(s) may reap.

Note: When using the Basic Production Tokens, players tend to construct buildings on high probability hexes (5, 6, 8, 9) and shun the improbable hexes (2, 3, 11, 12). What this does is to create large payouts when a 5, 6, 8 or 9 is rolled, and small payouts when a 2, 3, 11 or 12 is rolled.  Players should use one of the following methods to counteract this:

  • Use the Favor Token system in this situation. Perhaps let under-performing players draw two tokens.
  • Create some "multinumber" combo tokens to counteract this effect. Each of the following five combo tokens each have a probability of 4/36, which is equivalent to either a 5 or 9 token. The 3/10 and 4/11 combo tokens each have a probability of 5/36, which is equivalent to either a 6 or 8 token. By selectively replacing a few of the 5, 6, 8 and 9 tokens with the combo tokens (not all of them!), then the overall resource payout of the game is unchanged, but the "rate" of payout is more uniform as different production numbers are rolled. It also allows players to get a more balanced range of numbers for resource production. The recommendation is to replace about 1/3 of the high probability tokens with the corresponding combo tokens.  The new tokens are as follows:
    • 2/3/12
    • 2/11/12
    • 2/10
    • 3/11


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