This is a Placeholder

Before you read this articleyou 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.


Volcano Hex

Harvest: If you are familiar with the Seafarers Expansion, the Volcano can be best explained as a “risky gold hex.” Whenever the production tile on a Volcano is rolled, any player with an adjacent building harvests gold, as if it was a gold hex (Unlike in the official Seafarers Expansion, gold is represented by cardboard coins and wooden gold ingot tokens.  Players may not select the resource of their choosing).  This means that a building on a Volcano does not directly produce Resources or Commodities. Indirectly, however, players may buy resources and commodities with the gold coins. Just like Gold Fields, a Volcano only produces gold, nor Resource or Commodity Cards.  This means a Volcano Hex can produce wooden and cardboard Gold tokens, but not Coin Commodity Cards.

Destruction: However, immediately after gold resources and commodities are harvested, the lava flows down from the Volcano. The number on the red dice (also indicated on the Event Cards) determines the direction of the lava flow. The six corners of the Volcano tile are marked 1-6, each number corresponding with the dice roll. If there is a building at the intersection indicated by the red dice, it is demoted to the next-lower type of building available and returns to the player’s stock.  For example, if there is any type of City at that intersection, it is reduced to a Town.  A Town is reduced to a Settlement, and a Settlement is removed altogether.

  • Metropolis: Because a metropolis is still a city—although a very large one—the lava doesn’t stay away from it like barbarians do. An affected metropolis tower is thus returned to the player’s    Afterwards, the player may choose to rebuild the metropolis on another (or the same) eligible site, by paying the normal cost.
  • Citadel: A Citadel may be impervious to attack by human threats, but it still suffers the wrath of Nature. It can be demoted by a lava flow.  Therefore, a City Wall may be useful.
  • City Wall: These constructions are the first line of defense against lava. If a building with a city wall is struck by lava, the player must remove the city wall (and keep the building intact).  This removes any benefits the player may have enjoyed because of the city wall.  Citadels can have city walls.
  • Capital City: Because a capital city (marked by the colored cardboard token under it) is still a city—although a very large one—the lava doesn’t stay away from it like barbarians do.  An affected capital city is thus downgraded by removing the colored Capital City cardboard token and free Metropolis tower.  This effectively demotes any cities, villages, or convents that lose the distinction.  Either way, the Capital City cardboard token is returned to the “general pool,” and the Metropolis tower is returned to the player’s pool.  Now, two things may happen:
    • Another player may have a city eligible for upgrade to a Capital City of that type (with a city of fourth or higher improvement). If so, that player may take the Capital City you forfeited and place it under their eligible city (if they have more than one eligible city, they may choose which one to place it under). They must pick a city that they can add one of their metropolis towers to. If more than one player is eligible for that Capital City, the one with the higher building improvement receives it.  If two or more have attained the same level of building improvements, then the one with more active Knights takes the Capital City.  If two or more have the same number of active Knights (or are not playing with Knights in the game), then the player who rolls a higher dice (or picks a higher Event Card) receives the Capital City.  Of course, if, on a later turn, the player who lost his Capital City exceeds the player who now has it with respect to level of building improvement, he may take the Capital City token (and free Metropolis tower) back.
    • If no other players are eligible to place the discarded colored Capital City cardboard token under one of their buildings (and their free Metropolis tower on), the player who lost it may immediately place it under any of his other cities eligible to receive it, because he has not lost his level of building improvement, just the location. This allows the player to relocate the colored Capital City cardboard token and free Metropolis tower, but not put it right back where it came from (adjacent to the Volcano hex).

Knights: Knights on the affected intersection are not destroyed, because they are mobile and temporarily “step out of the way.”

Robber: The Robber may be placed on the Volcano tile. Due to his new role in the game, he does not stop gold resource production or eruptions. He still steals a card from an adjacent player, though, and increases the victory points necessary for players nearby to win.  The Volcano may replace one or more of the Desert hexes.

Storm: The Storm may end up on the Volcano tile.  If so, it blocks gold-coin production, but only because it stops eruptions (the torrential rains douse the flames and cool the lava).  In addition, it does not destroy roads surrounding the Volcano hex, because the settlers have built their roads to survive the eruptions.  However, if the storm moves off the Volcano hex, it destroys roads and shipping lanes on other hexes normally.  This means that the Storm can be both destructive and helpful.

Stranded: If the Volcano destroys a settlement on a foreign island, leaving one or more unconnected roads or ships stranded and isolated, players may still continue to build off of that stranded road. They may even choose not to rebuild a settlement on the intersection from which it was destroyed, but perhaps on a different intersection.  Thus, a Volcano may be both destructive and helpful.  Note that in this case, a destroyed coastal settlement on a foreign island may break up players’ Longest Trading Route, since their ship networks and road networks are no longer connected at that intersection.

Retaining VPs: If you earned a bonus VP for settling on a foreign island, and that settlement is later destroyed by a Volcano, you still retain the bonus VP.  Keep your Victory Point Chit, but remove the settlement.

Multiple volcanoes: If two or more volcanoes are in play on the board, they should not share the same production number.  This ensures that both volcanoes do not erupt when a number is rolled, and thus each volcano has a unique lava flow and eruption cycle.

Jump to the previous article!

Jump to the next article!


What Are You Looking For?

Would you like to join our playtesting team? Send us a message to get started!