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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.


With Bank

Helper of Catan: Jean


Jean is a pretty pirate woman with an honor code characteristic to her guild. “Robbed is not stolen” is her motto when she uses the robber to appropriate other people’s resources. But for the same reason, she isn’t too resentful if she gets robbed herself. However, she detests Trade Masters, Spies, and Monopolies, because she considers them simply as dishonorable and insidious robberies.


Negotiations and compromises are not Jean’s cup of tea. She says things straightforwardly, and if she finds someone likeable, it may happen that she kills a bottle of rum with him.

Free Port Trades: Any time during your turn, choose 1 resource/commodity type.  You may exchange that resource/commodity type with the supply at a 2:1 rate as often as you like during this turn (for example, if you choose ore, you can give 2 ore to the supply and take any 1 other resource card of your choice).  This advantage does not allow you to receive commodity cards, gold coins, or any type of token.

Friend of Catan: Hakon

Make 1:1 Resource Trade: During your turn, you may use this card’s ability and immediately trade any 1 Resource Card in your hand for any 1 different Resource Card from the supply.

  • You may only use this card’s ability on your own turn (not during other player’s turns or any Special Purchase Phase).
  • You may only use this card’s ability once per turn. In other words, you may not use this card’s ability twice in the same turn (yours or someone else’s).
  • You may not use this card’s ability to receive a Spice Card, although you may trade in a Spice Card.
  • You may not use this card’s ability to trade in or receive a Commodity Card.
  • After using this card’s ability once, flip the card over to its “B” side. After using this card’s ability a second time, place the card in the discard pile.

Maritime Trade

On your turn, you can trade resources using maritime trade during the trade phase, even without involving another player.  You may not trade with the bank during another player’s turn. The most basic (and unfavorable) exchange rate is 4:1.  You may trade 4 identical resource, commodity, or spice cards/tokens to the supply in exchange for 1 resource card of your choice.  You do not need a harbor (a building at a harbor location) to trade at 4:1, so when nobody wants to trade…

Example: Benny returns 4 ore cards to the supply and takes 1 lumber card in exchange.  Normally, he should first try a more favorable trade with the other players (domestic trade).

If you have constructed a building at a harbor location, you can trade more effectively.  Any type of building may be constructed at a harbor location, as long as it obeys all other rules, such as the Distance Rule.  There are 2 different kinds of harbor locations:

Generic Harbor (3:1): Here you may exchange 3 identical cards/tokens for any 1 other resource card during Phase ___: Trade and Purchase.

Example: Brad has a community at a generic harbor.  He can, for instance, exchange 3 lumber cards for 1 wool card.

Special Harbor (2:1): There is only 1 special harbor for each type of resource (with the same symbol).  So, if you earn plenty of a certain type of resource, it can be useful to build on the special harbor for that resource type.  The exchange rate of 2:1 only applies to the resource shown on the harbor location.  A special harbor does not permit you to trade any other resource type at a more favorable rate (not even 3:1)!

Example: Ron build a community at the ore special harbor.  He may exchange 2 ore cards for any 1 other resource card.  He can also trade 4 ore cards for any 2 other cards.  If he traded 4 wool instead of 4 ore, he would get only 1 card in return.

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