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Before you read this article, you 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.|
In order to connect one location to another, you need to build trade routes. Once they are built, trade routes remain on the board until the end of the game. Special powers allow the movement of trade routes.
A trade route is either “closed” or “open.” A “closed” trade route is any unbroken line of boats, bridges, or roads that interconnects two of your buildings or round knights. You may never move any boats, bridges, or roads that are part of a closed trade route, even if that movement would not break the connection between the two buildings or round knights. An “open” trade route is any route that does not interconnect two of your buildings or round knights.
A “closed” trade route connects two of your buildings or round knights. An “open” trade route has an end that is not connected to one of your buildings or round knights. Even if one end of one of your Trade Routes is “connected” to the Trade Route of another player, it is not a “closed” trade route until one of your buildings or round knights is on both ends.
Sea Route: Once a boat has been built on a sea path, the sea path/boat combination is called a “sea route.”
Coastal Route: Once a boat, bridge, or road has been built on a coastal path, the coastal path/trade route combination is called a “coastal route.”
Overland Route: Once a road or bridge has been built on an overland path, the overland path/road/bridge combination is called an “overland route.”
Note: Trade Routes may not be built on paths adjacent to unexplored hexes, and settlements may not be built on intersections adjacent to unexplored hexes. If you build a trade route in such a way that one of its ends points toward an undiscovered hex, you can’t discover that hex. You can only discover hexes by means of Ships or Wagons.
Note: When you build a trade route on a path adjacent to a river hex, you receive one (1) gold coin. If you move an “open” trade route away from a path adjacent to a river hex, you must pay one (1) gold coin to do so.
Each of the 3 trade hexes has a “central plaza” intersection—with a building. Four (or six) “interior” paths lead to this central plaza. For each trade hex, the following rules apply:
- You may build roads on interior paths, according to the usual rules.
- You may not construct a building on the central plaza intersection of a trade hex (A).
- You may not built roads on the three paths of a trade hex (B) that border on the sea.
- While roads cannot be built around the outer edge of the trade hexes, players may still place coastal route ships around those hex borders.
- You may construct buildings on the 4 (or 6) land corners (intersections) of a trade hex; obeying the distance rule.
Example: The blue player and the red player have built roads on three out of four paths of the trade hex. No settlement may be built on the central intersection (A), and no road may be built on the 3 paths (B) of the trade hex’s coast?
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