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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.


World Wonders

Wonders are special construction projects that gives their builders special powers that can enhance their in-game abilities. But watch out! Other players are eyeing those abilities, too…

Claiming Wonders

A Wonder may be claimed at any time during your turn, as long as you meet the Prerequisite and pay the first-stage building costs. To claim a Wonder after meeting the Prerequisite and paying the first-stage building costs, take the Wonder Card into your possession and place one of your colored Wonder Cones on the Prerequisite hex. If you have a choice between two different hexes for a Wonder, you may decide which hex to place the Wonder Cone on.

To mark your construction progress on the Wonder Card, use a Catan Victory Point Chit.

Maximum Number of Wonders

You may only claim as many Wonders as you meet the prerequisites for, that you can pay the first-stage building costs for, and that you have Wonder Cones for. Your Prerequisites may count for multiple Wonders. Once you claim a Wonder, no other player can start the same Wonder. They may, however, seize a partially-completed Wonder (see below).

Example: Lena, the blue player, has a city on an intersection that borders three hexes: forest, pasture, and quarry. This city is the necessary prerequisite for three different Wonders: The Hanging Gardens, The Illustrious Walls, and The Gilded Statue. Although she can pay the first-stage building costs for each of these three Wonders, Lena only has two Wonder Cones. She decides to claim The Hanging Gardens and The Gilded Statue, placing her Wonder Cones on the Pasture and Quarry hexes, respectively.

Upgrading Wonders

You must progress through all four stages before your Wonder is complete. To do so, pay the resource cost for the next stage and move your marker up one. You may only upgrade each Wonder once per turn.

As you upgrade, you gain abilities listed on the card. These abilities are cumulative, and are not lost when you upgrade. These abilities may also be stacked and used in conjunction with one another. Please see the summary of each Wonder below for a detailed description of these abilities.

You may not upgrade a Wonder during the same turn that you seized it.  This prevents players from waiting until a Wonder reaches Stage III, steal it, then finish it so it become “unstealable.”  Also, it gives the player who own the Wonder a certain level of protection, if they have three Knight Development Cards of their own.


In addition to blocking resource production on a hex, the robber will prevent Wonder upgrades. It does not prevent a player from building the first stage on that hex. If the Robber has not moved from the desert since the beginning of the game, it blocks upgrading on the Pyramids until it is moved.

Certain Wonder abilities will also upgrade the robber to the “Renegade”, “Raider”, or “Corsair”. These abilities may be combined. The Renegade, which is the first stage ability of the Great Pyramids, may not be used on completed Wonders. It also may not be used to block Victory Points. Finally, The Pharos Lighthouse’s Searchlight blocks all effects of the robber, including the upgrade prohibition.

Trading Wonders

Wonders may be traded with other players at any time during your turn, but only if the other player meets the Wonder’s prerequisites.  The Wonder cannot change locations, though, so the robber will still prevent Wonder upgrades, even if you do not produce from that hex.

Seizing Wonders

At any point in the game, an incomplete Wonder may be seized from an opponent.  Completed Wonders (Wonders that have been upgraded to Stage IV) may not be seized.  Because seizing partially-completed Wonders is an extremely powerful tactic, this comes at a high price. You must do two things simultaneously to seize a Wonder from an opponent:

  • First of all, you must have one or fewer Wonders in your possession.
  • Secondly, you must meet the prerequisite for the Wonder being seized. Example: If you want to steal The Marble Temple, you need to have a village on a mountain hex.
  • Thirdly, you must discard 3 Knight Development Cards simultaneously. These cards may have originated from either the Original Development Card deck, or the Traders & Barbarians Development Card deck. You may discard the 3 Knight Development Cards directly from you wooden organizer (never played before), from in front of you (played earlier), or any combination of unplayed and played cards.

Once you have discarded the 3 Knight Development Cards into the appropriate Discard piles, they no longer count towards the Largest Military Award. The Wonder seized comes with all of the abilities still intact, but two restrictions apply:

  • If you seize a Wonder with a one-time ability (such as receiving Victory Points), you may not claim that ability. Example: The blue player seizes a Level-II The Towering Colossus. Because the Corsair ability is a one-time event, the blue player now has the Guidepost ability, but not the Corsair ability.
  • Can Wonders be moved? You must move the Wonder marker to your eligible location that meets the Wonder requirement above. If you do not have an eligible location, then you may not seize the Wonder.

Completing Wonders

When the fourth stage of the Wonder is complete, you receive the indicated number of Victory Point Chits.  Flip the Wonder Coin over to its color side. A Level IV Wonder cannot be traded or stolen. The “Raider” ability (The Great Pyramids) can no longer be used against this Wonder.

Finishing the Wonders

Add +7 to the target Victory Point total. For a Basic Game, that means that a player wins when they reach 17 Victory Points. If the original total is 13, then you must reach 20 victory points to win.

Reserve special powers for the Wonders!

WONDER POWERS, in light of new Robber purpose.


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