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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.


Ensuring Crop Diversity

You may store crop tokens--and thus seeds--in the seed vault once during your turn by making a seed deposit. You may only deposit crop tokens of which there is at least one (1) on a fields hex adjacent to one of your settlements or cities (for example: if none of the fields hexes adjacent to any of your structures have a rice token, you cannot deposit rice). This step is permitted after the "build structure" phase because it provides the opportunity for players to expand their empire in order to reach new fields hexes.

The robber does not affect the storage of crop tokens in the seed vault. You may take a crop token from a fields hex and store it in the seed vault even if that fields hex is being blocked by the robber.

If a player decides to store crop tokens, they must follow this 4-step process (each of the following steps must be followed):

  1. Pay the storage costs
  2. Record the deposit and receive rewards
  3. Store seeds in the seed vault
  4. Replant crops in the fields

Here is a detailed breakdown of those four steps:

1. Pay the Storage Costs:

  1. First, pay the storage costs by returning one (1) lumber and one (1) ore to the supply. Then you proceed as follows:
  2. Example: Red takes one (1) ore card and one (1) lumber card from her hand and returns them to the card supply. Her storage costs are now paid.

2. Record the Deposit and Receive Rewards:

Take one (1) crop token from a fields hex adjacent to one of your eligible structures. Place it on an unoccupied space of your Crop Storage Record. The Crop Storage Record shows two (2) rows, each with five (5) spaces for crop tokens. Place your first crop token on the green-framed space in the upper row. Place additional tokens one by one on the next spaces in the direction indicated by the arrows. The following rules apply:

  • You may only place one (1) crop token of each type in each row.
  • If you want to store a crop token of a certain type and you have already placed a token of that type in the upper row, you may place it in the second row.
  • If you have already placed a token of a certain type in both the first and the second rows, you may not place a third token of that type on the Crop Storage Record. This also means that you cannot store crop tokens of this type in the seed vault (see below, Store seeds in the Vault).
  • You don't receive a reward for the first crop token placed in a given row of your Crop Storage Record. When you place a second token, you receive one (1) development card for free. For the third, fourth, and fifth crop tokens you place in one of the rows, you receive one (1) victory point each. Each time a player receives a victory point, they must take a Victory Point Chit from the general supply and place it in front of them, visible to all players. In theory, you can receive these rewards twice--if you manage to place five (5) different crop tokens on the spaces of the second row as well.
  • Example: Red removes one (1) crop token "beans" from a fields hex adjacent to her settlement/city. She may not place the token in the first row of her Crop Storage Record because she has already placed a beans token there. She must place it on the first space of the second row of her Crop Storage Record, because that is the first available space in that row.

3. Store Seeds in the Vault:

  • Each player has two (2) spaces of their player color on the seed vault tile. Use these as your storage areas in the seed vault. One space is empty. The other space is always filled with four (4) crop tokens (remember that you filled that space at the beginning of the game).
  • From the supply, take four (4) crop tokens of the same type as the token that you placed on your crop storage record (step 2 above). Place these tokens on your unoccupied space in the seed vault (seed vial side up).
  • If there aren't enough crop tokens of a type available (which is very rare), place the remaining crop tokens of this type in the seed vault (again, even if they are less than 4).
  • Example: In step 2, Red placed a "beans" token on her crop storage record. She now take four (4) "beans" tokens from the supply and places them on her empty place in the seed vault.

4. Replant Crops in the Fields:

Take the four (4) crop tokens currently on a space of your player color in the seed vault (i.e., the tokens next to the space you just filled with new crop tokens, not the tokens that you just placed in the seed vault) out of the seed vault. Place the four (4) tokens on the fields hexes of the game board. Distribute them as follows:

  • You must place each of the four (4) crop tokens on a different fields hex.
  • You don't have to own a structure adjacent to the fields hexes on which you place them.
  • A fields hex may contain various identical crop tokens.
  • A fields hex may contain no more than seven (7) total crop tokens. You may not place a crop token on a fields hex that already contains seven (7) crop tokens.
  • Should multiple fields hexes already contain seven (7) crop tokens and, as a result, you are unable to distribute all four (4) crop tokens among the fields hexes, return the remaining tokens to the supply.
  • Example: Red now takes the four (4) "rice" tokens that are already in her other seed vault space and replants them. She distributes these four (4) tokens by placing each of them on different fields hexes on the board (one [1] token per hex).

Extinction of Plant Species:

Crop tokens may disappear from the game board during harvest. If there are no crop tokens of a given type on the board, and if no crop tokens of this type are stored in the seed vault, this plant species is considered extinct.

If this occurs, return all crop tokens of this type from the supply back into the box. Tokens of this type on players' crop storage records still remain.

It is now no longer possible to plant or harvest this crop, nor is it possible to store this crop in the seed vault.

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