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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.


The barbarians have been driven off, and peace is returning.  The destruction the barbarians left in their wake is being repaired as fast as possible.  The castle where the Council of Catan holds session suffered particularly severe damage, but the restoration efforts are making real progress.  Now, the craftsmen need to finish the stained-glass windows and the new marble statues.  Marble must be transported from the quarry, sand must be brought to the glassworks, glass must be delivered to the Castle, and tools are needed as well.  The roads of Catan are bustling with traffic.  Of course you are involved; the Council pay for transport in solid gold.  Only some scattered barbarians are getting in the way.  They’re waiting—for you!

The Castle is being restored, so it will shine in new splendor.  For this purpose, glass panes for the leaded windows are needed, along with marble for statues and interior decoration.  The players have the task of transporting glass and marble to the castle hex as well as providing the glassworks with sand and the marble quarry with tools.  Each transported commodity is rewarded with gold and counts as a Victory Point. The first player to reach a total of 13 Victory Points during his turn wins the game.

Overseas Baggage Train Travel

After you finish trading and purchasing during your turn, you may move your wagon.  The following rules apply:

  • You move your wagon along paths, from intersection to adjacent intersection. Moving your wagon along a path from one intersection to an adjacent intersection costs 1 or more “movement points” (MPs).
  • Any number of wagons may occupy a given intersection.
  • At the beginning of the game, your wagon has 4 movement points to use each time you take your turn. You can increase its MPs by upgrading your baggage train.
  • Your wagon may move across the ocean, but only on top of one of your ships, or along a trade route composed of boats.
  • When you move your wagon along a path, the movement point (MP) cost varies based upon whether or not the path is occupied by a road and/or the adjoining hex(es) are occupied by barbarians.
    • The MP cost is 2 if the path does not have a trade route.
    • The MP cost is 1 if the path has one of your own trade routes.
    • The MP cost is 1 if the path has another player’s trade route, but you must also pay 1 gold to that player.
    • The MP cost is increased by an additional +2 if there is a barbarian occupying the path.
    • Example: The red wagon has 4 movement points. It can move (A) to the castle using 4 red roads (4 MPs).  Or, it can move (B) to the castle using a roadless path (2 MPs) and 2 blue roads (2 MPs), but would owe the blue player 2 gold.  Or, the red wagon can move (C) to the red settlement using 2 red roads (2 MPs) with a barbarian (+2 MPs).
    • On your turn, you may pay 1 (and only 1) grain to increase your wagon’s movement points by +2 for the current turn. You may do so, even after already having used some or all of its MPs in the regular fashion.
    • You may pay 1 (and only 1) grain per moveable item per turn. This applies to all of your knights, as well.
    • Your wagon may stop and end its movement on any intersection it moves to. Unused movement points are lost.
    • Your wagon must stop and end its movements whenever it moves onto the central plaza of a trade hex.
    • If you do not have enough unused MPs to move along a path, you may not partially move along the path—your wagon must end its movement on an intersection.

Choosing an Initial Destination Trade Hex

               When you first move your wagon, you should choose one of the 3 trade hexes to move towards (your wagon’s initial destination).  You may change your initial destination at will.

When your wagon eventually reaches the central plaza of this trade hex, your wagon ends its movement immediately—even if it has a few movement points left. Those extra movement points are lost. The first time your wagon reaches the middle of a trade hex, you don’t receive any gold or other payment, because you don’t have a trade token Rename All! to deliver.  However, you do receive the top trade token from the stack corresponding to the trade hex. Place this trade token face-down in front of you (with the building side face-up). Keep this trade token a secret! You don’t want your opponents to know what kind of delivery you are making.

Peek at the underside of the trade token to see which of the four different kinds of trade tokens you have received:

Each trade hex produces two different types of trade tokens:

On later turns, you must move your wagon to the trade hex where this trade token can be delivered.  You want to deliver glass and marble to the castle hex, tools to the quarry hex, and sand to the glassworks hex.  For example, if your wagon is on the glassworks hex and you have received a glass trade token, you must move your wagon to the castle trade hex.  A player may carry out only one delivery at a time. Thus, you may have only one trade token face-down in front of you at a time. You may only draw another trade token after successfully completing a delivery.

Delivering your Trade Token

Your wagon may choose to travel through trade hexes that are unrelated to your current delivery goal. However, when your wagon stops at the central plaza of the trade hex corresponding to your trade token, you must deliver that trade token in the following way:

  • Turn the trade token face up (showing the picture with a building) in front of you. The token is worth 1 victory point.  Place a Victory Point Chit on top of it.
  • Depending on your current baggage train card, you also receive between 1 and 5 gold.
  • Take and reveal another trade token from the stack next to the trade hex—this trade token determines your new destination trade hex.
  • If a pile of trade tokens runs out at a trade hex, you may not replenish the supply. Each trade hex has a limited number of trade tokens. Or, maybe reshuffle players’ face-up trade tokens (leaving the Victory Point Chits)?
  • When a baggage train travels across a sea route, they do not move as normal. The baggage train immediately jumps from any one settlement or city to any other settlement or city on the same closed sea route. The baggage train must spend all of its MP while at the settlement or city and this movement uses all of the baggage train’s remaining MP. The baggage train may not spend a grain to gain extra MP to move away from the settlement it stops at after oversea travel.
  • A baggage train may use an opposing color’s sea route by paying 3 gold to the owner of that sea route.
  • The baggage train may bypass any coastal sea route, spending 2 MP per intersection as if moving along an intersection with no road.

Moving Past Barbarians

When moving your wagon along a path (with or without a trade route) adjacent to a hex occupied by a barbarian, your movement point (MP) cost is 2 more than normally required (i.e., roadless-path + barbarian = 4 MPs; road-path + barbarian = 3 MPs).  If you do not have sufficient movement points to move past a barbarian, you either stop on the intersection before the barbarian-infected path and lose any unused MPs, or move in another direction.

Driving Off a Barbarian

If you upgrade your Baggage Train Card at least once, you can attempt to drive off a barbarian:

  • Pause your moving wagon on an intersection adjacent to the barbarian-occupied hex. You do not lose MPs yet, because your movement has not yet ended.
  • Roll one die.
  • If the result is one of the die roll numbers shown on your active Baggage Train Card, you may move one of the barbarians in that hex to any other hex not already conquered by barbarians.
  • Regardless of whether you drive off the barbarian or not, you may continue moving your wagon normally using any remaining movement points Bribe/pay toll/no pass?. When you drive off a barbarian, you do not steal a Resource Card from another player.
  • During each of your turns, you may only attempt to drive off a given barbarian once per hex. If there are multiple barbarians in a given hex, you have the chance to relocate (“drive off”) only one of them.

Baggage Train and the Pirate

  • If the baggage train has to travel through a sea route that is, at any point, adjacent to the pirate, any toll that would be given to the player controlling the sea route, is instead given to the pirates. Place the gold that would be required for the toll on the Barbarian Advancement Board. This represents the gold currently on the pirate's ship.
  • Any player may recover the stolen gold by using knights to plunder the pirate ship. This is described further under the Knights section.

Paying Tribute to Other Players

If you move your Wagon onto, through, or off of, an intersection adjacent to a hex that is occupied by an opponent’s personal warship, you must pay a tribute.

  • The tribute costs 1 gold, and you pay it directly into the other player’s personal supply.
  • You must pay a separate tribute for each personal warship you pass by in this way.
  • Paying tribute for your Wagon allows your Wagon to move along, onto, or off of, any number of paths/routes on that hex during your current turn (you can even move off of and back onto).
  • You must pay a separate tribute if your Wagon moves onto, through, or off of intersections adjacent to more than one opponent’s personal warships. Example: The blue player’s Wagon moves away from a hex containing the red player’s personal warship, then moves back.  The blue player must pay 1 gold to the red player.  Example: The blue player’s Wagon moves off a sea intersection (connected to a sea route) that is adjacent to two different hexes: one hex contains the red player’s personal warship, and the other hex contains the green player’s personal warship.  The blue player must pay 1 gold to both the red player and the green player.
  • You must pay this tribute, even if you already have spent 4 gold to buy 2 resources during your Trade and Purchase Phase.

Driving away an Opponent’s Personal Warship

While you are moving your Wagon, you may have the opportunity to drive away an opponent’s personal warship.  If, while you are moving your Wagon, you move it onto an intersection adjacent to an opponent’s personal warship (this may be a coastal intersection, but if it is a sea intersection, your Wagon must be traveling on a sea route), you must first roll a die.  If you roll a number that matches one of the die on your top Baggage Train Card, you drive away your opponent’s personal warship!  You may move your opponent’s personal warship onto any vacant, adjacent sea hex you choose. The following also applies:

  • A wagon used to chase away an opponent’s personal warship may be moved in a regular fashion afterwards, if it has remaining movement points (you may also pay 1 Grain resource to extend its movement during this turn).
  • If you failed to chase away your opponent’s personal warship, you must pay tribute (as described above) to move your wagon along the sea paths/routes of the pirate hex—or else you may not use those sea paths/routes.

Improved Baggage Train

  • Due to the large map, the baggage train is granted 2 bonus MP at all times. Additionally, the baggage train receives twice as much gold as listed when it makes a delivery.

Rivers and Bridges

  • For a baggage train to move across a river with no bridge costs 3 MP. Therefore, crossing a river with no bridge and a barbarian on it, costs 5 MP. Crossing a river with a bridge across it costs only 1 MP but you are still required to pay another player if the bridge belongs to them. The cost to cross an opposing player's bridge is 2 gold.

Optional Tolls

  • Payment for crossing any opposing roads is optional. The owner of the road or shipping line decides if the crossing player must pay or not. The owner of the roads or ships may request other goods in exchange for the gold-free passage. It would be possible for players to form an open trade route agreement, wherein both players may pass over each other roads for free.
  • If an opponent's Weak, Strong, or Mighty knight placement "breaks" a player's route (Crews, Wagon, and Strong Knights on Horseback can’t “break” a trade route, but can obstruct transportation), any orphan roads or ships remain on the board as is. The ship movement rule continues to apply though, so orphan ships could be reused, one ship per turn, starting from the “free” end.
  • Equivalencies:
    • When playing these two scenarios together, the official rules require Strong Knights on Horseback to travel on the sides of hexes, while Wagons move from intersection to intersection.
    • Keep in mind that the movements of both the Strong Knights on Horseback and Wagons can both be extended by an extra two spaces by paying a Grain.
    • Both of them are moved at the end of each player’s turn, during the Movement Phase.
    • Wagons have difficulty traveling over undeveloped sides of hexes, while Strong Knights on Horseback do not. This makes sense, because Wagons are heavier and slower than Strong Knights on Horseback.  If this seems unbalanced, consider that Wagons can be upgraded to travel farther.  Strong Knights on Horseback always travel just three spaces.  In this way, neither Wagons nor Strong Knights on Horseback are inherently favored or more valuable.
  • Conquering:
    • In the Wagon Train variant, Barbarians are placed on the sides of hexes, where they increase the movement points necessary for Wagons to pass. The official rules allow Wagons to roll a dice to try to drive away a Barbarian who is blocking a path.  However, in the Barbarian Attack variant, Barbarians are placed in the middle of hexes.  This creates a conflict.  Where are Barbarians supposed to be placed?  Barbarians should be placed inside hexes, according to the rules of the Barbarian Attack
    • In Barbarian Attack, hexes are not negatively affected when only one or two Barbarians are present. However, when combined with Wagon Train, this creates a conflict.  Do Wagons encounter resistance to travel when Barbarians are placed inside hexes?  Yes, but to different degrees.
      • If one Barbarian is occupying a hex, Wagons traveling along the edges of that hex encounter resistance on undeveloped sides (no roads or shipping lanes), just as if the Barbarian was standing on the undeveloped edges.
      • If two Barbarians are occupying a hex, Wagons traveling along the edges of that hex encounter resistance on all sides, just as if the Barbarians were standing on every edge of the hex (both developed and undeveloped).  This does not affect harvesting, but it does create greater initiative to keep armed forces active, clearing hexes of Barbarians.
      • Finally, if three Barbarians are occupying a hex, the official rules state that the hex is effectively shut down. Logically, this means that wagons cannot travel along the edges of the “conquered” hex at all. Because cities cannot bribe Barbarians into allowing them to harvest during an occupation, neither may Wagons bribe Barbarians into allowing them to pass.
    • This raises an interesting question: Do Strong Knights on Horseback encounter difficulty passing along the edges of hexes that are occupied by Barbarians? Because armed forces have weapons, they may pass along Barbarian-infected hexes unhindered.  This allows multiple Strong Knights on Horseback to gather along the edges of a hex, preparing for battle.
  • Moving:
    • More than one Wagon may end its movement on an intersection. Because Wagon Trains are simply traveling civilians, there is no hostility between them.  They may share a space.  They may also pass each other freely, without violating any space-occupation limits.
    • Here is a point of clarification: If a Wagon Train has paid to use an opponent’s road during a player’s Movement Phase, leaves the opponent’s road system, then gets back on (all in the same Movement Phase), it is not necessary to pay the toll again.
    • However, Strong Knights on Horseback must end their movement on a vacant side of a hex (meaning more than one Strong Knight on Horseback is not allowed on the same space). This is because opposing armed forces are not content to share the same space.  This is where problems arise, however, because the official rules allow Strong Knights on Horseback to pass each other freely.  This should not be possible.  Therefore, opposing armies should not be able to pass by each other, even by bribery.  Instead, a dice roll (“conflict”) should occur.  If the player wishing to pass has the highest dice roll, he is allowed to pass, because he “intimidates” the defending player (no one is injured).  If the defending player has the highest dice roll, the player who wishes to pass is not allowed to pass, because he has been “intimidated” (no one is injured).  Instead, the player wishing to pass must choose another path.  He may, however, choose to wait and try to pass again next turn.
    • Strong Knights on Horseback may pass Wagons and use the roads of opponents without any problem. Wagon Trains (as well as toll booths) are mostly unarmed, and do not want to create a conflict.  However, what if the opposite situation occurs: When a Wagon wishes to pass an opposing Strong Knight on Horseback?  In this situation, there is no conflict.  However, the Wagon must pay a “toll” to use the path blocked by the occupying Strong Knight on Horseback.  This toll is identical to what must be paid if the Wagon wishes to use another’s road system: 1 Gold (one small coin).  Therefore, a Wagon must pay 1 gold (one small coin) to the occupying force it wishes to pass.  A Wagon may, of course, pass its own occupying force without repercussion.  If a Wagon wishes to use a path occupied by both an opposing force (Strong Knight on Horseback) and an opponent’s road (same as the armed force, or different), it must pay a toll to both of them (1 gold (one small coin) each).
    • In short, Wagons must pay a toll to pass by a Strong Knight on Horseback.
    • Wagons: Because wagons move from intersection to intersection, they have slightly different movement rules. The caravan card currently flipped over determines movement points, but paying an extra grain (for the team of oxen) gives each wagon two extra movement points per turn.  Moving OVER an unpaved hex side costs two movement points, but wagons cannot cross water without boats, ships, or bridges.  Moving over a paved side (road or boat) costs one movement point, but tribute must be paid at the rate of 1 gold (one small coin) for traveling over opponents’ transportation networks or past opponents’ armed forces (Pirate Ships, Normal Footsoldiers, and Strong Knights on Horseback).  It costs an extra movement point to move past hexes infested with the Robber, Pirate Lairs, or Barbarians.  Wagons which successfully roll against a Barbarian-infected hex pass by without the extra movement-point cost, and move one of the Barbarians to a new hex.  They repeat this for each hex they pass.  If a road is flanked by two barbarian-infected hexes, each must be dealt with separately.

Santa’s Workshop:

  • Far away, to the west of Catan, a new island is discovered. The Catanians named it “Desert Island,” because a hot, dry desert belt surrounds the island.  Soon after building the first settlements on the main island, scouts discover mountains on the other side of the desert belt, rich with abundant ore deposits.   
  • One cold winter, a lost miner stumbled upon a small cottage in the middle of nowhere. e to his surprise, he was welcomed in by jolly old Saint Nicholas and his horde of busy little elves!  Santa Claus explained that he lacked many of the raw materials he needed to make his toys.  Sensing an opportunity, the trapper soon returned to Catan, spreading the word of what he had seen.  Before long, well-stocked wagons began trundling north, bringing the bounty of Catan to exchange for Santa’s gifts.
  • When using the wagons to transport goods between the castle, quarry, and glassworks, Santa’s workshop should be centrally located and receive a production token. Each time Santa’s hex produces, the adjacent settlements, towns, or cities each receive a present tile (up to one per player per turn).  Present tiles may be redeemed at any of the three destination hexes at the going gold-pieces rate, as indicated on each player’s caravan card.  These gifts are not retained as victory points, but return to the draw pile for Santa’s workshop for future use.  Players may choose to hoard Santa’s gifts until they can receive the highest possible price (or trade them with other players), but if another player(s) “harvests” a present that isn’t available in the draw pile, they are eligible to take TWO  from the player with the most (starting with the current player, to punish them for their grinichiness).  Presents may be given to players with fewer victory points in exchange for favor tokens.  Or, it functions like a castle, and people pick up presents via their wagons.
  • Trade Hexes: Each trade hex receives a production token, in addition to a stack of cardboard trade tokens. Besides serving Baggage Trains, Trade Hexes also produce resources (and possibly commodities) when their number is rolled.  The Quarry Trade Hex produces clay, the Castle Trade Hex produces grain, and the Forge Trade Hex produces Lumber.  The North Pole Trade Hex does not receive a production token, because it is considered a desert.  However, it functions like a “wild” trade hex:  Build a road into it, pick up a present.  Presents may be redeemed at any other trade hex. Any other trade token may be exchanged for a present at Santa’s workshop.

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