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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.


Capturing Barbarians

During Phase ___: Move Military Forces, you had the opportunity to move your military forces into position around hexes that contain barbarians.  During this phase, your military forces have the opportunity to capture those Barbarians, and possible even recapture conquered hexes! 

To determine whether a victory has occurred in a Barbarian-infected hex, follow these steps:

  1. Select a hex anywhere on the board that is occupied by 1 or more Barbarians (a maximum of 3 Barbarians may occupy any given hex). The Barbarians may be on a sea hex with a Sea Pirate Lair token on it.
  2. Determine the strength of the Barbarians which occupy the hex. Since each Barbarian has a Strength of 1, the total Strength of the Barbarians on a hex is simply the number of the Barbarians.  Example: A Pirate Lair hex was discovered during Phase __: Move Ships and Wagons.  Once the Pirate Lair token was placed on the hex, 3 Barbarians were added.  The combined strength of the Barbarians on the Pirate Lair hex is 3.
  3. Now, determine the strength of the surrounding military forces. This armed force must surround the Barbarians on the sides or intersections of the hex they are on, meaning that round knight may participate in the battle.  However, only active and adjacent knights (circular or not) contribute to the combined strength of the attacking military when defeating Barbarians.  Basic Knights (Strength = 1), Strong Knights (Strength = 2), and Mighty Knights (Strength = 3) may help Crews (Strength = 1) and Strong Knights on Horseback (Strength = 2) capture Barbarians.  However, the Weak, Strong, and Mighty Knights must be activated in order to count toward the total strength of the attacking force.  Unlike during a Barbarian Invasion, all activated round Knights on intersections adjacent to the hex are presumed to participate, whether they want to or not.  Also unlike a Barbarian Invasion, Knight cards in front of players have no bearing on the strength of the attacking force.  If the knights are surrounding a sea hex, they must be on ships or connected by boats. Example: A Pirate Lair hex has been surrounded by an attacking military force.  One on intersection is an active Strong Knight, and on another is an inactive Mighty Knight.  One path has 2 Crews on it.  The combined strength of the attacking force is 4 (2 for the active Strong Knight, and 1 each for the Crews).  The inactive Mighty Knight does not count.Change Text!
  4. Finally, compare the combined strength of the occupying Barbarians with the combined strength of the attacking military forces:
    1. If the combined strength of the occupying Barbarians is greater than the combined strength of the attacking military forces, nothing happens. All of the attacking military forces remain active.  Unlike a Barbarian Invasion, no one loses anything.
    2. However, if the combined strength of the attacking military forces is greater than the combined strength of the occupying Barbarians, the Catanians are victorious!
      1. First, all of the round knights who were counted as part of the successful attacking force are deactivated. This means that any Basic, Strong, or Mighty Knights who are on adjacent intersections to the hex that was recaptured and are active are flipped over to their inactive (black and white) side.  In essence, the round knights helped capture Barbarians for their 1 action (which is useful, because though it originally cost 1 Grain resource to activate them, they aren’t counted as losses after a successful battle).  Because Crews and Strong Knights on Horseback are always active (they have no inactive side to flip to), only Basic, Strong, and Mighty Knights are deactivated (but not removed from the board) after a successful attack on a Barbarian-infected hex.
      2. Second, all of the players whose active military forces contributed to the defeat of the Barbarians (by surrounding the affected hex with a stronger attacking force) receive a reward.
        1. All of the players eligible for a reward split the Barbarian prisoners from the liberated hex. If there are not enough Barbarians on the hex to be equally distributed among all of the contributing players, the player who contributed the strongest military force gets 1 barbarian, and then the next-strongest gets 1, and so on. Ties are settled with dice rolls (highest number wins).
        2. Any player whose forces participated in the conquest but does not receive at least 1 Barbarian as a reward receives 2 gold as compensation.
      3. Third, each player whose active military forces participated in the defeat of the Barbarians moves his or her marker forward 1 space on the Pirate Lair Mission Card’s Victory Point scoring track (mission progress). The player whose turn it currently is moves his marker first; the other players follow in clockwise order.
      4. Should heroes be calculated? Each participating player rolls 1 die.  Add to your result the number of your crews placed on the pirate lair.  If your sum total is the largest, you are the hero of the battle.  Move your marker forward 1 space on the “pirate Lairs” mission card.  At the same time, you must remove 1 of your crews and return it to your personal supply.  If there is a tie, the player who placed more crews is the hero.  If there is still a tie, the tying players repeat the die roll.  If you capture a pirate lair all by yourself, you automatically move your marker forward 1 space.  You also lose 1 of your crew.
      5. Finally, injuries and losses are determined. The current player chooses a Castle hex and rolls a die, placing the die in the center of the hex.  If two or more players each contributed the strongest force, they each lose a Crew member and receive two gold as compensation.
    3. In this combination game, the capture of a Pirate Lair is conducted in the same way as the capture of Barbarians in Traders & Barbarians. The Pirate Lair must be surrounded by armed forces on the sides and intersections of the hex with a combined strength that is sufficient to capture the Pirate Lair.  This armed force may include Crews, Strong Knights on Horseback, activated Basic Knights, activated Strong Knights, and activated Mighty Knights.  As usual, all of the players who contributed to the overthrow of a pirate lair gets 2 gold and advance their markers by one in a clockwise fashion, starting with the current player.  The player who contributed the most strength to defeating the pirates moves his marker forward one space again, but loses one of his Crews who fought.   If he has no Crews who contributed, he loses a Strong Knight on Horseback.  All Basic Knights, Strong Knights, or Mighty Knights are deactivated after participating, but they are not lost.  Ties or inequalities are settled with dice rolls (highest number wins).
    4. The circular knights are strategically important because of their placement on intersections. They can be used to “reserve” spaces for future development, to block opponents, or to break up transportation networks.   If activated by grain, they can also be used to defeat barbarians (they are less useful in attacking pirate lairs because they must remain connected to a player’s established network), defend Catan, collect tolls, displace other knights, relocate, and transform.


After the Capture

Turning the Pirate Lair Token Over

To indicate that a pirate lair was captured, the pirate lair token is flipped over so that its number side faces up, showing its production number token side.  For that purpose, slide the remaining crews aside and place them next to the flipped token.  You may pick up your crews with a ship on a subsequent turn.

Gold Production at Gold Field Hexes

You may now build trade routes on the edges of the liberated gold field.  You may also construct buildings on its intersections.  If a gold field’s production token number is resolved during the Event Card phase of a player’s turn, the gold field produces 2 gold per ­­­­_____ they have on an intersection bordering that gold field.

Placing Armed Forces

During Phase ___: Move Military Forces, your military forces may be able to surround conquered hexes.  During this phase, your military forces may be able to liberate those conquered hexes.  This works in the same way as re-conquering any hex with three Barbarians on it.  A combined 

If your ship has 1 or 2 crews on board, and one end of the ship points toward an intersection of a pirate lair hex, you may place these crews directly on the Pirate Lair token if you wish.  A maximum of 1 large piece or 2 small pieces may stand on a hex side.

Example: During his Phase ___: Move Military Forces, the player “Red” moves his Strong Knight on Horseback a total of 3 paths, to a path adjacent to the conquered hex (A).  4 Strong Knights on Horseback are thus pitted against 3 Barbarians.  The Knights have a strength of 6, and the Barbarians have a Strength of 3.  The Knights are victorious!  The two players involved in the victory (red and blue) each get one Barbarian prisoner.  The player “Red” gets the third prisoner because he has more knights involved in the victory.


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