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Published on May 3rd, 2007 | by Deejay Knight, Editor/Founder

Introduction To Catan

If you’re as intrigued as to what Catan is as I am, you’re wondering what the game is about and how to play it. It goes without saying that a lot of people have never heard of Catan before.

Luckily, Brian Reynolds – Catan’s lead developer – knows how we feel and has answered some of these base questions for us:

For those of us who haven’t played the Catan board game before, could you give us an introduction to it and why it is so successful?
Brian Reynolds: The island of Catan consists of 19 colorful land tiles, representing mountains, pastures, forests, and other regions. Players colonize the island, founding settlements in places they think will be productive, and each time the dice are rolled some of the settlements produce resources. The most exciting part of the game begins when the players wheel and deal to trade the resources with each other to get the ones they need, and then build new roads and cities to settle the land. The winner is the player most successful at planning, trading, and expanding.
Do you have any tips to help people get started with Catan?
Brian Reynolds: Yes When the two dice are rolled for resource production each turn, numbers in the middle like 6 and 8 will be rolled a lot more often than numbers at the extremes like 2 and 12. So count the “dots” on each land tile, which show how likely that tile is to be rolled. Settlement spots next to the largest number of dots will usually generate the most total incomeAnother good thing to remember at the beginning is to try to get at least one of your settlements next to a good “Brick” tile, because everyone needs a lot of brick at the beginning of the game and you’ll be “in demand” as a trading partner

That definitely helps a lot, considering that there doesn’t seem to be a Catan demo available for download yet. Hopefully there’s one available soon, but those answers help quite a bit toward understanding the game.

If you’re looking for more interview, jump to the Catan Q&A in the sources below.

Intro to Catan [via Gamerscore Blog]

Catan Q&A: Your Intro to Settling [via Aceybongos’ Xbox Life]

About the Author

Deejay has been a gamer since the Atari 2600, has wrestled–and defeated–alligators with only his toes, and once aligned all the planets in the Solar System by uttering the words "Coo Coo Ka-Choo". In his sleep. He currently bides his time behind the scenes here at, streaming at and teaching.

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