Catan Volcano Rules

The Volcano tile is one of the most exciting variants in Catan. The threat of destruction adds a whole new layer of thrill to the game.

Volcano Hex Rules:

If you are familiar with the Seafarers Expansion, the best way to explain the Volcano is that it’s a “risky gold hex.” Whenever the number tile on a Volcano is rolled, any player with a settlement bordering it receives one Resource Card of her choice.  Anyone with a city receives two Resource Cards of her choice (they may be different, or two of the same).

However, immediately after resources are picked up, the lava flows down from the Volcano. Retake one of the dice and roll it to determine the direction of the lava flow. The six points of the Volcano tile are marked 1-6. If there is a Settlement at that intersection, it is destroyed and returns to the player’s stock. If there is a City at that intersection, it is reduced to a Settlement.

The Robber: The Robber may be placed on the Volcano tile. If so, he stops resource production, but does not stop eruptions.

Rules with Seafarers: The Volcano is most often played with Seafarers. What happens if a settlement is destroyed, leaving an open road or two stranded all alone on the island? You may still continue to build off of that stranded road. You may even choose to not rebuild your settlement on the intersection it was destroyed, but perhaps on a different intersection.

Note that a destroyed settlement in this case breaks up your Longest Trading Route, since the ship network and road network are no longer connected at that intersection.

If you earned a bonus VP for settling on a foreign island, and that settlement is later destroyed by a Volcano, you still retain the bonus VP.

Multiple volcanoes: If two volcanoes on the board share the same number, both volcanoes erupt when it is rolled. Re-roll one die separately for each volcano to determine its unique lava flow.

What about a Metropolis? The metropolis is still a city – although a very large one. Maybe the barbarians stay clear of it, but lava doesn’t. The metropolis is thus downgraded to a settlement. Afterwards, the player may immediately declare another city metropolis, or he gets the metropolis back when he builds the next city (that is, if another player hasn’t built the metropolis in the meantime).
(source: Mayfair Games)

What about Commodities? A city on a Volcano does not produce Commodities. Just like Gold Fields, a Volcano only produces Resources, not Commodity Cards.

Variant Background: The Volcano Variant was officially created by Klaus Teuber and is published on the Mayfair Games website. The tile is available there to download and print for free. To make it easier to print at the correct size, we have made a template including several Catan variants. CLICK HERE TO PRINT

Note on the gold production: If you read the Mayfair Games webpage, you will note that the original Volcano variant does not produce gold, but serves more as a destructive desert. The “Gold Variant” is considered an optional “add-on” to the Volcano. However, we pretty much only use the Volcano as a Gold producer, because it’s tons of fun that way.

What if there aren’t numbers on the Volcano tile? Some Volcano tile designs may not include numbers on the six vertices. If this is the case, you just treat the “north” intersection as “#1” and count clockwise from there. It may be helpful to verbally confirm at which number intersection your settlement is at BEFORE you roll the Volcano die, so there is no contention over the lava results.

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5 thoughts on “Catan Volcano Rules

    1. That is an excellent question! Haven’t found anything online about that but let us know if you do.

      We would lean towards saying No but that’s by no means official. Allowing the volcanoes to destroy knights might make the volcano too powerful and just over complicate things. (Knights are mobile while a settlement is not – you could just imagine that they temporarily stepped out of the way.)

      Most importantly, you should decide one way or the other with your group BEFORE you start the game.

  1. A suggestion for Knights – maybe treat a volcano eruption like an Intrigue card played against the Knight in question. It has to move away from the spot or be removed from the board.

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