Gold for Catan

Credit: Thanks to Chris Wideman for submitting this fan variant! The render above is created by Jasper.

The Catanians have just made their greatest discovery thus far, capitalism. The craftsmen have grown tired of bartering for their labor. They demand something shiny instead. Luckily, some nearby islands have just been discovered, and they’re flowing rich with veins of precious gold. This comes as a bitter sweet find however. The islands are guarded by some of the roughest waters the Catanians have ever seen. That doesn’t stop the bravest and most skilled sailors from readying their ships and setting sail. It’s all up to them to supply Catan with the gold it craves to spend.

Click the thumbnail below for a 3-player version of this map:

Important: this scenario is played fundamentally different from ordinary scenarios. Be sure to thoroughly read through the gameplay before trying it.

This scenario adds a new resource, gold. With this comes an added level of complexity and a delightfully interesting gameplay. The use of gold allows for several new strategies and greatly increases a player’s options. This elegant concept makes for a new and exciting way to think about how resources are used and results in a really fun twist on a Seafarers game that is already great.

Setup:

For a list of what you will need, click here.

Construct the map as shown in the picture.If desired, you may randomize the resource hexes, number
tokens, and/or harbors. Do not change the location of the gold or water hexes. Also, the gold hexes do not get number tokens.

Gameplay:

Gold: This scenario is played using chits as gold. One chit is equivalent to one gold. Building things in this scenario not only requires resources, but in addition requires a payment of gold.

Costs:

Road = 1 lumber, 1 brick, and 1 gold
Ship = 1 lumber, 1 wool, and 1 gold
Settlement = 1 lumber, 1 brick, 1 grain, 1 wool, and 2 gold
City = 2 grain, 3 ore, and 2 gold
Development Card = 1 wool, 1 ore, 1 grain, and 1 gold or 1 wool, 1 ore, and 2 gold
Knight (C&K) = 1 wool, 1 ore, and 1 gold
Activating Knight (C&K) = 1 grain or 1 gold
City Wall (C&K) = 2 brick and 1 gold
City Improvements (C&K) = (No gold required)

Trade Ratios: 2 gold for 1 resource card; 4 gold for 1 commodity card; any 3 resource/commodity cards for 1 gold (cards can be different)

Progress Cards: A cards that allows a player to build roads, cities, knights, city walls, etc. for fewer or no resources, does not nullify or reduce the necessary payment of gold. Gold must still be paid for each of these items. For example: If a Road Building card is used, the player must still pay a total of two gold, one for each of the two free roads.

Ships:

Ships in this scenario function very differently from how they do in a conventional Seafarers scenario. Normally, ships must be chained together in order to create a trade route. In this scenario, ships are mobile. Ships will travel individually to and from the gold islands to retrieve the gold. Rules for building ships and how ships function are as follows:

  • Ships can only be built on settlements/cities which have been built on the front coast of the island
  • A settlement can only support 1 ship and a city can only support 2
    • For example: A player with a settlement and a city on the front coast can only build a maximum of 3 ships, 1 ship on the settlement and two ships on the city.
  • A ship must always return to the settlement/city on which it was built
  • Each ship can move two spaces every turn
  • An additional two spaces can be purchased for a wool (maximum 1 wool per ship per turn)
    • For example: If a player with 2 ships pays 1 wool on a particular turn, one of the ships can be moved 4 spaces while the other still moves the regular 2 spaces. If the player pays 2 wool instead, both ships can be moved 4 spaces.

Alternatively to wool, a ship’s move can be extended using two gold from its cargo

  • A ship cannot be moved on the same turn it was built
  • Ships can occupy the same space as other ships and roads
  • Ships do not count towards the Longest Road
  • Ships can carry a load of 4 gold (it works best to put the ship on its side and stack the chits)To and from the gold:

Ships in this scenario have one purpose, to bring shipments of gold back from the gold islands. A ship is considered to be docked at its settlement/city if it is on one of the spaces adjacent to the settlement/city. It is from this position, that a ship’s cargo can be unloadedand added to a player’s hand. A ship is considered to be docked on a gold island if it is on a space between a gold hex and a water hex. It is from this position, that gold (4 chits) can be loaded onto the ship. If a ship is not docked, either at its settlement/city or on a gold island, it is considered to be in open water. If a 2 or a 12 is rolled while a ship is in open water, the ship loses 2 gold from its cargo. If a ship is not carrying any gold, then nothing is lost. Depending upon the location of a ship’s settlement/city, the distance between being docked at the settlement/city and being docked at the gold islands will either be 3 spaces or 4 spaces. Considering a ship can move 2 spaces per turn, a round trip to and from the gold will take 3 turns or 4 turns respectively (less turns if wool/cargo-gold is used).

Gold-for-Catan-guide
Additional Rules:

  • Each player starts the game with 8 gold (10 for C&K).
  • Starting placements cannot be on the front coast.
  • A player cannot be cut off from the front coast. For the most part, this very broad rule is sufficient. If a more defined ruling is needed, the specific rules regarding this matter can be found in the Front Coast Settlement Rules section.
  • If a person has at least 2 ships and the most ships, they have the “Largest Fleet”, worth 2 victory points.
  • This scenario is played to 12 victory points (15 for C&K)

Front Coast Settlement Rules:

None of the starting settlements/cities can be placed on the front coast. In order to build the ships required to retrieve the all-important gold, each player will first have to build roads and settle on the front coast. Considering this, it is generally good practice to place one of the starting settlements/cities within one or two roads of the front coast. To prevent players from being cut off from the front coast, specific rules for building settlements must be applied. Before a player has built his or her first front coast settlement, there is a minimum number of roads (MNR) the player must build in order to reach a viable settlement location on the front coast. This MNR is determined by applying the two space minimum distance rule across the entire front coast, taking into account any settlements that have already been built. When attempting to build a settlement, determine if the following statements are true or false:

  1. Building the settlement will increase at least one opponent’s MNR by more than one road.
  2. The settlement being built is not on the front coast or is not the player’s first front coast settlement.
  3. There is an alternative place to build the settlement one road away or less (also on the front coast), that would render statement A false.

If statement A is true and statement B or statement C is also true, then the settlement cannot be built in the location. Otherwise, the settlement can be built in the location. If these rules are interpreted correctly, it will prevent any player from being pinched off from the coast.

Note: You can also download these rules in Chris’ original PDF here.

 

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