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The New Expansion for “The Settlers of Catan” – Part 2

January 11, 2013
Klaus Teuber

Part 2: About Harbor Settlements, Ships, and Settlers

To play with the expansion, you need the dice, settlements, roads, resource cards, some terrain hexes, number tokens for them, and the frame pieces from the Base Game. The additional frame pieces of the expansion allow you to assemble scenarios of different sizes.

Smallest possible scenario

The illustration shows the smallest scenario possible. To avoid spending too much time assembling the scenarios, you tile the surface inside the frame with composites of sea hexes (sea hexes that are joined together). Thereby, three areas are formed. In the light yellow area on the left, you assemble the starting island. On the right, in the two areas to be explored, you place terrain hexes of the expansion facedown.

The two unexplored areas of the smallest scenario accommodate 16 unknown hexes, while the largest scenario includes 32 hexes to be explored.

A ship

To explore, you need ships. Building a ship costs one lumber and one wool. The ships are not only used for exploration. They also serve to transport game pieces. Each ship can accommodate either 2 small game pieces or one large game piece.

Alert readers may have asked themselves why I didn't mention cities when listing the game components required from the Base Game. I did that intentionally, because building cities is not part of the new expansion.

A Harbor Settlement

Instead, you can upgrade coastal settlements to harbor settlements by paying 2 grain and 2 ore. Like a city, a harbor settlement is worth 2 victory points, but its owner receives only 1 resource when the number of an adjacent terrain hex is rolled.

A harbor settlement consists of a group of houses with a basin in front of them. Like a ship, a basin offers room for either a large game piece or 2 small game pieces.

A Settler

The large game pieces include the settlers, of which each player receives two.

Building a settler costs the same resources as required to build a settlement. If you have built a settler, you place him in the basin of a harbor settlement or directly on an adjacent ship.

Needless to say that the settlers' task is to found new settlements in the discovered area or on the home island. Since it is not allowed to move game pieces overland, a settler always depends on a ship that picks him up and transports him to his new home.

Harbor Settlement with a Ship and a Settler

Klaus Teuber

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Any idea on a release date in the states? This is really exciting!
My biggest question would be "is this expansion compatible with the others?" When T&B came out, I bought it. I have played all of the scenarios separately, and enjoy them, but they are not all compatible with each other, or with C&K, which my family prefers best. If this new expansion is compatible with basic Catan (standalone), Seafarers, and C&K, I can see myself playing it all the time with my family, however, if it is more standalone, like T&B scenarios, then I'll still buy it, but it will likely not get much use. :( But I can definitely see the possibility of compatibility: you can upgrade settlements to cities, but, on the coast, have the option to upgrade to a harbour settlement instead. But what about the static ships? They could still be built, but could a mobile ship be able to move past shipping routes? I'm looking forward to this! Thanks!
So is any building down on the original island at all?
Tengo todas las otras espacio es de catan y son estupendas esta se ve igual de buena espero que llegue muy pronto a México en español la esperare con ansia
I like the look of the new game pieces. Do you need to build Settlers before placing a settlement on you main island? How do Settlers/Ships move? Do you need to 'feed' them like the Knights? I know I could just wait to read the instructions when I buy my copy, I am just excited to see more variants coming.
Is this expansion based from, besides from "die Kolonien", the reformed card game ¨the era of explorers¨?
So how does the settler work?
I like the scenario idea. I also read the German blog part 3-5. I find a little disapointing that certain board parts can not be used on the catanboard from kickstarter without using a pair of scissor to make them normal six sided. I understand that pieces that fit together like a puzzle have more strength but that strength is not needed on a catanboard. I hope that the necessary new board pieces are also available seperately without puzzle-corners. But beside this minor disadvantage i'm starting to like the new expansion more and more. If the expansion comes available arounf februiri in Germany when will it be available in america or Europa?
According to the Mayfair Games website for this game, street date is 2013-04-18.
Have you ever considered making the game pieces out of plastic (of the same thickness as the current cardboard ones)? I'm willing to pay more for hexes that last a lot longer!
Gero Zahn
@Eric Unfortunately, Explorers & Pirates will not be compatible with the Seafarers expansion, as the moving ships in E&P bear totally different mechanics than the (mostly) static ships in Seafarers. Klaus Teuber has hinted that he might write a blog post about combining E&P with Cities & Knights. Combining E&P with the scenarios in Traders & Barbarians doesn't sound very likely, as they sometimes change the gameplay in a very specific way. Some of the variants in T&B might work with E&P, but we haven't yet investigated that in every single aspect.
Gero Zahn
@Sci-Fi Well, you can certainly build roads and new regular settlements on the land, to access different numbers and thus receive more resources. But the different scenarios available in Explorers & Pirates lay the focus on exploring the sea instead of expanding your power on the old land.
Gero Zahn
@Thomas A lot of these questions will be answered in time. We will indeed make the game manual available for free download as soon as it is ready for print – which it is not at this time. But in short: (1) No, settlements on the main island are build just as in the Base game. (2) No, you don't "feed the ships": Every ship has a certain number of movement points to be used during your turn.
Gero Zahn
@Franke It combines elements from different Catan games or scenarios in a new way, indeed most prominently "Die Kolonien" or "Anno 1701" (which both were never published in English language), but also from "Starfarers".
Gero Zahn
@Charlie / @Marcel / @Jörg: Yes, that's the scheduled release date.
I hope part 3 comes out quickly. I want to know more. Plus, does anyone know if a white glove demo for this is in the works. You can watch the white glove demos for the first 4 games on Youtube.
Gero Zahn
@Abel balderas Gutiérrez: Seguramente habrá un edición en español, pero por el momento no sabemos cuándo estará disponible en México.
Gero Zahn
@Catanian We're working on it. I hope to be able to post part three real soon.
my favorite way of playing is because i have the original version where the sea hexes are seperate (like the land hexes) and we shuffle all together and place them out so that every game has a different landscape of land and sea. ( obviously some changes are neccesary to make the map logical, but normally very few). this is why i am so dissapointed that the manufacturers made the sea areas fixed. i really think they should go back to this format so those of us who like more randomness can , and those who dont can arrange the sea around the island
Just a question regarding the, official catan game board that was released through kickstarter, Will either the Seafarers or Regular board (The modular/expanded ones) be able to handle this Catan expansion ? Thanks !
what is meant with a route? a player can move in a route with 2 ships but not end the 4 moves in that particular route, isn't the route open to any hex edge or once the ship moved in a certain line that is then the route?
Dr. Reiner Düren
@Chaun: Unfortunately I don't exactly understand what you are asking, but I will try to answer and hope that you have meant this: The edges of a sea hex and the edges of the frame that border a hex are called sea routes. (Page 3 of the Rule book) Up to 2 ships may occupy a given sea route. These ships may belong to the same or different players. (Page of the Rule book).