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  • Catan Card Game and Rivals for Catan Guide to Miscellany Revision 7 Compiled by Kelvin Chung All copyrights and trademarks are properties of their respective holders. Any inaccuracies in this guide or inconsistent use of style should be emailed to

  • Kelvins Foreword The Catan Card Game, or The Settlers of Catan: The Card Game as originally titled, is a two-player version of Settlers of Catan released long before Catan for Two became an official two-player variant of the famous board game. The two have sizeable differences, and even the official The Card Game for Board Game Players at PlayCatan is a bit long-winded. But theres a reason for that: while the board game has had three major expansions and a few smaller ones, with no significant set of rule changes between editions, the card game, by contrast, has seven expansions and one major series of rule changes. It is these changes and the progressively more complicated rules that followed that eventually drove the Catan Card Game back to the drawing board, as explained in a series of blog posts at the official Catanism blog (; since 2003, a team of eight people (including series creator Klaus Teuber, longtime community moderators Peter Gustav Bartschat and Dr. Reiner Dren, and a number of top players) have been in charge of the games design and balance. These same people helped create the new game that spawned from the ashes in 2010: The Rivals for Catan. And so, here is a guide to the miscellany that you might not know about either game.

  • Conventions Used in This Guide The following conventions are used in the following guide: The resources are depicted as follows:

    Brick Grain Lumber Ore Wool Gold Magic Cloth Coin Paper Star

  • Revisions of the Catan Card Game There has been one major revision of the Catan Card Game since its release, and the last two expansions, Barbarians & Traders and Artisans & Benefactors (named Artists and Benefactors on PlayCatan), were released after the revision. The former was developed with the revision, and the separate Barbarians & Traders Upgrade Kit allowed owners of the older edition (those with the game title The Settlers of Catan: The Card Game) to update to the new edition rules. Heres a complete list of differences in existing cards between the two editions: Set 1st Edition 2nd Edition Artisan Workshop T&C City Expansion Region Improvement Better World W&D Does not state that Year End cannot be

    removed. Made explicit.

    Border Dispute K&M Does not state that only regions without Region Improvements may be exchanged.

    Made explicit.

    Bribery P&I Does not state that the cost is not paid to the opponent.

    Made explicit.

    Building Crane S&P Affects all City Expansions. Affects all City Expansions costing more than 4 resources.

    Caravan Base K&M

    States after resource production. States Exchange resources with the caravan.

    Cathedral S&P Affects Knights and Fleets. Affects Knights, Trade Fleets, and Cannons. Chancellor P&I Does not require Town Hall. Requires Town Hall. Church Base Affects Knights and Fleets. Affects Knights, Trade Fleets, and Cannons. Civil War Base

    S&P Affects Knights and Fleets. Affects Knights, Trade Fleets, and Cannons.

    Conflict Base S&P

    Does not state that the expansion stack is of the players choosing.

    Made explicit.

    Council Meeting P&I Discards two cards. Discards one card. Distillery T&C City Expansion Region Improvement Dye Works T&C City Expansion Region Improvement Fire Brigade S&P The Arsonist Action card may be played

    against a protected building for no effect. The Arsonist Action card may not be played against a protected building.

    Guardian of Fate W&D Cost: Cost: Holy Place P&I May replace any card in hand with a new

    card. May only replace a card just drawn with a new card.

    Horse Farm T&C Affects only Knights. Affects both Knights and Cannons. Inspiration W&D Cost: Cost: Knowledge of the Ancients W&D Cost: Cost: Land Reform S&P Does not state that only regions without

    Region Improvements may be replaced. Made explicit.

    Land: Change Thyself! W&D Does not state that only regions without Region Improvements may be replaced.

    Made explicit.

    Large Tournament Field T&C Cost: Cost: , 1VP Requires Tournament Point lead.

    Magic Kitchen W&D Cost: Cost: Mayor W&D Does not state that metropolises are

    affected. Made explicit.

    Palace K&M Card text specifies Productive Year event. Card text specifies Year of Plenty event to disambiguate from the event card.

    Shipyard T&C City Expansion Regional Expansion Spy Base Affects all cards. Affects Units and Action Cards. Stone of Wisdom W&D Affects any Action Cards or Magic Books

    targeting resources, units, or buildings. Affects Attack Action Cards, Magic Action Cards, and Magic Books.

    Templar Fortress P&I Affects Knights costing at least 3 resources. Affects Knights costing more than 3 resources.

    Trading Post T&C Regional Expansion Road Improvement University S&P Raises hand limit by 1 card. Does not raise hand limit. Other rule changes include the following:

    All Action and Magic Action cards are classified as Attack, Neutral, and Defense. Attack and Neutral cards may not be played until the combined VP total of both players is at least 7. Previously, Action Cards could only be played if both players had at least 3 VP.

    Regional Improvement and Road Improvement cards were introduced. Previously, they were Regional Expansions and City Expansions, respectively, that could only be placed next to regions or on roads. A side effect is that the Artisan Workshop, Distillery, and Dye Works can now be placed adjacent to regions bordering only settlements.

    The rule change was a response to criticisms of the first edition (and the computer version of it in particular) that left the game with two main strategies: the Education Strategy, using University cards to raise the hand limit, and the Magic Strategy, using Wizards to control the Event Card deck. Both relied on heavy use of Action Cards to quickly go through the decks. The strategies were so prevalent that the phrase no-no duel was used to denote games where University and Wizards were both banned. Another factor was the infamous Kanzlerdeck (Chancellor deck), whose strategy relied on staying at 2 VP for as long as possible, in the hopes that you could get the remaining points to win on a single turn; two Kanzlerdecks often drew against each other, and Kanzlerdecks have known to come back from a deficit as large as 8-2. Various temporary measures had been introduced to reduce its influence over the years: in a 2002 tournament, Action Cards could be played as long as both players had a combined 22 resources regardless of score. Other traditional (in terms of collectible card gaming) measures such as a four-card side deck proved unpopular.

  • Differences in International Versions of the Catan Card Game Since the 4th edition of Settlers of Catan, the same rules are used everywhere in the world: the last major difference (the effect of the Saboteur card from Catan: Cities & Knights) having been eliminated with the release. However, the differences in the Catan Card Game was only unified in 2009, with the translation of the German FAQ to English; this was important as there were major differences between the printed cards and how the game was played on PlayCatan; since then the PlayCatan version (consistent with the original German rules) have been adopted throughout. Prior to its adoption, here is a list of differences: Name Set Type German English Assembly Hall S&P City Expansion

    Building Any number of cards may be searched for free.

    Only one card may be searched for free.

    Change Places W&D Magic Book Neutral

    May be used at any time. May only be used at the start of the turn.

    Christopher the Great Explorer

    B&T Action Neutral

    May be used on both adjacent regions with Great Trade Fleet.

    May only be used on one adjacent region with Great Trade Fleet.

    Cloth Merchants Residence

    B&T Region Improvement Building

    May trade two of one resource for any two resources.

    May trade any two resources for any two resources.

    Common Land A&B Regional Expansion Building

    Cost: Cost:

    Countermagic W&D Magic Book Attack

    Player playing cancelled spell chooses where to place card.

    Player playing Countermagic chooses where to place card.

    Eryn the Druid B&T Action Neutral

    Cannot be played even with Abbey covered by Witch or Pawnbroker.

    Can be played if Abbey is covered by Witch or Pawnbroker.

    Flavo the Fool B&T Regional Expansion Unit

    Opponent must accept Flavo after tournament.

    Opponent may discard Flavo instead of accepting.

    Fortunate Trading Voyage

    B&T Event With Great Trade Fleet, may rotate any region of type adjacent to fleet to 3 of resource.

    With Great Trade Fleet, must rotate adjacent region to 3 of resource.

    Great Wall S&P Regional Expansion Building

    Spy always fails against Great Wall and Watch Tower.

    Must roll for the two buildings separately.

    Magical Eye W&D Magic Book Neutral

    May discard to any expansion deck. May only discard to the deck drawn.

    Old Wisdom B&T Action Neutral

    May retrieve Wizards. May not retrieve Wizards.

    Raid K&M Event May choose foreign cards. May not choose foreign cards. Richard the Vengeful T&C Regional Expansion