The Settlers of Catan

The Settler's Almanac

Invented by Klaus Teuber.
Published by franckh.
Translated by M. Schloth.
Copyright 1995, Klaus Teuber.

For 3 or 4 players.
Around 75 minutes.

(There is a also quick start version of these rules.)

Rule details and Examples. An alphabetical listing of the game terms begins after the Materials section. The "(=>)" symbol means "go to" that term for more information. Use the German word for each term to find the diagrams in the German rules.


Note that there may be a spare set of houses and cities in an orange color that is very similar to the red. These are the result of a manufacturing problem that franckh corrected by including houses and cities in the correct shade of orange and are not used in the game.

Build Phase (Bauen)

After a player has received his or her Raw Material Production and has completed all Trades, that player may now Build. The Building Cost Cards show how many Raw Material Cards need to be turned in to build buildings or roads or to buy Development Cards. As long as you have the Raw Material Cards to spend, you may build as many buildings or roads or buy as many Development Cards as you like. See also: Building Costs, Roads, Settlements, Cities, Development Cards.

When a player has completed their Build phase, his or her turn is over and the player to the left continues.

Building Cost (Baukosten)

The Building Costs Card shows what can be built and what must be paid in Raw Material Cards to build it. Spent Raw Material Cards are returned to their respective decks to be used again. The player can build Settlements (=>) and Roads (=>). the player can expand Settlements into Cities (=>) and the player can also buy Development Cards (=>).

Cities (Stadt)

Only an existing settlement can be expanded to a city. A player in his or her turn pays the raw material Building Cost and replaces the settlement cottage with the a church (city) of the same color. Each city counts as 2 victory points and their owner receives double Raw Material production for each adjacent land hex.


The dice roll is an "8". The Black player receives 3 Ore cards (1 x for the settlement, 2 x for the city). The White player receives 2 Lumber cards for his city.


It is tough to win the game without creating cities. Since each player has only 5 settlements at their disposal, no more than 5 victory points can be earned with settlements alone.

Construction, Variables (Aufbau, Variabler)

How to construct the Island so that it is different each time.

Now proceed to the Founding Phase (=>).

Development Card Play (Entwicklungskarte spielen)

There are three different kinds of Development Cards. Knights (=>), Progress (=>) and Victory Points (=>). Each player keeps his or her Development Cards hidden from the other players. At any time during a player's turn, he or she may play a Development Card: either 1 Knight or 1 Progress Card. However, you may never play a Development Card bought in the current turn.

Victory Point Cards -- one or more -- count towards the 10 points a player needs to win, but they are not revealed until the end of the game.

Distance Rule (Abstandregel)

A settlement may only be founded at an unoccupied Intersection and only if the three adjacent Intersections are unoccupied as well.


The Intersections marked "A" already contain settlements. By the Distance Rule, no settlements may be placed on the Intersections marked "B". A Settlement may be placed at "C".

Domestic Trade (Binnenhandel)

Trading with the other players.

The player, in his or her turn, may trade (after the awarding of Raw Material Production) with the other players. The exchange terms are left to the negotiating skills of the players. IMPORTANT: Trades may only be made with the player currently taking his or her turn. The other players may not trade between themselves now. Example: It is Hans' turn. He wants to build a Road but it costs 1 Brick and he only has 2 Lumber and 3 Ore. Hans says: "I'll offer 1 Ore for 1 Brick". Werner replies: "If you give me 3 Ores, I'll give you 1 Brick." Gabi jumps in with: "I'll give you 1 Brick for 1 Lumber and 1 Ore." Hans accepts Gabi's offer and the exchange is made.


Because it is Hans turn, Werner may not exchange with Gabi.

Edges (Wege)

Edges are found wherever 2 hexes meet. Roads may only be built on Edges, but never on the Edge between two Sea Hexes. Each Edge leads to an Intersection which is the point where 3 hexes meet.

Founding Phase (Grundungsphase)

After the game board has been set up, each player chooses a color and takes the following in their color:

Each player also receives a Building Costs Card. The Raw Material Cards are sorted face up into 5 stacks. The two Special Cards and the dice are set next to the game board. And the robber is placed in the Wasteland (Desert).

The Founding Phase is made up of two rounds during which each player will have built 2 Roads and 2 Settlements.

1st Round

Roll the dice and the highest number is the Start Player. That player places a Settlement on the Intersection of his or her choice. On any of the Edges leading from the Settlement, the player places a Road. Continuing clockwise, each other player does the same.


When placing the Settlements remember that you must follow the Distance Rule.

2nd Round

The player who placed last in the 1st Round places first in the 2nd Round. He or she again places a Settlement and attaches a Road to it.


The other players now place in counter-clockwise order. The Start Player will place last.

The second settlement may be set on any free Intersection as long as the Distance Rule is followed.

The second road must connect to the second settlement along any of the Edges leading from the settlement..

Each player receives Raw Material Production based on the Land Hexes that border his or her SECOND settlement. One Raw Material Card of the proper type is taken for each of these Land Hexes.

The player who built his or her 2nd Settlement last (the Start Player), now begins the game: He or she rolls the dice for the Raw Material Production.

Helpful hints may be found in the Tactics (=>) section.

Game End (Spielende)

If a player has gained 10 victory points at any point during his or her turn, then that player has won.


A player has 2 settlements (2 points), the Longest Trade Route (2 points), 2 cities (4 points) and 1 victory point card. During his turn he buys another Development Card and draws another victory point card. The player reveals both victory point cards and wins the game.

Game Outline (Spielablauf)

The player to the start player's left continues the game by performing the 3 game phases and so on....

Harbor Location (Hafenstandort)

To trade at a harbor, a player must build a Settlement on a Coastal Intersection that is adjacent to a harbor location (semicircle). In harbors, Raw Materials may be exchanged at more favorable rates than you may get from you fellow players. See Sea Trade.

Intersections (Kreuzung)

Intersections are where three hexes meet. Settlements can only be erected at intersections. Since three hexes border each intersection, the influence of a settlement or city extends over the same three hexes.

Knights (Ritter)

If during his or her turn a player reveals a Knight Development Card, then that player must immediately move the Robber.

The player moves the Robber to any other Land Hex.

Then the player may rob (and keep) a Raw Material Card from any one of the players who own a settlement or city that borders the new location of the Robber. The robbing player selects the player to rob and then draws one of that player's Raw Material Cards at random.


It is Hans' turn and he reveals a knight card. He moves the robber from the mountain hex to the forest hex with the "4" Number Chip. Hans may now take a Raw Material Card from either player A's or player B's concealed hand. If a "4" is rolled in the following Raw Material Production Phases, then neither A nor B will receive Lumber from this hex. This will be true until the robber is moved--by a player revealing another Knight card or by the dice roll of 7 during a Raw Material Production Phase.

The first player to reveal 3 Knight cards receives the special card for the Largest Knight Force. This card is worth 2 Victory Points. As soon as another player reveals one more Knight card, that player receives the Largest Knight Force from the current owner.

Largest Knight Force (Groste Rittermacht)

The first player to reveal his or her third Knight Card receives this special card which counts for 2 Victory Points. If during the course of the game another player reveals more Knight Cards than the current owner of this special card, then that player immediately takes over the card. Only the current owner of the largest Knight Force Card receives the 2 Victory Points.

Longest Trade Route (Langste Handelsstrasse)

As soon as a player has built a nonstop trade route at least 5 individual Roads long, he or she takes this special card. This card is worth 2 Victory Points.


If a player owns a branching road network, only the longest continuous section counts toward winning this special card.

As soon as another player has a longer trade route, then that player takes this card from its current owner.


The White player has a nonstop trade route between intersections A and B. It is 7 roads long. Arrows in the diagram are pointing towards branching roads that do not count. The White player is given the Longest Trade Route Card.


A trade route can be interrupted! If the Black player builds a settlement at intersection C (which is possible), then White's trade route would no longer be the longest. The 7 section route would become a 3 section route and a 4 section route. Then White would have to give the Longest Trade Route Card to Black whose longest trade route is 6 road sections long.

If such an interruption were to create a situation where no one player clearly owned the single longest trade route, then the Longest Trade Route Card is set aside until one player alone owns the Longest Trade Route.

Number Chips (Zahlenchips)

These round chips have the numbers 2 through 12 on one side. The "2" and "12" appear only once, all other numbers (except "7", see Robber) occur twice. The larger the number, the higher the probability that it will be rolled during the Raw Material production phase. The most frequently rolled numbers are "6" and "8". They are printed in red. The letters on the reverse of each chip are important only for the construction of the game board.

Progress Cards (Fortschrittskarten)

Progress Cards are a kind of Development Card. They are only used once and then they are taken out of the game. There are two each of the following:


You cannot buy and play a Development Card in the same turn.

Raw Material Cards (Rohstoffkarten)

There are 5 different Raw Material Cards. The players receive these cards as Raw Material Production whenever their settlements or cities border producing hexes. Each player must keep his or her Raw Material Cards concealed in his or her hand. If there is ever a turn when there is not enough Raw Material Cards of a given type to give out to all players that have earned them, then no one receives any cards of that type.

Raw Material Production (Rohstoffertrage)

The first thing each player must do in his or her turn is to roll the dice to determine where Raw Materials will be produced for this turn. The number rolled shows what Land Hexe(s) will be producing Raw materials this turn. All players who own settlements or cities that border the specified hexes receive that hex's particular Raw Material Card. Each settlement receives one Raw Material Card, each city receives 2 Raw Material Cards.


The player who owns settlement A has rolled a "4". His settlement borders on two hexes with the "4" Number Chip: a Mountain Range and a Pasture.He takes from the Raw aterial decks 1 Ore card and 1 Wool card. The player who owns settlement B takes 1 Wool card. If settlement B was a city, then that same player would have taken 2 Wool cards.

Roads (Strasse)

Roads are the connections between your own settlements or cities. Roads are built on Edges. If you do not build new roads, you will not be able to build new settlements. Roads only directly add to your victory point total if you have the Longest Trade Route Card.


The player who owns settlement "A" would like to build a road. He may build it only on the Edges marked by the arrows. Roads may only be built on edges. They may be built along the coast, but never between two Sea Hexes.

Robber (Rauber)

The Robber (the black game figure) is placed in the Wasteland at the start of the game.

The Robber is moved only if:

  1. a player reveals a Knight card, or
  2. a seven is rolled during a Raw Material Production phase.

While the Robber stands in a Land Hex, that Land Hex produces no Raw Material.

Rolling a Seven (Sieben gewurfelt-Rauber wird aktiv)

The robber becomes active.

If a player rolls a seven during his or her Raw Material Production phase, then no Land Hex will produce this turn. On the contrary: All players count their Raw Material Cards on hand. Whoever has more than 7 cards must select half (round down) of them to return to their respective stack(s).


Hans rolls a "7". He only has 6 cards, Benni has 7 and Wolf has 11. Wolf must return 5 card to the stacks. He chooses to lose 3 Lumber cards and 2 Wool cards.

Then the player who rolled the "7" must move the robber to another Land Hex. Also, this player may now use the robber to take (and keep) a Raw Material Card from any player who owns a settlement or city that borders the new location of the robber. The player being robbed fans out his or her Raw Material Cards with the backs toward the robbing player. The robbing player draws one card at random. See Knights.

The player that rolled the "7" continues the game by moving on to the Trading Phase of his or her turn.

Sea Trade (Seehandel)

During the trading phase of a player's turn, a player may make trades without involving the other players by using Sea Trade.

The simplest (and least advantageous) exchange is at 4:1. The player returns any 4 Raw materials of the same type to its respective stack and in return takes any 1 Raw Material from its stack. The player does not have to have a settlement or a city at a Harbor Location to make this kind of trade.


Hans returns 4 Ore cards to the Ore card stack and takes back 1 Lumber from the Lumber stack. It would be better to negotiate a more advantageous exchange rate with another player, but if no one is willing to trade with you...

A player gets better exchange rates if he or she has erected a settlement or a city at a harbor location (semi-circles). There are 2 kinds of Harbor Locations:

Simple harbor (3:1): For any 3 identical Raw Material Cards that a player returns to their stack, that player may draw any 1 Raw Material from its stack.


Hans returns 3 Lumber cards to the Lumber card stack and takes 1 Ore card from the Ore card stack.

Special Harbor (2:1): Now it is important to note in which Special Harbor a player has established his or her settlement or city. The favorable exchange rate of 2:1 counts only for the Raw Material printed on the harbor Sea Hex.


A player has constructed her settlement (or city) on a Special Harbor location that shows the game symbol for Wool (a sheep). This player returns 2 WOOL cards to the wool card stack and takes back any 1 Raw Material card from any of the stacks. This same player could also have turned in 4 WOOL cards and drawn back any 2 Raw Material Cards from the stacks.


A Special Harbor does NOT allow the exchange of other raw materials (in the above example non-wool raw materials) at the 3:1 rate.

Settlements (Siedlung)

A settlement counts as 1 Victory Point. Settlements are only erected at intersections (where 3 hexes meet). The owner of a settlement will receive Raw Materials from the 2 (coastal intersection) or 3 bordering Land Hexes when their number is rolled (and the robber is not there).

When building a settlement, you must consider two points:


The White player would like to build a new settlement. the settlement may be built at all intersections marked with a "B". No settlements can be built on the intersections marked "A" because that would violate the Distance Rule. No settlement may be built at intersection "C" because no white road connects to that intersection.


Once a player has built five settlements one of those settlements must be transformed into a city before he or she may build another settlement.

Start arrangement for beginners

If you are a beginner, you may want to set up the game board as follows (see the reverse of the rules sheet):

Tactics (Taktik)

Since the game is played on a variable game board, the proper tactics for each game is different. Nevertheless, there are a few general points to bear in mind:

  1. Bricks and Lumber are the most important Raw materials to own at the start of the game. They are needed in both the building of roads and settlements. Each player should therefore try to place a settlement next to at least one "good" forest or hill hex. A "good" hex is one with a frequently rolled number (5,6,8,9).
  2. Do not underestimate the value of harbor locations. Special Harbors in particular can be very profitable sources of Raw materials if your other settlements have access to hexes that produce the harbor's required Raw Material.
  3. Plan to expand. Don't allow yourself to be trapped by the other players' roads.
  4. Trade every chance you can. Even if it is not your turn, by making an offer to the player whose turn it is you increase you chances of getting something you can use later.

Trade Phase (Handel)

After the current player has rolled the dice to determine Raw Material Production, he or she may perform trades to gain more Raw Material Cards. He or she may exchange Raw Material Cards with the other players (Domestic Trade), or without the other players (Sea Trade).

As long as the current player has Raw Material Cards to trade, that player can make as many trades as he or she likes.

Victory points (Siegpunkte)

The first player to gain 10 victory points wins the game. Victory points are awarded for:


Each player begins the game with 2 settlements and therefore starts with 2 Victory Points. It only takes 8 more to win.

Victory Point Card (Siegpunktkarte)

When a player buys a Development Card, they might draw a Victory Point Card. These cards represent important cultural achievements. If a player has bought a victory point card, he or she should keep it secret until they are ready to end the game by declaring it/them part of the 10 victory points needed to win.


You should always keep at least one Development Card concealed. This will make the other players worry that you have a Victory Point card.

Wasteland (Wuste)

The Wasteland or Desert is the only land hex that will never produce Raw Materials. The robber is placed in the wasteland at the start of the game. If you build at an Intersection that borders the wasteland, you must be aware that only 2 of your bordering land hexes have a chance of producing Raw Materials.

The Game Cabinet - - Ken Tidwell