Settlers of Catan Board Setups

Below are various Settlers of Catan board setups that cover different variations of the game.  Each board is labeled depending on which expansions it requires or if it does not require any expansions.  Board setups are first separated based on whether they are for 3-4 players or 5-6 players to begin with.  After that they are grouped into the standard Settlers of Catan version, Seafarers expansion, and Traders & Barbarians expansion.  Cities & Knights can be added to any board since it does not have specific hexes associated with the game and each game board takes into account Cities & Knights resource requirements.

Three – Four Player Boards

Settlers of Catan

Harmony

This Settlers of Catan board setup “Harmony” requires the standard Settlers of Catan 3-4 player version and does not require any expansions.  The board setup is called Harmony since the resources are distributed in a way to provide different strategy options and equal starting locations for up to 4 players.  Each player will have a great spot to begin at that isn’t inferior to someone placing a settlement before you and each starting location favors a certain strategy to go along with it.

You might choose to pick a location favoring ore/wheat, or possibly sheep/wood, or try to gobble up the best wheat locations on the board.  The one resource that will be scarce is brick since there are only three brick hexes and all three have below average rolled numbers.  This will limit early expansion for the first few turns and will promote trading with the bank and other players who have excess brick.

http://menzgaming.com/settlersofcatan/settlers-catan-board-harmony/

Mountain Range

This Settlers of Catan board setup called “Mountain Range” requires the 3-4 Settlers of Catan version and does not require any additional expansions.  Mountain Range is dominated by a diagonal range of ore hexes in the center of the board that have average number tokens on them.  Around the outer edges of the map are the remaining resources and the better number tokens.  This design makes ore accessible, especially if you start with a settlement next to two or three ore hexes, but also makes ore scarce enough to make building cities difficult.  There is also plenty of wood and brick available on the board so that expanding early on in the first few turns will be easy.

http://menzgaming.com/settlersofcatan/settlers-catan-board-mountain-range/

Settlers of Catan + Seafarers Expansion

Four Islands

This game board is designed for 4 players ideally but will also work with 3 players.  The thought behind the board setup is having four separate islands that each have a specific upside and downside associated to them.  Between two islands there is a gold hex with either a 5 or a 9 to provide a viable expansion option that isn’t out of reach.  No matter what island a player decides to start on they will have access to one of each resource and if they stick on one island they will need to trade with other players or the bank to balance out their resources.

http://menzgaming.com/settlersofcatan/settlers-catan-board-four-islands/

Race to Cities of Gold

This Settlers of Catan board setup called “Race to Cities of Gold” requires the 3-4 player Settlers of Catan version, along with the 3-4 player Seafarers expansion.  The board is setup to allow players to have access to every resource except for ore in the starting areas around the outer edge of the map.  Players are not allowed to start in the center of the map.  The premise behind this Settlers board is making ore scarce until players reach the center and until then building cities and buying development cards will be very difficult.  Starting out players can place their settlements to focus on maximum income or can place a settlement along the coast to allow them to expand to the center early on.

http://menzgaming.com/settlersofcatan/settlers-catan-board-race-cities-gold/

Settlers of Catan + Seafarers Expansion + Traders & Barbarians

Fisherman’s Strait

(Requires 5 & 6 Player Expansions – Designed for 3-5 Players)

This Settlers of Catan Traders and Barbarians setup “Fisherman’s Strait” requires the standard Settlers of Catan version, Seafarers expansion, Traders & Barbarians, and the 5 & 6 player expansion for each game.  Although the board requires the expansions it is designed for 3 to 5 players since there is limited land hexes to begin on and with 6 players the board will feel very cramped.  Fisherman’s Straight sees players star the game on the center landmass which is surrounded by many fishing locations as well as two lakes for fishing.

http://menzgaming.com/settlersofcatan/settlers-of-catan-board-fishermans-strait/

Fish Abundance

(Requires 5 & 6 Player Expansions – Designed for 4-6 Players)

Fish Abundance is a board setup that can work with 4 players if you desire a quick and non-cramped game but it can also accommodate 5-6 players since it uses some expansion pieces.  The board is not the regular size of the full 5-6 player board with Seafarers since there is one long border piece taken out.  Keep this in mind when setting up so it doesn’t get confusing.  Fish Abundance has a large mainland with two lakes, and plenty of fish surrounding it.  Gold tiles are in each of the four corners of the board and have good number tokens, while also being very accessible.

http://menzgaming.com/settlersofcatan/settlers-catan-board-fish-abundance/

Five – Six Player Boards

Settlers of Catan + 5 & 6 Player Expansion

Wheat Shortage

This Settlers of Catan board setup called “Wheat Shortage” requires the 3-4 player Settlers of Catan version and also the 5 & 6 player expansion.  The board has several groups of two of the same resource being adjacent to each other and the number tokens are distributed to provide plenty of each resource except for wheat.  Wheat has two 5, two 3, and two 11 number tokens which will limit the amount of wheat available during the match.  Deciding where to place your first two settlements will determine if you want to rake in a ton of 1-2 resources or go for a more balanced approach.  The ports on the map will be key with trading with the bank if you are unable to trade for what you need with other players.

http://menzgaming.com/settlersofcatan/settlers-catan-board-wheat-shortage/

Settlers of Catan + Seafarers Expansion + 5 & 6 Player Expansions

Mainland

This Settlers of Catan board setup features a center mainland where players will start and where most of the game will take place.  Gold is located in each of the four corners and provides players an option to expand out from the mainland if they become locked out of the center of the board.

menzgaming.com/settlersofcatan/settlers-catan-board-mainland/

North Meets South

This Settlers of Catan board setup is dominated by a large river that divides the board into a northern and southern landmass.  The placement of your first settlement/city is crucial since resources are limited.

 http://menzgaming.com/settlersofcatan/settlers-catan-board-north-meets-south/

East Meets West

East Meets West has a large central sea containing gold that is flanked by large landmasses on the eastern and western sides of the board.

http://menzgaming.com/settlersofcatan/settlers-catan-board-east-meets-west/

Golden Isles

Golden Isles features a large center landmass with four isles features golden hexes with good number tokens on them to make expanding to them a crucial step to winning.

http://menzgaming.com/settlersofcatan/settlers-catan-board-golden-isles/

Landlocked Sea

This Settlers of Catan seafarers board setup “Landlocked Sea” requires the standard Settlers of Catan version, Seafarers expansion, and the 5 & 6 player expansions for each version.  This board also can work with Cities & Knights as long as you have the 5 & 6 player expansion since it is designed for 5 & 6 players.  Landlocked Sea features a large sea in the center of the board that constrains the land on both sides and limits the amount of 3 hex settlement locations to start the game with.  Although Landlocked Sea looks cramped it does a great job at spacing players out since the land is in a circular shape which prevents a large mass of players from being on top of each other.

http://menzgaming.com/settlersofcatan/settlers-catan-board-landlocked-sea/

Archipelago

This Settlers of Catan board titled “Archipelago” is a 5-6 player Catan board that features a fractured board with many small “islands” that players start on.  The expansion for Seafarers and the 5-6 player expansions are required to have enough hexes to create this board.  While there are no true islands on this map the term archipelago is fitting since players are required to begin on one of the eight three hex and/or two additional 2 hex “islands” around the edge of the board.  From here players settle and expand towards the center of the board to fight to control the central gold hexes.  Each of the starting hex islands is balanced to force players to start on multiple islands or else they will be without two key resources.

http://menzgaming.com/settlersofcatan/catan-board-archipelago/

Delaware Bay

In the Northeastern part of the United States is the Delaware Bay that sits between New Jersey and Delaware.  This board is based off of the shape of the Delaware Bay and also draws from the local areas to influence the hex places on the map.  Game balance does mean that some hexes might not make complete sense, but in general hex placement is based off of forests, farmland, cities, etc.  This Catan board Delaware Bay requires the 5/6 player expansions for the base Catan game and Seafarers.  There is also two additional variations to this Catan board at the bottom that incorporate fishing or trading from the Traders and Barbarians expansion.  Due to the gold hexes being placed on the main playing field players can start their initial settlements on these hexes which is why the numbers are balanced to not make gold break the balance of the Catan board.

http://menzgaming.com/settlersofcatan/catan-board-delaware-bay/

Settlers of Catan + Seafarers Expansion + Traders & Barbarians + 5 & 6 Player Expansions

Fisherman’s Strait

This Settlers of Catan Traders and Barbarians setup “Fisherman’s Strait” requires the standard Settlers of Catan version, Seafarers expansion, Traders & Barbarians, and the 5 & 6 player expansion for each game.  Although the board requires the expansions it is designed for 3 to 5 players since there is limited land hexes to begin on and with 6 players the board will feel very cramped, although it can be altered for 6 players by replacing the desert hexes.  Fisherman’s Straight sees players star the game on the center landmass which is surrounded by many fishing locations as well as two lakes for fishing.

http://menzgaming.com/settlersofcatan/settlers-of-catan-board-fishermans-strait/

Fish Abundance

(Requires 5 & 6 Player Expansions – Designed for 4-6 Players)

Fish Abundance is a board setup that can work with 4 players if you desire a quick and non-cramped game but it can also accommodate 5-6 players since it uses some expansion pieces.  The board is not the regular size of the full 5-6 player board with Seafarers since there is one long border piece taken out.  Keep this in mind when setting up so it doesn’t get confusing.  Fish Abundance has a large mainland with two lakes, and plenty of fish surrounding it.  Gold tiles are in each of the four corners of the board and have good number tokens, while also being very accessible.

http://menzgaming.com/settlersofcatan/settlers-catan-board-fish-abundance/

Divided Tribes

This Settlers of Catan board setup “Divided Tribes” requires the base Settlers of Catan game, Traders & Barbarians, Seafarers, and shown in the picture Cities & Knights is included.  You will also need the 5 and 6 player expansions for each add-on required or else there will not be enough pieces to complete the board.  This board setup is called “Divided Tribes” since the board is separated by a narrow sea in the center of the board creating two main landmasses.  Each side is balanced equally and contains many fishing locations along the edges and via the lake hex.

http://menzgaming.com/settlersofcatan/settlers-of-catan-board-divided-tribes/

Delaware Bay (Fishing or Trading)

In the Northeastern part of the United States is the Delaware Bay that sits between New Jersey and Delaware.  This board is based off of the shape of the Delaware Bay and also draws from the local areas to influence the hex places on the map.  Game balance does mean that some hexes might not make complete sense, but in general hex placement is based off of forests, farmland, cities, etc.  This Catan board Delaware Bay requires the 5/6 player expansions for the base Catan game and Seafarers.  There is also two additional variations to this Catan board at the bottom that incorporate fishing or trading from the Traders and Barbarians expansion.  Due to the gold hexes being placed on the main playing field players can start their initial settlements on these hexes which is why the numbers are balanced to not make gold break the balance of the Catan board.

http://menzgaming.com/settlersofcatan/catan-board-delaware-bay/

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