Settlers of Catan is another board game classic, combining worker placement, resource management, area control and even social deception all in one game. It's easy to learn but difficult to master and we hope that this article will bring your games up a notch. We have scoured the Internet for top tips, played with them and here are the ones that have worked well for us. Enjoy!
Before going to any top-level Strategy, this is the most crucial thing to do. Always expand early by building settlements as they give you more resources to do more things. Do this before attempting to build the longest road or largest army. Building more settlements also makes it harder for your opponents to build them.
Longest Road Strategy
The main idea is to focus on getting bricks and lumber. This allows you to build the longest road, earning you an extra 2 points. Its useful in getting that extra edge over your opponents, especially between 7-10 points. Be sure to avoid letting another player build a settlement in the middle of the road. It helps if you build 2 separate roads before joining them later in the game as it helps you from being an obvious target.
Largest Army Strategy
In general, this is the best strategy for most boards. Keep buying development cards until you get 3 soldiers. This allows you to move robbers away from your tiles onto another players' tiles when needed. By playing as many soldiers as possible, you will be able to get the 2 extra points for Largest Army.
2:1 Port Strategy
Use this only when the board layout is favorable. This is trickier than the previous strategies as you will be reliant on a single resource and having the robber not be on the tile. Furthermore, the port strategy makes it clear to other players on the resources that you are reliant on.
Wheat Monopoly Strategy
This strategy hopes to keep wheat out of the opponents' hands. It only works if there are only few wheat tiles that can be easily blocked. The idea is to never trade wheat, a resource that is required to build things for Victory Points.
Settlement Placement Tips
For beginners, remember to count the number of dots that are on the numbers of each resource and place settlements where you can get the highest total number of dots. This will increase the chances of getting resources as the dice rolls are more probable. For more advanced players, make sure that the numbers are as varied as possible across as many resources as possible. This will maximise the odds plus the variety of resources you have. It will give you the upper hand during trades.
Remember to focus on bricks and lumber to build roads to spread across the map. Occasionally, build on rare resources so that you have bargaining chips during trades.
Robber Placement Tips
Firstly, place your robber on a 5,6,8,9 tile as they have a higher chance of disrupting your opponent. Secondly, place it on a rare resource that your opponent is occupying so that he has less bargaining chips during trades. thirdly, place on tiles that are touched by as many opponents to maximise the impact. Fourthly, place robbers where cities are at to further disrupt resources. You will need to balance these 4 points before placing the robber and different points take precedence depending on how the game goes.
We hope that this has helped you win your next Settlers game!
Credits to settlers-strategy.com and Board Game Business Podcast for providing these strategies that we tested.