Here’s a quick setup guide for the 5th edition of Catan (formerly The Settlers of Catan). If you need a rules refresher, watch my How to Play Catan video.

(click to view transcript)

Hi! It’s Ryan from Nights Around a Table. Here’s how to set up Catan. Assemble the border of the island by connecting the puzzle piece edges together, matching the little numbers at the junctions. If you want a little variety, you can randomly assemble the border to get the harbours in different places.

If you’re new to the game, set up the board the according to the picture on the back of the instruction manual. One of the best features of Catan is its modular board. If this ain’t your first rodeo, you can randomize the tiles, and even the harbours, randomly covering up the printed harbours with the little harbour chits. To lay out the number tokens, start at one corner of the island and deal them out in alphabetical order in a spiral, skipping over the desert. If you’re truly Catan pros and you want it wild and woolly, you can even toss these tokens out randomly, as long as the desert doesn’t get a token, and as long as two red numbers aren’t adjacent to each other.

Shuffle the development deck and put it here, and put the resource cards face up on both sides of the table so they’re within reach of everyone. Put the robber on the desert. Keep the Longest Road and Largest Army tiles handy.

Everyone picks a colour and takes their recipe tile and all their wooden pieces, and immediately begins building forts and structures with them the moment they get bored. Everyone rolls both dice, and the highest-rolling player goes first.

Now for placement. If you’re using an advanced setup, each player in turn order places one settlement and one connecting road anywhere on the island, following the two-away rule. Then, the last player places his or her second settlement and road. The other players follow suit in reverse turn order.

The second settlement you place determines your starting hand of resource cards; you draw one resource card for each tile your second settlement touches.

And now you’re ready to play! If you’d like to know more about how to play, click the link at the end of this video or in the description below to watch my complete How to Play video, which includes the setup segment you just watched. And if you like what i’m doing, click the badge to subscribe, and the bell to get notifications. And now, we dance!

Get Your Own Copy of Catan

In all its iterations, Catan is a roughly bajillion seller. If you already own five or six copies, but would like to add one more to your board game collection, buy it using the Amazon link below and i’ll receive a small commission.

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