3 Strategies to Make Enemies at Catan

Three mischievous tactics to add to your arsenal which can benefit you immensely when the time comes 😈

3 Strategies to Make Enemies at Catan
Make enemies in Catan

Making friends is great, but winning at Catan is infinitely greater.

In this post I’ll give you three mischievous tactics to add to your arsenal which can benefit you immensely when the time comes.

1. Extortion or ‘No Block’

If you’ve played enough Colonist games you’ve probably come across people on the chat saying things like “ore for NB?”

This is not your opponents offering to give you a Ninja Bunny, but instead extorting you: if you give them the material they’re asking for, they will not place the robber on you.

NBs are a dangerous tool for a few reasons:

  • The deal is not binding
  • Blocking that player might be more valuable for you than the trade itself

However, if you really want to block someone but want to get a specific resource, you can resort to a NS: non-steal.

If you’re lucky and it makes sense on the board, you’ll be able to trade the resource you want in exchange for not stealing from that player but still blocking them.

This tactic is pretty common in Colonist games, but I wanted to share it to show you how to gain some flexibility and leverage when you roll a 7 or even when using a knight card.

So now let’s move into some sneakier strategies.

2. The Cold-Hearted Plow

One of the most frustrating elements of this game is when you’re racing someone for a settlement and they beat you to it.

Not only does it suck because you don’t get the settlement, but you also lose so much momentum, particularly if it’s at the beginning.

So how great would it be if you could ensure ‘plowing’ your opponents?

Something we often don’t think about when placing our settlements is the materials we’ll get from our second placement.

However, these materials could come in extremely handy when faced with a position where you might be racing someone.

Imagine you’re racing someone or contemplating placing a spot likely to be contested.

If your second placement was on a spot with both wood and brick, you’ll be guaranteed starting with a road which will enable you to win the race.

This is especially useful if you’re rolling before the opponent you’re racing, as it  essentially makes sure that you’ll win that spot.

But this tool can be used even if your opponent plays before you, it’s just slightly riskier depending on what materials they got from their second settlement.

So have fun torturing some innocent souls with this tactic.

Now let’s move on to the most evil of them all.

3. The Infamous Pre-Monopoly Trade

The monopoly card. We all love drawing it and we all absolutely hate when it’s used against us.

You’re saving up your resources religiously and finally you get enough wood to trade 4:1 for the wheat you need to build a settlement.

But right before you, boom. Your opponent monopolies the wood and it seems like the floor just fell from beneath you.

It sucks and yet it’s one of the most fun features of the game.

Now, what sucks even more and is even more fun when you’re the one doing it is getting extra resources for free.

This is how it goes:

  1. You’re planning on monopolying a resource which is abundant on the board and which you have some of, let’s say ore.
  2. You offer your ore for some other resource (you even do 2:1 or more if they don’t initially take it)
  3. You get as many resources as you can for your ore
  4. Everyone is happy
  5. Then you monopoly ore.

Beautiful, isn’t it?

Well there you have it, three tactics to add to your arsenal that can get you some extra resources, momentum, and, most importantly, will win you some games and make you some enemies.

Written by Sergio Sastre