In this article, we will explore some of the most fun house game rules for Catan! Whether you're a seasoned veteran or new to the game, there's something for everyone in this list of variations on the traditional Catan rules. So grab your friends, your dice, and let's dive into the world of Catan!
This alternate rule for Catan incorporates a new currency called “poverty tokens.” Players collect a poverty token for each roll that does not produce a resource for them, excluding 7s. For example, if an 8 rolls and you have no settlements or cities on an 8, you collect 1 poverty token.
Poverty tokens can be exchanged for cards at a rate based on the number of victory points a player has. For example, if a player has three victory points, they would need to pay three poverty tokens to exchange for a resource.
This added element provides a new layer of strategy and decision making to the game, and can change the dynamics between players. It also gives players with fewer victory points a potential advantage, as they can exchange their tokens for cards at a lower rate.
Credit for this idea goes to Reddit user The_Magi_Carpy, who wrote that “as soon as we played this variant, we knew that we were never playing without. It sped up the early game and rubber banded players so there was never a runaway winner with someone being left in the dust.”
The Prophet introduces a new game element called the Prophet. When a player rolls a 2 or 12, they can place the Prophet token on a hex adjacent to one of their settlements or cities. This allows that player to immediately receive one resource card of the type associated with the hex on which the Prophet is placed. On subsequent rolls, if that hex produces resources, any player with settlements or cities connected to that hex will also receive one additional resource.
The benefit of the Prophet does not stack if a player has multiple settlements or cities connected to the hex. When a 2 or 12 is rolled again, the Prophet must be moved to a new hex.
Credit for this idea goes to Reddit user Brando3141. This variant seems like a fun way to spice up base Catan without being overly game-changing.
Development Card Changes
Ride by Night - Play a Road Building and Knight on the same turn, but Road Building only creates 1 road rather than 2.
Night of Plenty - Play a Year of Plenty and a Knight card on the same turn, but Year of Plenty only produces 1 resource.
Monorail - Play a Monopoly and Road Building at the same time, and take all wood and brick from all players.
Credit for these dev card changes goes to Reddit user FakeToto. I liked these development card additions so much I made a few of my own!
Mega Knight - Play 2 Knights at the same time to rob a player of a development card instead of a resource card.
Super-Settle - While buying a settlement, you may discard a Victory Point development card to upgrade your settlement to a city.
Farming Robber - Move the robber to an unsettled hex to receive two of that hex's resource
Friendly Robber - Robber cannot be placed on a hex that a player with 2 victory points has settled on (try this on Colonist!)
Re-Roll Doubles - Like monopoly! Keep rolling until a non-doubles roll occurs.
Combine 2s & 12s - If either a 2 or 12 rolls, both hex's produce resources.
This blog post has explored some of the best house game rules for Catan. These rules add new elements to the game, such as poverty tokens and the Prophet, and can change the dynamics between players. They also offer new challenges and opportunities for strategy and decision making. If you enjoyed this post, please explore the blog, and if you have other expansion ideas please share them on Reddit. If a variant gets enough upvotes it could be added to Colonist like Friendly Robber!