CATAN: New Rules!

Well, friends, I think we’re ready! We’ve done a bunch of playtesting of our new cooperative rules to Settlers of CATAN, and whether or not they’re absolutely perfect, we’re ready to release them for general use. If you do decide to try them out, I’d love to hear how it goes. In another post coming up soon I’ll tell you a bit more how the playtesting went and how we found the flow of the new rules to be, but for the moment I’ll just break down the new concept behind their cooperative nature, and give you the link.

So, realizing that CATAN was racist and colonialist was a hard realization to come to, as I enjoy playing the game, but I have to say, my enjoyment of CATAN with original rules was mild. My enjoyment of Cooperative CATAN is extreme. And in truth, at its most fundamental level CATAN is a racist, colonizing game and I’m not sure the colonizing part can be written out. But I do think the racist part can be rewritten, and I do think the colonizing part can be reimagined to be more humane and respectful to pre-existing civilizations – certainly not a way any colonizing on Earth happened in the last thousand years, but perhaps more like the way the Greeks colonized their part of the world round about three thousand years ago. Ish. It’s too early to think about dates. Anyway.

In Cooperative CATAN, you and your fellow players are coming to a land and settling on it, building your civilization, but you’re doing it with more cooperation and less infighting between players, and you’re doing it along side a flourishing and pre-existing first nations civilization. Which opens up more options for trading, less likelihood of one person dominating the board, and shifts the game mindset massively from one with a poverty consciousness to an abundance mindset. 

Cooperative CATAN still has a competitive edge in that you are trying to see which player can become ‘First Player’, the one who wins with the most points, but all the other players still succeed in being successful settlers and traders and productive members of society. It’s not quite as cooperative as, say, Arkham Horror, where you all live or die together, mostly, unless you die early before you can help save Massachusetts and thus All Reality, but it’s close.
So, here you go! Have a printable PDF of Cooperative CATAN rules. Enjoy, and tell us how it goes for you!

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