Few of us carry a hex-board, road pieces, dice, resource cards, and all the other trappings a of good game of Catan with us on a daily basis. (If you do, then my hat is off to you good sir/ma'am.) That is why I spent some time finding a way to play a reasonable facsimile with just things you almost always have on hand: pens, paper, and pocket change. This is for all the times you were camping and forgot to bring the board, or were stuck at the airport for an unexpected 4 hour layover.
The final product at the end of this 'ible will look like Picture 2. (OK. OK. Maybe in real life, it'll look more like Picture 3, but this is an instructable and I wanted it to look extra nice for demonstration purposes.)
*Disclaimer* Settlers of Catan is a great strategy / nation building board game that is WAY more fun than it sounds. The game was created by Klaus Teuber and first published in Germany, before becoming a world-wide hit. This instructible is not meant as a replacement for owning the real game, just for use in emergency situations. If you like Catan, you should go buy it (but who are we kidding, if you like Catan you probably already do.)
Step 1: The Board and Robber
Your board will need 19 hexagons, arranged in a regular pattern in columns of 3-4-5-4-3, like the picture above.
- Each hex gets one resource (draw a picture or just write the word). 3 Stone, 3 Bricks, 4 Wood, 4 Sheep, 4 Wheat, 1 Desert. Take turns placing resources, or play rock-paper-scissors, or flip a coin, until all hexes are filled.
- Each hex also gets a number, 2 - 12. These are usually arranged in a counter-clockwise spiral in the following sequence, starting from any corner hexagon and skipping the desert: 5-2-6-3-8-10-9-12-11-4-8-10-9-4-5-6-3-11. I've arranged them differently in the picture to show that there should be two of every number except 2 and 12, which each get only one. (Do as I say, not as I do.)
- You need 9 ports arranged regularly around the board. I draw dotted lines to help see where they should go. 5 of the ports are 2:1, each with its own resource. The other 4 are 3:1 with any resource.
- You need a coin, or a pebble, or a crumpled gum wrapper to act as your Robber. Place it on the Desert to start.
- Roads, Settlements, and Cities are simply drawn on the board. Once placed they never move again, so pen or marker is OK. Each player is allowed 5 Settlements, 4 Cities, and 15 Road segments.