Settlers of Catan is a very popular board game. The basic goal is to gain points by “settling” the fictional island of Catan. Catan is an island made up of 5 different resources – brick, wood, sheep, wheat, and ore – that are represented by hexagonal tiles. Players build settlements and cities along the borders of these hexes to gain access to the resources. Resources are given based on rolls – each tile is assigned a number that, when rolled, doles out that particular resource.

The game is a great model of supply/demand economics. Players are allowed (even encouraged) to trade with each other or with the “bank”. There are many different strategies that people swear by, and this blog will be a quantitative investigation into the “winning strategy”.

I’m going to assume a fairly good knowledge of the game in this blog – if you want to learn the game, this is not for you. If you know the game and want to get better, strap in. The majority of my tests are actual games I play with a cycling group of friends and competitors, but some of the games are online. The online Settlers is easy and, best of all, free for the regular game (I believe you can pay to get expansion packs).

I’ll also be sporadically posting some insights on topics related to the Seafarers expansion pack. If you’ve never played Seafarers, don’t worry about not being able to follow along – it’s all very intuitive. The majority of strategy that I draw from these games will be applicable to the regular Settlers, but there may be extra insights relevant only to Seafarers that I investigate.

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