GTM #216 - The Rivals for Catan: "The First Catanians"
by Catan Studio, LLC

The Rivals for Catan is a two-player card game set in Catan. In The Rivals for Catan, each player takes charge of their own principality, dictating the fate of its settlers. In addition to building settlements, roads, and cities, you can construct many life improving additions to your realm. You can even hire helpful heroes. All of this improvement will expand your influence in an attempt to thwart your opponent’s efforts.

Both The Rivals for Catan and The Rivals for Catan: Deluxe come with three themed scenarios that introduce additional card sets and game mechanics. The deluxe version of the game comes with useful card trays for organizing your game play, as well as highly-sought-after promotional cards no longer obtainable elsewhere. Today, we want to introduce you to “The First Catanians,” an introductory scenario to get you started.

Set Up

You and your opponent each has a set of starting cards. You’ll begin by placing two settlement cards, connected by a road. You will also have six numbered regions (lumber, wheat, sheep, brick, ore, and gold) placed diagonally adjacent to each settlement.

Nearby, you’ll set up draw decks for events, regions, roads, settlements, cities, and expansion cards. Over the course of the game, you’ll produce resources and expand your principality, hoping to be the first player to score seven or more victory points.

Producing and Storing Resources

On your turn, roll the production die and both players produce resources based on the die result and your own principality’s set up. You don’t need to spend your resources immediately. You can store up to three resources in a region by rotating the region card. By strategically leveraging your regions, you’ll be able to save enough to afford more and greater improvements.

Eventually, you’ll want to expand beyond your initial settlements. You must build new settlements   along your center row. Each settlement must have exactly one road between them. When you build a new settlement, you gain access to two additional, resource-producing regions which you place at the corners of your new settlement. Just like in Catan, you’ll eventually replace your settlements with cities. However, in Rivals, cities do not increase your production. Instead, they allow you to build more expansions adjacent to the city.

The Expansions

As you develop your principality, you can add expansions to your settlements and cities. Expansions can be buildings, heroes, trade ships, and more. Each settlement has space for two expansions. Cities increase this to four expansions. Each turn you may draw an expansion card from the top of a draw deck, or you can spend resources to search a deck for a specific card. You’ll end each of your turns with three expansion cards, so you’ll need to manage your hand as you develop your short and long-term plans.

Other Factors

You’ll find that there are many paths to victory in The Rivals for Catan. Don’t forget to upgrade your settlements into cities and to take advantage of production boosters. By learning how to properly put these simple building blocks together, you’ll be ready for more advanced strategies before you know it. As you master the introductory scenario, you’ll want to expand your games with additional cards and options included in the game. We’ll address the other scenarios in a future article, but if you want to dive right in, go for it! You’ll also find that the two expansions to The Rivals for Catan, Age of Darkness and Age of Enlightenment, each contain three additional scenarios to play through with the new cards included in the expansions.

Grab a friend and a copy of The Rivals for Catan and experience this incredible 2-player game set in Catan!