9 Reasons to Play Settlers of Catan Tonight

Meghan Trainor’s “All About that Bass” has achieved parody-level popularity… and not to be left out, gamers have gotten into the action. Check out this clever parody song featuring everyone’s favorite board game, Settlers of Catan:

Doesn’t it just make you want to play Catan tonight?

It’s a rather clever parody and the girl who sings it is phenomenal.

Have you not played Catan before? If not, here are 9 reasons why you should:

1. Everyone Can Play

Seriously. Just like in the video, Catan is the sort of game the entire family can join in on. You can even invite the roommate who just kind of stares at you blankly when you talk about games, or your 10-year-old niece. It’s the perfect way to make family parties a little less boring or just fill the time when you have friends over.

2. You Won’t be at Each Other’s Throats (Most Likely)

Unlike Risk, or Monopoly, or a lot of the more traditional games, Catan won’t have you and your friends at each other’s throats because the play is mostly cooperative. Occasionally someone will have all the resources they need to build and build and build. More likely, everyone is going to need wood for sheep. Or sheep for brick, or wheat for ore.

I mean, that’s not to say things can’t get ugly if you all have tempers or anyone is prone to table flipping. Or if you do anything on this list of ways to piss off Catan players. (Seriously, don’t do it!)

3. Play Up to 6 People (Or 8, If You Really Want)

How many of your friends do you invite over for game night? I’ve had game nights with as many as 12 people (it was loud — it didn’t help that we had a 3-year-old and a 3-month-old present). One of the biggest problems is finding games that can accommodate bigger groups. The base set of Catan is good for up to just 4 players, but you can get expansions to add another 5-6 players.

If you’re willing to get creative, though, you can “hack” the game to support up to 8 players. Check out this handy guide here.

4. You Won’t Win the Same Way Twice

Catan’s modular board means the layout is always just a bit different. You’ll get different resources and start in different places. So unlike Risk, which inevitably comes down to a battle between whoever’s camped out in Australia and Asia, you won’t be able to use the same strategy back to back. Which is good, especially if you and your friends have a regular board game night.

5. Quick Game Play

If you’ve ever played Arkham Horror, Risk, Monopoly, or even Munchkin, you know how a single game can drag on and on and on. Catan games go quickly — anywhere from 30 minutes to 90 minutes. Game play is quick enough that you might actually want to play again. After all, you’ve got to come back from that terrible loss in the last game (all the Robber’s fault, of course).

6. You Need Strategy More Than Luck

In the past I’ve said that I prefer Killer Bunnies to Catan. But there’s one giant problem with Killer Bunnies: You need a Bunny in play before you can do anything. And sometimes you can go an entire game without drawing one.

There’s no such problem in Catan. You need strategy and skill to win — and just enough luck to not roll a bunch of 7s.

And speaking of strategy and luck…

7. Trades Can Get Very Interesting

Part of Catan’s appeal is the interactions with other players. It’s next to impossible for one player to get every resource on their own, which means you need to trade to get what you need to build. And the rules for trading are pretty relaxed, which means things can get very interesting. I’ve seen some very eager bidding wars and alliances forged through trades.

8. Expansions Shake Things Up

We’ve talked about this several times before: The number of expansions for Catan is simply overwhelming…but perfect if you’re the type who feels the need to obsessively collect things.

Pick your poison. Are you all about Cities and Knights? Seafarers? Traders and Barbarians? Or maybe you’d prefer an Ancient Egypt-themed game, or yes, that Star Trek edition.

Even if you do have friends over regularly, you don’t need to play things the same way every time.

9. It’s the Ultimate Gateway Game

They call it a gateway game for a reason: It’s a good way to transition into other games. Catan is the epitome of classic Euro-style games, so once you’ve played it, you’ll pick up other games (like Castles of Burgundy) very quickly.

So, who’s playing Catan tonight? What’s your favorite part of Catan? Tell us about it!

Melissa Johnson Writer
Melissa Johnson
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Melissa is an independent writer and editor, as well as a board game lover. When she's not creating or perfecting web content, she's usually playing games with her friends or experimenting in the kitchen.

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