How to Win at Catan – 4 Tips for Introverts
by Bianca, Quartermaster @ The Guild Hall
August 13, 2020
I know, I know, playing board games with your friends as an introvert can be exhausting. Catan can be an even worse experience if you let your politeness and good manners get the best of you: you always end up with the least resourceful position on the board, you accept bad trades to please your friends, soon enough the other players start fighting, cards and roads are being thrown across the table, relationships are damaged for the rest of the evening. Your presence might even go unnoticed until the end of the game.
Worry not! Here is how to survive a Catan night, and even win a couple of games.
1. Let out your inner snake
Yes, you heard right. Once the dice have been rolled for the first time you have to forget about real life and about how much you care about your friends: they are enemies, they need to be conquered and destroyed. Every trade and every settlement you put on the board has to be to your advantage.
This does not mean you have to give up your quietness, the loudest players are often the most vulnerable. While people are distracted fighting each other, plan your next few moves with the intent of winning.
2. Find unconventional ways of winning
You know the rules and the basic ways of winning the game but it seems like they never work out for you. Approach the game from a different perspective!
Forget about The Longest Road, those are only two points and they might not guarantee a victory, let the other players waste their resources on roads and outwinning each other every few rounds.
There are other ways, often less conspicuous, to gain points. Focus on buying Development Cards: they can help you build the biggest army, gain free resources and get Victory Points. If you don’t have the best placement on the board try to upgrade your settlements and develop your harbors.
3. Make enemies
When one of the players starts to approach victory it is important to team up with the others to take him down. Stop any trade with the potential winner and work together to take away points from him, if possible. This will not last more than a few rounds, as one of the other players will inevitably become the next potential winner. Repeat the scheme and turn against them, climb the ladder until you’re on the top.
4. If you’re not winning at Catan, no one is
This tip is as clear as it can be. If you have no chance of winning, start sabotaging the other players. Of course, don’t take it too literally: the goal is to have fun and make your presence known. Board games are lots of fun if you let yourself enjoy them, so let your shyness at the door and have a great game of Catan!
With that being said, you’re now fully equipped to win a game of Catan. Don’t stress, you’ll find yourself having a lot of fun in the process and it might even open doors to other new, exciting, social hobbies!
If you’ve never played Catan and want to see what the fuss is all about, you can buy yourself a copy here or try it out at our place. And if you are already a Catan expert and you’re looking for a challenge, sign up to our Catan Competition that takes place on August 28!
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