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Former featured article candidate Catan is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
March 1, 2004 Featured article candidate Not promoted

Xbox 360 of Catan given own article[edit]

The amount of information coming for the 360 version of Catan was becoming unweildly, so it made sense to give it its own article: Catan. JAF1970 20:20, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

PS. Especially since it has achievements, upcoming rules, unique AIs which will be given names, etc. JAF1970 21:04, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
Image that accompanied this topic on the page was marked for speedy removal, and has been removed. GnomeWorks (talk) 23:21, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Strategy section[edit]

There should be a strat section. Other game entries have them. JAF1970 19:46, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Strategy sections violate WP:NOR and WP:V unless you can source them (ie. we can only reference existing published strategy guides from reputable sources). And WP:BTG is somewhat against strategy sections by that principle. kelvSYC 07:11, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

After market section[edit]

We need a section for after-market addons like the YuCatan Custom Board like the one now available commercially. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Todobemcara (talkcontribs) 21:15, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Deleted References[edit]

Someone has deleted references to the online jsettlers game and the open source Sea3D. These are valid links, and should not be deleted.--Bcnstony 07:36, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Those aren't references; they are links to pages not about The Settlers of Catan, but rather about apparently non-notable unlicensed computer implementations of the game, and IMO WP:EL#Links normally to be avoided. -- JHunterJ 11:20, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
A number of people on this discussion board have already mentioned sea3d and jsettlers as worthy of inclusion. Concern about confusing licensed with non-licensed versions is valid, so I have included links to these games at the bottom, under External Links - Non-Licensed Versions. I hope this satisfies what appears to be the dual goals of providing a reference to these versions with the desire to have then not listed alongside official, sanctioned implementations.--Bcnstony 21:28, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
They skirt too close to WP:SPAM, and at best are only indirectly related to the subject of this article, the non-computer version. -- JHunterJ 23:03, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
I am confused by your definition of both SPAM and indirectly related. Unlike the XBOX game, these games attempt to derive no profit, making the SPAM argument questionable. Additionally, these games are complete implementations of Settlers of Catan, in every detail, except that they do not have the same name for legal reasons. I nominated that we either add these, or remove the links to the XBOX version under your argument of WP:SPAM. Additionally, I would like more people to comment on this issue, as I am beginning to feel that decisions are being taken unilaterally by a single user, despite multiple users on this discussion page commenting on both jsettlers and Sea3D.--Bcnstony 00:32, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia spam doesn't require a profit motive; see WP:SPAM. If they are not Settlers of Catan games (whether for legal reasons or not), then IMO they don't belong on the Settlers of Catan article. Agreed about the XBox version, though. -- JHunterJ 02:23, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
To answer your concerns about unilateral actions, I fully support JHunterJ in removing these links. Percy Snoodle 12:38, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

I strongly disagree with the deletion of non-licensed versions, and plan to re-add them after some additional time for discussion. Deleting them is rather POV.--SarekOfVulcan 03:03, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

JHunterJ, I believe that you're referring to EL3, links that exist to promote the site. I don't think these fall under that category: they provide a way for people to familiarize themselves with the game without having to pay first. It wasn't until after I spent some time on Sea3D that I actually wanted to start buying the game -- the Card game that I had initially bought didn't grab my interest, and the last similar game I bought, El Grande, was way too complicated. After I learned the rules playing online, though, I bought my own copy of Settlers, and plan to pick up a couple more expansions this summer.--SarekOfVulcan 03:08, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
You are confusing "exist to promote the site" with "exist to take business away from the legal owner". That, in your case, the software did not take business away from the legal owner does not change whether the links exist to promote the site. If there were a site "", it would still be inappropriate to add the link here to promote it. If the unlicensed version(s) are notable, create WP articles for them and Wikilink them from this article instead. So far, none have been notable enough. -- JHunterJ 06:34, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

How about this as a compromise: Under video games, we add "There are also a number of unlicensed third-party computer implementations of Settlers of Catan" and link to a freshmeat search for Catan as the reference. That way the article is on-topic, and the link is non-promotional; but Pioneers gets a link and so will Sea3d if they add themselves to FM? Possibly a different software directory would be a better choice. Percy Snoodle 08:52, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Leaving out mention of Java Settlers of Cattan is pretty biased, imo. At one point there were close to a hundred servers running that could easily be found with a Google search. From my experiance it was typical to see 10-20 people or more on these servers. That means there were at least thousands of people playing jsettlers. Why leave out mention of that? Part of the history of this game is that there are unoffical versions of the video game, and that lots of people did play them, and that it's quite likely that these unofficial games played a part in popularizing the game on-line. Leaving out mention of this because the current copyright owners don't like it is like talking about a Ronald Reagan but leaving out mention the Iran-Contra Affair because it upsets Regan's family. This article is supposed to be complete not a promotion for the people currently selling the game. I can't even understand why someone would want to avoid mentioning jsettlers... unless they work for Microsoft and they are going arround cleaning up wikipedia entries. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:56, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

It's got nothing to do with whether the copyright holders "like it" or not. Wikipedia is not a place to advertise online services, even one with a few thousand users. Percy Snoodle 10:01, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
So then take out the info about the comercial versions that are officialy licenced. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:21, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

There is a lot of discussion on this page about links to various implementations of computer versions of Settlers of Catan. It seems to me that a couple of people keep editing out the external links and calling them spam. The links are to public servers that make no profit and if someone is interested in this game then playing on one of these server is a useful way to learn more about the game. I see how adding the links will benefit people and I see no way that adding the links detracts from the article. In fact it is my opinion that leaving the links out is quite POV and I would not be surprised to learn that the people removing them have some ulterior motive for doing so. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Quelt42 (talkcontribs) 04:57, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

You misunderstand Wikipedia's guidelines on WP:SPAM -- it doesn't have to be for-profit. See also WP:EL for guidelines on external links and WP:AGF for guidelines on assuming good faith. -- JHunterJ 10:18, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

No, I think you misunderstand the point of Wikipedia. The goal is to make information available to people, not censor it for no good reason. If you scroll up you'll see that there are 4 or 5 people who want the links added and just the two of you who insist on removing them. IMO, the majority consensus says leave them in. Go look around at other topics. There are many external links to relevant services outside Wikipedia. These links are clearly labeled as external and do not hurt anyone, in fact they add benefit for most people. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Quelt42 (talkcontribs) 11:01, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia may exist to make information available, but spam links don't count as "information". Anyway, if a user is seeking out computer implementations of a game, they're only a click away via the BGG link. Percy Snoodle 11:18, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Quelt42, please see WP:CONSENSUS and WP:NOT#DEMOCRACY. The goal is not to make all information available to people, but rather to compile previously written, verifiable facts (which the unlicensed site does not provide). There are reasons for not linking the unlicensed, unnecessary site, because Wikipedia is not a collection of links. And please sign your comments by using ~~~~ -- JHunterJ 11:23, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

I looked in the history. One of you two took out even mentioning that people ran free servers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Quelt42 (talkcontribs) 20:40, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

A similar question has arisen regarding unofficial implementations of Carcassonne (board game); hopefully the above conversation will answer Zacchiro questions. Percy Snoodle 16:06, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Variations article[edit]

I first learned about Settlers of Catan on this very wikipedia Article, and the link to the Java Settlers was very useful to me. It taught me how to play, and was one of the main reasons I ended up buying the board game. Just reading about a game is not enough. To have a resource to be able to play it, and the different styles and variants that exist are very useful. Case in point? Tetris. Look at the Wikipedia Tetris article. They have a whole section on variations. They are included because they are important to both the history of the game, and to the different styles and forms. You can see something similar in just about any game you search for. So the arguments that the references to other versions don't apply here or are Spam really doesn't add up. If the links had nothing to do with the topic, then it would be spam, but just because the Open-Source Programs has some different rules or a different name, doesn't make it any less useful as a reference... I was shocked to find today that the links were removed, and I consider it rather pitiful that whoever did it went so far as to delete this from even the history. The purpose of a Wikipedia History is to preserve the integrity of the information, so if changes are made that isn't quite right, those changes can be reverted. I only just found out today about the existence of an Open Source seafarer's game. Had I known about that, I might have tried it and then bought that game too. So having that link removed before I had a chance to read the article really hurt my ability to review all information available to the game, and I am personally offended that people actually go around omitting the facts like that in an Encyclopedia... I motion to restore anything that had even the history erased, if only to establish that at one time it existed. Then if the community as a whole decides not to keep it, at least we have the history. Or maybe a decent compromise would be to set up a new Settlers of Catan Page, called "Variations of Settlers of Catan" where all the external links and extra versions can be written. And a link to that page can be placed on this one. That way it would be specifically about the variations and so everyone can be happy. The people who like to delete history can have their incomplete article, and the people who want to have all the information has a page for all the information. --Elliandr 20:07, March 26th 2008 (CST)

No. Unofficial variations don't belong on wikipedia at all, whether in a proper article or a special ghetto article. Percy Snoodle (talk) 10:16, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
The purpose of Wikipedia is not to state an opinion, but to present the facts. And the facts are that Mayfair games themselves posts information on unofficial varients on their own website with pictures to print out any everything. So the only thing people are doing by deleting the information that exists is imposing their own opinions over facts. Aside from this fact, either you consider variations of the game to be the same game or a different game. In either case if a Wikipedia Article can exist talking about one game, then wikipedia articles can exist for any game. If variations are considered to be extensions of the same game (as mayfair games appears to) then it should be included on the same page. If variations are considered to be a different game, then it should appear on a different page. --Elliandr 18:41, March 28th 2008 (CST)
If Mayfair post them, then they're at least officially sanctioned, and that may be enough to merit inclusion. Variants that Mayfair don't officially sanction don't belong here, per WP:NFT. Percy Snoodle (talk) 08:32, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

WP:NFT really doesn't apply at all to the open source games. They are pretty obviously clones of Settlers with a different name solely so they don't get sued. For all practical purposes the only thing the addition of a link to Java Settlers does is give people an easy way to see exactly what game the article is referring to by playing it themselves. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:21, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

That's not all it does; it also gives the project free advertising and the endorsement of wikipedia. If the user is interested, they can find links to free versions via the pages we do link to, but we shouldn't link to them ourselves. NFT applies to them just as strongly as it does to anything else. Percy Snoodle (talk) 10:32, 4 May 2009 (UTC)


We have played and tested a derived set of rules allowing 2 people to play, and still keep all the game elements as per the original version.

We have tested this over 10 games, and believe we have ironed out the rules changes needed.

I believe this would be an interesting topic to add to this page, but have no idea how to add or edit.

How is this done please ?

David Edmonds

Well, unfortunately, your variant rules are not appropriate content for Wikipedia, as they violate our original research policy (See WP:OR). However, a great forum for your variant rules would be BoardGameGeek. I suggest you consider posting them there. Settlers BoardGameGeek entry. There's a forum just for variants. Regarding editing and adding to wikipedia, I'll refer you to this page Wikipedia:How to edit a page. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Chunky Rice 16:46, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
You could try submitting the idea directly to mayfair games. If they present the information themselves on their website, like they do other submitted variants, then I don't think it would be against Wikipedia's original research policy to just refer to something they mention about ways to play their own game. -- Elliandr 18:57, 28 March 2008 (CST)

Settlers of Catan (series)[edit]

I was thinking that it would be a good idea to create a new article titled Settlers of Catan (series) and make this article just about the original game. I'd be glad to do it if people support the idea. -Chunky Rice 16:55, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

I would keep the expansions and editions info here, but the rest of it looks worthy of its own article. --Rindis 17:11, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
I have a rough version of the proposed article here: User:Chunky Rice/Sandbox - Settlers of Catan (series). Feel free to comment or improve it. I just need to clean up a few more entries and add some cites and I will move it to the main article space. -Chunky Rice 18:32, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Looking at that article, I think List of Settlers of Catan games or List of Catan games would be a better title; but the content looks good. It would be worth adding the word "official" somewhere in the lead sentence to make sure the article doesn't end up being farmed for exlinks. Percy Snoodle 10:04, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
good work, you have my vote Feroshki 01:09, 13 November 2007 (UTC)


Seems to be a lack of citations on this article, in particular I cannot find confirmation of the Nintendo DS version being announced for 2008. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:49, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

New names for expansions[edit]

The fourth English edition has renamed the expansions to "Catan: Seafarers" and "Catan: Cities & Knights" (which are closer to the style of the German, I believe). The logo has "Catan" in large type, then below it separated by a rule, "Seafarers" in smaller type. All other references on the box and manuals use the style "Catan: Seafarers" with a colon. I suggest the relevant articles and other references be changed to "Catan: Seafarers" or just "Seafarers" as appropriate. --KJBracey (talk) 12:44, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

When (if) those become the WP:COMMONNAME, sure. Until then, they don't need to change just because the boxes did. -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:06, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Catan: the computer game[edit]

I expanded the info on this game. In particular, I made it clear that the game isn't available for sale any longer and that the reason for this is that Microsoft withholds it, only offering the version that requires MSN.

At the same time I moved the images around a bit so the header "Video Games" got left justified (and not squeezed between two images reducing readability). I used bold to separate the three main sections of the video game section, feel free to reformat if there's an established Wiki way to do this.

I am aware the list of settlers games reproduces some info on each game, including this one. But I haven't changed that page - better then to await Catan: the computer game getting its own page and then moving all info there instead.

Cheers, CapnZapp (talk) 15:43, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Here's a reference for the "now available at other online services" bit: CapnZapp (talk) 15:44, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Corporate Participation in this Article[edit]

Checking with WikiScanner, it was learned that Microsoft Corporation was the one who put the information about the Microsoft Catan Products up to begin with and has made more than 150 edits on Wikipedia. There were also a number of electronic and computer companies who likewise have been involved. Using Wikipedia to push an agenda and to remove content that could compete with that agenda is against the rules.

The only people who are participating in the deletion of content are not users, but companies. For example, the most recent change in deleting content was made by "Performance Systems International Inc (Brookline, Massachusetts)" and other companies, such as "Beethoven Pc Support Services (Melbourne, Victoria)" (aka Percy Snoodle)

While yes, it is possible that in some cases, someone within a company acted on his or her own using a company computer as an individual, for a Microsoft Computer to focus on it's products, and for only computer related companies to focus on the deletion of information about any Non Microsoft Computer product is suspicious to say the least.

People need to know this is going on. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:36, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

You state one thing (Microsoft put info on Catan here) and then leap to another implication (the removal of content). I am not a company, and I participate in the deletion of content here, so I disagree with your claims. And if Percy happens to edit from some support services office, that doesn't make him a company, and it certainly doesn't make him Microsoft. Your suspicious are far-fetched. -- JHunterJ (talk) 23:13, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
No, he's right, he's got me. In my capacity as a shill for Microsoft, after I've worked for nine hours here in Cambridgeshire, UK, I get on a twenty-four hour flight to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. There I go to Beethoven support services, which is really a front for Microsoft's German Board Game Wikipedia Article Editing Division, log in and ruthlessly delete non-Microsoft content. Then I get on another twenty-four hour flight to come home and sleep for eight hours. I do that 65 hours a day, five days a week. Either that or, and please don't think I take this option at all seriously, some random IP editor doesn't know how to use wikiscanner. Sheesh. Percy Snoodle (talk) 08:55, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Dear Virgil Wikiscanner,

1) Accusations with no references and no hard evidence are not helping.

2) Please create an account, we can then discuss your wikiscanning in a central place: your talk page.

CapnZapp (talk) 21:22, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Important news[edit]

I have wood for sheep. Ok...immature but I couldn't resist. Unrelated: Would a basic strategy section be appropriate? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:21, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Resource names[edit]

You're joking but I don't think it's a joke! I think they specifically changed the name of the resources by now anyway: ore, lumber, wool, brick, and wheat. Should that be checked and edited? The "I've got wood for sheep!" was a not-uncommon cry during the game and it was embarrassing. (talk) 22:01, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Deletion of images[edit]

Please see commons:Commons:Deletion requests/Settlers of Catan images.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 15:51, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Unnecessary use of 'eponymous'[edit]

Quoting from Gameplay section. "The players in the game represent the eponymous settlers." Why use eponymous there? All it does is make you have to think for a minute what that sentence means. In fact, in all fairness, the entire first section is confusingly written. I'd rewrite it but I've never played the game -- was just trying to get a basic sense of how it works, but that didn't happen. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but the point of this stuff is to introduce concepts clearly, not to use fancy words. (talk) 04:56, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Eponymous makes it clear that you are the settlers the game's title refers to, not some theoretical new expedition which has been sent out to find the fate of an earlier expedition to catan or any number of other possible misinterpretations. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:58, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Wired magazine article on this game[edit]

I'm not familiar with this game, but Wired magazine has a feature article about it. Perhaps it will prove a useful reference, especially about Teuber's invention of the game. K8 fan (talk) 03:48, 24 March 2009 (UTC)


I feel like having the complete rules of the game in this article is contrary to the purpose of wikipedia (wp:not a how-to) and that a general description of gameplay and goals is more appropriate. What do others think? TheHYPO (talk) 20:08, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

It's hardly the "complete rules", and although we go into some detail, I think each detail illustrates a worthwhile point about the game's mechanics. Are there any particular sentences that seem excessive? --McGeddon (talk) 20:24, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
I respect that it's not complete and total, but I think it's beyond what is needed to identify and explain the game to a reader. The reader does not need to come out of the article with a complete grasp of the game mechanics. That's what the rulebook is for. Details I feel could easily be left out of the rules without a major confusion of the reader include:
Numbered tokens are then placed on each of the tiles, except for one desert hex. - so long as it is later referred that there are numbers on the hexes that correspond to dice rolls, the fact that they are placed by tokens is pretty trivial that you'd need to know to play the game, but not in an encyclopedia article
no two settlements may be built on adjacent corners - is a technicality rule that has no bearing on getting an understanding the game.
Production of resources (clay, lumber, wool, grain, and ore) is the main random element in the game - this is pretty much an opinion/observation that is not really encyclopedic, and a reader can form that opinion themselves...
There is no combat. Players may harm each other by moving the robber, refusing to trade, cutting off building routes, taking the "longest road" and "largest army" cards, and using certain development cards. There is no implication of combat, so no reason to explicitly say "there is none". I also don't think the longest/largest cards are discussed previous to this statement, so there's no reason for the reader to understand them.
The layout of the board and restrictions on building allow for a player to be boxed in through poor play or bad luck. Also, given the random component of the board layout, it is possible for a player to gain a monopoly on a certain resource, then demand steep trade rates from the other players. Home games generally take between one and two hours to complete. - this is mostly original research, and opinion, and also, "strategy" (properly cited) is better left for a "strategy" section, and not mingled among a description of the gameplay rules.
There's a few other issues, but I think overall, it could be condensed better if it were re-written in a slightly more logical order. I'm going to re-write a proposal for a re-write at Talk:Settlers of Catan/TempRulesProposal. I also think the final paragraph fits better in a 'history' section or perhaps in the 'settlers series' section. TheHYPO (talk) 20:18, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
Is there any objection to the proposed gameplay section I've created above? I'd like to swap it in since no one has replied to my proposing it. TheHYPO (talk) 16:41, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Use of phrase 'killer app'[edit]

I feel that the phrase is slightly jargonish and not entirely accurate. Applications are normally designed for systems that can perform multiple tasks. I would find it odd to say that this game proved beyond doubt that tables were useful for playing games on... Perhaps a mention that it caused growth or replication in that field would suffice? (talk) 16:32, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

It's a direct quote. -Chunky Rice (talk) 16:50, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Being a direct quote doesn't make it not giberish. The above users comments are true and raise the question of why the statement is in the article at all. Having a source of someone saying something about the subject is all well and good, but not every comment needs to be included and this is especially true if the comment makes no sense. The board game is not the reason people buy tables or other board games. It's a popular board game but that's not what a killer app is. A killer app proves a platform is useful (ie: If I bought this computer and the only reason I did so was for Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Excel is my killer app). I didn't buy my table to play Settlers of Catan. - (talk) 01:32, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
I removed it. Seems the best option. It doesn't make any sense, direct quote or not. It's also not true, so there's no reason to have it. - (talk) 23:19, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
I've restored it: it's not gibberish at all. Before Catan came along, few people round here were interested in board games. Then Catan hit, and for a while it was all people played. Then they got interested in other games, and started expanding their collections. So Catan did prove the "platform" of board games was useful; by your definition, it is the "killer app" of board games. Further, if your concern is that people didn't buy furniture for it, see here. Percy Snoodle (talk) 10:24, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
There isn't a platform for this. No one stood around saying, "Sure German-style board games are fancy but what's the point in having one?" and then changed their mind when Settlers of Catan came along. Settlers didn't make my other German-style board games more useful. It didn't effect my other games at all. That's because Settlers of Catan is not an application that runs on German-style board games. I do not misunderstand the term as you claimed in the edit history. I am suggesting it should not be used incorrectly. - (talk) 08:10, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
No-one stood around saying "Sure German-style board games are fancy but what's the point in having one?" because they'd never heard of them before Catan. As TheHYPO points out below, you've misunderstood "killer app". Once, it was strictly a computer thing; but the phrase has entered common speech and isn't limited the way you're trying to limit it. Percy Snoodle (talk) 12:56, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I had a few friends who stood around saying "German board games? Translated? Wow, that sounds a bit heavy, no thanks" before Catan hit Xbox Live. --McGeddon (talk) 21:52, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
I think there's an argument over the symantics of whether "killer app" MUST be applied to mean "a product whose popularity is primarily responsible for the purchase of another item which is required for the use of the first product". In this sense, the quoted person obviously intended a more general comparisson, wherein someone for whom, say, Wii Fit was a "killer app" would presumably also (by virtue of having to buy a wii) also become interested in, and thus improve sales sales of other wii games; likewise, Settlers, as being a "must have" has had a similar effect on other board games. However, it may be more apt to simply say that the popularity of Settlers has had the effect of generating an increased interest in other board games. TheHYPO (talk) 09:19, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
It may be more apt, but "killer app" is a direct quote from the source, and is a pretty obvious metaphor. This book refers to spreadsheets and desktop laser printers as being "killer apps", and printers aren't apps either.--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 16:34, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
No, but you need a computer to use those printers and spreadsheet programs. You need a Wii to use the Wii Fit. If you bought the Wii only to use Wii Fit or a computer to only use a spreadsheet program, they are killer apps. No one bought another board game just to play SoC. The term has been expanded to mean things outside computers. It now means something that causes you to buy something else just to make use of the first, as TheHYPO says. It isn't that I've misunderstood or that the term has expanded, it's that the term means a specific thing. It doesn't drive sales, it is the reason one buys the platform. It doesn't apply to just computers but has not changed in meaning. - (talk) 17:16, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Please stop the WP:POINT edits here, contrary to WP:CONSENSUS. -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:18, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
One could argue that "gateway drug" would have been a more apt metaphor than "killer app"; since Catan leads to buying other board games, rather than a table. But the author may have considered that, and still chosen "killer app" because it has a more positive spin and is close enough as a metaphor for a product that leads to other products. One could argue that the "platform" is the act of gaming around a table, and that Catan has brought people to that activity, in a way that no traditional mass-market US game has. Now that they are gaming, they look for other games. Hasbro even marketed a "family game night" to try and push more copies of Monopoly, Clue, etc. So perhaps the platform is Hasbro game night concept, but none of the games they pushed was good enough to be the "killer app.".
Regardless, It does not really matter; since the source does use "killer app", it is a properly sourced piece of information. —MJBurrage(TC) 18:07, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Being sourced does not make it correct, regardless of usage. We know the source is saying that this game spurred interest in other similar games. It isn't saying this game caused other games to be purchased so that this game could be played, but that's exactly what a killer app is. We could change it to "spurred interest in other German-style board games," still link to the source, and not directly quote the misused phrase and it would still be a properly sourced statement without the incorrect usage. - (talk) 21:22, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
It's a strong and useful piece of shorthand, and it's clearly flagged as a quotation. All metaphors can be nitpicked for detail. The real problem is that this only gets mentioned in passing in the lead; it's fine as a summary for for spurred interest, and we should just write more about that in the article body. --McGeddon (talk) 21:50, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
It's really not the role of Wikipedia to decide whether a description is accurate or not. You find a reliable source indicating that this quote is inaccurate and we'll talk then. -Chunky Rice (talk) 02:21, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Actually, a source for this can be found quite easily. It's here:
Settlers of Catan is not a feature or component of anything. Even if you consider that it's encouraged the sale of other board games, it does not "in itself makes something worth having or using." It is technically inaccurate - even in metaphor. That's not really disputable. The question is whether or not a a quoted statement that is fairly obvious to those with a decent grasp of English needs to be removed. I'm generally for letting it stay, though I'm leaning more towards paraphrasing after reading this here, but please don't involve other technicalities to counter this technicality. It is well within the scope of Wikipedia to apply logic to its sources. - Kuzain (talk) 02:03, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
English is a descriptivist language, not a prescriptivist one. Wikipedia is also descriptive not prescriptive. The source uses the term in a slightly new way; such is the way that language changes over time. If the dictionary argument were valid than articles about homosexuality could not use the term gay, since it really means happy.
Regardless, I am pretty sure that Chunky Rice was asking for a reliable source that says that Settlers of Catan is not a "killer app". (Not a definition of the original meaning of the term.)
MJBurrage(TC) 05:32, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
That is what was provided. The original term requires it to be an application (hence the "app" portion of the phrase). Its new meaning allows for anything that promotes the sale of a second object simply because it is required to use the first. The meaning intended here is incorrect (either through incorrect use of the term or, far less likely, incorrect understanding of how Settlers of Catan is played). English does change over time. When it does, dictionaries are updated. If you looked up gay in the dictionary, you'd likely find its homosexual meaning alongside its emotional one. At some point, incorrect use of the phrase "killer app" may cause it to mean something akin to "spurs interest" but for now that is not its meaning. It isn't Wikipedia's place to promote such things and, as I stated above, half-formed arguments formed on the basis of technicalities do nothing to promote a resolution to the issue. The phrase's meaning is clear regardless of its incorrect use and it is marked as the statement of another so it can stay or at most simply needs paraphrasing. - Kuzain (talk) 07:27, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Your source did not say that the usage here is incorrect. That, I believe, is Chunk Rice's point about prescriptivist vs. descriptivist. -- JHunterJ (talk) 10:36, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
This is not a technicallity. Relying on third party sources instead of original research is one of the cornerstones of how Wikipedia functions. Right now, what you're doing is original research. -Chunky Rice (talk) 16:29, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't think reading a dictionary is original research. I do think supporting an unsourced opinion regarding the validity of a metaphor is. Regardless, and more importantly, I don't think arguing with someone who generally agreed with you is going to further your cause. Especially when you've yet to provide a source for your opinion while a source and logical assesment of the statement has come from (at least) three different users who've all claimed it to be incorrect (though two have claimed it should also remain) and the only source I can see from the side stating it to be correct actually suggests the opposite. - (talk) 07:24, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
We don't need a source to say whether the metaphor is valid or not; we're not taking a position on whether it's valid or not. The article states that the game has been described as a killer app; rightly or wrongly, it has been described that way. So the article is correct and the quote stands. Now; you claim the metaphor is invalid, but you haven't backed that up. You've shown that 'killer app' can be used one way, but you haven't shown it can't be used in the source's way, so you haven't shown it's invalid, so there's no reason to believe you more than the source. Percy Snoodle (talk) 08:36, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Requesting proof that someone has used a phrase incorrectly is like requesting proof that God does not exist, otherwise he does exist. No one has cataloged the miriad ways one can use a phrase incorrectly. There is no proof it is used like that anywhere but this source, it does not make logical sense, and it does not make etymological sense. - (talk) 16:39, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Only to you, I'm afraid. If it were self-evidently wrong we wouldn't be having this discussion, but because your position is contraversial, proof is required. If you can't provide that proof, I'm afraid we've no reason to listen to you. Percy Snoodle (talk) 11:37, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Its good to see you've been using Wikipedia for this long with that kind of attitude. - (talk) 02:59, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
No, it's certainly wrong and numerous users have agreed with that. There's no point in claiming otherwise. The question is only can a person read the statement and get an idea of what it means. I think reading the statement, without knowledge of the source, does not convey the idea that it spurred interest but does indicate that it's popular. That's all that's really needed. In this case, I don't think it's conveying the meaning it was intended to convey but I do think it suggests the game is popular which is more than a good enough reason to keep it in. If we want to make it known that it encouraged Americans to try other German-style board games, we can add that statement as well with reference to the same source or in the same line. - (talk) 07:34, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm just trying to explain how Wikipedia works. Looking up a word in the dictionary and then applying that definition to a source and concluding that the source used a word incorrectly is original research. To get that information into an article, what you have to do is to find a source that specifically says that the first source was incorrect in it's usage of the word. I'm not trying to advance a cause. I'm just explaining how we do things here. -Chunky Rice (talk) 17:40, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
See above, with the addition that the use of logic to a source is required by Wikipedia. I realize that's difficult. I also realize that it's far more tempting to simply leave a source alone rather than actually think about what you are doing but Wikipedia requires this by policy. That's why we only accept certain sources. Those didn't fall out of the sky. We chose them. If you have proof this was used correctly, provide it. Otherwise, it's a logical fallacy to request proof that something does not exist. You are supposing that this is valid despite proof otherwise and that is original research. - (talk) 16:39, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
The evidence that it was used (correctly used or incorrectly used isn't specified) is its publication. Taken to the next step, your position would lead to "things I agree with don't require proof, and things I disagree with do". Yes, it is unlikely there is any source that says this usage is incorrect, and that doesn't make its usage correct. However, this article does not say that the usage is correct; it says that Settlers was called a killer app, which is true and sourced. -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:36, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
That doesn't mean we should use a bad metaphor, purely because a journalist wrote it. Whenever we use a source, we choose whether to quote directly or to summarise what was said; in this case, I think the in-context quote is snappier and more useful than a more pedestrian "Settlers spurred US interest in other German board games". It's true that "killer app" isn't a 100% accurate metaphor here, but no metaphor is 100% accurate. --McGeddon (talk) 11:26, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

I don’t agree. I don’t see what’s wrong with your "Settlers spurred US interest in other German board games” or something similar. Whether or not you can argue it’s an accurate use of the term ‘killer-app’ it doesn’t seem to me to be the best way to make people understand the point the introduction to the article is trying to convey. The fact that there has been this level of debate involving so many users would suggest that it is at least something of a grey area, and we need to think about what’s best for the article, rather than about who is right and wrong about the use of the term. I don’t think it’s generally a very well-known phrase (I’ve certainly never heard it outside of computer programming circles) and will serve to confuse many people, especially if it is making a bit of a semantic leap (albeit a small one). The point the original editor was trying to make (which is certainly relevent) was that SoC served to introduce this style of board gaming to groups that would not usually have used it before (e.g. families). To then use a phrase that those groups probably won’t understand seems to step on your own point a bit. I’ve got nothing against the phrase per se, but I think at the very least it should be moved out of the introductary paragraph.Bluebloodyhero (talk) 11:49, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Info wanted[edit]

I visited this article hoping to find an answer to the following question:

Can you use the 4th-edition extensions (say the 5/6 player extension) with the classic version of the base game?

Is it?

  1. no problem at all
  2. OK but uncool
  3. really problematic
  4. impossible

I'm not sure this info ought to be in the article - but perhaps someone can answer the question here anyway.-- (talk) 16:44, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Mostly #2. The way the game plays, the rules, and the shape of island tiles has never changes. The artwork on the tiles is different, and the 4th-Ed. expansions have a water border (like the 4th-Ed. game does) rather than water tiles like 1st–3rd Ed. So you can absolutely play using 4th-Ed. expansions with an older main game, but there will be two visualizations of each tile type in play, and the water around the island will look incomplete.
P.S. As I write this, it occurs to me that if the advancement card back changed that would be a problem, but I believe those stayed the same. When I get a chance, I will check that and update the article. —MJBurrage(TC) 16:54, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. And the classic 5/6-player expansion is not sold any more, right?-- (talk) 18:49, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Actually, having wasted some money, I can answer my own question better now. Not only is it VERY uncool to mix old and new versions; it's also uncool to mix versions from different manufacturers. That sizes of resource cards and shapes and materials for roads, houses and cities differ doesn't matter much, but sizes of development cards differ differ too which is problematic as you can't shuffle them, and the edge pieces do not fit. One internet shop had an image of an extension pack from one manufacturer on their home page, but when I ordered sent a pack from another.-- (talk) 08:09, 7 March 2012 (UTC)


I would think people looking this up would like to know they can play it online at BrettSpielWelt. I know I'd want to know that. (talk) 03:36, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

If it's notable (if the ability to play SoC on BSW has been covered in a reliable source), then we should add it. But we'd like to find that source first. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:57, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Introductory Paragraph on game mechanics - just plain wrong?[edit]

I love board games in general and love Catan in particular, but the introductory paragraph about the game mechanics is unusually positive and makes unwarranted statements. I'd suggest removing the paragraph entirely.

The original paragraph: "The game has rapidly become popular in part because its mechanics are relatively simple, while its dynamics are quite complex.[4] The game is well suited for family play, since at no point in the game is any player eliminated, and players who are behind can strive towards goals that are within their reach."

  1. The game mechanics are NOT relatively simple. While I have introduced the game to many people and have become better and better at explaining it over time, it's a very complicated game and requires substantial explanation. Particularly when adding in the expansions. I know it's a sourced statement, but it's wrong. It's more complicated than almost any mainstream boardgame. It only becomes relatively less complicated when compared to niche games like Arkham Asylum.
  2. The assertion that the game is well-suited for family play reads like an advertisement, and if not wrong is certainly debatable. Game conditions often "box out" one or more players - they can't build the roads outside a small area, they lack a crucial resource, etc., and there is sometimes little that can be done. While I don't think it's necessarily bad for families, the assertion that it's good because players are not eliminated doesn't seem to be logical.
  3. It also says that players who are behind can strive towards goals within reach - but there aren't any other goals to strive for! It's a point-based system and the one with the most points wins. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:18, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

On #1, I disagree. It is a fairly simple game. Certainly easier than Monopoly or Bridge, perhaps likely easier than Risk or pinochle. Heck, "Sorry" is only a bit less complex. It's no "Gulo Gulo" or "candy land" but it really isn't that hard to teach a 7 year old. As far as points 2 and 3 go, yeah, you've got good points. I agree with what is there, but without sources the sentence probably needs to be removed. Hobit (talk) 15:03, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

The Settlers are relatively simple compared to other (mainstream!) German board games like El Grande. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:31, 4 November 2011 (UTC)


Is it just me, or is this game also called Hexagon? Itscalledhexagon (talk) 13:37, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

It's obviously just you. -- JHunterJ (talk) 14:31, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Playing Time and Setup[edit]

60 to 90 minutes seems very much on the long side. Most people I know are finished in 45 to 60 minutes. And ten minutes for setup is also rather long. Where did those information come from? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:33, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Well, the box says 60 minutes.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Tombcinchy (talkcontribs) 01:25, 13 March 2013‎ (UTC)

Extension, Expansion[edit]

In the manual p.15 , extension would refer to the 5-6 player variations where expansion would refer to the 3-4 player gameplay variations. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tombcinchy (talkcontribs) 01:23, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Redirect Catan to this article?[edit]

Just wondering whether people think Catan should redirect to this article as the primary topic for the term, with the current Catan article moving to Catan (2007 video game)? I'm not familiar with the game but the board game seems like the most common usage of the term. --Muchness (talk) 20:33, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes and done. Reywas92Talk 21:33, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

2 players rules variants[edit]

Does someone knows variant of the game (can be added in the article?) for two player rules? How can they be valued, statistical analyses maybe?

I have developed a variant for 2 players trying to reusing all the 4 players game rules, i tested it on over 50 games but still i cannot produce a proof that they are valid, plus it should be recognized as original research, nothing good for the wiki article i suppose. Anyway for who is interested (i don't like who said 'i did this about this problem' without sharing) i'm writing them below. Pier4r (talk) 14:20, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

A variant for 2 players[edit]

Here i use color or colors meaning the faction that is playing and not the player (because in a 1on1 each player controls two factions).

  • For the first two turns (that is: each color will play two times) the robber can't be triggered, so a roll of seven means: re-roll.
  • The robber can't be placed again in the same hexagon if a seven is rolled.
  • Both the development cards or the ports (if the color just builds a colony attached to a port) can be played/used in the next turn of the color after their construction. In one turn a color can play one development card (except victory points). Moreover if a settlement is built by a color it cannot be upgraded to a city in the same turn.
  • At the start of the game the colonies can be placed only on crossroads where 3 roads intersect, so no all ports at the start can be directly used.
  • Each player will play two colors as they were independent (except for trading, we will see this after). So, at the start, when the players set the cycle of colors during the turn, the player that will play first will play as first and as third (deciding which color is first and which is third), the player that will play as second will do the same, playing as second and as fourth. The placement of the colonies and so on will follow the original rules for the game with four players.
  • Remember that even if a player controls two colors each color is independent of the other and can block the other color as well, as they were enemies or better 'selfish' allies (so the player should be careful in the developing of the game). If a player that control two colors has both with a road of seven segments, no color gets the reward "the longest road". Because it is like that the color are allied but not willing to let the other color "took prizes just to win the war". So the player should play carefully to not play against himself.
  • The trading between the colors of the same player is without costs, but since each color is independent the benefit of a port of the color A can't be shared with the color B (in the case that both are controlled by the same player) if the color B is playing (that is: except for the trading cost, you follow the rules of catan with 4 players).
  • Victory conditions: the player that reaches with a color 10 or more points wins if and only if the other color that is under his control has at least 5 points (else the game continues), and, to raise the difficulty (just try and see) you can require that the other color needs 6 points at least (instead of 5). Warning if a color reaches ten or more points, it becomes inactive, that is: it doesn't collect any new resource as if the game is ended with four players (but the color with 10 or more points can use the remaining resources and trading with the ports); else a player can just develop one color to help, afterwards, the other.
  • Settlements or roads can be built only if there is a clear conjunction with a previous settlement of the color. A road or a city, of a given color, can be built, following the basic rules of the games, only if the place of construction is directly connected with (at least) one existing road of the same color that is not interrupted by any other color (the allied color is not ok). That is: (i) all the segments of the road are connected each other as the game requires; (ii) the road is connected with at least one village/city of the color (from which the resources, to build the new structure, come) and there is no village/city of other colors that stands between two segment of the road and that is nearer to the construction site than any other village/city of the color itself (it is like that if there is a village/city of another color, this city stops all the traffic to the construction site. Even if the other color is an allied color).
  • Handicaps: if a player is too strong the other can get a bonus (don't look down to handicaps/bonus, the point of a game is have a challenge and not won with ease / lose without hope). For example: a player can place, at the start, cities instead of villages for each 2nd choice of each color. Still getting one resource card for every adjacent hexagon at the very start but, during the game, having since the start a city for each color. Another alternative can be place a city instead of a village for the 2nd choice of the 2nd managed color of the player (this because the 2nd choices for each color normally can use spots that are not so good as the 1st choices, and the 2nd managed color place the 2nd choice before the 1st managed color so more good spots are available). And so on, you can test out your own bonuses/handicaps.
  • Suggestions to define the best player: the two players should play 4 subgames, rotating the colors sequence. This to allow a better distribution of the result of the dice, because in some games the dice can show very few "probable" numbers. So if the first subgame sequence is red, blue, white, yellow , then the second subgame sequence will be blue, white, yellow, red (or the alternative shift, i mean yellow, red, blue, white), the third subgame will be W, Y, R, B (or the accordingly alternative shift) and the last subgame will be Y, R, B, W (or the accordingly alternative shift). Each subgame is assigning one point, one entire point to who has more highest score at the end of the subgame (as sum of victory points of each controller color) or half a point if the subgame ends and both players have the same score. Who has more points at the end of the four subgames, wins. In case both players have the same score (for example 2-2) a tiebreak can be applied, like the following. In every subgame each player has a certain percentage of the total sum of victory points, for example if in the 1st subgame the player, for now called P1, with Red and White makes 17 points (remember: the minimum is 15) and the other player, P2, makes 12 points; then the percentage of P1 in the subgame is 17 out of 29, where 29 is 17 (from P1) plus 12 (from P2). Then in the second subgame P1 (always controlling the same colors) makes 14 points and P2 (again, controlling the same color of the 1st subgame) makes 15 points; in the 3rd subgame P1 makes 16 points and P2 makes 14; in the 4th subgame P1 makes 11 points and P2 makes 18 points. Then the sums are: P1 = 17/29 + 14/29 + 16/30 + 11/29 ; P2 = 12/29 + 15/29 + 14/30 + 18/29 ; where P1 = 862/435 < P2 = 878/435 , therefore P2 wins the tiebreak.

Pier4r (talk) 14:20, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

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