A Complete Overview of Catan Dice Game

Catan has built quite an empire with a collection of expansions, different versions of the game, and accessories. For every scenario you want to play the game in, Catan has an answer. From traveling, having less than three players, and making the game less complex.

The Catan Dice Game considered many different scenarios. It doesn’t require many people to play, has no setup, and is easy to take with you anywhere. There are many different ways to play the Catan Dice Game to make it as close to the original or as fast of a game as you want. Below we get into the nitty and gritty of the Catan Dice Game.

Quick Overview of Catan Dice Game Up Front

Time to Play: 20-40 minutes

Players: 1-4

Similar to the full version of Catan, your goal is to build as many settlements, cities, and roads in a new world. You do this by rolling dice with certain resources needed to build these settlements, cities, and roads. There are also knights to help you with resources you need but don’t have. Unlike the full version, all that is included in this game is a set of 6 dice and a scorecard, making it great for travel or fast play.

What is Catan Dice Game?

game

Pros

  • Less time to play
  • No setup
  • More compact/Fewer Pieces
  • It can be played as a single-player game or with two players
  • Multiple ways to play – Island 1, Island 2, and Extra

Cons

  • You have to print out your own scorecards
  • Uncustomizable board
  • No robber

The Back Story

You have just arrived at a whole new world. This new world that they call “Catan” is full of rich resources, such as wild sheep for wool, fields of wheat, clay for brick, and ore. With Catan’s abundance of resources, it only makes sense to build an abundance of settlements and cities. This abundance of resources also means that others will take advantage of this opportunity.

In the Catan Dice Game, you must build the biggest network of settlements, cities, and roads in a short amount of time. You get your own scorecard (island), so you do not need to worry about others taking settlements or cities that you want. There are multiple ways to play this game, and you can make it as close to the original or as fast of a game as you want.

What’s Included

  • A set of 6 resource dice
  • PDF to print out the scorecards

When to Play Catan Dice Game

Travel

travel

Catan requires a lot of loose pieces, ample space to play, and has a large storage box. The Catan Dice Game takes all of those hassles away. All you need for this version is a set of 6 dice, a printed-out scorecard, and a pen. You can simply throw your dice into a small bag and print out your scorecard once you get to your hotel.

You Don’t Have Much Time

Sometimes you don’t have time to sit and play Catan for up to 2 hours. You can play the Catan Dice Game in as little as 20 minutes. The Island one version of the scorecard ends after the fifteenth round. Therefore, as fast as you can play fifteen rounds is how fast the game will go. The time increases, the more players you have.

There’s Less Space

Catan requires quite a bit of space on a flat surface with the board, cards, and pieces.¬† Since the dices game is only a set of dice and a small scorecard, you only need enough room to roll dice and a flat surface to write on. Just make sure that your dice don’t go rolling off whatever small space you’re playing on and disappear.

You Don’t Have Enough Players

Since you play the Catan Dice Game on individual scorecards, you can play this game by yourself if you want. It doesn’t require interference from other players, and it has a definite amount of turns, so you can play to beat your last score. The Catan Dice Game is also great for two players or couples.

How to Play Catan Dice Game – Island 1

Island 1

Set-Up

There isn’t much setup needed for the Catan Dice Game, and you simply need space to roll the dice and a printer for the scorecards. If you have access to a laminating machine, you could also laminate your scorecards and reuse them with dry-erase markers. Start by handing each player a score sheet and giving the first play the six dice.

How to Win

The goal is to get the most victory points by the fifteenth round. You acquire victory points by building roads, knights, settlements, and cities. You must roll the dice and use the resources rolled to build these. For example, three ore and two wheat are needed to build a city.

During Your Turn

Roll the dice. You may roll the dice up to 3 times. After your first roll, you put the resources you want to keep aside and roll the remaining dice that you do not want to keep. For your third roll, you may decide to reroll dice put aside from your first roll or simply reroll any dice that you do not want to keep. You are then stuck with the resources you have on your dice unless you have two gold or a resource joker (explained below). You do not have to roll three times if you are happy with your first or second roll resources.

Use your resources to build. You can build a road, knight, settlement, or city with your resources. Use the table given on the scorecard to see the price of each thing. You must build these roads, knights, settlements, and cities in order starting at the road with an arrow on it. For example, if you wish to build a knight, you must start with knight 1. If you wish to build a settlement, you must build the first settlement with the number 3.

You can not build settlements or cities that do not have a road leading to them. First, you must build the road going to that settlement or city. Roads have to be connected to another road. Cities and settlements do not obstruct roads, so you can build roads around these. Build these items by filling in the item on your scorecard with a pen.

Write down your score for that round in the top left box of the scoring track on the top right corner of the card. Your score is the number associated with the items you have bought. Add these numbers up and write that total into one box. If you did not build anything, you must write an X in this box, which is negative two points.

Knights

Knights

Knights are resource jokers. Once you have built a knight, you can use it to replace any resource in your roll with the resource below the knight. You do this by flipping one dice to the correct resource and marking out the used knight on your scorecard. You can use a knight in the same turn you built it and use more than one knight a turn. The last knight with a ? is a wild card, and you can choose which resource you want to use.

Gold Resources

Gold resources can be traded for another resource. If you roll two gold pieces, you can trade these two gold for a resource of your choice. You do this by flipping one of the gold dice to the desired resource and setting the remaining gold piece to the side. The set aside gold die is then an unusable die. If you acquire enough gold, you can trade multiple resources in a turn.

How to Play Catan Dice Game – Island 2

Much of the island two rules are similar to the island one rules, such as set up, building costs, and what the resource jokers and gold do. This section will only be going over the main differences between the two ways to play.

How to Win

Island 2

This version is much more similar to the original Catan. The goal of Island 2 is to be the first to reach ten victory points. You gain victory points by building cities (worth 2 points) and settlements (worth 1 point) but not for roads or knights. You can also get two victory points for having the longest road or the largest army.

During Your Turn

Roll the dice. The starting player rolls only three dice, and each player adds one dice until it has reached all six dice, and you continue the rest of the game with all six dice. Like in the Island one version, you can roll the dice three times, keeping the resources you want to use and rerolling the rest. By the third roll, you are stuck with the resources you’ve rolled. The only way to get different resources is with a resource joker or gold pieces.

Build with the resources you have. Unlike Island 1, you can build settlements and cities in whatever order you want. They are all worth the same number of victory points, so it really doesn’t matter what order you build in. The only rule is that you can not build a settlement or city unless a road leads to it and the road starts at the grey arrow.

The knights are still resource jokers, but in Island two, there are more “wild” resource jokers. You can use these knights in the desert hexes with a “?” as any resource that you need. Since you do not have to purchase knights in any order on island two, the two “wild” resources jokers require you to have two knights.

Once finished with your turn, add up how many victory points you have acquired from settlements and cities. Check off the same amount of boxes in the top right corner of your scorecard. There are ten boxes, so as soon as you have reached ten victory points, you have won the game.

The Longest Road

The longest road can be checked off when you are the first to get to the grey road rectangle on your scorecard. This will grant you two extra victory points. If someone has created a road longer than you, you must X out your checkmark, and the new person with the longest road gets those victory points.

The Largest Army

The Largest Army

The largest army is acquired if you are the first person to have three knights. Add a checkmark next to “the largest army” on your scorecard for two extra victory points. If someone purchases more knights than you, you must X out your check and the new person with the most knights receives those two extra victory points.

How to Play Catan Dice Game “Extra”

The Catan Dice Game “Extra” is as close to getting to the original Catan game without using the actual board. This version comes with a larger game map that looks exactly like the game board, except without moveable hexagons. Everyone plays on the same game map, directly competing against one another.

Setup

extra

The setup for this game is pretty much the same as the other two games. The only difference is that you need four different colored pens, markers, or crayons. This will help you depict which player has taken which space.

Each player then chooses their starting road. The road must be along the coast and at least five unbuilt roads away from the other players’ roads. Other than that, they can be placed wherever you would like on the map and marked in your designated color.

How to Win

As in the original Catan game, the first person to reach ten victory points has won the game. You gain victory points by building settlements, cities, having the longest road, or the largest army. Unlike the other versions of the dice game, other players can interfere with your next moves and outwit your strategy.

During Your Turn

Roll the dice. The starting player uses only 3 of the six dice and can roll three times. The same rolling rules apply here as in the other games. Each player adds one more die on their turn until all dice are used. All six dice are rolled for the rest of the game.

Build with the resources you have rolled. You can build a road, knight, city, or settlement. The costs are depicted in rectangles on the outside edges of the game map. As in the other games, you can only build onto your existing roads. In this version, you can not skip over settlements or cities. If your road leads to one, you must build the settlement or city before building the next road piece.

You can upgrade some settlements to a city. If your road leads to a symbol with a larger house right next to the smaller house, you can first build a settlement and later purchase a city to upgrade your settlement. In this case, only fill in the smaller house and continue to build roads past it. You can fill in the larger house later on when you have purchased a city.

To purchase a knight, one of your settlements, cities, or roads must be touching the hex that your desired knight is in. If you purchase a knight, fill in the body and head with your color. You can then use your knight as a resource joker in one of your following turns.

The Longest Road

The Longest Road

To obtain the longest road, you must have five continuous road pieces, not including branches. Other players can block your road in this game. To indicate that you have the longest road, use a token of your choice, i.e. a coin, piece of paper, bottle cap. The longest road is worth one victory point and can be stolen by other players that have built a longer road than you.

The Largest Army

Once a player has obtained three knights, used as a resource joker or not, they receive the largest army. Use another token to indicate you are the owner of the largest army. The largest army is worth two victory points and can be stolen by other players that gain more knights than you.

Optional Castles

There are four castles on this game card located in the corners. These castles are worth an extra two victory points and can be purchased by rolling 6 of the same resources, including gold. There are no other stipulations to building a castle. However, it is tough to purchase a castle without using resource jokers.

Where to Buy Catan Dice Game

The Catan Website

dice game

The best way to get your Catan Dice Game is to buy it directly from the source. That way, you know there won’t be any third-party issues that come with purchasing from external sources. Catan.com also has the scorecard and game map PDFs available for you to download and print.

Amazon

dice game amazon

The Catan Dice Game is also available on Amazon. The advantage of purchasing this game on Amazon instead of the official website is getting Prime free 2-day shipping. That way, you could have it before game night this weekend.

At Your Local Gaming Store

Check at your local board game store if you want the game right away. Most mid-sized cities have at least one board game store. Some Targets and Walmarts also carry the Catan Dice Game.

Other Catan Games

Catan (Original)

Catan Original

Pros

  • You get the full experience
  • Great for parties
  • A more complex game

Cons

  • A lot of setup
  • It can take a long time to play

This is the game that started it all. The “Extra” version of the dice game is extremely similar to the original Catan game. The only real differences are that you can change the game board by moving around the hexagons, and there is a robber pawn that steals resources from other players. The Catan dice game has castles that you can purchase, whereas the original Catan does not.

Even though the original Catan can be more fun for parties and a customizable game board, it takes a lot more time and setup. This game can be played for up to three hours in some cases. There are also many more pieces to this game, so it can take quite a while to set up and needs a lot more space.

Rivals For Catan

Rivals For Catan

Pros

  • Have expansions included
  • A Catan card game
  • It takes less time to play than the original

Cons

  • Need ample space to play
  • Even more complex than the original

This is a two-player version of the Catan game made into cards. It is the same as the original in the way that you win by purchasing settlements and cities with resources acquired. There are five different ways to play Rivals for Catan, including three different themes and dual. This game only takes 30 to 75 minutes to play, depending on if you use the expansions or not.

Rivals has the same feel as the original game but is more complex. Other components of this game are heroes, buildings, and trade ships that you can acquire depending on how you roll the dice. You also need ample space to play this game as you place cards next to one another to build your empire.

Struggle For Catan

Struggle For Catan

Pros

  • It’s played like a card game rather than a board game
  • It can be played with 2-4 players
  • It takes less time to play

Cons

  • You need a little more space than for the dice game

Struggle for Catan is another card game that is played more like a card game than a board game like Rivals for Catan. It is even more similar to the original Catan game than Rivals for Catan and can be played with more players. You can win the game even faster by simply gaining as many settlements and cities with resources traded.

This version of Catan is very similar to the dice game, as in you are simply trying to build the most amount of settlements, cities, and knights to gain the most victory points. There isn’t a lot of player interference from your opponents. You do need a little more space than the dice game to lay out your cards

Catan Traveler

Catan Traveler

Pros

  • The full game in a compact size
  • Pegs for the pieces
  • It can be played with two players

Cons

  • There are a lot of tiny pieces

This is the same game as the original, except smaller and with placeholders for every piece. The whole board is built into the carrying case that folds up to about half the size of the original game. The pieces also have their own designated spots and pegs, so they don’t move around during travel. Catan traveler includes another set of rules included to play with two players.

Catan made this game to replicate the original but make it more suitable for small spaces that may move around. However, there are still a lot of pieces. There are the cards, playing pieces, and dice. They all have their designated spots, but you could easily lose something during travel with so many tiny pieces.

FAQ’s

Question: Is Catan Dice Game any good?

Answer: If you like the base Catan game, you will like the dice game. This game is great for those who don’t have enough time or space to play the original game. You use dice in place of resource cards and a handwritten game card instead of a board. Other than that, it’s the same.

Question: How many players can play Catan Dice Game?

Answer: You can play Catan Dice with 1-4 players. You do not interfere with other players’ game maps, so it can be played by yourself to beat your high score or with a small group to beat others’ scores. There is also an “Extra” version that can be downloaded to play on the same game map as your opponents, making it more competitive.

Question: How do you play the Catan Dice Game?

Answer: In short, the goal is to get the most victory points within 15 rounds. You get victory points by building roads, knights, settlements, and cities with resources you’ve rolled with the dice. You must build these items in order starting at the arrow, and you can use knights and gold to trade resources.

Question: Are there different ways to play the Catan Dice game?

Answer: There are three different ways to play the Catan Dice game. The Island 1 game card, the island two game card, and the extra game card. Each way adds complexity until it is basically the same as the original Catan game.

Overall Impression of The Catan Dice Game

The Catan Dice Game is fun to play if you don’t have a lot of time and not enough players to play the original. It’s a pretty simple game without much complexity. You could really play this game in less time than 20 minutes if you are simply playing yourself. If I had the time and the number of players needed, I would prefer the original Catan over this dice game.

That being said, I do love that you can easily take it anywhere and teach nearly anybody that has played Catan before how to play in less than 5 minutes. It’s honestly a better travel option than the Catan Traveler. The only thing that I would recommend is laminating the game card and using dry erase markers on it, so you aren’t wasting a bunch of paper.

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