One of the reasons I was so hesitant in buying Settlers of Catan, is that officially you can only play it with 3-4 players. It’s a great game if you’ve got enough players, but what if you’re only with the two of you?
I’ve found a couple of adapted rule set so that you can play it with two players, but none of them felt completely right. What we’re playing with now is mainly based on the rules from this website, with a small change.
- No Trading: Players may only trade with the bank. It’s rare that both players will agree to a trade anyway, so we just scrap that away completely.
- Throw Dice Twice: At the start of each players turn, the player throws the dice twice and resources are collected for both throws. If a 7 is thrown on the first roll, the robber is controlled by the player with the least victory points (if victory points are tied, the player who rolled the dice controls the robber). If a 7 is thrown during the second roll, the control of the robber stays with the player who threw the dice.
- #Victory Points is 12-15: This depends on how fast a game you want. If you want a reasonably fast game, go for 12 points. If you want a more difficult longer game, go to 15. With 15 points it’s really about making smart investments; you can’t win with only settlements/cities, you need the longest road or the largest army to collect that many victory points.
- Card Limit is 9: Instead of holding a limit of 7 cards in your hand when the robber is thrown, you can hold now 9. This is because there is no trade opportunity anymore with other players, so you need more cards to obtain your goals.
- Open Victory Points from Development Cards: Whenever you draw a Development Card giving you victory points, you must play it right away. This is because otherwise the first roll robber rule doesn’t make sense, giving control of the robber sometimes to the stronger player only because his victory points are “hidden” (besides most of the time you know that when a development card is lying for ages in front of a person, it’s a victory point).
For the rest the rules are all the same; you play with the same type of board and setup of the resources. There’s no difference there. I still prefer playing the game with 3 players (with 4 there is just no room to maneuver properly on the board), but sometimes we’re only with the two of us and still want to play.
At the moment we’re also playing a special scenario for two players with the expansion Seafarers of Catan which I like even more than this version, but I’ll blog about that next week.