Catan Junior Rules: Learn How to Play the Game

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor

Catan Junior Rules: How to Play the Game

Catan Junior Rules: Learn How to Play the Game

Welcome to the exciting world of Catan Junior! In this strategic board game, players take on the role of pirate captains, navigating the waters of the mysterious Catan Junior archipelago. The goal is to build pirate hideouts, collect resources, and expand your pirate crew. Are you ready to set sail on a thrilling adventure?

Setting Up the Game

Before you embark on your pirate journey, you’ll need to set up the game board. Place the hexagonal terrain tiles randomly to create the archipelago. Each terrain tile represents a different resource, such as goats, wood, molasses, or gold. Then, place the corresponding resource cards face-up next to the board.

Pro tip: Make sure to shuffle the resource cards before placing them!

Playing the Game

On your turn, roll the two dice to determine which terrain hexes produce resources. If the number rolled matches the number on a terrain hex, all players who have a pirate hideout adjacent to that hex will receive the corresponding resource card.

Use your collected resources to build more pirate hideouts, ships, or upgrade your hideouts to pirate lairs. Pirate lairs allow you to collect two resource cards instead of one when the corresponding terrain hex produces resources.

Remember, the more hideouts and lairs you have, the more resources you’ll collect!

Trading and Building Ships

In Catan Junior, trading is a key component of the game. You can trade resources with other players or with the supply in order to get the resources you need. Use your resources wisely to build ships and expand your pirate crew.

Ships allow you to sail to new islands and build pirate hideouts there. The more islands you control, the more resources you can collect. Be strategic in your ship placements to maximize your gains!

Pro tip: Don’t forget to protect your ships from the Ghost Captain, who can steal your resources!

Winning the Game

The game ends as soon as a player has built all of their pirate hideouts or pirate lairs. The player with the most victory points, earned through hideouts, lairs, and collected Coco cards, is declared the winner and the ultimate pirate captain!

Now that you know the rules, gather your crew and set sail for the Catan Junior archipelago. May the winds be in your favor and the treasure be plentiful!

Setting up the Game

To set up the game of Catan Junior, follow these steps:

1. Assemble the Board

Place the game board in the center of the playing area. Make sure all players have a clear view of the board.

2. Distribute the Pirate Ships

Each player should choose a color and take all the pirate ships of that color. Place one of your pirate ships on the starting island of your choice.

3. Set Up the Resources

Separate the resource tiles by type (wood, goats, molasses, and gold) and shuffle each stack face-down. Place the stacks near the game board within reach of all players.

4. Place the Buildings

Separate the building tiles by type (hideout, pirate ship, and pirate lair) and shuffle each stack face-down. Place the stacks near the game board within reach of all players.

5. Set Up the Ghost Captain

Place the ghost captain card face-up near the game board. This card represents the ghost captain and will be used during the game.

6. Distribute the Treasure Chests

Shuffle the treasure chest cards and deal two cards face-down to each player. Players should keep their treasure chests hidden from other players.

7. Determine the Starting Player

Decide who will go first. This can be done by any agreed-upon method, such as rolling a die or flipping a coin.

Once the game is set up, you are ready to begin playing Catan Junior!

Understanding the Board and Game Components

In Catan Junior, the game board represents a group of islands filled with resources and pirate lairs. The board is made up of hexagonal tiles that are randomly placed at the beginning of each game, creating a unique playing field every time. Each tile represents a different type of resource, such as goats, wood, molasses, or gold.

Players will also find various buildings on the board, including pirate lairs, hideouts, and trading posts. These buildings can be built by players using resources they collect throughout the game.

Each player starts the game with two pirate ships, which they can use to explore the islands and collect resources. Pirate ships can be moved along the edges of the hexagonal tiles, allowing players to strategically position their ships to collect the resources they need.

In addition to the game board, players will also find a deck of resource cards and a deck of pirate cards. Resource cards are used to collect and trade resources, while pirate cards can be used to attack other players or defend against attacks.

The game also includes a set of player markers, which are used to keep track of each player’s resources and victory points. Victory points are earned by building buildings and collecting resources, and the first player to reach a certain number of victory points wins the game.

Understanding the board and game components is essential for playing Catan Junior. By familiarizing yourself with the different tiles, buildings, and cards, you can develop strategies to collect resources, build buildings, and outsmart your opponents.

Learning the Basic Rules and Objectives

Catan Junior Rules: Learn How to Play the Game

When playing Catan Junior, the main goal is to be the first player to build all seven pirate hideouts on the island. To do this, players must collect resources, build ships, and trade with other players.

The game board is made up of hexagonal tiles that represent different types of resources, such as goats, wood, molasses, and swords. Each player starts with two pirate hideouts and a ship in their color.

On their turn, players roll the dice and collect resources based on the number rolled. They can then use these resources to build ships, pirate hideouts, or upgrade their existing buildings. Ships can be used to explore new islands and collect more resources.

Trading is an important aspect of the game. Players can trade resources with each other or with the bank to get the resources they need. They can also use their ships to trade with the Ghost Captain, who offers special trades.

Players can also use Coco cards, which provide special abilities and advantages. These cards can be obtained by trading with the Ghost Captain or by building specific buildings.

The game ends when a player builds all seven pirate hideouts. That player is declared the winner and becomes the new Pirate King of Catan Junior!

Exploring Different Strategies

When playing Catan Junior, there are several strategies you can employ to increase your chances of winning. Here are a few different strategies you can try:

1. Focus on Building Ships

One strategy is to focus on building ships as quickly as possible. Ships are essential for exploring new islands and collecting resources. By building ships early on, you can gain a competitive advantage and secure valuable resources before your opponents.

2. Trade and Negotiate

Another strategy is to focus on trading and negotiating with other players. By making mutually beneficial trades, you can acquire the resources you need to build settlements and upgrade your pirate hideouts. Negotiating with other players can also help you form alliances and protect yourself from attacks.

Remember, Catan Junior is a game of strategy and resource management. It’s important to plan ahead and make strategic decisions based on the current state of the game. By exploring different strategies and adapting to the changing circumstances, you can increase your chances of becoming the most successful pirate captain in the game!

Advanced Rules and Special Abilities

Once you have mastered the basic rules of Catan Junior, you may want to explore the advanced rules and special abilities that can enhance your gameplay experience. These rules and abilities add new strategic elements to the game and provide additional ways to gain resources and victory points.

Pirate Ships

In addition to building pirate lairs, you can also construct pirate ships. Pirate ships allow you to attack other players’ ships and steal their resources. To attack a ship, you must roll the die and match or exceed the number shown on the attacked ship’s mast. If successful, you can take one resource card of your choice from the player you attacked.


Fortresses are powerful structures that provide protection and special abilities. When you build a fortress, you can place it on an island you control. The fortress protects your pirate lairs and ships from attacks by other players. Additionally, each fortress grants you a special ability that can be used once per turn. These abilities can range from gaining extra resources to stealing resources from other players.

Fortresses are built using the same resources as pirate lairs, but they require an additional gold resource. Once built, a fortress cannot be moved or destroyed by other players.

Special Abilities

Each player has a unique special ability that can be used throughout the game. These abilities can provide advantages such as extra resources, the ability to reroll dice, or the ability to steal resources from other players. Special abilities are activated by spending gold resources and can only be used once per turn.

Some examples of special abilities include:

  • Captain Hook: Once per turn, you can steal one resource card from another player.
  • Blackbeard: Once per turn, you can reroll one die.
  • Redbeard: Once per turn, you can take one additional resource card of your choice.

Special abilities add an extra layer of strategy to the game and can greatly influence the outcome of each turn.

By incorporating these advanced rules and special abilities into your gameplay, you can take your Catan Junior experience to the next level. Experiment with different strategies and discover new ways to outsmart your opponents and become the most successful pirate in the Caribbean!

Tips and Tricks for Winning the Game

Are you ready to dominate the world of Catan Junior? Here are some tips and tricks to help you secure victory:

1. Expand Your Pirate Lair

One of the key strategies in Catan Junior is to expand your pirate lair as quickly as possible. The more lairs you have, the more resources you can collect, and the more options you have for trading and building. Focus on building new lairs whenever you can, but also be mindful of protecting your existing ones.

2. Trade Wisely

Trading is an essential part of the game, and making smart trades can give you a significant advantage. Pay attention to what resources other players need and try to negotiate favorable deals. Don’t be afraid to offer multiple resources in exchange for a valuable card or to negotiate with multiple players to get the best possible trade.

3. Prioritize Building Ships

Ships are crucial for exploring new islands and collecting resources. Make sure to prioritize building ships early in the game so you can start expanding your territory and accessing new resources. Remember, the more ships you have, the more opportunities you have to collect resources and establish trade routes.

4. Keep an Eye on the Ghost Captain

Catan Junior Rules: Learn How to Play the Game

The Ghost Captain can be a formidable opponent in Catan Junior. Keep a close eye on their movements and try to anticipate their actions. If you see the Ghost Captain approaching one of your islands, consider building a ship or moving your resources to a safer location. Don’t let the Ghost Captain disrupt your plans!

5. Use Coco the Parrot to Your Advantage

Coco the Parrot is a valuable asset in Catan Junior. Use Coco’s ability to steal resources from other players strategically. Keep an eye on the resources other players have and use Coco to take away their valuable cards. This can disrupt their plans and give you an advantage in the game.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to becoming the ultimate pirate in Catan Junior. Good luck and happy sailing!

Video:Catan Junior Rules: How to Play the Game

10 Reasons Board Games Are Better Now

Leave a Comment