Catan Glossary Lexicon

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor

Welcome to the Catan Glossary Lexicon!

Hey there! So you’re interested in getting to know the ins and outs of Catan, huh? Well, you’ve come to the right place! This glossary is your one-stop shop for all things Catan-related. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting out, this lexicon will be your guide to understanding the game.

Now, let’s dive straight into the world of Catan lingo and unravel the mysteries of this beloved game. Here are some key terms you should be familiar with:

1. Resource Cards

Resource cards are the lifeblood of Catan. They represent the various commodities you’ll find on the island, such as lumber, brick, wool, grain, and ore. You’ll need these cards to build roads, settlements, and cities, so make sure you collect as many as you can!

2. Development Cards

Development cards are special cards that can give you an edge in the game. They can be used to build roads, upgrade settlements to cities, or even steal resources from other players. These cards can be a game-changer, so use them wisely!

3. Longest Road

Longest Road is a special achievement in Catan. If you have the longest continuous road on the board, you’ll earn an additional victory point. Keep an eye on your opponents’ roads and make sure you claim this prestigious title!

4. Largest Army

Largest Army is another coveted achievement in the game. If you have more Knight cards than any other player, you’ll earn an extra victory point. Use your knights strategically to protect your settlements and gather those points!

5. Robber

The Robber is a mischievous character in Catan. When someone rolls a seven, the Robber awakens and can be moved to any hex on the board. Once there, it blocks resource production for all surrounding settlements. Be careful where you send the Robber, as it can greatly affect the game!

6. Trading

Trading is an essential part of Catan. You can trade resources with other players or use the bank to exchange cards. Negotiation and persuasion skills will come in handy here, so make sure you hone your trading prowess!

7. Victory Points

Victory Points are what you need to win the game. Building settlements, cities, and achieving special goals will earn you victory points. Be the first to reach 10 points, and you’ll be crowned the ruler of Catan!

Now that you have a good handle on these terms, you’re ready to conquer Catan. So gather your friends, roll the dice, and let the adventure begin! Remember, the key to victory lies in strategy, resource management, and a bit of luck. Enjoy the game and may the best player win!

  • So, what is the deal with these Building Costs Cards? Well, they basically tell you what you can build and what resources you need. When you want to build something, you have to give back the resources from the supply.
  • Here are a few things you can do: build settlements and roads, upgrade settlements to cities, and buy Development Cards. It’s like your own little construction project.

Now, let’s talk about cities.

  • You can’t just build a city from scratch. Nope. You can only upgrade one of your existing settlements. To do that, you have to give up the required resources, return the settlement to your supply, and replace it with a fancy city on the same spot.
  • And here’s the best part: each city is worth 2 victory points! Cha-ching! Plus, whenever the numbers on the adjoining terrain hexes are rolled, you get double the resources (that’s 2 Resource Cards) production. It’s like hitting the jackpot!
  • But wait, there’s more! When you build a city, the settlement piece you upgraded becomes available again. That means you can build more settlements in the future. It’s like a never-ending cycle of construction.

Hint: Winning the game can be challenging if you don’t upgrade your settlements into cities. With only 5 settlements available, you can only earn 5 victory points from building settlements.


  • When a terrain hex borders the sea, it’s called a “coast”.
  • You can build roads along the coast.
  • You can build settlements and upgrade them to cities at intersections next to the sea.
  • Coastal locations often have harbors, which provide more favorable rates for maritime trade and resource exchanges.


  • The desert is the only terrain hex that doesn’t produce any resources.
  • The robber lives in the desert and starts the game there.

Living in the Desert

I want to talk to you about living in the desert. It’s a unique experience, and there are certain things you should keep in mind if you’re considering it as a place to settle or build a city.

One thing to remember is that a settlement or city built next to the desert will have fewer resources compared to those built near other types of terrain. The desert is a harsh environment that doesn’t provide the same advantages as other areas.

Development Cards

Let’s discuss the different kinds of Development Cards: Knights, Progress, and Victory Points. Each card has its purpose and can help you in different ways.

When you buy a Development Card, you’ll take the top card from the draw stack and add it to your hand. It’s like getting a special tool or advantage that you can use later.

One rule is that you must keep your Development Cards hidden until you decide to play them. This way, you can keep other players guessing and not give away your strategy.

It’s important to note that you cannot trade or give away your Development Cards. They are exclusively for your use and cannot be transferred to other players.

During your turn, you’re allowed to play one Development Card. You can choose either a Knight Card or a Progress Card. This card can be played at any time, even before you roll the dice. It gives you an opportunity to make a strategic move.

However, there’s a restriction: you cannot play a card that you just bought during the same turn. You’ll need to wait for your next turn to use it.

When it’s game over and you or your opponent reaches 10 or more victory points, that’s when you reveal the Victory Point Cards. They’re the key to declaring victory!

Let’s talk about harbors. They’re super useful for trading resources. But first, you need to build a settlement on a coastal intersection that borders the harbor. That’s how you control it.

Now, let’s move on to intersections. They’re important for connecting roads and building settlements. They’re the heart of your empire!

Remember, the game isn’t over until someone reaches 10 or more victory points. So keep playing and strategizing until you declare victory!

Let’s talk about intersections, because they’re pretty important in the game. Intersections are where three hexes meet. And guess what? You can only build settlements on intersections! It’s all about strategic placement.

When you build a settlement on an intersection, it has influence. This influence affects the resource yields of the three adjacent terrain hexes that make up the intersection. So, choose wisely when deciding where to build your settlements!

Now, let’s move on to the “Largest Army” card. This is a real game-changer. If you have the most army cards, you’ll get a special bonus. Keep an eye on your opponents and make sure you stay ahead in the arms race. The “Largest Army” card can give you that extra boost you need to dominate the game!

Remember, the intersections and the “Largest Army” card can really make a difference in your gameplay. So, take these factors into account and give yourself the edge you need to come out on top!

In the game, if you manage to play 3 Knight Cards before anyone else, you’ll get a Special Card worth 2 victory points. It’s called the “Largest Army” card, and it goes right in front of you, face up.

But here’s the tricky part – if another player plays more Knight Cards than you, they swoop in and take the Special Card. It immediately becomes theirs, and they also get the 2 victory points.

So, it’s a race to be the first to play those 3 Knight Cards and secure the “Largest Army” card. Keep your eyes on the prize, because 2 victory points can make a big difference in the game!

Longest Road

  • If you’re the first person to build a continuous road with at least 5 individual road pieces, you get this Special Card and put it in front of you.
  • This card is worth 2 victory points.
  • If you have the “Longest Road” card and another player builds a longer road, they take your “Longest Road” card. They also get the 2 bonus victory points.
  • You can break an opponent’s road by building a settlement where their road meets.
  • If there’s a tie for the longest road or no one has a road with 5 or more pieces after the current longest road is broken, set aside the “Longest Road” card.
  • The “Longest Road” card is back in play when there’s only 1 player with the longest road (at least 5 road pieces).

Note: If you have roads that go in different directions, only the longest road will count toward your longest road.

The Longest Road

Paths are like the meeting places between two hexes. They’re the lines that connect different areas on the board.

Paths follow along the edge of two terrain hexes or between a land hex and the frame. It’s important to remember that only one road can be built on each path.

Each path leads to an intersection where three hexes meet. These intersections are crucial because they provide opportunities for strategic placement and expansion.

Next, let’s talk about Progress Cards. They’re a special type of Development Card that have green frames. There are two of each of three varieties.

First, we have the Road Building card. When you play this card, you have the power to immediately place two free roads on the board. This follows the normal building rules, of course.

Then there’s the Year of Plenty card. Playing this card gives you the ability to take any two Resource Cards from the supply stacks. You can use these cards right away to build during the same turn.

The Progress Cards are powerful tools that can greatly impact your strategy and give you an edge in the game. Keep them in mind as you plan your next move.

If you play the Monopoly card, you have to choose one type of resource. All the other players have to give you any Resource Cards they have of that type. But if an opponent doesn’t have any Resource Cards of the chosen type, they don’t have to give you anything.

Remember, you can only play one Development Card during your turn.

Now, let’s talk about Resource Cards!

As a player in the game, there are 5 different types of resources that you should know about. They are grain, brick, ore, lumber, and wool. You can obtain these resources from various locations such as fields, hills, mountains, forests, and pastures.

Now, let me explain how you receive these resources. Each turn, you will receive cards that represent your income from the resource production of certain hexes on the game board. The number of cards you get is determined by the dice roll at the beginning of your turn.

Here’s the interesting part. You will receive your income for each terrain hex that is adjacent to your settlements or cities whenever the production number on that hex is rolled. So, the more settlements and cities you have, the more opportunities you have to receive resources.

It’s important to strategize and consider the placement of your settlements and cities on the game board. You want to make sure they are adjacent to terrain hexes that produce the resources you need. This way, you can maximize your chances of receiving income and have the resources necessary to build and expand your settlements and cities.

Remember, the distribution of resources is determined by chance, as it relies on the dice roll. So, it’s important to be adaptable and flexible in your strategy. Sometimes you may have an abundance of a certain resource, while other times you may be lacking. It’s all part of the game.

By understanding the different types of resources, their sources, and how you receive them, you can develop a winning strategy. So, make sure to pay attention to the production numbers on the terrain hexes, plan your settlements and cities wisely, and adapt to the changing availability of resources. Best of luck in your game!

Creating Resources

When it comes to making things, whether it’s a physical object or an abstract concept, I find the process fascinating. There’s something magical about taking raw materials and transforming them into something useful or valuable. It’s an art form, really. Don’t you think?

Creating resources is like spinning gold out of straw. You start with a basic, ordinary element and mold it into something extraordinary. The possibilities are endless, and that’s what makes it so exciting.

Think about it. We live in a world where resources are abundant, but they’re not all created equal. Some resources are more valuable than others. Take water, for example. It’s essential for life, an absolute necessity. But not all water is equal. Clean, fresh water is much more valuable than polluted, contaminated water. It’s all about quality.

The same goes for other resources like food, energy, and knowledge. They exist in various forms, and each form has different qualities and potential uses. It’s crucial to understand these differences and make informed choices about which resources are worth investing our time and energy into.

But it’s not just about the quality of resources; it’s also about how we produce them. In today’s world, we have advanced technologies and scientific knowledge that allow us to create resources in innovative ways. We can harness the power of the sun, wind, and water to generate clean, renewable energy. We can use genetic engineering to enhance crop yields and produce more food. We can mine data and extract valuable insights that drive innovation and progress.

Resource production is a complex process that requires careful planning and consideration. We need to take into account the environmental impact, the social and economic implications, and the long-term sustainability of our actions. It’s not always easy to strike a balance, but it’s essential if we want to create a better future for ourselves and future generations.

So, the next time you see a resource, whether it’s a tangible object or an intangible idea, remember that it was created through a combination of creativity, knowledge, and hard work. Appreciate the effort that went into its production and consider how you can contribute to the creation of valuable resources in your own life. By doing so, you’ll not only elevate your own experience but also contribute to the collective betterment of society.

  • When it’s your turn, you need to roll the dice to determine resource production.
  • The number you roll tells you which hexes produce resources.
  • Each number appears twice, except for 2 and 12, which only appear once.
  • If you have settlements or cities on the rolled hexes, you get the resources from those hexes.
  • Each settlement gives you 1 Resource Card.
  • Each city gives you 2 Resource Cards.
  • Sometimes, there may not be enough resources in the bank to give everyone what they earned.
  • If there aren’t enough Resource Cards for everyone, no one gets that resource that turn.
  • Other types of resource production are not affected.


  • The roads connect my settlements and cities.
  • I build roads on paths.
  • I cannot build new settlements without also building roads.
  • Roads give me victory points only if I hold the Longest Road Special Card.
  • I can only build 1 road on each path.
  • I can build roads along the coast.


  • The game starts with the robber in the desert. It can only be moved when a player rolls a 7 or plays a Knight Card.
  • If the robber is moved to a different type of terrain, that hex will stop producing resources.
  • Players who have settlements or cities next to the terrain where the robber is located will not receive any resources from that hex.


  • Having a settlement gives you 1 victory point.
  • Settlements are built at the intersections where 3 hexes meet.
  • If you have a settlement next to a terrain hex, you will receive resources produced by that hex.
  • When building a settlement, there are 2 conditions you must meet:
    1. Your settlement must connect to at least one of your roads.
    2. You must follow the Distance Rule.

Note: If you’ve already built five settlements, you’ll need to upgrade one of them to a city before you can construct another settlement.

Once you upgrade a settlement to a city, you will have an extra settlement in your supply that you can use to build another settlement.

Victory Point Cards

  • Victory Point Cards are like special yellow frame cards that you can “buy”.
  • These special cards represent important cultural achievements, which are symbolized by special buildings.
  • Each Victory Point Card is worth 1 victory point.
  • You only show your Victory Point Cards when you or someone else wins the game!
  • Keep your Victory Point Cards hidden until you have 10 points during your turn and you can declare victory. (You should also show them if someone else wins).

Hint: Remember to keep your Victory Point Cards hidden until the end of the game. Put them face down in front of you.

But, be careful! If you have 1 or 2 unused cards face down in front of you for a long time, the other players might think they are Victory Point Cards.

Victory Points

    The goal of the game is to be the first player to reach 10 victory points on your turn. You can earn victory points in several ways:

    – Each settlement you build is worth 1 victory point.

    – Each city you build is worth 2 victory points.

    – If you have the Longest Road Special Card, you earn 2 victory points.

    – If you have the Largest Army Special Card, you earn 2 victory points.

    – Each Victory Point Card you have is worth 1 victory point.

    Keep in mind that the game has limited resources, so you’ll need to strategize and make smart decisions to earn victory points. Good luck!

Leave a Comment