Settlers of Catan Strategy – Part 4 – The Monopoly and Cartel Strategies

The Settlers of Catan has been the flagship for German Style Designer Games for a lot of causes, some of the primary ones being its elegant simplicity and its depth of technique. Your alternative of methods will affect your preliminary setup and total recreation play. The separation of methods which can be outlined on this sequence is a bit synthetic, however it’s helpful to grasp the ideas behind them. In apply, gamers will use a mixture of these methods throughout gameplay. This article, the fourth on this sequence, will focus on the Monopoly and Cartel Strategies.

The Monopoly and Cartel Strategies are methods to realize both unique management (monopoly) or shared management (cartel) of a selected useful resource, normally ore or brick as they’ve the fewest quantity of hexes within the fundamental recreation (three, versus 4 of all of the others).

First, the Monopoly variant, to realize roughly unique management. It is normally tried by attempting to manage all of the nice hexes (normally only one) of a useful resource by your self. It seldom works. The main drawback with this technique is that the robber virtually all the time sits on the monopolized hex. As you’re the solely individual on that individual hex, the robber will keep there till YOU get it off (or a seven is rolled), in contrast to shared hexes. Also in contrast to shared hexes, each participant EXCEPT YOU considers that hex to be truthful robber placement territory, particularly since they need an opportunity to seize that monopolized useful resource out of your hand.

A doubtlessly higher strategy to attempt the monopoly technique is to let different gamers encompass the most effective hex of that useful resource, and to go for the 2 much less marginal ones (within the case of ore and brick). Then attempt to place the robber on the nice hex all through the sport. This has the benefit of having the ability to place your preliminary settlements away from the remainder of the gang. You will want quite a bit of knights, to get the robber off of you, and onto the most effective hex. This could be good mixed with the Card Builder technique (to get the knights), particularly if you’re attempting to monopolize ore or wheat.

If somebody in your group has the nerve to attempt a monopoly, it can change into obvious very quickly, in all probability within the preliminary setup. You can use this to your benefit by remembering that ports have simply change into extra beneficial actual property, and through the use of the monopoly participant as a lightning rod for different gamers aggression as a substitute of you (and drawing individuals’s consideration off of your individual designs.)

The Cartel variant. Basically, it is a technique to share management of a selected useful resource so as to scale back the issue of the robber in a monopoly, however to just remember to are the dominant participant in that cartel. In this variant it’s only crucial to manage most of the useful resource. For instance, when you management two out of the three settlement areas on a superb hex of a uncommon useful resource. The different participant will work simply as onerous to maintain the robber away, however will solely gather half as a lot. This is commonest on a superb ore hex. Another manner this may be completed is by having majority entry to a number of hexes for a commodity for which you will have a port. The different gamers cannot preserve the robber on all of them, and will in all probability simply preserve it in your prime hex. Sheep and wheat are most common of this sort of cartel, as a result of they aren’t the commodities that individuals normally goal throughout preliminary placement. Note that that is similar to the Common Resource Strategy.

Similar to the Monopoly variant, you will have quite a bit of knights to maintain the robber away, and ideally in your opponents most efficient hexes, or on a useful resource your opponent has a port for (to allow them to’t commerce simply in your useful resource). In this manner, if you end up in whole management you may make actually good trades. Depending in your group, you may make 3:1 trades if individuals are determined, and even flip these down if you’re forward, and drive them to make 4:1 financial institution trades.

For extra details about the sport, please go to the creator’s Settlers of Catan fansite. This sequence relies upon the Settlers of Catan Strategy and Tactics Guide, which is positioned at

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Source by Dan Kozarchuk

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