Two Player Variant for Settlers of Catan

Settlers of Catan is the quintessential family board game. The game is great with three or more players but shows several deficiencies when played with two. Presented here are several alterations to the base game that simplify the game and bypass some of the issues. This variant is also designed to reduce negative interactions and to speed up game play.

Variant Rules

1. At the start of the game, both players places three settlements instead of two. The order of placement alternates between the two players.

2. Remove the robber.

3. Remove trading.

4. Increase hand size to nine.

5. Increase the largest army victory point bonus to three.

Overall, the game will be faster and it will play more like multiplayer solitaire.

Design Notes

The robber is an aggressive element, and can be removed to maintain a more peaceful game. It can also negatively impact two player games as a static robber can cripple one player disproportionately. Removing the robber devalues the knight card, so the largest army victory point bonus has been increased to balance the loss.

Trading is a bit odd with two players, so it is easy to just not do it. If playing with children, however, trading could be reintroduced to occasionally help them get the resources that they need. The hand size has also been increased to nine to offset the lower availability of specific resources due to no trading.