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PlayCatan - Catan Board Game - Explorers & Pirates

Explorers & Pirates consists of several different scenarios. You and your opponents (2 - 4 players in total) must use ships to explore the unknown seas around Catan. When you discover new islands, you can build settlements there to collect their resources. This theme of exploration and building is the emphasis of the first scenario and is the core of all of the scenarios that follow. In subsequent scenarios, the Council of Catan sends you on missions. You will have to capture pirate lairs. You will discover bountiful fish shoals where you can catch fish and deliver them to the Council. You will also discover spice islands and set up trade deals with their inhabitants.

Victory points (VPs) are awarded for the construction of regular settlements and harbor settlements. Additional VPs are earned when you complete missions. The first player to reach the required victory points wins. 

 

Scenario VPs required for victory
Missions included
Land Ho! 8  -
Pirate Lairs 12 "Pirate Lairs"
Fish for Catan 15 "Pirate Lairs" and "Fish for Catan"
Spices for Catan 15 "Fish for Catan" and "Spices for Catan"
Explorers & Pirates 17 "Pirate Lairs", "Fish for Catan", and "Spices for Catan"

 

For Explorers & Pirates games, a separate monthly ranking list and a separate ELO list is available (all scenarios except "Land Ho!",  which is not included in the ranking lists because it is an introductory scenario).

 

Set-up and Basic Rules

Beginning with the starting player, one after another the players first place the harbor settlement that must be built on the northern or, in the horizontal layout, eastern coast of the starting island. Afterwards, in reverse order, each player places a settlement on the starting island. The last player to place a settlement is the first to place a road adjacent to his settlement, after which he places a settler ship (ship + settler) adjacent to his harbor settlement. The following basic rules apply to all scenarios:

  • There are no development cards.
  • There are no "Longest Road" and "Largest Army" special victory point cards.
  • Settlements cannot be upgraded to cities.
  • There is no robber. When a "7" is rolled, each player who has more than 7 resources loses half of his resources. In addition, a pirate ship is placed (see section "Pirate Ships" - exception: scenario "Land Ho!" ).
  • In addition to the usual resources, gold is available. Gold can be traded 2:1; it is stored next to your other resources (gold card with number).

 

Gameplay

Production Phase

RSKarte MuenzeOn your turn, you roll for production as usual (click on the die button); the result applies to all players.

Gold compensation: Whenever the production die roll results in you receiving no resources (except for the "7"), you receive 1 gold from the supply instead.

Trade and Build Phase

After the production phase, you may trade and build as usual.

3:1 trade: There are no harbors in this expansion. However, you may trade resources at a 3:1 rate. You may also receive 1 gold by paying 3 resources of the same type.

STATUS 2 1Paying gold to buy resources: You cannot trade gold at a 3:1 rate. However, up to two times during your turn you may pay 2 gold for any 1 resource of your choice from the supply. You also may use gold when trading with your opponents. How often you are allowed to trade gold with the bank during your turn is shown in the status display next to your avatar.

button-weiter-bauphaseYou finish the trade and build phase by clicking on the "End Phase."

Movement Phase

Afterwards, your turn's movement phase begins:

  • You may move all your ships and perform actions with them.
  • You are not allowed to trade or build during or after the movement phase.

Your turn ends after the movement phase by clicking on the "End turn" button.

 

Ships

Ships transport game pieces and commodities from one place to another.

Building Ships

button-ep schiffA ship costs 1 lumber and 1 wool. When you build a ship, place it on one of the two or three sea routes adjacent to one of your harbor settlements. You cannot build a ship on a sea route adjacent to an undiscovered hex, because building the ship there would immediately result in the discovery of this hex. If you want to build a new ship when all your ships are already on the game board, you may remove any 1 of your ships from the game board, pay 1 lumber and 1 wool, and build the new ship adjacent to one of your harbor settlements. Any pieces in the hold of a ship you remove are lost.

Moving Ships

button-schiffe anzeigenYou may only move your ships during your movement phase. First select the ship you want to move. If you click on the "Show Ships" button, all of your own ships are highlighted. Now you can select one of them. Depending on the ship's position and cargo, the different actions availabe are indicated (-> please look for all possible ship actions in the chapter about missions - except for movement, ship actions do not cost any movement points). In addition, the edges of the sea hexes (sea routes) you may move the ship onto are highlighted. You may either move a ship from sea route to adjacent sea route until all movement points are spent or directly to the desired destination, in which case the ship uses the least expensive path. You may move a ship in any direction and also change directions during its movement - that is, you may move it forward and then back in the direction it came from. Each of your ships has 4 movement points. You must complete the movement of one ship before you can move your next ship.

button-bewegung plusDuring your turn, you may buy 2 additional movement points for a ship by spending 1 wool card. This may be done once for each ship, each turn. Up to 2 ships may occupy a given sea route. These ships may belong to the same or different players. You may move your ship past another ship (or past 2 side by side ships).

What are the flags for?

The white flag marks the ship currently selected to perform actions. The red flag marks the ship that currently is moving. Normally, both flags mark the same ship; however, the differentiation is necessary because you are allowed to perform actions with a ship (exception: movement) while another ship is still in its movement phase.

Example:

1) Ship A has been selected and moves along two sea routes, thus reaching a harbor settlement. The ship is marked by a red flag and a white flag.

2) Ship B - loaded with cargo - is already waiting at the harbor settlement.

3) If ship B is selected so as to move its cargo to the harbor settlement, the white flag switches to ship B, while the red flag stays on ship A, because ship A has not ended its movement phase yet.

4) The cargo is transferred to the harbor settlement. Afterwards, ship A is selected again (now marked with the two flags), can pick up the cargo and move along another two sea routes.

 

Loading and Unloading Ships

Each ship has a hold that accommodates 2 small game pieces (crews or spice sacks) or one large game piece (settler, fish haul). Loading and unloading a ship costs no movement points. You may continue to move a ship after loading or unloading, provided that it still has movement points.

Discovering with Ships

If you discover a terrain hex, as a reward you get 1 resource of the type produced by that hex. If you discover any other type of hex (for example, a sea hex), you get 2 gold. After a discovery, you are not allowed to move the ship any farther. Any remaining movement points are forfeited.

 

Harbor Settlements

button-hafensiedlungFor 2 grain and 2 ore, you can upgrade any one of your settlements on the coast of the starting island or of discovered terrain hexes to a harbor settlement.

  • A harbor settlement is worth 2 victory points.
  • A harbor settlement has a basin that can hold either 2 small pieces (crews, spice sacks) or 1 large piece (settler, fish haul).

Important: When the number of an adjacent terrain hex is rolled, you receive only 1 resource for a harbor settlement. They do not produce 2 resources like cities in The Settlers of Catan base game.

Transshipping Game Pieces

button-ein ausladenIf either end of one of your ships loaded with game pieces points to a harbor settlement loaded with game pieces, you may swap the position of the game pieces in the ship and harbor settlement. You are not allowed to directly transship game pieces between 2 adjacent ships. However, indirect transshipping is possible if one of the ends of each of the two ships points to the same harbor settlement owned by you and the harbor settlement is used for temporary storage.

 

 

Settlers and Settlements

button-siedlung gruendenYou can build settlements in two ways: either with the aid of a settler ship or, like in The Settlers of Catan base game, along a road on an allowed intersection. In each of the two unexplored areas, though, you can only build your first settlement by using a settler ship. Once you have established your first settlement in an unexplored area, you can build roads and settlements there in a regular fashion. However, you can also forgo road building and build further settlements with the aid of settler ships. Please note: Roads may not be built on paths adjacent to undiscovered hexes, and settlements may not be built on intersections adjacent to undiscovered hexes. If you build a road in such a way that one of its ends points toward an undiscovered hex, you can't discover that hex. You only can discover hexes by means of ships.

Settler

button-siedlerBuilding a settler costs the same resources as building a settlement. However, a settler does not count as a victory point. When you build a settler, you place him either into the empty basin of one of your harbor settlements or directly into the empty hold of one of your ships. This ship must be located on a sea route adjacent to one of your harbor settlements. If the spaces in the harbor basin and in an adjacent ship's hold are occupied by another game piece, you can build the settler only if you remove the other game piece from the basin or hold. You are not allowed to move a settler overland. Your settlers can only be transported by your ships. If one of the ends of your empty ship points toward one of your harbor settlements with a settler, you may load the settler onto the ship. You can move your settler ship just like a regular ship. If one of the ends of one of your settler ships points toward the corner of a terrain hex, you may build a settlement there. Settler and ship are removed after that. Each player may have a maximum of 2 settlers on the board.

Important: When you build a settlement with the aid of a settler ship, you must observe the distance rule.

 

Mission Card

Scenarios in which the players must complete missions feature mission cards that display the progress of these missions. If you press the corresponding button on the right, a mission card window opens that can be moved freely. Players advance on the mission card by making progress on a mission, thus earning victory points. The separate space at the top of a mission card is reserved for the player in the lead; it is worth one additional victory point.

 

Mission: Pirate Lairs (included in the scenarios "Pirate Lairs", "Fish for Catan," and "Explorer & Pirates")

If you discover a gold field hex occupied by a pirate lair, you receive 2 gold for the discovery. Important: As long as there is a pirate lair on a gold field hex, you may neither build a road on its paths (edges) nor a settlement on its intersections (corners).

COW Plaett Piraten

Capturing Pirate Lairs

If your ship has 1 or 2 crews on board, and one end of the ship points toward an intersection of a gold field hex occupied by a pirate lair, you may place these crews - which in this mission serve as warriors - on the pirate lair token. A maximum of 3 crews may stand on a pirate lair. As soon as a total of 3 crews has been placed on the pirate lair, the pirate lair is captured. However, the results of the capture aren't resolved until the end of the current player's movement phase. Each player who participated in the capture is rewarded with 2 gold, and their markers move forward 1 space on the mission card. The number depicted next to a player's marker indicates the number of mission victory points he has accumulated. If your marker has moved the farthest from the start space, you receive 1 additional victory point.

Now each player rolls the die. Add to your result the number of your crews placed on the pirate lair. If your sum total is the largest, your marker is moved forward another 1 space on the victory point scoring track - however, 1 of your crews is removed. If there is a tie, the player who placed more crews is the winner. If there is still a tie, all tying players repeat the die roll. If you capture a pirate lair all by yourself, your marker automatically moves forward 1 space. You also lose 1 of your crews. After its capture, the pirate lair becomes a regular gold field. You may pick up your crews with your ship(s) on a subsequent turn. You may now build roads on the edges of the liberated gold field and settlements and harbor settlements on its intersections, provided that adjacent, undiscovered hexes or pirate lairs that have not been captured do not prevent it. If a gold field's number is rolled during a production roll, each player receives 2 gold per settlement or harbor settlement they have on an intersection bordering that gold field.

Pirate Ships

If you roll a "7," all players whose hands contain more than 7 resource cards must discard half of their resource cards. If you roll a "7" and your pirate ship is already on the game board, move it onto another allowed sea hex. If, however, an opponent's pirate ship is on the game board, place your own pirate ship on a sea hex (you may also place it on the sea hex occupied by your opponent's pirate ship), and the opponent's pirate ship is removed. That way, there is always only 1 pirate ship on the game board.

If you place your pirate ship on a sea hex, draw a resource card from an opponent who has a ship on a sea route of this hex. Settlements or harbor settlements are not affected. If, and only if, the opponent doesn't have a resource card, take a gold from him instead. If you want to move your ship onto, along, or off of the sea routes of a sea hex that is occupied by an opponent's pirate ship, you must pay a tribute of 1 gold to the supply. After you have paid the tribute for a ship, you may move that ship onto, along, or off of any number of sea routes of the pirate hex. You may build a ship on a sea route adjacent to a hex occupied by the pirate without paying tribute.

Chasing Away a Pirate Ship

button-pirat verjagenIn order to attempt to chase away an opponent's pirate ship, you must have at least one battle-ready ship. A ship is battle-ready if the following 2 requirements are met:

  • It must not have moved on this turn.
  • One of its ends must be directly adjacent to one of the six intersections of the sea hex occupied by the pirate. During your turn's movement phase, each of your battle-ready ships may make 1 attempt to chase away an opponent's pirate ship. For this purpose, you roll a die. If you roll a "6," the pirate ship is removed. Now place your own pirate ship on any allowed sea hex and steal 1 resource card from the owner of an adjacent ship. If you failed to chase away the pirate ship, you must pay tribute to move your ship along the sea routes of the pirate hex - or else you may not use these sea routes.

Crews

button-einheit absetzenbutton-einheit einladenIn this mission, crews are used as warriors. A crew costs 1 ore and 1 wool. If you build a crew, place it either on a free space in the basin of one of your harbor settlements or in the hold of one of your ships on a sea route adjacent to a harbor settlement. You can accommodate up to 2 crews in an empty basin or empty ship. You may load crews onto - or unload crews from - ships located on sea routes adjacent to one of your harbor settlements. After loading or unloading a crew, you may continue to move the ship, provided that you haven't used all of its movement points yet. You are not allowed to move a crew overland.

 

 

Mission: Fish for Catan (included in the scenarios "Fish for Catan", "Spices for Catan," and "Explorer & Pirates")

The sea hexes depicting fish (fish shoal hexes) show a result of a die roll (numbers ranging from 1 to 6). If you discover a fish shoal hex, you immediately receive 2 gold.

COW Plaett Wasser Fische

Rolling the Dice to Place a Fish Haul

button-fisch einwuerfelnAt any time during your movement phase, you may roll the die to try to place a fish haul on one of the discovered fish shoal hexes. Only one restriction applies: you may never interrupt a ship's movement to roll the die. If you roll the number of a fish shoal hex, a fish haul appears on that hex. However, the fish haul does not appear if there already is a fish haul on the hex, or there is a pirate ship on the hex, or there already are 6 fish hauls in play.

Delivering a Fish Haul

button-fisch fangenOn a small island, the Council of Catan has a station with 2 harbors for unloading your fish hauls (indicated by anchor symbols). If either end of your fish haul-loaded ship points toward one of these stations, you may unload that ship. The fish haul is returned to the supply, and your marker moves forward 1 space on the "Fish for Catan" mission card. If you haven't used all of your ship's movement points yet, you may continue to move the ship after catching or unloading a fish haul. Pirates also catch fish. If a pirate ship is placed on a fish shoal hex that contains a fish haul, the fish haul is returned to the supply.

COW Plaett Catan Rat frei

 

Mission: Spices for Catan (included in the scenarios "Spices for Catan" and "Explorer & Pirates")

If, by means of one of your ships, you have discovered a spice hex, you receive 2 gold. Afterwards, you place as many spice sacks on the spice hex as there are players in the game.

COW Plaett Gewuerz

Placing a Crew and Loading a Spice Sack

button-einheit absetzenIn this mission, crews are used as merchants. If one of the ends of one of your crew-loaded ships points toward the corner of a spice hex, you may place 1 crew on the spice hex. In exchange, you load a spice sack onto the ship. In addition, from now on you have a permanent advantage in the game.

Delivering a Spice Sack

If one of the ends of one of your spice sack-loaded ships points toward a harbor of the Council of Catan, you may unload that ship. Afterwards, your marker moves forward 1 space on the "Spices for Catan" victory point scoring track.

Additional Rules

  • You may place only 1 of your crews on each spice hex. When you do, you may take or load 1 spice sack from that spice hex onto your ship.
  • Once a crew has been placed on the spice hex, it must stay there. It cannot be picked up by a ship anymore.
  • You may not build a road on the spice hex's paths (edges) or a settlement at its corners until you have placed a crew on the village of the spice hex.
  • If you haven't used all of your ship's movement points, you may continue to move the ship after loading or unloading a spice sack.

Advantages of the Spice Hexes

If you have placed a crew on the village of a spice hex, you befriend the inhabitants of this village and may immediately  - i.e., during the same turn - make use of the advantage depicted on the spice hex.

  1. vorteil schnelle fahrt 1Swift Voyage (2x) - The inhabitants of 2 villages are experienced seafarers and help the players to move their ships faster. The "Swift Voyage" advantage immediately increases the number of movement points of all your ships by 1. All of your ships now have 5 movement points instead of 4. If you are friends with both villages marked with the "Swift Voyage" advantage, your ships have 6 movement points per turn. If you pay 1 wool, you can increase the number of movement points for a ship by 2 more points. Thus, the maximum number of movement points possible for your ships is 8.
  2. vorteil piraten bonus 4Pirate Bonus (2x) - The inhabitants of 2 villages are experienced fighters against the pirates and increase your chances to successfully chase away a pirate ship. One village depicts the face of a die with 5 pips, the other village depicts the face of a die with 4 pips. If you are friends with one of these villages, you drive away an opponent's pirate ship not only by rolling a "6" but also by rolling the number depicted on the village. If you are friends with both villages, you drive away the pirate ship by rolling a "6," "5," or "4."
  3. vorteil schnelles gold 1Fast Gold (2x) - The inhabitants of 2 villages are experienced merchants. They buy resources and give gold in return. If you are friends with one of these villages, once during your build and trade phase you may sell any 1 resource card from your hand for 1 gold from the supply. If you are friends with both villages, you may sell 1 resource for 1 gold two times during your build and trade phase.

Scenarios in combination with "Cities & Knights"

The scenarios "Fish for Catan", "Spices for Catan", and "Explorers & Pirates" are also available in combination with "Cities & Knights". These are very complex scenarios for the advanced gamer. The following rule modifications apply:

  • There are harbor settlements as well as cities.
  • There is no robber. When a "7" is rolled, each player who has more than 7 resources loses half of his resources. In addition, a pirate ship is placed (see section "Pirate Ships"). A pirate ship may be placed before the first barbarian attack.
  • The number of victory pointes needed for winning the scenario is increased by 5.

Setup

Beginning with the starting player, one after another the players first place the harbor settlement that must be built on the northern coast of the starting island. Afterwards, in reverse order, each player places a city on the starting island. The last player to place a city is the first to place a road adjacent to his city, after which he places a settler ship (ship + settler) adjacent to his harbor settlement.

Knights

Knights cannot be transported by ship. Therefore, they stay on the island where they were built. Unlike crews, knights you have built on an island occupied by a pirate lair are not allowed to participate in the battle for the pirate lair. You are not allowed to use them as merchants in the villages of the spice hexes either. Knights may not chase away a pirate ship. Knights may neither be built on intersections nor be moved onto intersections adjacent to an undiscovered hex.

Barbarian Attack

When determining the strength of the barbarians, all cities are considered - that is, the cities on the starting island as well as the cities in the discovered areas. Harbor settlements are not included in the count. The strength points of all knights are also taken into account. Crews are not counted for the defense of the cities against the barbarians.

Commodities

You are not allowed to buy commodities from the supply by paying gold. If you have the "Fast Gold" advantage, instead of a resource you may also sell a commodity for 1 gold.

Progress Cards

Medicine - By paying 1 ore and 1 grain, you can convert a settlement into a harbor settlement. Converting a settlement into a city costs you 2 ore and 1 grain.

Bishop - Instead of moving the robber - who doesn't exist in the "Explorers & Pirates" expansion - you may move or use your pirate ship. If you use the pirate ship, the owner of the pirate ship that previously occupied the sea hex must return it to his supply.

Mining/Irrigation - For a harbor settlement adjacent to a mountains/fields hex you also collect ore/grain.

Deserter - The card only applies to knights. Crews are not allowed to desert.

Inventor - Except for the 6, 8, 12, and 2 number tokens, you may swap all number tokens - that is, you may also swap number tokens from the starting island with number tokens from the discovered areas and number tokens from defeated pirate lairs.

Road Building - You may only build roads - not ships.

Aqueduct

If you have built the Aqueduct, and the production roll (except for the "7") results in you receiving no resources, you may take - according to the "Cities & Knights" rules - any 1 resource of your choice. In addition, under the "Explorers & Pirates" rules, you receive 1 gold.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 January 2014 09:01