Full-Contact Catan

From Ludocity
Full-Contact Catan
Recessto august 104.jpg
Designer: David Fono (with recess.to)
Year: unknown
Players: 9-16
Stuff required: Coloured balls, hula hoops, coloured arm/headbands, large coloured markers
Crew required: One.
Preparation: Ten minutes.
Time required: 30 minutes
Place required: A field
Activities: Running, Tagging, Teamwork, Strategy, New Sport
This is a playable game - it's finished, tested and ready to play.
This game is made available under an Attribution-Noncommercial Creative Commons licence. (What does this mean?)

Settlers of Catan, re-envisioned as a field sport.


You'll need:

  • Armbands/headbands (they'll be used interchangeably) in colours for each of the 3-4 teams.
  • Small balls in 4 different colours, to act as 4 different kinds of resource. Decide what colour to use for each resource beforehand. You need 12 balls in each colour. We use plastic golf balls.
  • Large coloured markers to act as settlements/cities, in colours for each of the 3-4 teams. We use heavy bristol board pieces, and fold them to make little tents.
  • 10 Hula hoops, or some other large circular marker that you can place on the field.
  • A deck of development cards, which you'll make from the card list below.
  • Reference slips that show the resource costs of purchases.
  • A whistle for the referee is also nice, and a stopwatch of some sort.


Place hoops and piles of resources (balls) according to the attached map.

Create 3-4 teams with 3-4 players each, and hand out an armband to each player. Tell each team to choose a number of starting knights (see Knights, below.) Knights should wear their armbands on their head; everyone else should put them on their arm.

Each team chooses one of the hoops at the bottom of the map to hold their starting city.

Gameplay Structure

The object of the game is to be the first team to score 8 victory points (or 9 in a full game).

The game is played in rounds. Each round lasts ~8 seconds (this depends on your field size), and all teams act simultaneously. The ref blows a whistle to signal the start and end of a round. Each player starts the round with one foot inside any hoop where their team has a settlement or city. All players must stop on the ending whistle.

During a round, players can pick up, throw, & carry resources, only ever holding ONE at a time. On the closing whistle, a player holding a resource must IMMEDIATELY drop or throw it (this means a player can get a little bit more distance by throwing on the closing whistle.) A dropped resource stays where it is for the next round.

In between rounds, players have a minute to strategize, make purchases, and make trades with other teams.


During a round, a player may collect resources by picking them up, and returning it to a hoop where their team has a city. The resource is considered collected once it is on the ground inside the hoop, or when the player places a single foot in the hoop. (This means it is possible to throw a resource into the hoop to collect it.)


Knights are special players, who wear their armbands on their heads. Teams start with 1 knight (or 2 in a full game). Additional knights may be purchased.

During a round, a knight may two-handed tag another player to disable them. Once tagged, a player may not move or act in any way, until the round is over. Knights can tag other knights. If the tagged player is carrying a resource (which has not yet been returned to a city), they must IMMEDIATELY drop it upon being tagged.

Other than their tagging power, knights behave the same as other players in all ways.


Settlements are placed in hoops. Settlements allow players to start the round from that hoop.

Settlements are purchased. Once purchased, the settlement is given to a team member. The settlement must then be physically placed during a subsequent round within the time limit (if a team fails to place a settlement on the round after they purchased it, they can still place it in a later round.)


Cities are upgrades of settlements. Cities allow players to return resources to that hoop, in order to collect them.

Cities are purchased. Once purchased, the team chooses an existing settlement to instantly upgrade. (Signify this by adding an additional settlement marker to the hoop, or use whatever marking method works for you.)

Development Cards

Development cards are purchased. Once purchased, the team holds onto it until they choose to use it, which can take place at any time between rounds, including immediately after being purchased. About half the cards simply give the team one victory point, and the other half apply some beneficial effect.


  • 1 VP for every settlement on the field
  • 2 VP for every city on the field (including the starting city)
  • 1 VP for every knight on the team (including starting knights)

It is also possible to get extra VPs from development cards.

If you are playing a game with 4 player teams, but some teams have 3 players, give those teams 1 extra VP to start with.


Settlements, cities, knights and development cards may be purchased between rounds, by trading resources to the bank. The costs for each are:

  • Settlement: 3 wood, 2 wheat
  • City: 3 wood, 3 wheat, 1 sheep/ore
  • Knight: 2 ore, 1 wood/wheat
  • Development Card: 2 brick, 1 wood/wheat

Once resources are used, they are returned to piles on the field. Piles should be replenished up to their initial capacity, starting with the piles that are higher on the field.

Development Cards

  • 4 cards that grant 1 VP
  • Year of Plenty: Instantly collect 4 resources from the field.
  • Monopoly: Choose a resource type. All other teams must give you all their resources of that type.
  • Robber: All other teams must discard half their resources (rounding up.)
  • Barbarians: Choose an opponents' settlement to remove from the map, or a city to downgrade to a settlement (cannot be used on starting cities.)
  • Foresight: 4-second headstart in the next round.
  • Military Supremacy: In the next round, all your team's players are knights, and all other players are NOT knights.