Updated: Apr 13
Catan for two players has long been a popularly discussed topic in the community. There exist various methods proposed to make the game mode work including increasing the number of Victory Points needed to win, narrowing down the board, and even adding a non-player side(s). Inheriting works from the predecessors, along with support from the one and only Catan club in Ho Chi Minh City - HeXSaiGon, we proudly present to you our 1v1 game mode. We named it Polarised, and the motto is "Split the World Apart!".
First of all, the good news for you is that this game mode does not require outside components, only ones from the original Catan set. Players in Polarised hold even more power than the notorious tyrant in Overthrow (our 1v2 mode), as they are now in charge of a whole empire right at the beginning. Each player starts the game with 05 VPs; the one who reaches 14 VPs first will be declared the winner. That sounds very straightforward for both players, however, the most effective tactic available for each of them is completely different. The key factor is the 05 starting VPs consist of either "01 settlement + 02 cities" or "01 city + 03 settlement" depending on whether you are going first or second. Check out the picking turn order below:
Player 1 -> Player 2 -> Player 2 -> Player 1 -> Player 2 -> Player 2 -> Player 1
In general, Player 1 has the advantage of picking first and last while Player 2 has double the back-to-back picking opportunities. Player 1 must place the settlement first, followed by the cities. In contrast, Player 2's first placement has to be the city, then the settlements. If all of the picks are tri-hexed spots, Player 1 will earn 12 starting resource cards (from 02 cities) and Player 2 will get 09 (from 03 settlements). The hand size limit is still 07, however, it will only be applied to each individual until they have finished their first turn. That means Player 1 is only protected from number 7 for 01 dice roll, while Player 2 is safe for 02 dice rolls. Lastly, the one-off robber is the final ruling adjustment for Polarised. If the robber prevents a terrain hex from yielding resources successfully, he returns to the desert immediately afterwards (without stealing from players who settle on the desert hex).
So far we have brought you two new ways to enjoy the base game of Catan, and still have three more waiting to be released. If you have any questions about Polarised, please let us know in the comment section below. We hope you would enjoy splitting the world apart. Thank you for reading!