Updated: Dec 8, 2022
Trading is the most important part of Catan, particularly doing so with other players. What will happen if trading between players is completely banned? Is the game still playable in that very odd and weird scenario? Well, yes, of course. That is the reason why we write this article. However, it is only feasible with the implementation of a few extra mechanics. With some help from the infamous Catan club HeXSaiGon, we can finally bring you a non-trading game mode named Quarantine - whose motto is "Mind Your Own Business!".
Quarantine is designed to be played with 04 players. Like a standard game, the first one to reach 10 Victory Points in their turn will be declared the winner. First, let's speak about the changes in preparation. To survive the pandemic, every player needs to have resource cards in storage. For that, the bank extracts 04 resource cards of each type, then randomly shuffles them together. These 20 resources will be distributed to you and other players to reserve in personal inventory, which is the Building Cost card in front of each person. Resource cards stored in there are put face-down.
During the two rounds of picking starting settlements, before each placement, you are given a number of resource cards in your inventory corresponding to your current turn number. You should have a look at what you are provided to calculate your next move appropriately. The total number of resource cards reserved in each player's inventory at the start is always 05. Here is how we get to it.
In the 1st picking round, with turn order A -> B -> C -> D, A gets 01 resource card, while B gets 02, C gets 03 and D gets 04.
In the 2nd picking round, with turn order D -> C -> B -> A, A gets 04 resource cards, while B gets 03, C gets 02 and D gets 01.
Now let's continue with the changes in the rulings. Similar to the development card stocking rule, you are allowed to ask about the number of resource cards in other players' inventory. However, only their owner knows what types of resources they consist of.
Also, similar to the development card activating rules, once per turn, either before or after rolling the dice, you can add 01 resource card from your inventory to your hand. The card you pick must be publicly revealed to all players.
In the face of social distancing, players cannot take each other's resource cards under any circumstances. Therefore, the following rules will be applied:
Domestic trade is prohibited; maritime trade is still legal.
When moving the robber, instead of robbing a player, you get 01 resource card from the bank corresponding to the terrain hex that the robber is placed on.
When activating Monopoly, instead of confiscating players, count in the bank the remaining cards of the resource type you announced. Take from the bank resource cards of that type equal how many of them are missing. If there are more cards missing than remaining, take the remaining ones instead.
This is our third instalment in the series of new game modes. The good news is there are still a couple more to go. If you have any questions about Quarantine, please let us know in the comment section below. Remember, mind your own business and don't ever think about getting a resource card from somebody else's hand. Thank you for reading!