Observing The Patterns Of Number Tokens

Updated: Feb 27

Ignoring the types of terrain and ports, there is a total of 19 different board layouts in Catan. The direction of the number token spiral, regardless of going clockwise or anticlockwise, does not affect the end result. Although knowledge acquired from these patterns does not guarantee victories in your upcoming games, it gives you certain advantages over people who do not pay attention. Let's find out about our first type with the desert in the centre!

There are very unique upsides and downsides when playing on a board with a centering desert. On one hand, all the ports and space around them are widely open; on the other hand, it is the only layout that discourages players from expanding inward. Interestingly, this is a board where the central piece is not 11. Now move on to our second type.

In these layouts, the desert is located in the inner ring. Many people claim that this type is the most hated one because the inner ring desert usually creates an abandoned zone. Indeed, in 05 out of 06 cases, the desert isolates one of the hot numbers such as 5, 6, 8, or 9. Coming up next are boards with the desert in the outer ring, which are divided into two subcategories: desert on the side and desert in the corner.

Comparing the two subcategories, we can tell some slight differences between them. Despite taking a bit more space on the board, the side desert guarantees it partially spoils only 01 port. Meanwhile, corner desert is notorious for nullifying ports, either making 01 completely useless or downgrading 02 of them at the same time.


Here is some additional information that everyone can withdraw from the illustrated board layouts. 3-11-12 is the lowest probability among 3-hex spots, containing only 5 pips in total. On the contrary, 5-6-9 holds the award for the highest value spot in the game with 13 pips. The best location for port, as well as coast, is 5-8-P (or 5-8-C); meanwhile, if you have no other option than picking somewhere adjacent to the desert, either 5-6-D or 6-9-D will be the best option available. 5-6-10 is a rarely seen combination that always nullifies 02 equally good spots nearby, 6-9-10 & 5-8-10, restricting the freedom for other players. And finally, most people's dream combination for their 02 starting settlements is 4-6-9 & 5-8-10.


That is the end of this thread. Thank you for reading and see you again in another.

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