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Dinosaurs of Catan
A Settlers of Catan Variant
Millions of years before the Settlers, dinosaurs roamed the lands of Catan. As they multiplied, the lands became crowded and some moved back into the sea. Still, crowding continued and competition for food limited survival. The fittest gradually evolved, adapting more and more to particular niches. Eventually some of them became very specialized, so much so that when the asteroid stuck, they found themselves so dependent on a very specific set of conditions and environment that they were hard-pressed to compete with their more adaptable competitors. Nor was this the only event to test their mettle ...Terminology
In this scenario, adjust terminology as follows:
Duration: c. 90 minutes
Required Siedler von Catan sets:
Each player chooses a color and receives:
4 large colonies
The home island is built as usual for the basic game.
The Development deck, Largest Army award, Robber and Pirate are not used.
Players take turns placing their initial colonies as usual.
As each colony is placed, the player also places 2 Dinosaurs in an adjacent hex which is free of other dinosaurs if one such is available.Rule Modifications
The rules of the basic game apply with the following alterations.
A dinosaur is placed inside a hexagon tile. A land hexagon tile can hold at most 2 Dinosaurs, except for sea and desert tiles, each of which can hold at most 1 dinosaur.
A player has the right to place more dinosaurs during his turn, before rolling the dice.
The player places one dinosaur for each colony or large colony that he has on the board. A dinosaur may be placed in any of the hexes adjacent to the colony, or in any hex adjacent to his existing dinosaurs which can trace a path of friendly-occupied hexes back to the colony. If by placing a dinosaur he links two colonies, this may make placement of the next dinosaur easier. This is permitted.
If the player places one or more dinosaurs in a hex already occupied to its limit, this triggers an Ecological Competition (see below).
A player's Dinosaurs are constantly evolving in order to survive better in various niches, i.e. different types of land tiles. In order to evolve, during his turn a player turns in any number of Raw Materials cards. For each card turned in, the player earns 1 niche point of the corresponding type. This information should be tracked on the Niche Competition Chart (see below). To evolve in the Sea niche, a player must turn in a set of 1 Wood + 1 Wool to receive an additional niche point. To evolve in the Desert niche, a plyaer must turn in a full set, i.e. 1 Wood + 1 Brick + 1 Wool + 1 Grain + 1 Ore.
When a player places a Dinosaur in a hex which is already at capacity, there is Ecological Competition. This competition is resolved by consulting the Niche Competition Chart. All players having dinosaurs in the hex compare their niche points for the type of hex in question. Dinosaurs are removed from the map until the hex capacity is reached. Resolve ties for the order of removal as follows:
Dinosaurs having the fewer niche points than the niche point leader in the hex.
Dinosaurs unable to trace a contiguous set of friendly-occupied hexes back to a friendly colony.
Dinosaurs belonging to the the active player.
All of the tied dinosaurs.
Example 1: One Blue and two Red dinosaurs are in the mountains. Blue has more niche points than Red. Red removes one dinosaur and the hex is now at capacity so removals stop.
Example 2: Two Blue and two Red dinosaurs are in the mountains. Both players have the same number of niche points for the Mountains, but Red cannot trace a path of hexes to a colony. Red removes two dinosaurs and the hex is now at capacity so removals stop.
Example 3: Two Blue and two Red dinosaurs are in the mountains. Both players have the same number of niche points for the Mountains and Red both can trace a path of hexes to a colony. Red is the active player and so removes 2 dinosaurs. (Red should have found a better location if possible.)
Example 4: One Blue, one Green and one Red dinosaurs are in the mountains. Blue and Red have the same number of niche points for the Mountains, but Green has more than either of them. All three can trace a path of hexes to a colony. Neither Blue nor Red are the active player, so both Blue and Red must remove their dinosaurs, leaving only one Green dinosaur in the hex.
Removed dinosaurs are returned to the players' supplies for later use.
Rolling a "7"
When a 7 is rolled, players must discard Raw Materials cards in their hands if they total more than 7, as usual.
In addition, the active player rolls the dice again to determine which of the following Catastrophes has occurred:
All players having more than 3 niche points in Sea lose 1 as well as all dinosaurs in Sea hexes.
All players having more than 3 niche points in Mountains lose 1 as well as all dinosaurs in Mountains hexes.
All players having more than 3 niche points in Forest lose 1 as well as all dinosaurs in Forest hexes.
The current player chooses any player to lose his dinosaurs in the Mountains as well as 1 Mountains niche point.
The current player chooses any player to lose his dinosaurs in the Forest as well as 1 Forest niche point.
Blight, Red Tide
The current player chooses any player to lose his dinosaurs in the Sea.
The current player chooses any player to lose his dinosaurs in the Hills as well as 1 Hills niche point.
The current player chooses any player to lose his dinosaurs in the Fields as well as 1 Fields niche point.
All players having more than 3 niche points in Pasture lose 1 as well as all dinosaurs in Pasture hexes.
All players having more than 3 niche points in Hills lose 1 as well as all dinosaurs in Hills hexes.
Global Volcanic Gases
All players having more than 3 niche points in Fields lose 1 as well as all dinosaurs in Fields hexes.
Besides the usual ways of scoring points, including the Longest Path, players also receive 1 point for each of their dinosaurs on the board.End of the Game
The game ends as soon as any player has achieved 23 (25 for the three-player game) victory points on his own turn.
* For more flavor, you can borrow the stand-up dinosaur pieces from American Megafauna by Sierra Madre Games.
Thanks for the playtesting help of Shay Gal-on, Mike Miyake, Grant Moy.
Created December 1, 2001.
Copyright 2003 Richard M. Heli