This variant of Settlers can be included with other variants as desired.
This game will require at least the basic game as well as Seafarers of Catan. For our group, we also introduced the Cities and Knights and expanded all three sets to six players.
In order to play this game, you will need a small bag approximately the size of a woman's purse. This will hold all "explorations".
The start of the game consists of an island where there are 3 wool, 3 wood, 2 ore, 2 brick, 2 grain, and the barbarian tile (for cities). Setup of the board is a triangle configuration of 3 inner, and then the next layer
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The barbarian tile goes to one long edge of the island.
The number chits, ( if used ), consist of 2 each of 4,5,6,8,9,10
The remaining chits goes in one of the settlers boxes to be drawn as the game progresses.
Placement of two settlements per player is done in the normal setup fashion. The placement of a settlement on the board warrants exploration.
Anytime that a playing piece is on an edge of the board, (there is not an adjacent tile on that edge), the player explores the tile. Exploration is simply taking a tile at random from the bag. The placement of the tile in reference to ports, etc., is at the discretion of the exploring player. If the tile explored is a producing tile, the player receives one resource of the tile type.
EACH turn, a player may move ONE boat to explore. The boat MUST have a known edge to be water. In other words, a boat cannot move along a brick edge in hopes that the explored is water. When the boat explores, if a producing tile is found, the player receives one resource of that type. At the time the tile is drawn, no number chit is to be drawn.
Additionally, a player may build roads on an edge. This generates an exploration as well.
Finally, a player may build to explore as much as the cards they have will allow.
Because of exploration, trading, and building, any of these actions can happen at anytime after the roll of the dice.
A player's turn ALWAYS begins with the roll of the dice.
Exploration of production value:
When a player chooses to place a settlement on a tile without a number, the player "discovers" the production value by drawing from the box a number chit. (We use three blank chits to represent wild cards and give the player the choice of the number, additionally, we remove 2 and 12 from play.)
When a player makes landfall on an island as the first settler of the island, the player receives one victory point. If during the game it is "discovered" that the island is part of another island, then the victory point is lost. Therefore exploration is a tactic for reducing a player's victory points.
A boat cannot move if it is LOCKED. A locked group of boats are boats used to connect two settlements/cities of a player.
When the desert is discovered, the players introduce the robber both land and sea to the game. The robbers can then be choice when the "7" is rolled.
This variation of the game introduces exploration into the game. This is the preferred method of play with our group as we have been using these rules for well over two years.