Catan® vs Landover
Many people will instantly recognize Landover as being very similar to Settlers of Catan®. It is true that Landover shares many similarities and was inspired by Settlers of Catan® and its expansion packs, Cities & Knights and Seafarers. I was very much a Catan® enthusiast and played on many of the online sites including Asobrain and playcatan. After having tried Catan® Universe, I realized that there were no longer any good places left to play Catan® online, as asobrain’s technology was now defunct on modern browsers, and the Catan® Universe UI was cumbersome and the game was riddled with bugs.
In addition to not having any good online destinations for Settlers of Catan®, I also realized that Catan® needed some massive rule changes to improve the speed of the game, simplify the mechanics, and make the game easier to learn. Much like Hearthstone did for Magic the Gathering, Landover greatly improves Catan® through simpler mechanics and less complexity while still staying true to the overall concept.
What are the differences between Landover and Catan®?
Military Power (No Knights):
We always felt that knights were overly complicated and a hassle to manage. You add them, you activate them, you move them, you bump them around. It was always just too much complexity for too little game play.
Instead, we have removed the knights and replaced them with “military power”. Military power starts at 0, can be upgraded during a player’s turn, and is used to defend against the barbarian attacks. Each time the barbarians attack, all players’ military power is reduced by 1.
Catapults instead of a Robber:
Most online versions of Catan® that grew in popularity played a variant known as RR or reverse robber. This was to reduce the power of the robber. We have decided to completely remove the robber and replace it with one catapult per player.
The catapult acts the same as the robber in that it blocks resource production, but players must spend one military power to carry out a “raid” to place the catapult on the board and steal a random resource from another player. Catapults are removed from the board when a 7 is rolled.
New Dev Cards:
Because of it’s online nature, we felt that it was time to come up with some new and exciting dev cards. For example, we have added a dev card called “anarchy” which scrambles all the number tiles on the board until a 7 is rolled.
These types of mechanics would be impossible if you were playing on a real board, but online it’s very doable! Over time we will continue to experiment with new and exciting dev cards.
Only bank trading:
Another popular online variant to increase the speed of the game and also to limit collusion is “nt” or no trading. This means that players are not allowed to trade with one another.
They can only trade with the bank. Players can trade 3:1 without any harbors. They can build on a 2:1 resource harbor to improve their bank trades.
No Response Actions:
Only the active player can perform actions during their turn. In Catan®, there are several times throughout a player’s turn where other players need to take action or respond to what the active player has just done. Wedding cards allow players to choose which cards to give. A 7 roll requires all players to choose which cards to discard. If a player loses a city, they get to choose which city is razed. If a knight is displaced, the other player must choose where to move the knight.
All of these “response actions” slow the game as everyone must now wait for the other players to respond and take actions even when it’s not their turn. This is the same in Magic the Gathering where players can respond to the active player’s actions. Instead, with Landover, as was done in Hearthstone, only the active player can perform actions during their turn. Discards are done randomly. Cities are destroyed at random. Cards are chosen at random. This greatly speeds up the game and shortens overall game time.
Our goal with Landover is to make a great game for people who love games like Catan®! If you want to get involved, join our Discord channel and talk to us. We love Catan® and love exploring ways to make the game better. We believe that anyone who likes Catan® will love Landover! And people who have never played Catan® because it was too complex or took too long will give Landover a try and immediately fall in love with the beauty of the game!Join us on Discord: