Following earlier work on “The Catan Horror,” I was presented with several questions that provided me with a line of thought which I’ve pursued all morning. It was really all morning, I promise. I’m just now getting around to putting something on the page because I’ve literally spent all morning thinking about it.

Cookiemonger has had me wracking my brain, trying to figure out what to make of roads and settlements. (Well, her question has had me wracking my brain, anyway.) The conclusion I’m sitting on right now isn’t much farther along than where I began: roads and settlements modify the spaces they border.

But now, at least, I’m thinking about the spaces they’re bordering.

What’s in a space? Perhaps my thinking on planes and barriers has helped me reach this point, but what I’m looking at now is how to categorize the spaces (Catan’s hexes) and what they mean to the players. Let’s start with the weird color-coding thing I came up with the other day and didn’t mention, maybe that will give us a place to start.

I was trying to sort hexes from The Settlers of Catan and reconcile them with the color of Magic: the Gathering. I came up with red for mountains/ore, orange for hills/sheep, yellow for plains/wheat, green for woods/lumber, blue for rivers/trade, and violet for marshes/clay. Generally speaking, you find the soldiers in forts in the hills (orange).

Red for ore, orange for sheep, and violet for clay was a bit of a chromatic compromise — Red is the color for mountains in Magic, while it’s the color for clay in Catan. Then I moved clay over to violet, where it could be “closer” to Magic’s color Black (which also represents swamps). I didn’t want more than one green, so sheep are now orange.

This all gives me an “in” to how I can use Magic to help determine what the contents of a space are. Don’t ask me yet, though, because I’m still madly trying to figure that out. This does line up Magic’s Blue with commerce (normally White’s schtick) and Black with industry (normally Red’s schtick). Neither of these changes worry me though, ’cause Magic’s “Color Pie” was broken a long time ago.

I have bags of miniatures sorted by hex, too. Lizardfolk and swamp critters, heavily-armored dudes, lightly-armored dudes, elves and beasts, and dwarves and goblins. We’ll get some more stuff in there, like undead, but for the time being, it’s mostly at “wait and see,” while ideas come up periodically. I’ll figure something out.