Monday evening, I got my opportunity to see The Settlers of Catan bedecked in wondrous Risk armies. As I’m currently borrowing a copy of The Lord of the Rings Risk, the armies even had a clear fantasy leaning.

The first thing I noticed was the enormous difference having forty-two territories to place armies, and having nineteen territories to place armies. I figured on a proportional scaling-down of board size to armies: there are a little less than half as many territories in Settlers of Catan as there are in your classic Risk board.

…But even reducing each side to thirteen armies didn’t change how crowded the board looked and felt. Each side had either four or five territories, and I wasn’t sure what to make of the desert square. Maybe I was just burned out from a long day.

Now, ’cause I’m still not sure how to implement Magic creatures, I figured on starting with Catan and Risk rules. I still want to say that occupying Desert hexes works the same way as occupying plagued hexes in Godstorm: entering the territory, or starting your turn there cuts your effected armies in half (rounded down).

It’s hard to say if occupying one extra territory in the beginning of the game, desert hex or not, constitutes a significant advantage that any balancing mechanic need be taken. I think it can be assumed that players with fewer territories have higher concentrations of armies at the start of the game, and that works out just fine.

Previously, I was thinking that only settled locations could produce Resources, and after looking at a board, I think that’s probably a bad idea. Now, I’m thinking it’s better if occupied territories produce resources, with occupied settlements providing a bonus to army and/or Resource production, in lieu of continent bonuses and the like.

As for building new roads and settlements… yeah, I don’t know. I’m starting to wonder if maybe I’ve gotten a little too ambitious lately.