So, this has been an exciting day so far. I went upstairs to work out in our little exercise room at the office, and I thought about how to squeeze Magic from Catan. I should totally put that in my new Skype signature.

“Like squeezing Magic from Catan.”
–dithering idium

Er, … anyway. I was thinking that The Settlers of Catan would make a fantastic setting for a war between Risk armies and Magic creatures. I’ve already done preliminary work on getting mana from Catan terrain hexes — Red from Mountains, Green from woods, Blue from shoals/rivers, White from fields, and Black from clay pits.

Hills, where you normally get sheep in Catan, provide no mana, and neither does the desert hex (for the time being, anyway). At this point, I think it’s a good idea to strike the numbered tokens from Settlers of Catan as well, because they’ll only lead to unnecessary setup time. Roads and Settlements will require colorless mana instead.

The basic idea is that constructing a road will require two colorless mana, constructing a settlement will require four colorless mana, and upgrading a settlement to a city will require five colorless mana. To receive mana of a given color, a player must have a settlement adjacent to a corresponding terrain hex (as mentioned above).

Each settlement enables a player to draw mana from any one of the three adjacent hexes. A city enables the player draw two mana from any of the adjacent hexes. Players may not draw more mana from lands than they have settlements or cities. Multiple players may draw mana from the same lands.

Now, problems include the fact that Settlers of Catan has less than half the number of territories that Risk has (nineteen compared to forty-two). I imagine that should mean each player begins with fewer armies and fewer territories under their control. This works out if you treat armies akin to Magic creatures (essentially token creatures).

Players should probably set up their settlements and roads as normal per Catan rules, and retrieve fifteen armies of the appropriate color. They then place one army in each hex bounded by either one of their roads or settlements, and then place armies, one at a time, in each of the remaining empty hexes (if there are any).

Once this is done, they then distribute any remaining armies, one at a time, to any territories they control. Before a player may construct anything new, they must first occupy each hex adjacent to the borders or intersections where they wish to build. They receive reinforcements equal to-one third the size of their controlled hexes.

To construct a new road then, a player must occupy two adjacent hexes, and to construct a new settlement, a player must occupy three adjacent hexes. When I get home this evening, I’ll give these ideas an acid-test to see just how plausible the concepts are. I will no doubt make adjustments along the way, as in the past.