The Psychology of Catan

Psychology of Settlers of Catan

Settlers of Catan tends to bring the worst out in people. Having gained enough data through playing hundreds of games, I’d like to explore the different personalities people acquire when playing Settlers of Catan.

Personality 1: The Leader

When a player is winning, you can see it on their face. They are glowing with excitement. They generally have a more care free attitude compared to the other players, and are more willing to show compassion for players that are at the bottom of the totem pole. As long as you pose no immediate threat to them, they may shower you with resources. But beware, if you’re close to passing the current leader, you can anticipate some backlash.

The one thing The Leader fears the most is rolling a 7. This is when they have to give up half of their resources, which can be somewhere between 10 to 20 cards if they have done well.

Personality 2: Number Two

Number Two’s goal is to get everyone against The Leader. They may outright boycott The Leader and make it known to everyone that they are in the lead. They won’t even consider trading with The Leader unless it provides an immediate return. Number Two tends to be the most paranoid of all the players.

Personality 3: The Noob

The Noob has the most advantage in the game because they are receiving advice from everyone at the table, including The Leader. It’s no surprise that whenever The Noob is playing, they have an 80% chance of winning the game. The Noob quickly learns that playing innocent (even when they are confident) will provide them with lots of added benefits. This is partly due to other players having pity on The Noob and letting them get away with murder.

If The Noob wins the game, they are likely to become instantly obsessed with Settlers of Catan and tell all their friends about it. If they lose, well, you may not see their face at the table for awhile.

Personality 4: The Loser

The Loser is the one that has the least amount of points and the least chance of winning. The Loser usually only comes into existence about half way through the game, so when they realize their position, their attitude quickly takes a turn for the worse. They tend to become uninterested in the game. They will sometimes zone out and practically give away resources in the hope that it will speed up the game so they can do something else.

Personality 5: The Spouse

The Spouse is the wild card of the batch. Depending on whether or not you put the dishes away that day, or if you took out the garbage, the spouse may shower you with resources or demand 2 for 1 trading deals. They may cover your back if another player is entrenching on your territory, or give them the resources to finish the job. It’s highly advised that you recall the day’s events in order to properly gauge the potential attitude of The Spouse.

Personality 6: The Schemer

The Skeemer is a dangerous and dirty player. They are constantly looking for ways to cut off or trick other players. They may even do a bit of cheating if they know they can get away with it.

One popular trick of The Schemer is asking how much of a particular resource people have and then playing the monopoly card (the monopoly card let’s you take all of a single resource from everyone’s hand). Another trick is not reminding a player that placed a bandit on their resource that they can steal a card from their hand. Dirty little monkey.

Do you have more? Leave a comment!