Catan Junior Game Rules: A Swashbuckling Adventure for Young Buccaneers

Video catan junior how to play

Ahoy, mateys! Welcome to the exciting world of Catan Junior, where young pirates set sail on daring adventures in search of treasure and glory. In this article, we’ll delve into the rules of the game that will have you strategizing, trading, and building your way to victory. So hoist the sails, grab your cutlass, and let’s embark on an unforgettable journey!

Components: Prepare for an Epic Voyage

To begin, let’s familiarize ourselves with the game’s components. Catan Junior comes with:

  • 106 die-cut markers
  • 4 player cost boards
  • 1 two-sided game board
  • 28 Pirate hideouts
  • 32 Ships
  • 1 pirate ghost
  • 1 die
  • 1 tray
  • 1 box
  • 1 rule book

Now that you know what’s in store, it’s time to learn how to play!

Object of the Game: Become the Most Fearsome Pirate Captain

In Catan Junior, each player takes on the role of a pirate captain aiming to become the most feared and respected swashbuckler in the game. To achieve this, you’ll need to gather resources, build ships and pirate lairs, and outwit your opponents. The player who earns the most Coco tiles will also have the chance to claim Spooky Island and further solidify their pirate legacy.

Setup: Prepare for Adventure

Before setting sail on your first game, prepare the game board and components as follows:

  • Detach all parts from the die-cut cardboard sheets.
  • Place the game board at the center of the table.
  • Depending on the number of players, select the appropriate side of the board.
  • Sort the resource tiles by type and place them in a stockpile next to the board.
  • Set up the marketplace by placing one resource tile on each booth.
  • Shuffle the “Coco Tiles” and place them in a stack next to the board.
  • Place the Ghost Captain on Spooky Island.
  • Place the die next to the board.
  • Each player chooses a color and takes the corresponding pirates’ lairs and ships.
  • Follow the setup instructions to place the pirates’ lairs and ships on the board.
  • Each player takes their building costs tile.
  • Lastly, each player receives a wood resource tile and a molasses resource tile from the stockpile.
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Now that everything is in order, it’s time to set sail and begin your pirate adventure!

Game Play: Roll the Dice and Seize the Loot

Catan Junior is played over multiple turns, with each turn consisting of three phases: Roll the Die, Build, and Trade.

Roll the Die

The youngest player starts the game and takes the first turn by rolling the die. The island with the rolled number produces a resource for each adjacent pirates’ lair. Players receive these resources accordingly. However, beware of the Ghost Captain, who can disrupt resource production on certain islands.


During your turn, you can use your resources to build pirates’ lairs, ships, and even Coco tiles. Building requires the necessary resources listed on your building costs tile. Place the spent resources back into the stockpile as you construct your pirate empire.

Buy Coco Tiles

Coco tiles offer special abilities and advantages. By buying Coco tiles, you gain unique benefits that can help you on your quest to become the most notorious pirate. Each Coco tile you purchase is placed face up in front of you, allowing you to activate its corresponding action immediately.

Trade: Acquire the Resources You Need

While you may not always have the exact resources you need, you have two options for obtaining them:


The marketplace offers a chance to trade with the resources available on the booths. Take one resource tile from the marketplace, but remember to replace it with one of your own resources.


Alternatively, you can trade with the stockpile. Exchange two of your resource tiles for one from the stockpile, ensuring that your two tiles are a matching pair. This trade can be repeated as many times as you desire or are able.

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End of the Game: The Pirate’s Legacy

The game continues until one player has placed all their pirates’ lairs on the board or all the Coco tiles have been purchased. At this point, the game ends, and the player with the most Coco tiles claims the legendary Spooky Island, leaving a lasting mark on pirate history.

So gather your crew, set sail, and embark on an epic adventure with Catan Junior. It’s a game that guarantees fun-filled hours of pillaging, trading, and strategic gameplay. Remember, in the world of pirates, only the most cunning and daring will claim victory. Avast, me hearties, and may the winds of fortune blow in your favor!


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