Settlers of Catan Board Design Part 1

In my previous Settlers review, I had introduced new tiles and a cover that I had created. The tiles are a great part of Settlers as they bring a whole new game each time played. The downside to this is lots of pieces that take time to set up. The board is constantly being knocked around requiring a nudge here and there to butt the pieces up to each other. Also, because the board is modular, it cannot really have larger elements to it – all images need to fit on a tile. I had thought that it might be interesting to create a single board here. The board would have a large continuous illustration on it which is nice. Tiles can be placed on the board to indicate the resource type. It's turning out interesting, though, admittedly, one downside is that it doesn't have quite the feel of a completely new looking game each time. Nonetheless, it should be very handsome and no reason why it can't be playable and very enjoyable to look at.

One caution here is the "readability" of the board. How easy is it to "see" the board in play when the repetative geometry of the hexigons is lost. In the first phase of designing the board, I have kept all the verticies and lines, they just don't like a hexigon. Below you can see where I'm at today with the design. Lots of old world charm here. You can see little house images where settlement/cities are to go and the basic direction the roads will go. I need to add a box to indicate precisely where roads go as putting them on the twisting roads is not satisfying. More details will be added to the map including worn, ripped folds. You can see one resource tile for hills. These tiles would be randomized at game start. It's the same as the original game, just a different way of thinking of it. At any rate, the board should be very beautiful in the end. Stay tuned...

The understructure for the board. Here, the honeycomb cells of the original board have been elongated to accomodate a horizontal board. After this, points are shifted to give the landscape a more organic look.


Now graphics have been developed around the original wireframe. The offset points from the hexigons is a risky approach as it will be harder to read the board. We'll see how this goes from here.