We created a guide to highlight good and poor areas of resource production to better help you pick intersections to build your settlements in Settlers of Catan.

We assume that you set up Catan as per the game instructions, and that you arrange the tokens in alphabetical order starting with the “A” token at the top of the board and work your way inward in a clockwise pattern, skipping the desert. Looking at your board, determine where the desert hex is and refer to that chart below to see your board’s map.

An Intersection Score is determined by adding up the expected number of resources you will receive from all of the hexes for a given token based on all the possible combinations from the roll of two dice. For example, an “8” is expected to be rolled 5 times for every 36 rolls, while a “12” is only expected 1 time for every 36 rolls. So, an intersection with a “5”, an “8”, and a “11” would expect to produce 4, 5, and 2 resources for 36 rolls, giving it a total score of 11.

Different Good and Poor scales are applied to the Intersections depending on how many hexes touch it. 3-Hex Intersections are statistically going to produce more resources than 1-Hex Intersections, so different ranges are used and can be seen in the chart below.

This guide is only meant to highlight the statistical probabilities of resource production at any given intersection. We understand that gameplay and the placement of resources is of course more complex given things like the types of resources on the board, the harbors you are looking to obtain, and the use of the robber.

What’s interesting is how there are definitely “good” and “poor” areas that exist on the board where there are concentrations of higher probability numbers. We couldn’t display this on any typical graph, but instead we use a modified geospatial layout of Catan to convey the information. We could have used a heat map with strong gradations of color, but by defining definite ranges with strong opposing colors, you can see basic ranges and get an idea of where to build.

Click through to after the jump to see the graphs for each of the configurations.

We’ve copied in each of the board layouts here, but if you want to be able to zoom in more, we suggest looking at one of our two PDF documents:

Resources -> One Grid Per Page

Is there some way to include the proximity to other Hex points on the board into the “quality” of a given point? Also, by-and-large it seems that the bottom right hand corner w.r.t. the top always has a high concentration of optimal spots…I wonder how many games you could win if you always built there (South East?) reguardless of what resources were there?