Catan Histories: Rise of the Inkas takes the Catan series in a different direction… To South America! Designers Klaus and Benjamin Teuber have retained the hand management and set collection aspects of Catan but added in a ‘decline’ mechanism. In regular Catan, the game has a snowball effect, where players gain a constant influx of power. Rise of the Inkas, though, has deliberate peaks and troughs.
There’s coastline on one side of the modular map, but the other half is inland terrain. The same resources found in regular Catan are here to build roads, settlements, and cities. There are also hexes that provide fish, cocoa, and feathers. These are make-weight trade items, which you can swap with the supply (like the harbors in the base game). You’re still building settlements where hexes meet, where die rolls earn you corresponding resources.
The major change in Rise of the Inkas is how you win. There’s no victory points race. Instead, the aim is to be the first to complete your third ‘tribe’. You finish a tribe when you’ve built either four settlements, or two settlements and a city. Then, your tribe goes into ‘decline’. Nature reclaims your settlements and you have to start a new network somewhere else on the board! Your previous roads get removed too, meaning your civilization needs to ‘rise’ again. Other players can build roads and rediscover your ‘lost’ settlements. They can even rebuild over them, making the spot their own!
Since there’s no points system, the Longest Road and Largest Army cards provide other benefits. Because you’ll go into decline at some point, you might not have this benefit for long – so use it wisely while you have it!
Catan Histories: Rise of the Inkas is a standalone game. You do not need to own a copy of the Catan base game to play this.